Musicals comprise a large percentage of the theatrical productions in the United States every year. The School of Theatre & Dance recognizes that musical theatre study, performance, and production are integral parts of any complete theatre education.
The goal of the Bachelor of Fine Arts in Musical Theatre major is to train students for successful careers in musical and stage performance in the competitive entertainment industry. The major shares a joint curriculum and resources drawn from both the School of Theatre & Dance and the School of Music; however, the administration of the program is housed in the School of Theatre & Dance.
Through a course of study focused on the disciplines of theatre, music and dance combined with the University’s General Education Foundations (GEF) curriculum, the program is competitive with similar programs in the country, especially in the intensity and class time devoted to the study, practice and performance of music, theatre and dance. All four years of study mesh with a wide range of liberal arts courses work drawn from the University’s GEF courses.
The full course of study includes classes in acting, dance techniques, choreography, theatre history, vocal techniques, stage production, music theory, voice lessons, musical theatre literature and special topics. These artistic mediums will also address skills necessary for career management, including auditions, resumes and professional representation. Through the Schools’ existing programs in acting and/or voice, students will be able to take courses in traditional acting or vocal training and enroll in opera workshops.
Students will have the opportunity to perform in one major musical and several minimally produced performance and showcase productions each academic year. In addition to a number of different performance opportunities in musicals, Music Theatre majors will have the opportunity to cross traditional lines and benefit from participating in fully-staged, dance, drama and opera productions. A typical BFA student may perform in as many as fifteen productions during the course of study at WVU.
Career opportunities for musical theatre majors include working as professional performers in the television, film and entertainment industries. Graduates with a BFA in Musical Theatre major may also choose to continue their education in graduate theatre programs.