“Why Don’t We Have More Diversity?” asks Theatre School with $100 Application Fee
by Caroline Hawthorne. @caroline_e_hawthorne (Instagram). @carolthecomic (Twitter).
LONG MEADOW, Ma. - Representatives of the Mount Mortor College of the Arts have begun to publicly question why they don’t have more diverse candidates for their BFA in Musical Theatre, even though their school charges a $100 application fee, the befuddled administrators confirmed.
“We want to create a multicultural environment, filled with a variety of races, religions, ethnicities”, said Amy Mee, Head of Musical Theatre, even though they only do shows from the 1950s. “It’s just difficult to do when the majority of our applicants are white. I don’t know why no diverse candidates want to come study at our extremely expensive, primarily Caucasian theatre program.”
Along with the $100 application fee, the Mount Mortor site says that potential students must have at least 10 years of acting classes, 15 years of dance, and 19 years of private voice lessons (“You need to be perfecting your voice while you are in the womb,” the site states). If students pass pre-screening, they must attend the callback in person - paying $300 for airfare, $400 for a hotel, and $500 “just because”.
“Do you know how much I paid for my degree? $100,000,” noted Scott Morris, one of many older white male theatre faculty, when asked if lowering the application fee might attract more students to the program. “Am I still in debt? Yes. Does this job barely pay? Yes. Does the sports team get infinitely more funding than we do? Absolutely. But if you want to be an artist, you have to suffer for it.”
In the attempt to recruit more applicants, Ms. Mee has asked Kari Warner, the program’s only African-American student, to talk about her experience as a musical theatre major.
“This is literally the first time Amy has ever had a conversation with me,” Warner said while looking over her lines for Ensemble Member #6. “I still don’t think she actually knows my name. Every single time I audition for her, she asks if I’m new here.”
At press time, Ms. Mee remains hopeful that one day they will put on a greater variety of theatre.
“Please just apply,” pleaded Mee. “We just want to put on Hairspray without getting canceled.”