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Odysseus24601

MFA Directing 2019- Let's Connect

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Hi friends! So happy to find this site and thread. This has been such an isolating process, its very nice to meet others going through the same thing! I’ve spent many hours this morning reading threads from past application cycles in addition to catching up on this one.

This week is the first stressful waiting week in the process. I’ve applied to several schools through URTA (Northwestern, Illinois State, Indiana University, Florida State, Texas State, and UC Irvine).  I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised by how many schools were participating in URTA after reading from last year’s posts that the selection was so small. Wonder if URTA was more active in their recruiting efforts, or if there are just more schools recruiting for odd numbered years. It is said we are to receive interview invitations by Friday. Hope those of you who’ve applied through URTA update us all on here!

in addition to the schools above, I’ve also applied to Penn State and UCSD. I’m very grateful that I’ve got through the first two rounds for Penn State and will be interviewing January 12. Anyone else on this thread apply to Penn?

Im primarily a musical theatre director and have a secondary interest in choreography. Is anyone here in the same or similar boat? I would love to know what schools you’re considering.

Edited by Rlata84

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I heard from URTA's today and got interview requests from:

UT Austin

East 15

Brooklyn College

Indiana

Ohio U

Florida State

Anyone else hear from URTA yet? I'm still waiting to hear from Carnegie and Yale.

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Anyone heard from Columbia yet? Guessing no since the deadline was only recently, but I'm antsy.

I heard word from East 15 a week ago - I got in! Excited but want to make sure it's a good fit. I've heard mixed things from past graduates but so far seems like it would still be great for me personally. Anyone here know more about it or know folks who went through it? It's either this or Columbia I think.

Trying to pull together the last of Brown but the holidays are sucking me in. Good luck to everyone!

Edited by handfulofdust

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On 12/18/2018 at 6:02 AM, Rlata84 said:

Hi friends! So happy to find this site and thread. This has been such an isolating process, its very nice to meet others going through the same thing! I’ve spent many hours this morning reading threads from past application cycles in addition to catching up on this one.

This week is the first stressful waiting week in the process. I’ve applied to several schools through URTA (Northwestern, Illinois State, Indiana University, Florida State, Texas State, and UC Irvine).  I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised by how many schools were participating in URTA after reading from last year’s posts that the selection was so small. Wonder if URTA was more active in their recruiting efforts, or if there are just more schools recruiting for odd numbered years. It is said we are to receive interview invitations by Friday. Hope those of you who’ve applied through URTA update us all on here!

in addition to the schools above, I’ve also applied to Penn State and UCSD. I’m very grateful that I’ve got through the first two rounds for Penn State and will be interviewing January 12. Anyone else on this thread apply to Penn?

Im primarily a musical theatre director and have a secondary interest in choreography. Is anyone here in the same or similar boat? I would love to know what schools you’re considering.

MT isn't my primary focus but I have been spending more time doing musicals than usual the last 2 years, so good to see you here! I've heard good things about Penn State - I chatted with a grad I met a few years back and she said that while the program is exceptionally demanding, Susan is also incredible to work with and a great teacher/lots of connections.

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17 minutes ago, handfulofdust said:

Anyone heard from Columbia yet? Guessing no since the deadline was only recently, but I'm antsy.

I heard word from East 15 a week ago - I got in! Excited but want to make sure it's a good fit. I've heard mixed things from past graduates but so far seems like it would still be great for me personally. Anyone here know more about it or know folks who went through it? It's either this or Columbia I think.

Trying to pull together the last of Brown but the holidays are sucking me in. Good luck to everyone!

@handfulofdust

Congrats! I read your previous post, that you have been admitted to East 15 in the past, do you know if they offer any kind of scholarship or financial assistance? They're kinda pricy otherwise. 

Goodluck on your Columbia and Brown Apps!

-B

Edited by 36Biscotti

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2 hours ago, 36Biscotti said:

@handfulofdust

Congrats! I read your previous post, that you have been admitted to East 15 in the past, do you know if they offer any kind of scholarship or financial assistance? They're kinda pricy otherwise. 

Goodluck on your Columbia and Brown Apps!

-B

Thanks! Good luck with your URTA interviews. I'm not sure who is doing the E15 one, but if it's Matthew I found him friendly and easy to talk to.

They have some small scholarships for international students (I think like 3-5 thousand pounds) but honestly 14,000 pounds a year is so much cheaper than some of the other schools I've been looking at that it feels doable. If I got into Columbia with anything less than a full ride there's no way I could make it work! Brown's full ride is great but their program isn't as experimental as I'd like.

Edited by handfulofdust

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@36Biscotti congrats on the URTA interviews. Will you be attending in NYC or Chicago?I haven’t heard from them yet. 

@handfulofdust I have had my eye on Penn State for years. I’ve met Susan at conferences in the past and think she would be a wonderful mentor.

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@handfulofdust Oh, great! It is Matthew. Yeah Columbia is super expensive, I hope they throw money at you because it's a great program especially for the type of work you've been leaning towards. If you haven't I would try to reach out to current or former Columbia students to see how they did it, because it definitely is doable.

@Rlata84 I am going to NYC URTA's. I was very surprised to hear from them yesterday because in the booklet it said something along the lines of, "Do not expect to hear from any schools before December 21st". Are you doing Chicago? I don't know the date of the Chicago URTA, but the NYC one is less than a month at this point so it makes sense if they start notifying people now. 

Edited by 36Biscotti

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@36Biscotti yes I’m doing the Chicago interviews on January 25th. Thankfully I have a busy day today to distract me from checking my email every ten seconds - only have time to check it once a minute haha. Seems reasonable, right? 

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On 11/27/2018 at 5:48 AM, Odysseus24601 said:

Hi guys. Update from me. Finished Boston U and Northwestern Application earlier this week. I will be submitting Brown today.

I want to apply to USCD. Undecided about Yale. I've applied there twice in three years and been interviewed both times. The second time the interview went great, going over time 20minutes but they said they just didn't have a place for me there. I just don't know what I'd say differently this time. And if I interview with some of the other schools I'm applying for adding the $100 application fee, $300 flight, $100 hotel fee, food, etc and taking time off work might be too steep a cost.

I'm also looking around at some Canadian schools. 

@Star+Strength The few people I've talked to have really liked Boston University. I sent a message to a couple of people there last year. it seems to be focused on traditional theatre and new works, which is what I am more interested in as opposed to devised work, and they talk about how they receive a lot of personal attention. I'm also drawn to it because it's in Boston, so my wife, who is an actor, can get work. And they have a Certificate in Artistic Direction. Since I want to be an Artistic Director and they are the only MFA Directing program that I've seen offering that, I'm really drawn to them.

@ctbck I struggle with the personal statement too. Last time around I wrote a long one (2-3 pages depending on the school) and realized I was trying to write a statement that made me "look good" or said what I thought they wanted to hear. This time around I kept it to one page, short and sweet, tried to be honest and personal without being off-putting (I can overshare sometimes) and I also kept the emphasis on what I wanted to get out of grad school and what I wanted to do afterward. This time around I realized it's important to me that THEY want ME. I'm being myself, telling them why I am a good candidate and why they want me at their school, and if they can't satisfy my artistic needs then we probably aren't a good fit. I realized I don't want to go to grad school just to go to grad school. I want to go to grad school to help me accomplish my theatrical goals.  

 

I have entered this weird funk though. I finished most of my applications at the end of October. Then I just kept revising. I finally forced myself to submit them. I'm nervous because this will probably be my last shot at grad school. I applied three years ago, got close, but didn't get into any programs that made sense financially. I then watched my wife have a great time in grad school for three years while I thought about how I wanted to go. Now I am applying again, but I'm in my early 30's and I don't want to keep moving to a different city every 3-5 years. So if it doesn't work this time I think it's time to move on. But that means I'm putting a ton of pressure on myself to submit the "perfect" application. When i just need to do it.

Oh well. About to enter the worst part of his process. The two or three months of waiting to hear anything. Then, if I get interviews, the three months of waiting to hear about being accepted. 

Good luck all!

My husband was admitted to Boston FYI 

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On 12/14/2018 at 6:39 PM, 36Biscotti said:

Looking at the posts from last year, it looks like Yale started calling for interviews this coming week. Does anyone know if that's the case again this year? How's it going folks? Don't forget to have fun!

 

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I got a call from Yale yesterday for an interview. Exciting! Haven't heard from Columbia yet. Did any else yet?

Also, what are people's takes on New School directing program? 

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Update: confirmed URTA interviews in Chicago with FSU and Texas State, both of which I had contacted with letters of interest. Also pleasantly surprised to have been asked to interview with three schools to whom I did not send letters - University of Texas Austin, Ohio University, and East 15.

I am a little bummed to not book interviews with Northwestern or UC Irvine, but I’m happy with my prospects. Still in the running for Penn State, and have just applied to UCSD.

Congrats on Yale interviews to @jujuak and @CalitoTexas18‘s husband!

Anyone else hear from URTA today? Anyone going to URTA in Chicago? Would love to meet up.

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On 12/21/2018 at 4:15 PM, jujuak said:

I got a call from Yale yesterday for an interview. Exciting! Haven't heard from Columbia yet. Did any else yet?

Also, what are people's takes on New School directing program? 

Hey @jujuak, last year Columbia’s Directing Audition invitations went out on December 29th via email, so they may not go out until next week. Congrats on Yale!

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Hello everyone!

Long time reader, first time poster. Just wanted to say hey and join the discussion! 

I'm applying to UT Austin's MFA Directing program and also to Sarah Lawrence's Theatre MFA program. I visited UT's campus about a month ago and had a wonderful visit. I'm not doing URTA's or anything like that - I'm based in Nashville and working on a limited budget. I've got ten years of professional theatre experience, mostly acting, but realized in the past couple of years that my focus has shifted to directing and devising. 

I'm interested to know when UT and Sarah Lawrence send out invitations for interviews outside of URTAs. This is my first year applying for grad school, so I'm learning as I go! 

If anyone has any information about either of these programs, or about how their interview process works, I would love to hear it.

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On 12/28/2018 at 1:16 PM, ManderLemon said:

Hello everyone!

Long time reader, first time poster. Just wanted to say hey and join the discussion! 

I'm applying to UT Austin's MFA Directing program and also to Sarah Lawrence's Theatre MFA program. I visited UT's campus about a month ago and had a wonderful visit. I'm not doing URTA's or anything like that - I'm based in Nashville and working on a limited budget. I've got ten years of professional theatre experience, mostly acting, but realized in the past couple of years that my focus has shifted to directing and devising. 

I'm interested to know when UT and Sarah Lawrence send out invitations for interviews outside of URTAs. This is my first year applying for grad school, so I'm learning as I go! 

If anyone has any information about either of these programs, or about how their interview process works, I would love to hear it.

Hi!! UT recruited me for interview at URTA, but I really don’t know much about their program. What attracts you to it?

Unfortunately I don’t know when either school sends notifications. Maybe make a follow up call if your apps have been in for a while.

Sarah Lawrence seems like a cool program. I like how specialized it can be. Did you visit? I thought about applying, but could not find any info on funding.

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On 12/21/2018 at 10:33 PM, Rlata84 said:

Update: confirmed URTA interviews in Chicago with FSU and Texas State, both of which I had contacted with letters of interest. Also pleasantly surprised to have been asked to interview with three schools to whom I did not send letters - University of Texas Austin, Ohio University, and East 15.

I am a little bummed to not book interviews with Northwestern or UC Irvine, but I’m happy with my prospects. Still in the running for Penn State, and have just applied to UCSD.

Congrats on Yale interviews to @jujuak and @CalitoTexas18‘s husband!

Anyone else hear from URTA today? Anyone going to URTA in Chicago? Would love to meet up.

Congrats on the interviews! (And for what it's worth, I had a good director/choreographer friend do Ohio's MFA Directing program and she really loved it.)

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@handfulofdust thank you very much! Glad to hear good things about Ohio. I’m a little skeptical about it only because I am already well one Ted with their network and their partnering theatre as I live just 90 minutes away. Just thinking about whether or not it would allow me the growth I’m seeking. There is something very attractive about moving away to a city and state where I know no one and can truly unlock and engage without distraction —— I am interested to hear more about your attraction to East 15. What makes this program stand out to you? Is there much opportunity for practicum? I’m not finding as many details as I would like. 

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Hello everyone! 

It's been so lovely to read everyone's updates on this thread. Just wondering whether anyone knows anything about Columbia's audition weekend-- either from previous years or connections. I'll be at the audition this year and am trying to decide how to best prepare. Hope to see some of yall there! 

 

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9 hours ago, CalitoTexas18 said:

Anyone heard from Northwestern?

If I remember from previous year's threads, they take a longer time and are a bit less communicative than other schools. 

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On 1/3/2019 at 12:27 PM, deirdrenyc said:

Hello everyone! 

It's been so lovely to read everyone's updates on this thread. Just wondering whether anyone knows anything about Columbia's audition weekend-- either from previous years or connections. I'll be at the audition this year and am trying to decide how to best prepare. Hope to see some of yall there! 

 

Hey @deirdrenyc, I know Columbia does not send a lot of info in advance by design. However, some tips I wish someone had told me last year are:

1) They say bring snacks but I recommend planning ahead and/or packing lunch and dinner on Saturday. There were no official breaks just for meals, there was always something additional to work on during breaks.

2) Bring a laptop/electronic device and charger or some books. There’s unstructured time for you to formulate ideas.

3) Sunday is an early morning, so plan your Saturday night accordingly.

4) There is a Q&A session at the end of the weekend first with faculty and then just with students.

Hope that helps!

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