6. Ithaca College – Ithaca, NY
The list of Broadway productions that Ithaca musical theater alumni have been involved in is utterly impressive. A liberal arts college with a top music program, Ithaca College is a smaller school that packs a lot of heart. While some may find the small campus size disagreeable to their needs for a large university, Ithaca’s musical theatre alumni have found success for themselves comparable to the success of alumni from Michigan, Carnegie-Mellon, and many other top programs.
The college directly provides for its students two high-profile experiences for their acting. One, the college acts as its own theater company, staging as many as six or more musicals per year. In the 2013-2014 school year, the college staged notable productions, such as The Crucible and Into the Woods. Additionally, like many of the top musical theater programs in the country, a New York City showcase is given to graduating seniors, a showcase where top talent recruiters are invited to watch and recruit top level young talent.
5. Penn State School of Theatre– University Park, PA
An ultra selective musical theater program, this college’s incoming freshman class is typically between 14-20 total students. The emphasis on dance is very strong, and students are trained in both contemporary and traditional musical theater. Their alumni are among the most accomplished in the industry, consistently finding themselves in top performance opportunities on Broadway and beyond. If you take a look at this recent alumni list, you can see that their graduates are in shows like The Book of Mormon, Cinderlla, and even the American Idiot national tour. One of the strongest musical theater departments in the entire nation, this school is worth an application for the serious aspiring musical theater artist.
4. University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music – Cincinnati, OH
Like CMU, the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music is an incredibly intensive and in-depth program that graduates many working alumni. Three of their recent alumni are currently in the cast of the Newsies, two are in the Tony-award winning musical The Book of Mormon, and plenty of others have been found in musicals such as Wicked, the Producers, The Phantom of the Opera, Mamma Mia, Spamalot, and so many more.
Additionally, students at the college are afforded the opportunity to study with vocal coaches who are experienced in both classical and theatrical styles, providing for them a versatility they may not be available at every institution. Every year, students are provided the opportunity to showcase their talents in Cincinnati, with the senior graduates performing a showcase in New York in front of the industry’s top producers and agents. Students are placed into a cutthroat environment at CCM, but for those who can manage the stresses of being a musical theater student, the reward can be very lucrative in the long-term.