Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree
The Bachelor of Fine Arts in Musical Theatre is an exciting blend of theatre, music, and dance classes. The degree provides students with training and production opportunities in the areas of acting, music, and dance to prepare them for entry into the well-established and fast expanding profession of musical theatre performance. The performance market in the United States today and in the future, for entry level professional theatre positions, is primarily in the area of musical theatre. The Broadway stage is dominated by musicals, theme parks throughout Missouri and the region focus on musical theatre entertainment, the Branson area has a myriad of musical theatre venues, Las Vegas has over one hundred musical theatre events, summer theatre companies around the nation offer musical theatre productions, and casinos and cruise lines have expanded into these areas as well.
To be accepted into the program, students must meet the admission requirements for UCM and must complete an audition process which requires singing, acting and dancing. Audition requirements are listed on the department website.
The Theatre and Dance Program at Central places the spotlight on undergraduates. Students begin working immediately in a busy and varied program. Performance opportunities are available in 30-35 productions each school year in both the theatre and music departments.
Students have the opportunity to perform in mainstage musicals, opera theatre, choirs, children's theatre musical productions, dance concerts, mainstage productions, studio theatre productions, and BlackBox experimental theatre productions. Several original musicals have been written and performed in the BlackBox series. Central Missouri Summer Repertory also provides performance opportunities for students. The University Concert Choir has appeared on national television and toured extensively in the U.S. and abroad. The Collegiate Choir combines with the University Concert Choir annually to perform a major oratorio with the orchestra as well as presenting campus concerts.
Musical Theatre students work in one of the most beautiful and modern theatre buildings in the Midwest, the James L. Highlander Theatre. The 442 seat continental wedge-shaped auditorium has excellent sight lines and faces a large, fully rigged stage. The theatre is equipped with the latest sound equipment, body microphones, and a computerized lighting system. A motorized orchestra apron lift allows for flexible staging and houses a full orchestra for musicals. Well-equipped costume and scenic shops and spacious dressing and makeup rooms adjoin the stage area.
University Housing has worked with the department to create a Theatre Special Housing Interest Program (SHIP) living area in Nickerson Hall designed for students majoring in theatre and musical theatre. The SHIP provides close proximity to the department's BlackBox Theatre, also located in Nickerson Hall. This flexible theatre is used for performance classes, rehearsals and serves as a performance space for Studio Theatre, and BlackBox Experimental Theatre productions. This space can be configured for proscenium, thrust or arena staging, seating approximately 100 audience members.
The Dance Studio in Wood 108 is a state of the art facility with a sprung wooden floor, full-length mirrors, ballet bares, and complete sound system. The music choirs perform in either Hendricks Hall in the Administration Building or in Hart Recital Hall in the UTT Building.
About the Faculty
At Central Missouri you will work side by side with a faculty of extraordinary educators and professional theatre, dance and music artists. The faculty at UCM are dedicated to providing students with the opportunity to find their unique voice as artists and share their visions, curiosities, bravery, and talents with a collaborative team that is the heart and soul of any theatrical, dance, and music production. Our faculty are leaders whose experience and professional work has a strong voice in state, regional and the national arenas. They are active members of Actors Equity Association, Screen Actors Guild, USITT, Speech and Theatre Association of Missouri, Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival and the Association for Theatre in Higher Education. Our faculty teach and supervise courses in private voice, piano, music theory, acting, stage voice, stage movement, directing, musical theatre history, choreography, and all levels of dance. Students are assigned to a music theatre faculty member who personally assists in the planning of their programs.
The Department of Theatre and Dance offers several scholarships and awards to both incoming freshmen and transfer students as well as returning students. These scholarships include: Theatre Ambassador Awards, Highlander, Kuhn, See, New Theatre Guild, Muller, Devenny, Pearce, Ulrich, Schwartz, and Bergman Scholarships. In the department, students can both learn through student employment opportunities in the scenic and costume shops. .
To Learn More
Department of Theatre and Dance