The Nation's Top 10 Collegiate Musical Theater Programs in the United States.
Auditioning for different collegiate programs is one of the biggest decisions of a young performers life. Looking at the current percentage rate of working actors from the colleges listed below it is safe to say that there is a reason that these ten schools make the cut. Schools that are on this list are rated by four categories.
Many times when young performers are preparing for collegiate auditions they are seeking what schools their idols went to. What shows are the alumni currently in, or have worked on? How many alumni have worked on Broadway before? How many alumni have won or have been nominated for a Tony, Drama Desk, or various other awards?
The program has everything to do in my eyes of what makes a solid musical theater program. Questions to ask are, Does the curriculum cover singing, acting, and dancing? How large is each class? Is What is the faculty background? Are freshman cast in their first year? What is the graduation rate? What is the acceptance rate? How large are the incoming classes?
As much as people don't want to believe it, this business is 80% about the connections that you make throughout college. Many top programs have faculty who have worked or are working currently on Broadway, and Regional houses as actors, directors and various other positions. Questions to ask are, Does the program offer regular workshops with casting agents, as well as legit agents? Are composers coming in to workshop new works with students? How is showcase run? Are "The Big 6" agents invited?
Most of the musical theater listings of the top programs never include Character which is such a vital aspect of a person in this business. Character is one of the biggest qualities of a person when they walk into a room for an audition or if already cast in a production. Currently as a working actor, and casting agent, I will look at a resume and already have a good sense the work rate and professionalism of an actor by just looking at what University they attended because of the reputation that the school attached to the actor has.
The list below is of the Top 10 Musical Theater Programs in the United States which demonstrates excellence in the four subjects I listed above. Every school on this list is a fantastic program, and I have also added and Honorable mention list to up and coming programs who down the line will easily be on this Top 10 List.
#1 Carnegie Mellon University
Notable Broadway Alumni: Rene Auberjonois (Tony Award Winner), Matt Bomer, Christian Borle (Two Time Tony Award Nominee), Sutton Foster (Two Time Tony Award Winner), Josh Gad (Tony Award Nominee), Megan Hilty, Patina Miller (Tony Award Winner), Billy Porter (Tony Award Winner), Patrick Wilson (Tony Award Nominee), Zachary Quinto.
#2 The University of Michigan
Notable Broadway Alumni: Hunter Foster (Tony Award Nominee), Gavin Creel, Andrew Keenan-Bolger, Celia Keenan-Bolger, Andy Mientus, Whitney Bashor, Brynn O Malley, Jenni Barber, Tommy Berklund, Nick Blaemire, Jeremy Davis.
#3 New York University
Notable Broadway Alumni: Steve Kazee (Tony Award Winner), Billy Crudup (Tony Award Winner), Idina Menzel (Tony Award Winner), Donna Murphy (Tony Award Winner), Nikki M James (Tony Award Winner), Jefferey Wright (Tony Award Winner), Nina Arianda (Tony Award Winner), Jay Armstrong Johnson, Nic Roleau, Jennifer Cooper, Haviland Stillwell.
#4 College-Conservatory of Music, University of Cincinnati.
Notable Broadway Alumni: Lee Roy Reams (Tony Award Nominee), Marcia Lewis (Tony Award Nominee), Pamela Myers (Tony Award Nominee), Faith Prince (Tony Award Winner), Michelle Pawk (Tony Award Winner), Karen Olivo (Tony Award Winner) David Burtka, Barrett Foa, Alexander Gemignani, Jessica Hershberg, Anne Horak, , Chelsea Krombach, Kate Loprest, Betsy Wolfe, Ashley Brown, Leigh Ann Larkin Lauren Molina, Jennifer Laura Thompson, Cortney Wolfson, Helene Yorke.
#5 Montclair State University
Notable Broadway Alumni: Rob McClure (Tony Award Nomination), Allison Strong, Paul Pilcz, Joshua Dela Cruz, Erick Avari, Stephen Bienske, Kevin Carolan, Gerard McIntyre, Wilson Mendietta, Michelle Tauber, Stuart Zagnit.
#6 Ithaca College
Notable Broadway Alumni: Jeremy Jordan (Tony Award Nominee), Kerry Butler (Tony Award Nominee), Daniel McDonald (Tony Award Nominee), Aaron Tviet, Matt Cavenaugh, Michelle Federer, Ben Feldman, Zach James, Stacie Morgan Lewis, Joe Aaron Reid, Ceasar Samayoa, Eric Jordan Young.
#7 Elon University
Notable Broadway Alumni: Kira Schmidt, Lindsay Northen, Daniel Watts, Alex Ellis, Matt Shingledecker, Taylor Trensch, Paul Miller, Adam Kaplan, Sean Ronayne, Michael Callahan, Mackenzie Bell, Johnny Stellard, Barrett Wilber Weed.
#8 The Boston Conservatory
Notable Broadway Alumni: Chad Kimball (Tony Award Nominee), Eddie Korbuch, Alysha Umphrees, Kendal Hartse, Colin Israel, Nicholas Christopher, Dominic Nolfi, Jamie Lavediere, Erin Davie, Will Blum, Kimiko Glenn, Angela Christian.
#9 Florida State University
Notable Broadway Alumni: Montego Glover (Tony Award Winner) Heather Parcells, Michael Fatica, Stephen Anthony, Mykal Kilgore, Tiffany Howard, Christian Delcroix, Leslie Feisner.
#10 Penn State
Notable Broadway Alumni: Laurie Veldheer, Jeremy Greenbaum, Natalie Weiss, Adam Jepsen, Carly Hughes, Gilbert Bailey, Nathan Lucrezio, Dianna Barger, Caroline Bowman.
Honorable Mention List: Pace University, Western Michigan University, Baldwin Wallace University, University of Miami, Webster University, University of Oklahoma, Syracuse University, and Shenandoah Conservatory.