Roosevelt University (CCPA)
For my next school, I'm changing it up a bit. I had an incredible visit to the Chicago College of Performing Arts (CCPA) at Roosevelt University. I was blown away by the values, warmth, and resources at CCPA and left my 2+ hour visit with more energy than when I arrived.
While CCPA is a separate school within Roosevelt University, it is shaped by Roosevelt's original mission as social justice institution. The school’s unofficial motto is "be good people.” This plays out in a faculty focus on collaborating, and the faculty role model and teach collaboration to students. The idea is that if you can be a good colleague, your career will be better. Professionally, this gives Roosevelt students the reputation for being good to work with — which helps people get cast and makes students more employable anywhere they seek work. This also means CCPA is not a cut program! Once you are admitted, they want to teach you to get better at your strengths and strengthen your weaknesses.
CCPA offers three theatre majors: Musical Theatre Voice, Musical Theatre Dance, and Acting. Classical Voice and Music are separate programs. They aim for 25 students in each program every year. To get this number, they generally admit around 70 students (out of approximately 800) for each major. The theatre programs are more competitive than the classical voice program.
CCPA does 20+ productions per year. It’s a true conservatory program where all gen ed requirements are related to theatre. Freshman year students are not in the general casting pool because they focus on developing a uniform vocabulary and skills. After freshman year, all students are considered for all productions with no hierarchy for casting. Students are allowed to opt out of the casting pool for one semester to be part of outside productions - which is important because there are A LOT of outside productions in Chicago. In fact, in Chicago, equity theaters cast 50% of their roles with non-equity actors, so the opportunity to audition and get cast outside of CCPA is enormous. Students have tech theatre requirements every semester (including stage management). The reasons for this are twofold:
1. It allows students to work with different directors and get more exposure and make more connections.
2. It gives students tangible skills for employment.
CCPA has a refreshing attitude towards employment in the performing arts. The head of technical theatre explained that they want to give students as many skills as possible to give them access to corollary careers. That said, the senior showcase is put on by Stewart Talent, which has offices in Chicago, NYC, and LA.
Students are required to live in the dorms freshman and sophomore years - and since they don’t have to go outside when they live in the dorms and have the absolute best views I’ve ever seen from a dorm, I can’t imagine why students wouldn’t want to live in the dorms longer! Check out my pictures to see the incredible view from the dorm!
To apply to CCPA, students must submit an application to Roosevelt University. Once that application, test scores and transcripts are received, students can do supplemental pieces. For the three theatre majors, applicants can participate in unifieds. For classical voice and music, students must audition on campus. Acceptance is truly based on what happens during audition day. CCPA is looking for talent and for good people to join their family.
If you want a BFA, want to be part of a warm family, and want a lot of opportunities to perform and make connections, don’t miss CCPA at Roosevelt University!