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I'd say this is one of the craziest things I've seen in these situations. These people spent the time, money, and effort to apply, visit, and/or interview with you. Take the 10 second to reject them i

Hoping my info can put some minds at ease: Yale - Had first interview last week. (I was notified in late Dec). The latest date I was offered was Jan 17, so first round at least runs through then.

Feeling the frustration with you all. 7 first interviews, 1 second interview, 1 wait list. I've just assumed that since I didn't get a second interview with the other 6 that I'm out of the running too

Heard back from URTAS yesterday! Got interviews with 8 schools! Will I see anyone else there?!

Also based on the past two years, I would guess that today is a good day for folks to hear back from Yale if they got an interview. Fingers crossed!

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On 12/21/2019 at 1:47 AM, TheatreGuy123 said:

 

 

What do people know about the UCSD Directing program? Also University of South Dakota reached out to me but it seems a little remote...

 

Is Vanessa still running the program at UCSD? She is wonderful. I also believe it's a fully funded program. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hey everyone!

Long time reader, first time poster here.

I applied to UCSD, Yale, and Northwestern, but have yet to hear back from any of them. Anybody got any info from applying in previous years on when these schools tend to respond?

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I'm interested in getting a discussion going about Statements of Purpose/Artist Statements. Does anyone else just feel horribly cliche writing about themselves/why theatre? I know there's no formula for these things but what are some overarching things you find yourself touching on from app to app?

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Hello!

@rubcar91 I applied to Northwestern through URTAS and received an interview already. I am not sure what their direct deadline was, or how they balance Direct/URTAS  deadlines. 

In the past two years Yale had gotten back to folks on December 20th-ish, but I have scoured the internet and haven't heard a peep from folks. Usually a Yale interview call brings out the lurkers. So I'm hoping that they haven't contacted folks yet. Maybe next week since the holidays are over? 

No idea about UCSD, maybe @TheatreGuy123 could answer that?

Hey @ctbck! Re statements of purpose: YES. I especially struggled this year because I applied to so many schools, so it felt strange to tweak them for each school. I had about 3 working formulas or framing devices that I used based on the school. So it will be interesting to see which essays were effective. So I'm nervous about that. Generally I tried to answer the questions: why theatre/directing (my values), why me (aethetic & process), why school & why now (goals, and obstacles). But laying it out like that makes it seem so much easier than it was writing the essays. 

 

WHICH is why I am so excited to say that I am officially DONE with applications!!! Now I'll move into interview prep for URTAS and of course, the torturous grad waiting period! 🙃

For now, I'm just celebrating being done with essay writing (and paying application fees 😅😩).

 

How's everyone else doing on this side of the new year?

Edited by Eccyclema
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Hi All, 

First time applicant here.  Applied to 6 schools.  I chose not to do URTAS.  Can anyone who has experience doing both URTAS and not tell me if I maybe screwed myself over by making that choice?  Only 1 of the schools I applied to was attending URTAs and I just felt it was a waste of extra time and money for that reason.  Also wondering has anyone heard anything from Carnegie Mellon yet on interviews? 

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Hey @CatMeow! Welcome!

 

This is my first time to applying to URTAS, so I cannot speak to the advantage/disadvantage, other to say that the URTA common app can apply you to schools you hadn't considered. 

As for CMU, I have not heard from them, but seeing as their deadline was 1/1, I would say it will be at least another week or 3 before we hear back. 

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Got an e-mail yesterday from UCSD asking for a Skype interview. Still waiting to hear from Yale and Northwestern.

@ctbck I tried to hit three main points with my statement of purpose: 1) Why grad school and why now, 2) why theater and why directing, and 3) my strengths and weaknesses as a director. After many drafts and rewrites, my directing professor from undergrad gave me the best advice: Sit down and just write. Don't overthink it, otherwise you'll be rewriting this thing up until the deadline even though the statement of purpose only makes up one small portion of your application. This is just an introduction. They have no idea who you are. Introduce yourself. You are not competing with anyone except yourself.

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My statement of purpose is all about what I want from the theatre and how my own life connects to it. I think writing about your passion for directing and why you think it's important can suffice for your statement of purpose. 

Has anyone done URTAs before and can they fill us in on how those interviews usually go? Ironically I got my MFA in Acting from an URTA school, but I am sure that the MFA Directing interviews are very different. 

Thanks for being so helpful everybody, and best of luck!

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Hi @TheaterGuy123 and all, I did the URTA interviews last year and am happy to give some insight. 

So last year, I interviewed with a number of schools and got accepted into one, but sadly needed to turn down the offer....but here is how URTA played out in Chicago last year. 

1. You'll gather in a large room, after you've checked in, with all other URTA applicants from every discipline.  When you check in, they will give you a schedule of all your meetings for the day and where they are located throughout the property. 

2. Some schools are in their own hotel rooms (UCLA, CALArts, FSU, maybe a few others?) and the majority of the schools are in a large conference room with stations. So the majority of your time you'll spend in this large room with other people interviewing with other schools at the same time. The schools in the conference room last year were, UT Austin, Northwestern, Texas State, California Irvine, Indiana, Illinois State, East 15 and that's all I can remember at the moment. 

3. Every interview was a one on one, except for East 15, which "interviewed" two people at once but the majority of the time it was a pitch about their school. Then they ask if you're interested to slip an application under their hotel door later that day. 

4. Be prepared to answer the question, "Why grad school for you?" numerous times and have some plays and playwrights, in addition to your Essay play,  that you'd like to discuss or direct and why. 

5. You may have some downtime in-between interviews, there is a coffee shop in the bottom or the Palmer House that's chill or they have that massive lobby. If you can afford to grab a room the night before or the day of, to retreat to, that's always nice but not a must, of course. 

Overall my experience with URTAs was pretty straight forward and organized, and it was nice getting to talk with some other local directors. I didn't do again this time because I'm targeting specific schools that aren't at URTAs this year. It really was an overall exciting day, enjoy it and you'll need a drink after, cause it's alot of talking about yourself. Best of luck everyone! 

 

 

 

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@TChicagoS thank you so much! This is incredibly helpful!

Did you get the sense that interviewers were invested? Part of me worries that URTAS are a bit of a cattle call and that there might be less of an interest since the interviews are so short and they always have direct applicants. 

Also if you are willing to share, no obligation, how many schools contacted you about next steps after your initial interview? 

Edited by Eccyclema
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Applied to Alabama and UCLA this year - waiting for info from Alabama but already have a confirmed skype interview for UCLA.

 

UCLA instructors told me to come prepared with 5 plays to discuss in the interview, but haven't yet received full interview details. Any advice or words of warning here? Has anyone applied/interviewed with them previously? Anyone know how to freaking afford living in LA in grad school?  Keep on keeping on, yall!

 

For those asking about the urtas: what I've been told is that if you don't know where you want to go to school, it is a great option. If you've already done visits and picked which schools you're interested in, they like to see you go directly through the regular application process. This differs from acting where some universities cannot stand when students do not audition at the urtas (cough cough, university of tennessee).

 

The biggest benefit I've found in this process is taking the time to contact and visit the schools. It can cost a bit of money, but I was able to attend classes and meet with current students at multiple universities this year. It gave me a more full sense of what I'd be getting into with each program and helped me eliminate multiple schools form my list. 

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Thanks to all who gave the great advice on URTAs and also good luck to you all!  Wanted to ask as well how many of you have applied multiple times for your MFA?  Just wondering how many times I should give this a go.  I am at a road block point in my career where producing and directing for my small company is exhausting and limiting and where assistant directing at LORT theatres is also not getting me anywhere.... 

Also another major question, those of you who did not do URTAs did you visit schools before your application and introduce yourself?  If so how did you accomplish that I am in the Twin Cities and aside from Iowa and the Chicago schools it would be very difficult for me to travel to other schools.  

Edited by CatMeow
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@Eccyclema  All the schools seemed to be pretty invested and excited to talk to the directors.  Remember, they've read your stuff and called you in, so they are legit interested talking with you. It's kinda a long day for all of us but overall, they seem to be present and listening. 

So while you are there, some of the schools might ask you if you'd be interested in coming to the school to visit, usually a good sign that you are vibing. I had some schools ask me that and not follow up, but some did and they usually contact you via email within a few days to set up your visit. 

In my personal experience, it's such a journey to find the right Program(s) that vibe with what directing style you really want to grow and practice in. Most schools have something unique they offer that others don't and vice versa, so have confidence to know you are gathering information about them as well. (Sorry this is turning out to sound preachy...eeeeeeee) It's taken me three years to decide what schools would actually be great fits and it's so different for every director. SO MUCH LIKE DATING (Ha!) 

Good luck to everyone, it's all such a big journey and exciting stuff!

 

 

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On 1/6/2020 at 12:29 PM, CatMeow said:

Thanks to all who gave the great advice on URTAs and also good luck to you all!  Wanted to ask as well how many of you have applied multiple times for your MFA?  Just wondering how many times I should give this a go.  I am at a road block point in my career where producing and directing for my small company is exhausting and limiting and where assistant directing at LORT theatres is also not getting me anywhere.... 

Also another major question, those of you who did not do URTAs did you visit schools before your application and introduce yourself?  If so how did you accomplish that I am in the Twin Cities and aside from Iowa and the Chicago schools it would be very difficult for me to travel to other schools.  

I visited my schools before applying. I felt this was absolutely necessary given that I've not been working full time in theatre for the past 2 years and most of my directing experience was in devised works. In other words, I was worried that my experience would look phony if they didn't first meet with me. Additionally, my husband went through the process 3 years ago and was able to narrow down his application list to schools he felt most comfortable at. There are just some things you cannot learn unless you experience it. I contacted the person running the program via email and stayed in air bnbs by each school. I work full time in software and thus was able to work remote while I was not in classes or rehearsals. It was expensive, but as I said it was also important to me. 

 

As I said previously, I was able to attend classes and meet with both faculty and students in the programs. This gave me a full sense of each program and what they valued. It's hard to describe, but it absolutely affected my priority list. 

 

 

Edited by GoodToGodot
typo
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32 minutes ago, Eccyclema said:

Thank you @TChicagoS, that is all incredibly helpful!

How's everyone handling the wait? I for one am checking this forum for new on a near pathological basis. 

It was tough, but I just had to use the time to prep for potential interviews. Because I've now developed a healthy communication with the individuals running each of my programs, I was able to ask in advance what would occur in these interviews. I was reading 4 plays a week and preparing proposals for the ones I liked best so I would be fully prepped before the interview came. Now that I've got one scheduled I do not feel any anxiety. 

 

Also, I have a FT job so that has been a great distraction from the wait. 

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