If you’re looking for good theater programs, you’re definitely looking in the right place. Princeton Review currently ranks Bennington’s college theater #3 out of all the schools they profile. While ranking systems can be subjective and not always the best indication of a place, I can definitely corroborate our Theater ranking as a student.
Theater productions on-campus are unfailingly well-produced and conducted. Students and faculty put a huge amount of work into every aspect of the production, from set design and lighting to costuming and acting, and it shows. Drama students are taught multiple approaches to acting and provided with many different venues to hone their craft - while the large-scale productions they put on are certainly the most visible to non-drama students, there are also always student pieces to be performed, various rehearsals to attend, and a weekly Drama Forum in which students and faculty can workshop pieces that they are currently working on. You can read more about the drama curriculum here.
Bennington’s a great school. Call me biased, but the life and learning experiences I’ve had here just couldn’t have happened anywhere else for me. As far as being hard to get into, I’d say that Bennington judges applicants not only on the strength of their academic record and application, but also on ‘fit’ - whether or not they are students that have the capacity to be passionate and self-directed learners.
The campus architecture is a mix between Colonial and some newer, Modern-style buildings. It’s an interesting mashup of buildings that were built sometime around the College’s inception (1930’s-era) and buildings that have been built more recently (a few here and there during the 70s, and another few in the past decade). Even if colonial ‘is not completely your thing,’ there’s still a lot of really interesting style and flavor to the campus.
I wouldn’t say our dorms are very big (in terms of occupancy) at all. They’re all roughly the same capacity (30 or 35 people to a house) and they all have really nice, spacious rooms. Housing at Bennington is all about community, wherein each house is its own self-contained community that exists in addition to the campus community at large. You can find a really good description of housing at Bennington here.
I hope I answered all your questions!