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BW BFA program breaks into top national rankings

Baldwin Wallace University has landed on the 2018-19 OnStage rankings for Best BFA acting programs just two years after establishing the degree program in an already rich performing arts ecosystem - on and off campus.

BW's BFA acting program is ranked among the top 20 in the nationThe BW BFA was launched to offer a fresh approach to traditional actor training and is the only BFA in Acting in Northeast Ohio. Its strong professional relationships with regional theaters make it unique in the Midwest.

Outstanding performing opportunities

In addition to sharing stages with BW's number-one ranked music theatre program, OnStage noted, "Baldwin Wallace's close proximity to Cleveland and its nationally ranked theatre and arts organizations offers outstanding learning and performing opportunities" for BFA majors.

Great Lakes Theatre company logoThe review specifically noted the benefit of "BW's formal alliance with Cleveland's Great Lakes Theater (GLT), which is one of the few recognized, active partnerships between an equity theatre and undergraduate program in the US. ... [as well as] audition opportunities with GLT's partner theatres - the Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival and Idaho Shakespeare Festival."

"We're profoundly grateful for our partnership with GLT and its affiliate companies out west," said professor Scott Plate, chair of BW's Theatre and Dance Department. "Our students genuinely benefit and are able to see in practice the value of their BW training."

Next up on stage

Plate is busy directing student actors in an on-campus production of "American La Ronde," which follows "a simple silver bracelet as it travels through the lives of 10 bold and desperate lovers, giving a glimpse of the intrigue and heartache left in its wake."

The play runs at the Kleist Black Box Theatre, Thursday-Saturday, September 27-29 and October 4-6 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, September 30 and October 7 at 2 p.m.

Preparing students for today's acting platforms

BW theatre production of Weimar (2018)OnStage considered many factors in reviewing top BFAs, but this year drilled down to ask, "how these programs are properly preparing their students to tackle the different acting platforms available today. Are they focusing on just theatre or also acting for the camera? What different types of performance opportunities will students have?"

Rankings at OnStage are based on the independent research and evaluation by "current and former educators, students, alums, and working professionals," using a rating system that considers factors that are "most important to those pursuing a career in the theatrical arts" including:

  • Quality of Facilities
  • Cost and Scholarship Opportunities
  • Quality of Faculty
  • Admissions, Auditions and Selectivity
  • Quality of Curriculum
  • Career and Alumni Support
  • Performance Opportunities

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