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Directing MFA 2017 - Who's with me?!

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Congrats @boseph16, sincerely. I also heard from Iowa and am on the waitlist. It was a very nice, encouraging call. Iowa really has lovely people in their program. Cést la vie.

in addition to that great list, a piece of advice i learned from a person who's been on the other side of interviews is to make it clear why you are a great fit for the program and it is for you. 

Here's some advice I just received from a Yale MFA Directing alum whom I've worked with and is currently on the YSD directing faculty:  I would say be yourself. Don't try "to be what Yale wants."

Hope everyone is hanging in there. I just want to vent for a moment and say I'm pretty disappointed in Northwestern for not having any communication with the applicants they rejected.  I've had to find out from this thread that they invited their finalists for the final "callback". Every other school I applied for that passed sent an email or at least updated my application which triggered a notification. I'm sure there are applicants that got rejected, who aren't on this thread, that are twiddling their thumbs waiting to hear back still. They know how much this means to people. Anyway, maybe I'm being bitter but I really wanted to attend NU and thought this has been rather unprofessional and inconsiderate.

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@Directorial Crossing my fingers, my toes, my eyes for you!

@AgentMike That sucks man. I'm still waiting to hear from one, but I don't really have much hope. I just assume I am rejected at this point, and honestly I don't think I would accept a slot if I was offered. I didn't get a strong positive feeling about that program in the interview

I got my official rejection from Iowa a few days ago. That stung, but it was not really a surprise. Kind of like AgentMike's experience, I figured out that I didn't get in 3 weeks ago through these forums. The letter just made it official.

On a positive note, I've gotten some great ideas from several of you guys on how to develop myself as an artist more in hopes that I will do better in future application seasons. Thank you so much for that! I feel pretty good about the future now. Just gotta implement those plans and ideas.

As always, good luck to those of you who are still waiting!

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As I just officially accepted my offer and received my last rejection this week... 

Here is my update (in order of preference):

YALE: Interview & Rejection

IOWA: Interview & Acceptance (Attending)

UT AUSTIN: No Interview 

UCSD: No Interview

ASU: Interview & Acceptance (Not Attending)

CMU: Interview & Self-Withdrawal 

UCLA: Interview & Self-Withdrawal 


Crossing my fingers for you @Directorial... Would be awesome if two classmates came from this thread! 

Hope everyone's final interviews went well. 

While I know that Iowa is literally the perfect program for the work I want to make, a small part of me regrets not applying to Brown or DePaul. Oh well, it wasn't meant to be. As I am 30 this year, I promised myself this would be the last year I'd apply. 

Edited by Boseph16
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Congrats again @Boseph16! My goal was also to be accepted into a program by 30 and planned on starting the application process by 27/28...... but I'm also 30 and this was my first year applying. Haha life and job contracts got in the way of applying sooner.... 

@_RICdirects_ Yay! It's nice to meet another Penn State applicant! I made it to the initial Interview round (round 3) but was cut right after and didn't make it to the final 4 on campus callback weekend. I did my pitch on Oklahoma in a Church basement with a $5,000 budget. I initially wrote my pitch on Into the Woods with an unlimited budget (a concept based off a production Of ITW I actually directed.... in a 50 seat black box with a $5,000 budget—but as if I was able to direct it with unlimited funds..... so I clearly wasn't going with ITW with $5,000 as that would have been way too easy and kind of cheating... Haha) but the day before I submitted the packet, I second guessed myself and scratched the whole thing and redid the pitch with Oklahoma. I figured I should tackle the show I've never worked on and did it as if I was doing it with my theatre company....

 I haven't talked to anyone who applied to that program this year... being musical theatre focused, it definitely is a niche applicant pool, yet still very competitive... (I was told around 150+ applied from a friend who was an MFA acting candidate). I know in the past they have selected candidates who already had Broadway/ National Tour credentials as actors/dancers who are transitioning to the creative side/ those who have already been associate Directors, etc... It's definitely a different/unique applicant pool than typical MFAdirector candidates! I met  one recent MFA director this year who is now the associate director for The Phantom tour. He basically travels with the tour and rehearses them between stops and rehearses with the replacements, swings, understudies, etc. (thank god for Susan Stroman, Jeff Whitty, and the creation of StageWrite! Haha )  He had a ridiculous resume before going to Penn State. 

This forum has been quiet lately! Anyone else recieve any offers this year besides Boseph16? Any of us here get the DePaul offer? Or know who did? I got my rejection email from Tracee a few days ago... oh well..... also officially got the UCSD rejection email yesterday. So it looks like no Grad School offers for me this year! Luckily, I now have an understanding of this process first hand, and am able to reflect on what worked and didn't work and what to work on for year two next year.  Still radio silence from CalArts, Texas, and Northwestern (aside from the two times I was contacted from NU regarding details with my application), and still no official Columbia rejection either. It really is frustrating how they don't even send out rejection notices, simply as a courtesy gesture.... sheesh. 

Itll be nice and refreshing to go a couple of months without even thinking about Grad School before digging into this process again. I know what programs I will absolutely be applying for again next year, what programs I don't think I'll reapply for, and new ones that I didn't do this year (Boston for sure, possibly Brown, and definitely Washington!). 


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19 hours ago, _RICdirects_ said:

Congrats @Boseph16!!!!!

Can I ask what ultimately made you decide Iowa over ASU?

Many Reasons: 

1) Iowa's funding package is better 

2) ASU is nearly 100% devising/ensemble based which excited me since I see myself as a theatre maker and not solely an interpreter of someone else's text, BUT I wanted a bit more of a balance between devising and new plays. Iowa has focus on all types of new work. 

3) Getting to work with the Iowa Playwrights Workshop for 3 years.

4) Iowa offered me a unique opportunity to not only direct an Opera instead of Shakespeare for my classical term, I will also hopefully be able to develop the musical theatre certificate with them.

5) This is less important, but still holds weight: Iowa has a better "name" than ASU. When chatting with Anne Bogart,  she mentioned how she didn't feel comfortable with the amount of debt Columbia students inherit and recommended the program to me. 


ASU certainly did tempt me, but I visited Iowa last fall and fell in love with the program, faculty and the town. 



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@Boseph16Congrats on making the decision! I know you really loved Iowa's program so Im very happy that it all worked out for you! Good luck next year!

@AgentMike Im so sorry thats really awful, I've had the same treatment from a couple schools and its very upsetting. Its one way how you treat someone when you want something from them its another when you don't, that's when your character shows. I just look at it as a sign that its not a place I would want to be.

@_RICdirects_Welcome to the thread!! What other schools besides Penn have you applied to? How has the application process been for you?!

@Loose.tap.screws I got an email on the 3rd from Tracee offering me a spot on the waitlist which I happily accepted. DePaul was my dream school when I was making my list of schools I was applying too. I never in a million years thought I would be this close Im honestly freaking out in the best way possible. At this point its up to fate so I'm leaving it in God's hands, if its meant to be it will. Either way it was a huge boost in confidence to make it this far. 

@Directorial if someone has waited this long to confirm with Iowa I think its a strong indicator they are waiting on another school so you still have a really strong shot!! Keeping my fingers crossed for both of us!

Edited by galbi7892
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@Loose.tap.screws congrats on making it to the interview round! With over 150+ applicants, that's something to be proud of for sure! I also applied to Alabama Univ., Univ of Texas at Austin (which I just received my "thanks but no thanks" email from KJ this morning), Univ of Memphis, and Boston U. I had my interview with Alabama last Monday, and I'm also still waiting to hear from Memphis. I'm glad to hear you're not shying away from applying again! It's definitely a challenge finding that right fit!

@Boseph16 Sounds like a perfect fit for you-- congrats, again!

@galbi7892 My application process was very focused and intense this year. A couple years ago I applied to schools only through the URTA process. I think it was a great first experience, a tad overwhelming, and very educational. I applied to 7 schools through the URTA process, and made it as a finalist to Ohio, but did not receive an offer. I learned a lot about what I actually need and want from a program from that process. This year I applied to 5 schools in total, and not through the URTA process. Penn state was my top choice, as it's a one-of-a-kind MFA directing Musical Theatre program, and there really isn't anything else like it in the country. That application process started in October, and it was a long one, but very rewarding. I made it to round 2, but didn't make it beyond that. With over 150+ applicants, I'm feeling pretty confident with that.

I just interviewed with Alabama on Monday, and I absolutely loved the people! Now I'm waiting for the offer or the rejection... always waiting, it seems like! :)

Boston was one of the more challenging apps! It required more writing than the other apps I had done. But I didn't make it beyond round 1, unfortunately. Other than that, I'm still waiting to hear from Memphis (we've been in communication via email, and I'm waiting for the head of the program to return from Spain), and also waiting to hear from Alabama. Not sure how I feel about living in the deep South for 3 years, but it could prove to be a huge learning experience. And quite possibly make me more politically active!

If nothing pans out this year, I may take a break to work on shows next year. The application process is such a commitment! I really feel like it's a 2nd job on top of everything else!

Best of luck to everyone! Keep in touch. Feel free to reach out to me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/roberta.inscho

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Sorry for being so late to the game -- I just found out about this forum!  Has anyone else heard positively from Boston University?  I'm trying to figure out who else might be in my class with me.

Also, does anyone have experience with the BU program?  Any thoughts would be much appreciated as I'm trying to make a decision.

Thanks in advance, and best of luck to all of you.

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@Prospero No, I didn't receive an interview from BU. I was contacted via email from Enrollment Services on Feb 2nd saying I would not be admitted to the program. I'm glad to hear that there are some positive reviews for Memphis. 

@Picaresque CONGRATS on your admittance to BU... do you know how many directors they admit? What ultimately made you decide to say "yes" to the program!

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  • 2 weeks later...

@Directorial Oh no... I'm so incredibly sorry to hear that. Keep pushing forward. Your time will come!

I've noticed that traffic on this forum has slowed down quite a bit. I hope everyone is doing well. As I've heard from my final school, I'd like to share my final round up:

Penn State -- moved on to round 2, but did not move beyond that.

Boston U -- rejection

University of Texas at Austin -- rejection (I'd like to also add here that I had shared a few emails with KJ Sanchez, which I had hoped would influence moving me forward a bit, but that didn't make a difference in this case).

University of Alabama -- interview finalist, no offer

University of Memphis -- interview finalist, offer, ACCEPTANCE!

I'm super excited to move forward, and call Memphis home for the next 3 years. I also want to invite anyone to ask me questions or connect with me about my application experiences. I know it's easy for us all to feel a bit alone in this process.I believe that there is enough work for us all, and I try to practive a spirit of generosity, and not feel competitive with my fellow artists, so I would love to provide any helpful information I can. Please feel free to connect with me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/roberta.inscho

Best of luck in your future applications! 

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