Theatre BFA Degree Plan – Musical Theatre Concentration
B.F.A. students with a concentration in Musical Theatre at UM are trained in Stanislavski-based acting techniques and acting for the camera, but pursue a sequence of performance based classes aimed towards integrating their acting, singing, dance and movement skills to successfully audition for and perform in musicals of various styles.
While Musical Theatre students will hone their singing, dancing and acting skills, our goal is to train you to be a distinctive, versatile performer capable of playing complex roles not only in musicals, but a wide variety of theatrical styles as well as TV and Film.
You will work extensively on song interpretation and bringing your authentic self and unique sensibility to your work.
Our voice teachers Amy Murphy and Monique Gannon will develop your artistry and vocal technique so you can sing both traditional musical theatre and contemporary pop/rock styles with confidence and the ability to maintain vocal health and ease over a run. In recent seasons, our students have successfully sung challenging and diverse vocal styles such as CHICAGO, HAIRSPRAY, CARRIE, PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT, HAIR, URINETOWN and HEATHERS.
Our dance classes are designed to develop your stamina and technique, and improve your skills across various styles including ballet, jazz, tap, contemporary and hip-hop.
*In March 2019 and 2020, our BFA Musical Theatre majors participated in the Unified Senior Showcase in NYC with The Growing Studio (www.thegrowingstudio.com)
Our seniors worked with NYC director Anthony Daniel via Skype, on campus, and NYC, participated in a 3- day event that included coachings and business seminars in NYC with agents and casting directors from Tara Rubin Casting and Wojcik-Seay Casting. The weekend culminated in 2 showcase presentations for 30-40 agents and casting directors.
**Given the current COVID-19 pandemic, we are currently exploring ways with The Growing Studio for our students to participate in a Senior Showcase outside of NYC during spring 2021
OTHER OUTSIDE OPPORTUNITIES
*UM Musical Theatre students have also actively participated in the national “A1” screening auditions by The Growing Studio each fall, and audition for professional summer theatre work in NYC in January (as well as other regional professional auditions such as Midwest, SETC, UPTA, Outdoor Drama Association and STRAW HAT).
*Amy Murphy Studio NYC Musical Theatre Intensive Workshop: Since 2010, UM Musical Theatre students have been eligible to attend these annual workshops in January run by the Amy Murphy Studio, providing opportunities to study with and/or audition for leading industry professionals.
*UM BFA Theatre majors are also eligible to audition, with faculty approval, for professional productions in nearby Birmingham at Red Mountain Theatre Company, Birmingham Children’s Theatre, and Virginia Samford Theatre. These organizations also offer our students employment opportunities during the summer, including teaching as well
Students have an opportunity to perform in class showcases and cabarets; departmental rep classes; guest artist workshops; vocal juries; UM’s original, annual student-written and produced homecoming “College Night” musicals; as well as audition for two full musical productions a year in the Theatre Department.
While we want to expose you to a variety of musical styles in your time at UM, given the emphasis on pop-rock styles with contemporary musicals in NYC, we have a strong track record of producing challenging pop/rock musicals such as CARRIE on recent seasons.
In the near future, we are also planning to provide our Musical Theatre students opportunities to work on new musical material written by professional artists through participation in a reading, workshop format.
Our students enjoy an active guest artist program, with recent artists in the musical theatre area including Broadway performers Krystina Alabado (“Gretchen Weiners” in MEAN GIRLS); Desi Oakley (“Jenna” in WAITRESS and “Roxie Hart” in CHICAGO); Angela Birchett (THE COLOR PURPLE); Eden Espinoza (WICKED and BROOKLYN); Ryan Jamaal Swain from the FX television hit POSE: NYC based choreographers Chip Abbott and Parker Esse; and NYC casting director and producer of the new musical CHASING RAINBOWS (with recent productions at Goodspeed Musicals and Papermill Playhouse). MT majors also have the opportunity to participate in guest artist workshops in other acting areas; recent examples include acting on camera with well-known TV and film actor Michael O’ Neill; clowning/physical theatre; and stage combat (as well as numerous sessions throughout the year on career planning and professional/industry expectations from alumni and other guest artists).
UM Musical Theatre majors are smart, proactive and versatile artists who are well prepared for the contemporary entertainment industry and a variety of professional markets, including self-taping and using virtual audition submission platforms.
Check out this link to a Spotlight on our BFA Musical Theatre Program from the College Musical Theatre Guide. Spotlight