Author Topic: Best schools for SM.  (Read 33169 times)

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mpass41

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Re: Best schools for SM.
« Reply #15 on: Nov 07, 2010, 10:09 am »
For those looking for a BFA undergrad program, I'm currently in my third year as a BFA SM major at Millikin University in Decatur, IL. The theatre program itself is very small, but then again the campus is very small, so if you don't want to be just a number, I'd highly recommend it.

As a BFA student, I am required to take Directing I and II, two tiers of play analysis, a design studio in each of the design aspects (lighting, costumes, set design, and sound), as well as two levels of Music Theory and two dance classes.

Our junior year, we have to do an internship with the on-campus road house--one semester as an ASM, and one semester as an SM--so you get a feel for what it's like working in a roadhouse and how to handle yourself while working around big names (we just had Mike Super in a couple weeks ago, and OneRepublic came last year).

We are also required to ASM two mainstage shows, and SM two mainstage shows, although most of us try to do more, and we make personal goals like working with all of the directors, or doing one of each type of show before we graduate.

I won't sugarcoat it...the program is difficult. While the performance majors and design majors aren't working on mainstage shows until maybe their junior year, we can start as early as freshman (ASMing only). We are required to do all our own paperwork, including a tech calendar for tech week, as well as run weekly production meetings for the show. Nightly rehearsal reports, weekly production meeting reports, and performance reports are all required, on top of a potential 18-credit hour week.

That being said, I've found it very fulfilling! I worked at a chamber music festival the summer after my freshman year, and I didn't feel under-prepared at all. Plus we get to meet weekly and just talk about the profession. This week we're doing a resume workshop, last week we talked to one of the dance faculty about how to work a dance concert, and the week before that we just practiced taping out an elaborate groundplan.

...so now that I've basically told you my life story, I will reiterate that this is ultimately your decision! I love it here, but that doesn't mean that there aren't other good schools out there, you just really need to do your research  :)
Perhaps, therefore, ideal 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.”
--Peter Hall

hgleason

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Re: Best schools for SM.
« Reply #16 on: Nov 10, 2010, 06:24 pm »
I also attend Millikin University and agree completely with everything MPass41 has said. I would tell you everything I think is great about our program here, but I would just be reposting what MPass41. I highly recommend checking out the school and then deciding if it is the right fit for you.

KaylaElizabeth

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Re: Best schools for SM.
« Reply #17 on: Oct 05, 2011, 03:37 pm »
SUNY Purchase has a great program for Stage Managers. It is a BFA program in the schools theater conservatory, under the design technology.  Although you cannot double major or minor in another subject, you can double major in another concentration, such as lighting, set design costume, etc, your first two years in case you are not sure.  It is a great program with plenty of room to gain hands on experience.

BlackBoxBaron

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Re: Best schools for SM.
« Reply #18 on: Oct 17, 2011, 10:54 pm »
Hey there! I go to Syracuse University, and I love it here. There are enough shows where you have the opportunity to be working constantly, but enough stage managers where you don't feel like you have to do everything. Also, we are associated with Syracuse Stage, a professional theater company, so the training and professionals you get to work with are incredible. Below is a list of other schools I applied to as well.

Emerson College
Ithaca College
SUNY Purchase
University of Miami
Boston University
Point Park University
Wagner College

Br3ak_a_leg

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Re: Best schools for SM.
« Reply #19 on: Sep 17, 2014, 12:52 am »
I am currently going to Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, and I can vouch that we have an excellent theatre program with a SM option that is completely pre-professional. We run everything as close to what it's like in the real world as possible. Our music department is also top notch. You should really check us out!

SMGrant

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Change of School
« Reply #20 on: Oct 07, 2014, 02:44 pm »
Hello all,

I graduated high school in May and was going to attend my dream university pursuing a BFA in Stage Management. I had poured my life into planning for this school for the past several months. Needless to say, when I arrived, I soon realized that I did not belong there. It had nothing to do with the theatre department there, I just did not vibe with the school (The people at the school were very closed minded and it wasn't a very welcoming atmosphere). I realized that I would not be able to succeed there so I came home. I am taking this semester and next semester off to rework my game plan on what university is right for me. I am here because I need suggestions for schools with a BFA Stage Management program. I realize this a very broad request, but this is because I'm back at square one in my search and I am very open to looking into any suggestions that you all have to offer.

Thanks in advance,

SMGrant

hbelden

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Re: Change of School
« Reply #21 on: Oct 07, 2014, 05:35 pm »
http://smnetwork.org/forum/college-and-graduate-studies/best-schools-for-sm/

This forum has collected all the best information we have to offer and stickied it to the top of the board.  Check it out for some good advice, and if you have any questions, post them to that thread.  We'll see the new activity on it and someone will respond.

Good luck!

EDIT: Merged! - PSMK
« Last Edit: Oct 07, 2014, 08:50 pm by PSMKay »
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Maribeth

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Re: Change of School
« Reply #22 on: Oct 07, 2014, 06:39 pm »
Hi Grant,
 Can you talk a little more about some of these factors?

-Location- big city?
-What kind of classes are required/available?
-Size of the program
-Practical experience- what's required, what opportunities there are
-Employment opportunities (if you plan to work while in school)
-Campus life outside of theatre
-Connections to the community at large
-anything else that's important to you in a school

I think you might get a lot of suggestions of places that other members have attended and enjoyed, but you can narrow it down a little more if you can tell us a bit about what you're looking for. :)


Maribeth

MitchieSM

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Re: Best schools for SM.
« Reply #23 on: Oct 10, 2014, 07:12 pm »
University of Michigan has an awesome SM program.

The theater department has a number of ways to become an SM - a BFA program, a BTA (Theater Arts) program, a BA program, as well as the ability to be in a different college within the University and still take a number of SM classes with opportunities. The SM department is small enough that you know everyone, and can get individualized attention with your yearly/semesterly show assignments, but it's within the scope and with the amenities of a large university. It's located in a hip town (Ann Arbor, MI), and the two are integrated really well, so there is no insulated campus. There are lots of student organizations outside of the theatre department that are extremely well established and student run, so you have many opportunities outside of the larger producing body to gain experience. There are lots of things to do outside of theatre world too! Sports, concerts, lectures, anything you'd guess from a Big Ten university. We also have a large alumni base around the country that can help you gain employment after graduation, whether you decide to stick with theater, or change directions.

Go Blue!

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StageManagerMaddie

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Re: Best schools for SM.
« Reply #24 on: Nov 17, 2014, 11:05 am »
I know Emerson College in Boston has a good Stage Management program but I don't know anything about their music program. Good luck

Hello!
I am a BFA Stage Management and Production student at Emerson College.
Unfortunately there are no "music" programs here but our BFA Musical Theatre program is very talented.
I know Musical Theatre majors take music theory but I am not sure if it is open to other majors. I know that Emerson has a partnership with Berkeley so you could take classes there.

On another note, the stage management program here is pretty intense. Rehearsals five days/week, production meetings, it is very difficult to double major and I wouldn't suggest it.

I hope this helped :)

PugSM

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Re: Best schools for SM.
« Reply #25 on: Jul 15, 2016, 12:54 pm »
Sometimes smaller programs offer great opportunities as well.  Just because a school has a big name attached to it doesn't always make it an ideal program for you. Remember, it is all about what will suit you as a student and what you are looking for.

However, smaller programs might offer you more experience at the undergraduate level.  For example, if you are looking to rack up resume credit, you might be one of two tech theatre majors at a school that produces four shows a year.  This could potentially give you a lot of challenges and several opportunities to ASM and SM.

Also, in an adverse opinion, don't completely rule out schools with graduate programs.  Sometimes you can find a graduate student who will mentor you or if a graduate program sends the majority of their students to work in the professional field, there may be opportunities for you to SM smaller productions.

Do you research and make sure you talk to students in the program. Talk to the heads of the department and make sure they can give you what you want out of your college experience.

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