The Music Theatre program, at Baldwin Wallace University's Conservatory of Music, is one of the top in the country. I cannot begin to express how fortunate I feel to have been one of the 16 students, in the class of 2016, to have auditioned into this amazing four year Bachelor of Music degree program. The faculty are so skilled and experienced at molding each individual student, who all have different backgrounds, strengths, and skills, into competitive, well rounded, employable performers, in large part, because the instructors simultaneously work professionally worldwide in the theatre and entertainment industry in addition to their teaching positions. They, the faculty, are why BW's MT program is so cutting edge, current, and relevant to today's ever evolving industry. They have the experience to know what skills any given student is going to need to perfect, to be able to make it in the various aspects of the sometimes brutally, competitive theatre world, at the time that they graduate, which may be a vastly different market than it was four years earlier when the student began in the program. Also, because they are immersed in the working side of the industry, they have many connections to the exact people their students will be auditioning for after graduation. In addition to the professional connections, the faculty here are extremely well respected and admired for turning out talented expertly trained young performers, making BWMT graduates desirable to employers. They are so supportive of their student- body family and truly believe in the student's ability to succeed, which makes sense, as they wouldn't be wise to accept a student into the program if they don’t believe they have what it takes to be successful.
In our freshman year we aren't spoon fed, but given some guidance and extra pushes to get into the swing of this crazy lifestyle. We have MT workshop, with Scott Plate and Vicky Bussert, two of the most passionate instructors in the world. With Scott we work on scenes and different acting techniques to help us become more instinctual and confident when handed a script. The other half, with Vicky, consists of solo and scene work using songs from musicals. The point is, to find things we connect with in music theatre and find organic ways to express, them through song (which is totally unnatural in everyday life). At the end of workshop we get to perform a freshman showcase, our "coming out" more or less. Next year, we'll finally be able to perform in Master Classes and hopefully have more casting opportunities. We also get the privilege of auditioning for big summer stock companies, including the St. Louis Muny, sophomore summer. After that we just get more and more privileges as we become smarter, more mature actors. Finally the biggest rite of passage comes senior year with the Senior Showcase. Showcase is a convolution of each student's best solo work along with a group number, including all the students, to show NY casting directors, who the heck we are, and why we deserve to be on Broadway. Most BW grads book an agent right from showcase. I can only hope the same happens for me. My goal is to land a B-way show within a year of graduating OR to get a job working for Disney Cruises. With constant hunger, hard work, and the proper use of the tools given to me by the incomparable BW faculty, I'm confident I can achieve my goal. Go big or go home, baby!