|New York Academy of the Dramatic Arts|
Performing Arts College
New York, New York
The New York Academy of the Dramatic Arts (NYADA) is a fictitious performing arts college. It is the number one school in the nation for musical theatre. NYADA is very competitive and accepts around 20 students per year.
Kurt and Rachel tell Emma that they plan to apply to Juilliard for the musical theater program, but she informs them that the program doesn't exist there. She suggests staying closer to home, but they insist on taking a risk and moving to New York, so Emma proposes that they try the New York Academy of the Dramatic Arts, a highly competitive school that's hosting a mixer for prospective students in Dayton. In the school theater, he and Rachel prep for their mixer by singing Harold Arlen and Barbra Streisand's jazzed-up version of Ding-Dong! The Witch Is Dead from "The Wizard of Oz." At the college mixer, Rachel and Kurt are enthusiastically greeted by a very chipper group of aspiring applicants, including the bubbly Harmony ("The Glee Project's" Lindsay Pearce), and a former Gerber Baby who's been acting "since I was a fetus." To Kurt and Rachel, the group seems so much more accomplished and eager to entertain, especially when they launch into a spectacular all-out mash-up of such musical theater staples as Anything Goes and Anything You Can Do I Can Do Better. Shocked by the high bar set by these performers, Kurt and Rachel doubt their ability to compete. Rachel's ready for them to resign themselves to a life of changed identities and community theater, but Kurt ends their pity party with a pep talk that puts them back on course to pursue their dreams and get into the school. Rachel then proposes that the glee club secure the rights to a less controversial musical production than the ones they've attempted in the past: "West Side Story." Meanwhile, Kurt announces that he'll be running for class president.
Kurt tells Rachel he knows that she approached Coach Beiste to formally run for class president, and she explains that with Mercedes most likely getting the musical lead, she thought running for president would bolster her application to the New York Academy of Dramatic Arts - if she wins, she'll make Kurt vice president, and if he wins he could do the same for her. But Kurt wants his win to make a real difference at the school for kids like him, not just pad his college application, and he won't give up the fight. He warns her that in ten years, she won't be thinking about her academic accomplishments, she'll be thinking about the friends she lost to her ambitions.
When Rachel asks Shelby, as the director of a national championship show choir, to sign a letter of recommendation for her application to the dramatic arts academy, Shelby takes the opportunity to tell Rachel that she's proud of her and a little envious of what the future still holds for her. Sharing a moment with her birth mother, Rachel suggests that Shelby could write her own letter of endorsement, and when Shelby's impressed by Rachel's long list of accomplishments, her remarks cause Rachel to be concerned for Kurt's chances for admission if he doesn't become class president.
As Santana sings Constant Craving, Shelby and Puck, Coach Beiste and Cooter, and Kurt and his future ambitions. It also prompts Rachel to confess her election-rigging to Figgins, resulting in a notation on her permanent record, a week's suspension, and a ban on competing at Sectionals.
Three days after proposing to Rachel, Finn is getting anxious for an answer. While Rachel does want to say yes, the proposal seems too fast and too soon. She wants to know why Finn has decided to ask her to marry him now. He explains that while he does plan to follow her to New York whether she gets into NYADA or not, he wants their plan to marry to tether them through the big changes to come in their lives. Kurt's dad, Burt, shows up at McKinley wanting to speak to his son, and Kurt's initially afraid that Blaine's taken a turn for the worse, but the real reason is also nerve-wracking: Kurt's letter from NYADA has arrived. Fingers trembling, Kurt opens the envelope and reads the letter - he's made the list of finalists. Burt tells Kurt how proud he is that despite everything that gets thrown at him, Kurt's proven that nothing can stop him. "On this day, at this moment, you won," says Burt. Kurt shares his news with Rachel, who while happy for him immediately believes that her letter will never come; she hasn't even made it as a finalist. Getting emotional, she feels like she has no plan for the future - all she has is Finn. Rachel meets Kurt as his locker with a surprise: her NYADA letter has arrived, and she too is a finalist. When Kurt asks her if she's told Finn yet, Rachel's joy turns to apprehension as she realizes the situation she's put herself in.
As her audition for the New York Academy of Dramatic Arts draws near, Rachel is determined to be prepared and laser-focused. She dedicates every free moment to honing her skill set - with some help from Finn - as the audition begins to dominate her life. Kurt works on his own NYADA audition routine, performing The Music of the Night in full "Phantom of the Opera" regalia with Tina as his leading lady in an elaborate set piece. Blaine loves it, but Kurt is concerned that it's too predictable and safe. He considers a more "ahead of the curve" approach that will set it apart. Rachel breaks an enforced silence to rest her voice in order raise an urgent red flag for Kurt: after hearing from Blaine that Kurt plans to sing Not the Boy Next Door from "The Boy From Oz" for his audition, she says he's making a mistake by choosing something controversial. Kurt insists that it's the first song choice that's genuinely inspired him. Rachel is also worried that - unlike her own choice of Don't Rain on My Parade, which she's been singing since she was two years old - Kurt doesn't have time to properly rehearse his performance. Kurt suggests that now is the perfect time to take a risk, but Rachael accuses him of self-sabotage - creating an excuse for not getting into NYADA - because deep down he doesn't think he's good enough. When Kurt admits that he's torn about the song choice, Rachel says she believes in his chances with "Phantom" enough that she'll be his leading lady in the number. As they prepare for Kurt's audition, Rachel reveals which educator NYADA has sent to evaluate them: Carmen Tibideaux, one of the school's most acclaimed - and infamous - alumni. Tibideaux is a Broadway star and opera diva who has been named the Dean of Vocal Performance & Song Interpretation; she's traveling across the country to handpick her inaugural class. Her presence throws Kurt, but he soldiers on. However, he quickly realizes that Tibideaux has seen countless attempts at "Music of the Night" ("That and 'Impossible Dream' from 'Man of La Mancha' and Being Alive from 'Company,'" she confirms). In the moment, Kurt abandons his safe choice for "something a little more out there, but much more me." He performs "Not the Boy Next Door" (he had Tina, Brittany, and Mercedes on hand as emergency backup). His gamble pays off. Tibideaux is impressed with both his performance and his willingness to take a risk. Before her performance, Rachel reassures herself that she's a star, telling Finn that she doesn't feel nervous. She takes the stage and sings "Don't Rain on My Parade." Shortly into the song, she blows a lyric, then loses her composure and stumbles again. Panicked, she prepares to restart, but Tibideaux refuses to hear her sing any further, ending the audition and leaving Rachel devastated. Kurt tries to console Rachel and reassure her that her future still lies in New York, but she's too distraught to take his words to heart. As Rachel tears into a private, anguish-filled version of Kelly Clarkson's Cry, another of her friends faces an equally bitter disappointment: Puck's test is returned to him marked with a big red "F."
After her disastrous audition for the New York Academy of Dramatic Arts, Rachel believes that her dream of Broadway stardom is at an end. To cope, she decides to dazzle at prom and focus on what she has going with Finn. She feels OK with it all until Becky steamrolls over her with her own ambitious plan: to be named prom queen.
Rachel looks at her journal, thinking of her failed NYADA audition, as she fantasizes about singing Jason Mraz's I Won't Give Up. She leaves yet another message on the voicemail of NYADA instructor Carmen Tibideaux, reiterating her invitation for the opera diva to attend nationals, where Rachel hopes that she'll be named MVP and impress Tibideaux enough to make up for her audition flop. While angrily shopping for costume material in the mall and text-fighting with Mike, Tina complains to Kurt and Blaine before slipping and falling headfirst into a fountain, where she bumps her head. When the boys pull her out of the water, she revives and is taken aback when Blaine appears to have morphed into Puck and Kurt has turned into Finn - but still wearing the same clothes and acting like Blaine and Kurt. She's further confused when they refer to her nationals solo until she looks down and sees the way she's dressed. Somehow, Tina has turned into Rachel Berry! Tina-as-Rachel performs Celine Dion's Because You Loved Me, wowing her fellow students and earning her a standing ovation - her first. Tina-as-Rachel goes out of her way to thank Rachel-as-Tina for her continued support, saying all the things she wishes Rachel would say to her. She's surprised and pleased when Rachel-as-Tina graciously accepts the compliments and even gives her advice on how to salvage her NYADA audition flop. Tina suddenly comes back to reality, pulled out of the fountain by the actual Kurt and Blaine, and she seems unusually at peace. Tina approaches Rachel as she tries to hone her notes, realizing that Rachel never stops in her pursuit of perfection. Rachel reveals that she's yet to hear back from Carmen Tibideaux. Tina gives her the advice from her body-switching fantasy: Rachel should go see the instructor in person. Tina's researched where they can find Tibideaux and offers to drive Rachel to try to catch her. As they drive to track down Carmen, Rachel wonders what will happen if she's rejected again. Tina thinks that Rachel was born under "a blessed gold star" and will get what she wants. Rachel's not so sure, imagining that most adults had things go their way for a while until something changed and they ended up living lives they barely recognize and ceasing to dream. Nevertheless, Rachel decides to be confident no matter what. As Carmen Tibideaux concludes advising another student, Rachel approaches her and tries to appeal for a second chance. Tibideaux is irritated with her for repeatedly taking her time away from other students - she wants to know why Rachel would think she's so much more special than anyone else. Tina steps in, telling Tibideaux she knows exactly how she feels: she found Rachel to be an irritant as well, but she's accepted that Rachel is exceptional - not just for her voice but also for her drive and her focus. Rachel urges Tibideaux to come see her nationals performance in Chicago, where Tibideaux is also performing, because there's nothing Rachel is better at or loves more than singing. She pledges that whether Tibideaux comes or not, Rachel will see her again each year for a NYADA audition until she makes it in, reminding Tibideaux that the diva auditioned for Juilliard many times herself before she was admitted.
Rachel runs into Jesse St. James, who taunts her by somehow knowing that she's scanning the arriving crowd for NYADA's Carmen Tibideaux in hopes that she'll get a second shot at getting into the arts college. As he tries to get under her skin, she points out that they dated long enough to know that when Jessie gets nervous he gets mean. Backstage, Finn reveals to Rachel that he's bought a glass mug from Chicago for them to smash during the Jewish portion of their wedding ceremony - he wants it to symbolize the city where everything changed and New Directions went from losers to winners. Finn also made a $500 bet with hockey jock Rick the Stick that New Directions would win nationals - money they'd saved for their honeymoon. Rachel's worried they'll lose it all, but Finn is confident he'll double their money. And he says that Carmen Tibideaux will show up, then they'll get married, smash the glass, and live happily ever after. As he settles into the audience with Emma, Sue, and Coach Beiste, Will worries about the odds stacked against the glee club. They have the first slot in the competition - the "death slot" - Mercedes is still feverish, and Carmen Tibideaux remains nowhere to be seen. The audience's enthusiastic reception doesn't help Rachel from noticing that Tibideaux's seat remains empty. Finn tries to rally her spirits. No matter what, he says, this is her moment, three years in the making, and she should embrace it. As the crowd noise fades out in her ears, Rachel takes center stage for her solo, belting out a powerful rendition of Celine Dion's It's All Coming Back to Me Now. The crowd is spellbound, and Rachel spots Tibideaux taking her seat in the audience. Next up, New Directions delivers Meat Loaf's Paradise By the Dashboard Light. The performance is dazzling, and the audience explodes with applause - even Carmen Tibideaux can't resist rising to her feet and whistling in appreciation. Jessie stops Carmen Tibideaux in the lobby, reminding her that when he auditioned for her a few years ago, she told him he showed promise. She acknowledges that she probably did say that, but adds that she auditions hundreds each year and attempts to blow off what she thinks is going to be a professional appeal. Jessie insists she listen: he wants to tell her that Rachel is the most talented person he knows, she'll definitely be a star one day, and she'd be an excellent addition to NYADA. Tibideaux responds by recalling Jessie's audition with "Giants in the Sky," a flawed but passionate and admirable attempt at what may be Steven Sondheim's most challenging song. She wishes him good luck.
Kurt offers his goodbye song to the glee club: Madonna's I'll Remember. After his song, Rachel tells Kurt and Finn that she called NYADA and discovered that the acceptance and rejection letters have been sent out. The three of them pinky-swear to open Rachel and Kurt's letters together, because their shared futures are riding on them. After the graduation ceremony, Rachel, Finn, and Kurt gather in the music room to open their letters, even as Finn tries to delay the moment that will determine their futures. Ultimately, he volunteers to go first: he didn't get into the Actor's Studio. Kurt goes next: he didn't get into NYADA. Finally, Rachel opens hers: against the odds, she was accepted. Deciding that going to New York will be too hard for Finn and Kurt after their rejections, Rachel defers her acceptance to NYADA for a year. She plans to help the boys perfect their auditions so they can gain admittance later. Rachel gets into Finn's car to drive to their wedding, but instead he drives her to the train station. He wants her to get on the train to meet her dads and find a dorm room. He tells her to go to school, and he asks her to admit that she's not 100 percent sure she wants to marry him. Finn tells Rachael that he loves her too much to hold her back. While she'll be heading to New York, he's going to serve in the Army. He asks her to join him in surrendering to fate, and let the universe show them if they will ultimately end up together. Rachel's heart is breaking, but she agrees to Finn's logic. As Rachel imagines herself singing Room for Two's Roots Before Branches, Will and the glee club have arrived at the station to support Finn's decision, and together they all see Rachel off. She arrives in New York City and faces her future, gradually walking into it with confidence and excitement.
In her first dance class at the New York Academy of Dramatic Arts, Rachel is intimidated and insulted by her demanding, trash-talking instructor, Cassandra July. When Rachel stumbles, Cassandra makes it clear she thinks Rachel sucks. Lonely after receiving no word from the Army-enlisted Finn in weeks, and tired of being teased for her elaborate grooming routine, Rachel's taken to wee-hours primping in the coed bathroom, where she encounters a hunky, shower-singing Brody Weston. A junior who's majoring in musical theater, Brody believes Cassandra's tough demands pay off, and he reminds Rachel that she's enrolled because she's among the best of the best. A supportive Brody inspires Rachel to stand her ground against Cassandra, and Rachel vows she'll land on top.
At NYADA, Cassie bars Rachel from tango instruction when the class is a boy short, but Rachel insists on participating so she may one day play Evita or Roxie Hart. Cassie scoffs, saying Rachel's not sexy enough to pull off the seductive dance. Kurt and Rachel move into a roomy loft outside the city while Kurt plots his future: prepping to re-audition for NYADA's winter semester, he hopes to land a job at fashion site Vogue.com. When Rachel tells Kurt about Cassie, he recognizes her as "Crazy July - the biggest train wreck in Broadway history." Recounting the legendary tale of how in Cassie's big Broadway moment as Lola in "Damn Yankees," she assaulted an audience member who forgot to silence his cell phone mid-performance, Kurt urges Rachel not to give in: "If she wants sexy, give her sexy." Rachel asks Brody to be her tango partner in dance class; despite Cassie's ban on upperclassmen, Brody agrees to help her. Rachel arrives to dance class dressed in sexy "Bob Fosse chic," and with Brody's help, she performs a sensual routine to Oops!...I Did It Again. Cassie pans the performance, prompting Rachel to snap and reveal her knowledge of the teacher's past, which leads Cassie to angrily ban her from class. Rachel apologizes to Cassie, who reminds her that while she cracked under pressure on Broadway, Rachel cracked in class over minor criticism; if she's not careful, she'll end up just as unemployable as Cassie. Cassie can't yet permanently ban Rachel, so she allows her back into class on probation.
When some "mean girl" ballerinas at NYADA mock her, Rachel feels like she's back in high school again, but Kurt suggests that it's because she hasn't evolved her personal style. He promises a makeover that could change her life - and his too. Wowed by Rachel's new look, Brody suggests that her outside finally reflect her insides. They rehearse together to Sheryl Crow's A Change Would Do You Good and share a romantic moment but stop short of kissing. Still, something pushes Rachel to offer to make dinner for Brody the following night.
Rachel and Finn share a tense morning in the wake of his surprise arrival in New York. Finn reveals what's happened to him over the past four months: as planned, he'd enlisted in the Army but only lasted 16 days after accidentally shooting himself in the thigh with his rifle (which he'd named "Rachel"). After a semi-honorable discharge, he backpacked through Georgia, too embarrassed to tell Rachel what had happened. Rachel urges him to move in with her, audit her classes and possibly pursue his passion for acting. She insists that something's been missing in her life since they parted, and she's determined not to let him go. After attending some of Rachel's classes, Finn sees that she's finally found the place she belongs and worries that there's no room for him in her new world.
Rachel tells Brody she's landed her first off-Broadway audition, but Cassandra warns Rachel from her own experience that the director will eat her alive - she doesn't think Rachel's been hurt enough in life to make the cut. Determined, Rachel encourages Cassandra to try out too, "to get back in the game." Cassandra offers Brody a teaching assistant position, and he accepts but puts off starting until after he can help Rachel prep her audition. Kurt's tempted to return to Lima for the musical, but neither he nor Rachel are sure it's the right thing to do after their fractured romances with Blaine and Finn. Overhearing, Cassandra urges them to go to get closure or to simply just have fun - she even offers them her own frequent flyer miles. As Santana performs Rizzo's showcase song There Are Worse Things I Could Do, Wade suffers watching from afar, and the lyrics are mirrored in Cassandra's determined seduction of Brody during their training session. Their performance of You're the One That I Want prompts Rachel to fantasize she and Finn are singing the leads - in fact, ALL the glee club's fractured couples imagine dueting with their ex-loves. But when Rachel calls Brody, Cassandra answers the phone, cruelly spelling out how she set out to teach Rachel a lesson about overreaching.
Brody admits he slept with Cassandra because Rachel took herself out of play in favor of Finn. When Rachel reveals that she and Finn are over, Brody vows not to hook up with Cassandra again and even offers to cook Thanksgiving dinner for Rachel and Kurt.
Kurt's going the extra mile to prepare for his next NYADA admission audition, while Rachel assures him that as a freshman she stands virtually no chance to get a Golden Ticket to Carmen Tibideaux's Winter Showcase, traditionally the starting point where superstars launch their careers. She is later shocked when Carmen hands her one of the elite handwritten invitations to perform. Cassandra pushes Rachel in dance class yet again, believing she's a diva who's not ready for the opportunity she's been offered, but Rachel pushes back, insisting Cassandra's not appreciating how good she's gotten. The two face off in a dance showdown to All That Jazz from "Chicago": Rachel holds her own, but admits she's not the dancer Cassandra is; she's a better singer, however, and has a chance to win the contest with her voice. Kurt is shocked when Carmen is unimpressed by his second audition - she finds him talented on the surface, but lacking the soulful depth she's looking for in an artist. As she prepares to take the stage for the Winter Showcase, Rachel impulsively kisses Brody - she's going to do things as if she'll never have another chance. She performs Barbra Streisand's Being Good (Isn't Good Enough), prompting a standing ovation from the audience. Her encore, O Holy Night, thrills the audience and earns praise from Carmen, who stuns Kurt by announcing him as the next performer. Panicked, Kurt settles on Being Alive from "Company" but worries that he can't pull it off without his usual props and costumes. Rachel convinces him that he doesn't need any of that, and his emotional performance succeed in earning him enthusiastic applause. In contrast, Finn's defeated after clearing the glee club's belongings out of the music room. Rachel calls him, wanting to hear his voice, and he unloads, feeling like he's failed - and she reveals that she won. She reminds him that if they'd never won a competition together, it was still the experience they all shared that mattered. She urges him not to give up on his dreams. Rachel discovers a stunned Kurt staring at a letter from NYADA: he's finally been admitted.
Known Students/Former Students/Rejected Students/Hopefuls
|Adam Crawford||Current Student|
Leader of Adam's Apples
|Alexandra Blasucci||Current Student|
|Blaine Anderson||Current Hopeful|
|Jesse St. James||Rejected in 2010|
|Rachel Berry||Current Student (Accepted in Goodbye)|
|Scott Rudin||Current Student|
|Carmen Tibideaux||Dean of Vocal Performance and Song Interpretation|
|Cassandra July||Dance 101 Teacher|
|Brody Weston||Dance 101 T.A.|
Annual Winter Showcase
Each year NYADA holds a winter showcase held in the Round Room. It is a competition among a few chosen students. Faculty members chose ten students who examplify the best of what the school trys to achieve. Carmen Tibideaux hand writes the invitations and hand delivers them. Past winners have gone on to win Emmys, Tonys, Golden Globes and Oscars. They have all agreed that getting a "Golden Ticket" from Carmen was the highlight of their career.
- Alexandra Blasucci - Two Time Contestant (Freshman Year and later 2012 showcase)
- Brody Weston - Sophomore Year, 2011
- Rachel Berry - Freshman Year, 2012
- Kurt Hummel - Audition, 2012
- Scott Rudin - 2012
Considered the "vocal fight club" of NYADA, it is a semi-annual fight to the death sing-off. Being held only twice a year, the winner gets complete bragging rights for his/her time at NYADA, while the loser is usually shamed and humiliated. The rules are as followed: 1 song at a time, 2 singers per song, and singing flat is an automatic loss. After the performance, the group stands behind whoever they thought win, with majority ruling the winner. It is assumed Brody is the leader, and that there are numerous performances for each Midnight Madness.
Known Performances (winners are bolded)
- Giants in the Sky from Into the Woods. Sung by Jesse.
- Anything Goes/Anything You Can Do from Anything Goes and Annie Get Your Gun. Sung by Harmony with prospective NYADA hopefuls. (The Purple Piano Project)
- Not The Boy Next Door from The Boy From Oz. Sung by Kurt with Mercedes, Brittany, and Tina. (Choke)
- Don't Rain on My Parade from Funny Girl. Sung by Rachel. (Choke)
- It's All Coming Back to Me Now by Céline Dion Sung By Rachel. (Nationals)
- Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go (Acoustic Version) by WHAM!. Sung by Kurt.
- Being Alive from Company. Sung by Kurt. (Swan Song)
- Sister Christian by Night Ranger. Sung by Brody Weston.
- Americano/Dance Again by Lady Gaga/Jennifer Lopez ft. Pitbull. Sung by Cassandra July. (The New Rachel)
- Ave Maria by Franz Schubert. Sung by Beatrice McClaine.
- New York State of Mind by Billy Joel (Barbra Streisand version). Sung by Rachel and Marley. (The New Rachel) (Partially)
- Oops!... I Did It Again by Britney Spears. Sung by Rachel. (Britney 2.0)
- A Change Would Do You Good by Sheryl Crow. Sung by Rachel and Brody. (Makeover)
- Barely Breathing by Duncan Sheik. Sung by Finn and Blaine. (The Break-Up) (Partially)
- There Are Worse Things I Could Do by Grease. Sung by Cassandra, Santana and Unique. (Glease) (Partially)
- All That Jazz by Chicago. Sung by Cassandra and Rachel. (Swan Song)
- Being Good Isn't Good Enough by Barbra Streisand. Sung by Rachel. (Swan Song)
- O Holy Night by Adolphe Adams. Sung by Rachel. (Swan Song)
- Being Alive by Company. Sung by Kurt Hummel. (Swan Song)
- Baby Got Back by Sir Mix-a Lot. Sung by Adam's Apples. (Sadie Hawkins)
- Torn by Ednaswap (Natalie Imbruglia version). Sung by Rachel. (Naked)
- Love Song by Sarah Bareilles. Sung by Rachel, Santana, and Quinn. (Naked)
- Bring Him Home from Les Misérables. Sung by Rachel and Kurt. (Diva)
- Cold Hearted by Paula Abdul. Sung by Santana. (Feud)
- Creep by Radiohead. Sung by Rachel and Brody. (Guilty Pleasures)
- Next to Me by Emeli Sandé. Sung by Rachel and Shelby. (Sweet Dreams)
- Uptight (Everything’s Alright) by Stevie Wonder. Sung by Cassandra. (Wonder-ful)