Musical Theatre

BFA in Theatre Arts with a concentration in Musical Theatre

About the concentration

In our Musical Theatre concentration, you’ll receive a comprehensive, intensive four-year training in acting, singing and dance to gain the experience you’ll need to competitively pursue a career in musical theatre. You will study with faculty actively engaged in the profession to hone both the technique and artistry required of a versatile musical theatre performer in today’s industry.

As a first-year student, you’ll take classes in acting, fundamentals of musical theatre performance, voice and articulation, theatre technology, and begin a sequence of specialized dance training that includes ballet, tap, jazz, and musical theatre dance. In your sophomore year, you’ll begin a demanding four-semester studio performance technique sequence through which you will combine your singing and acting work to cultivate an extensive practical knowledge of performance styles in all eras of musical theatre, including traditional and contemporary pop/rock styles. You will have the unique opportunity for both individual voice lessons and individual vocal coachings, cultivating your authentic voice and performance artistry with a strong emphasis on vocal health. In your junior and senior year, you will focus on audition techniques and a thorough study of the “business of the business” to help you establish a trajectory to achieve your career goals upon graduation. You’ll round out your comprehensive education with additional courses in theatre history, technical theatre, music theory, movement, stage combat, and general education courses, preparing you for a professional career as a well-rounded theatre artist.

You will have ample opportunities to put your classroom work into performance practice in our mainstage ECU/Loessin Playhouse and ECU Storybook Theatre productions, as well as faculty-led workshop productions like Random Acts and Night of Music Theatre and productions and performance events with our student-led groups.

Our graduates are performing on Broadway, the West End, national tours, cruise ships, and regional theatres across the country. For those who work hard, our program works, and our Musical Theatre concentration will provide you with the tools necessary to navigate a professional career in musical theatre.

Student experiences

In addition to performing in mainstage productions, you can be actively involved with student groups such as East Carolina Theatre Association, a group that hosts a variety of events throughout the year. Dive into comedy with SWISH Improv or explore new plays with Reader’s Theatre. You can also perform in many student-produced productions and performances with Fifth Street Players and Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity award projects.

Students have the opportunity to connect with industry professionals both in and out of the classroom through guest speakers, master classes, audition workshops, and attending professional audition conferences including Unified Professional Theatre Auditions (UPTA) as seniors, and Southeastern Theatre Conference (SETC), where our students are regularly hired for summer employment as early as their freshmen year.

NOTE: Musical Theatre students take acting courses within the concentration, however, many audition for the Professional Actor Training concentration in the spring of their freshmen year.  The Professional Actor Training concentration can provide additional training skills to students drawn to the Meisner technique, and many choose to complete both programs for a double concentration.

 

How do I learn more about the program?

Contact Michael Tahaney at tahaneym@ecu.edu or 252-328-1199.

Faculty

Bryan Conger, acting/directing

Tommi Galaska, musical theatre dance/choreography

Jessica Doyle-Mekkes, musical theatre voice specialist

Aimee Radics, vocal coach/music director

Jonathan Sitton, accompanist/music director

Michael Tahaney, Musical Theatre area coordinator

Evan Blair Whitfield. accompanist/music director