How to Succeed in Theatre- Without Higher Education

How to Succeed in Theatre- Without Higher Education

Colleges and conservatories are expensive. There’s no other way to say it, they just are. Unless your family has set aside money for you to do so, pursuing higher education means you’ll likely spend your senior year, and the next four years in a formal education program struggling to get loans, scholarships, and side hustles, often requiring you put yourself in some extreme cases of exhaustion and stress. A social life will be difficult to maintain, Saturdays will be spent at work, mornings before class shared with coffee and overdue homework, afternoons will be taken up by running from class only to miss your bus to work and mean you have to beg someone for a ride, and after all of that you’ll still trudge need to the library at 2 AM to photocopy the textbook you can’t afford. If that sounds like a lot to handle, you can find an alternative route. That’s also terrifying. It really is- I know. I’m following that alternative route.

Read More

How to Recover From a Bad Show

How to Recover From a Bad Show

I spent opening night of my recent show sitting at the back of the auditorium, poised to run backstage and fix problems. It didn’t start out that way. I gave a curtain speech and felt the excited buzz of anticipation as I sat and watched the show begin. And then… the mics didn’t work. And the curtains caught, three times. And a trumpet was left onstage. And two actors who had never had so much as a slip of the tongue in rehearsal froze and forgot their lines. Props weren’t checked, or went missing after being checked.

Read More

The Secret of Happiness at College Is...

The Secret of Happiness at College Is...

The secret of happiness is knowing that happiness is always and only temporary. After all, a well-written character is never happy the entire show. Characters who appear to be happy either have joyfulness (sometimes through ignorance) or hide away when they are no longer happy. Additionally, we only see about two hours of glimpses into their lives.

Read More

Please Stop Telling Conservatory Students They "Didn’t Go to a Real College"

Please Stop Telling Conservatory Students They "Didn’t Go to a Real College"

As graduation season is upon us, I would like to take the time to say congratulations! Congrats to everyone who graduates or have already graduated this year! Especially those who pursued a career in the arts. That is no easy task! Coincidentally I too have graduated this year as well (Congrats to the 134th class of The American Academy of Dramatic Arts!), and above all, I would like to say one thing.

Please stop telling the conservatory students they didn’t go to college. I’m getting really sick and tired of being told I didn’t go to a real college, and I bet some people who are reading this are too. 

Read More

Dear Freshman Theatre Majors

Dear Freshman Theatre Majors

Acting is thrilling and terrifying. Acting is rarely not daunting at least at one point in a process of a show (auditions tend to be). Actors have to be very vulnerable to complete strangers, or even worse to people they know. Your journey as a Theatre/Musical Theatre Major will be rewarding, taxing, disheartening, enchanting, and wonderful. Here are some points that I wish I knew or had taken to heart and embraced early on as my mentality.

Read More

Theatre and Musical Theatre Students in a Department: What’s The Relationship?

Theatre and Musical Theatre Students in a Department: What’s The Relationship?

As a musical theatre student in a competitive performing arts program, I have witnessed the dynamics between the different majors. Particularly, I have seen how the theatre and musical theatre students navigate the program, and how it can often be different from each other. These students will often stick together by major, even to the point of joining different student theatre clubs where students could usually mingle and exchange experiences. Therefore, this makes the circles rather closed off to each other.

Read More

Favoritism in Casting School Theatre

Favoritism in Casting School Theatre

We've all been there. You read a play and immediately start casting it in your mind. If you've been teaching in the same place for a while and you're lucky, you have a core group of devoted students who come back for each play, no matter what you decide to produce. They know you and how you prefer to work, and you know their capabilities. But does that influence your casting? Should it?

Read More

Is Drama a "Real Degree"?

Is Drama a "Real Degree"?

I'll never forget the shifts at the bar, where men in their 50's who have been plumbers all their lives, tell me that my choices will lead me nowhere in life, and I'll fail no matter what I do. Thank you, Barry, I'm so glad I never asked for your opinion in the first place.

No, we may not have to sit in a silent hall for an hour and write exams, but drama students will be damned if anyone says they don't work hard. There are so many unseen hours that go into what makes a performance happen - more than just the cast "standing on a stage and saying some words".

Read More

Some Group Strengthening Exercises for Drama Class

Some Group Strengthening Exercises for Drama Class

When attending drama classes, one of the main goals should be to achieve a strong connection in a dynamic group. One of the best ways to do this is by working with exercises that focus on awareness, eye contact, and attention. Not only have these exercises helped my theatre group to grow stronger, but also myself as an individual to grow more disciplined and adaptable to different kinds of groups

Read More

Teaching Theatre: "Is Anybody Out There?!"

Teaching Theatre: "Is Anybody Out There?!"

Teaching theatre can be lonely.

Wait. What?! How can teaching be lonely? You’re literally surrounded by people all…day...long.

Yes. True. Surrounded by people. People in your classroom who hopefully love theatre and love you. Surrounded by your students. Hopefully surrounded by supportive teaching, admin, and school staff. Maybe supportive parents and guardians too.

But, teaching theatre is lonely.

Read More

The Best Undergraduate Theatre Programs in Each State - 2019 Edition

The Best Undergraduate Theatre Programs in Each State - 2019 Edition

Every year, OnStage Blog deep dives into college theatre programs to find what we feel are some of the best in the nation. While the perfect programs is the one that fits best with the student, schools can become that fit with fantastic facilities, strong faculty, multiple performance opportunities, among other things. In truth, there are some schools that do that better than others and should be recognized for it.

At the end of the summer, we will be publishing our top 25 theatre program rankings. But as we start to close the books on this academic year, we felt it’s time to name some programs that did exceptional work this year. So here is our 2019 list of the best theatre programs in each state.

Read More

Education and Entertainment - Enhance your Drama Degree by attending the Theatre

Education and Entertainment - Enhance your Drama Degree by attending the Theatre

There are many reasons why theatre has been around for thousands of years, and is still growing. Many people describe the theatre as something magical, and a truly extraordinary experience. Unfortunately nowadays, many drama courses don’t involve theatre trips, with students watching performances online instead. Many feel that this takes away the experience - there’s nothing quite like enjoying a heart-warming musical, or seeing a timeless classic at the theatre.

Read More

College Admission Bribery Scandal Has Always Occurred in BFA Programs

College Admission Bribery Scandal Has Always Occurred in BFA Programs

While many were shocked by this college admissions scandal, as someone who’s worked in college admissions for the past decade, I wasn’t shocked at all. Truth be told, this has been happening for years in the industry and if you think BFA theatre/music/dance programs are in the clear, you’d be wrong.

Read More

College Auditions: The Parent Perspective - Part 5

College Auditions:  The Parent Perspective - Part 5

Hopefully by the end of April, the right school will be revealed to you and your student.  It may or may not be one of their top choices. That’s okay, because (as we all know), your student will get out of this experience what they put into it.  

Read More