The West Virginia University College of Creative Arts has been presenting musical theater productions for many years at the Creative Arts Center, featuring students from its internationally known programs in music, theater and dance. Now, beginning this fall, the college is offering a new Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Musical Theatre.
The WVU Faculty Senate the new major in June and it is available to students through the School of Theatre and Dance. It was just one year ago that the school also began offering a Bachelor of Arts degree in Dance.
“The College of Creative Arts is pleased to support this much needed program that compliments and augments its profile of programs,” said Dean Paul Kreider. “We are pleased that talented students from West Virginia now have a professional degree program in musical theatre to attend in their home state. Our faculty members have created a rigorous BFA curriculum providing comprehensive training in theatre, music and dance. I thank our faculty and staff for their work in making this a special program.”
The director of the program is new theater and dance faculty member Bryce Britton, who received an Master of Fine Arts in theater direction from Ohio University and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in directing from the University of Puget Sound. His extensive professional credits include Seattle Children’s Theatre, Seattle Repertory Theatre, ACT, Village Theatre, Lyric Theatre and Contemporary American Theatre Festival. With a passion for Original Theatre, he has worked on numerous new works with the Village Originals Festival and the Seaberry Quinn Playwriting Festival. He was the recipient of the 2009 Milo Cline Award.
The goal of the college, in creating 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 and Dance and the School of Music at WVU.
The full course of study includes classes in acting, dance techniques, choreography, theater history, vocal techniques, stage production, music theory, piano, musical theater literature and special topics.
Students in the program will also learn the skills necessary for career management, including auditions, resumes and professional representation.
Through the existing programs in acting and voice, students will be able to take courses in traditional acting or vocal training and also enroll in opera workshops.
A typical student in the program may perform in as many as 30 productions during the course of his or her study at WVU. Students will also have the opportunity to perform in one major musical and several smaller productions or showcase performances each academic year. In addition, they will have the opportunity to cross traditional lines and benefit from participating in fully-staged dance, drama and opera productions.
Career opportunities for musical theatre majors include working as professional performers in the television, film and entertainment industries. Graduates of the major may also choose to continue their education in graduate theater programs.
Admission into the program is by audition.
For more information about the new BFA in Musical Theatre at WVU, call the WVU School of Theatre and Dance at 304-293-2020, or email email@example.com.
CONTACT: Charlene Lattea, College of Creative Arts
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