Author Topic: BA or BFA  (Read 6359 times)

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ernlin

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BA or BFA
« on: Mar 14, 2007, 10:23 am »
i was wondering what you all think is better a BA or a BFA. i am really looking at a BFA program cause i dont want to have to take regular college classes. is anyone in a BFA program? What is the best BFA program?

thanks

LisaEllis

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Re: BA or BFA
« Reply #1 on: Mar 14, 2007, 01:11 pm »
Hi there,

I was right where you are (I think) before selecting a college program.  I had a great general ed in my high school, took AP classes, etc., and ended up testing out of 1/3 of the general credits needed for my BFA program.  I filled my electives with literature classes and languages that I wanted to take.

The most important thing is to find a school that fits you personally, as there are alot of programs out there.  Is it the Princeton Review that publishes traditional school ratings by major?  That can be a good place to start, to get a list of 10 or so schools that offer what you want to look for.

Schools that I've heard good things about:  Carnegie Mellon, DePaul University, Webster University, North Carolina School of the Arts, Boston University, Penn State, Cincinnatti Conservatory of Music....

I think there are other threads also, about specific states, if they apply to you...Good luck!

McShell

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Re: BA or BFA
« Reply #2 on: Mar 14, 2007, 01:27 pm »
I got a BFA, and I wish I'd gone for my BA and worked with an advisor to include a lot of stage management.  The BFA hasn't hurt my career, but I really miss not having taken all those general ed. classes.  I think the BA would have been a good idea because I would have gotten a broader perspective of theatre in the world.  I'm not saying that all BFA programs are like this, but in my program, you lived and breathed theatre, and well, it was the whole world.  I find myself working now, and taking classes online here and there, more general ed. literature, and different kinds of history so that I have a bigger perspective.  I think a good liberal arts background helps no matter what you do.

MatthewShiner

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Re: BA or BFA
« Reply #3 on: Mar 14, 2007, 04:55 pm »
My 2 cents is that you go for a BA, get a well balanced education.

Are you still in high school?  You mind as you continue to go through life, you may change some of your goals and priorities, it might be nice to have a nice well round education.

My favorite classes during my time in school were my non-theatre classes.

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KC_SM_0807

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Re: BA or BFA
« Reply #4 on: Mar 14, 2007, 11:11 pm »
I  am in the process of finishing my BA and wouldn't have it any other way.  I was also able to double major in a foreign language, which I wouldn't be able to do if I went for a BFA.  Those "regular college classes" definitely help more than you think... I've learned a lot of things in my Basic Studies classes (the ones that don't pertain to Theatre or my other major) that are just as important.  BFA's are great, but you also want to show that you know other things and have a well-rounded education.
"Perhaps, therefore, Stage Managers not only need to be calm and meticulous professionals who know their craft, but masochists who feel pride in rising above impossible odds."

loebtmc

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Re: BA or BFA
« Reply #5 on: Mar 15, 2007, 01:49 am »
you can find several threads covering variations of this discussion including all the pros and cons, but I gotta say, every show that makes me wonder what I would have learned had I taken a stage management degree, I also am grateful for my liberal arts background. The fact that I can help the folks in the last three (THREE) shows pronounce words in foreign languages... My classes in world history and geography and general knowledge of all kinds consistently help me with every aspect of a show. Get general knowledge of many things. You can always specialize later.
« Last Edit: Mar 15, 2007, 02:33 pm by loebtmc »

birdie4113

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Re: BA or BFA
« Reply #6 on: Mar 15, 2007, 09:24 am »
Every program is different.  I got a BFA in theatre from Valdosta State University and also had to take core credits.  It was a really good program that taught everyone the basics of all areas of theatre as well as in depth studies of your emphasis.  I guess it just depends on where you go.
Bridget

boolabella

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Re: BA or BFA
« Reply #7 on: Mar 15, 2007, 04:50 pm »
I'm in the BFA Stage Management Program at the University of Miami and it is absolutely perfect for me.  I'm not a huge fan of math classes and science classes that I know I'll never need again.  X=pie isn't really my favorite thing.  At UM we take many classes in stage management but are also required to take a moderate number of liberal arts classes.  We also are required to take theatre classes in all fields such as design, production, management, script analysis, directing, producing, and even acting.  The goal in the SM program which is a conservatory program is to take classes in everything so you are a well rounded stage manager.  The program is small so we have the opportunity to ASM, SM, or PSM mainstage every semester!  I think the BA/BFA decision is up to you and what kind of program you're looking for.  For me a small conservatory program where I could be extremely involved was exactly what I needed and wanted.
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hbelden

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Re: BA or BFA
« Reply #8 on: Mar 15, 2007, 08:29 pm »
I went BFA because I had no interest in anything outside of theatre.  I took a couple of classes outside the theatre but if I got a D in them I didn't care.

On the flip side, I had a very eponymous high school experience and brought a lot of general knowledge to college.  At the time, I was also an actor.  Anything outside of the theatre building I had zero interest in.

But things would have been different had I not already had a very wide education and an enquiring mind.  I loved learning about all sorts of different areas, but I didn't want to write papers and take tests kind of thing.  I had much rather be rehearsing.
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ernlin

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Re: BA or BFA
« Reply #9 on: Mar 20, 2007, 01:49 pm »
thanks so much for all your imput.....i am lucky to have gone to a really great high school where i am getting a great liberal arts education. I feel that i would really do a lot better at a BFA program because i feel like theatre is what i am going to be doing for the rest of my life.

the one school that i have my heart set on is Syracuse....has anyone gone there for a BFA program?


thanks
 ;)

hbelden

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Re: BA or BFA
« Reply #10 on: Mar 20, 2007, 05:04 pm »
LOVED 'Cuse in 90-94.  Hear it's gotten much better since then (thank you, Ari Tepper!)
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kaitlinmarie

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Re: BA or BFA
« Reply #11 on: Apr 06, 2007, 11:41 pm »
I'm currently attending a BFA granting college and we are all required to take General Education classes in order to graduate. In fact, we have to take a ehole heck of a lot of them. The best part of our program though is that we only have to pass one math class for our 4 years and maybe 2 science classes that you get to choose out of a wide selection. I love my BFA, but then again I enjoy SOME General Education classes...at least the ones that interest me.

gNat

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Re: BA or BFA
« Reply #12 on: Apr 09, 2007, 04:04 am »
I'm really enjoying my BA program, because it means I get to flip through the course catalog and take pretty much any class that appeals to me, for whatever reason!  The downside is I have to pass two science courses (blaugh), but being able to dabble in everything makes it totally worth it.
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SJRiedener

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Re: BA or BFA
« Reply #13 on: Apr 13, 2007, 12:58 am »
thanks so much for all your imput.....i am lucky to have gone to a really great high school where i am getting a great liberal arts education. I feel that i would really do a lot better at a BFA program because i feel like theatre is what i am going to be doing for the rest of my life.

the one school that i have my heart set on is Syracuse....has anyone gone there for a BFA program?


thanks
 ;)

I'm just finishing up my freshman year in the Stage Management BFA at Syracuse.  It's a great school to have your heart set on ;-).  Right now, I'm ASMing on the final mainstage of the season, a big musical comedy, but through the year, I've been Sound Board Op for a mainstage farce, Asst. Scenic Designer for a Black Box, Hair Stylist/Makeup Artist for Black Box, and electrics crew for a mainstage.  As a freshman SM here, you'll not only ASM for an upperclassman on the mainstage, but you also have two crew assignments (usually a board op or deck crew) to fulfill.  After that, you've got lots of opportunities to volunteer in the shops or work on Black Box shows, building and loading in the sets or hanging and focusing lights, etc.  They focus on keeping us well-rounded both in theatre (we all have to take lighting design, basic design classes, technical practicums, acting, development, and analysis classes) and on The Hill with 30 academic elective credits that we need to take.  The faculty here are also fantastic, with multiple equity members teaching classes.  I'm sure you've done your research on SU if you've got your heart set on us, so you know about Syracuse Stage and what that has to offer us.  If you haven't already, I'd suggest visiting (or if you have, visit again) and if you talk to Don and Dianna, ask if you can come in to watch a rehearsal or if there's another SM somewhere who has a few free minutes to talk to you and show you around.  We're a pretty friendly bunch, and we LOVE prospective students, and I mean we LOVE them and get excited for them to show up. 

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