The Bachelor of Fine Arts in Music Theatre is for the student who aspires to a performance career in music theatre. This well-rounded pre-professional curriculum requires each student to enroll in a balanced mix of theatre, music and dance courses. These include both applied skills courses like acting, singing and dance, and academically oriented courses like dramatic theory, history and literature. Students are also exposed to the technical and design areas through coursework and production experiences. In addition to intensive coursework, BFA Music Theatre students have the opportunity to apply their craft on stage during our active production season. This degree is overseen by Scott Susong. We are also a proud member of theNational Alliance for Music Theatre.
Each year The School of Theatre Arts produces two musical productions. Every other year one of these is a Faculty Choreographed Dance Concert. Recent Jerome Mirza Theatre musicals include Promenade, Hello Again, Once Upon a Mattress, Passion, Pippin, Of The I Sing,Scrooge, Into the Woods, Urinetown, Chicago, FAME: the musical, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, GIANT, Cabaret and 42nd Street.
Musicals are also produced in the E. Melba Johnson Kirkpatrick Laboratory Theatre. These musicals are often smaller but fully supported and can be faculty or student directed. Recent productions include Spitfire Grill and Working.
The mission of the Music Theatre workshop class is to explore the works of a new or upcoming composer. The students work with composers to shape and create characters and serve as a way for young composers to hear and see their works in a collegiate environment away from critics. Students come away with real life workshop experience and connections to professional composers working in the business. Recent workshops include Joey Contreras & Kate Thomas' All The Kids Are Doing It (2013), Michael John LaChiusa's Lucky Nurse and other Short Musicals (2011) and Lawrence Rush's Winter of The Fall (2009).
Music Theatre Scene Study explores the music and works of a composer or specific genre. The students work on scenes and solos throughout the semester culminating with a showcase performance. Previous scene study showcases have included: "The Musical of Musicals" (featuring Rodgers & Hammerstein, Sondheim, Kander & Ebb, Herman & Lloyd Webber), "Horror Freaks & B-Movie Geeks" (featuring Cult musicals from "Rocky Horror Show" to "Bat Boy"), "All I Need Are Words" (featuring the musicals of Tim Rice) and "Away We Go!" (featuring golden age musicals from 1943 to 1964).
Tony Award winning Pippin, Ragtime (Swing and Emma Goldman understudy). Other Broadway credits include The Addams Family where she played the Saloon Girl in the ensemble and understudied the role of Wednesday Addams. In the fall of 2011, Lisa portrayed Sam Peterson in the workshop of Empire, an original American musical. Off-broadway, Lisa was in the original cast of Samson and Delilah at the York Theater in the title role of Delilah. She had the pleasure of touring internationally with the 25th Anniversary tour of Cats playing Demeter and understudying Grizabella.
Theatre credits include: Parade (National Tour), City Center Encores' Bloomer Girl & Kismet; Off-Broadway The Green Heart; Regional The Man of La Mancha, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, The Apple Tree, On The Twentieth Century, Television credits include: Great Performances-South Pacific at Carnegie Hall; Shine! The Horatio Alger musical; Law & Order among others
Broadway credits include: A Year With Frog and Toad, Sweet Smell of Success and Big, Stephen Sondheim's Saturday Night, Kander & Ebb's new All About Us and I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change!) Co-author of Broadway Musicals: The 101 Greatest Shows of All Time)