Comprehensive training, ample performance opportunities and an emphasis on teaching the “whole performer” are a few reasons that Ithaca College is one of the country’s top 10 schools for musical theatre according to Backstage, a respected theatre news outlet and online casting platform.
“It’s an honor to be among these top 10 colleges to study musical theatre,” said Catherine Weidner, professor and chair of the Department of Theatre Arts. “All of our students get conservatory training and a liberal arts education, and are part of an inclusive community of artists. Our musical theatre, acting, production (design/technology), theatre studies and theatre arts management programs make Ithaca College a great choice.
“The transferable skills of a theatre degree are unbeatable: collaboration, effective communication, strong work ethic, managing deadlines, craft and respect for everyone in the room. The faculty and staff are invested in a growth mindset approach, with mentorship and feedback at its core.”
In its list, Backstage lauds the college’s theatre department for teaching its students a wide-ranging set of skills through regular faculty evaluations and 20-hour training weeks that include lessons ranging from jazz and ballet to voice and movement for the stage. Students also have the opportunity to study British drama at the college’s London Center.
Backstage also notes that the theatre program offers students many opportunities to perform, with a six-show mainstage season and four to six studio shows each year, plus audition opportunities for several local professional theatres.
For post-college preparation, Backstage highlights the workshops and master classes IC offers to senior students to help them transition into the theatre industry, as well as a weeklong field studies trip to New York City that gives students the opportunity to network with alumni.
Other schools on Backstage’s list included the Boston Conservatory at Berklee, Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Michigan.