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Theatre, BFA - Area 3: Musical Theatre

Musical Theatre Bachelor of Fine Arts

Do you dream of seeing your name on a Broadway marquee? Maybe you plan to sing and dance on stages all over the world — or watch others bring your work to life as a choreographer or director? The University of Central Missouri’s well-respected Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Musical Theatre will help you achieve your goals and embark on a satisfying career in this area of the performing arts. 

UCM’s Musical Theatre alumni work all over the globe

The bachelor’s degree in Musical Theatre program at UCM is designed to give you the concrete skills you’ll need to stand out at auditions. You’ll benefit from our faculty’s breadth of knowledge and professional expertise and make valuable connections to find your perfect role in the exciting world of musical theatre.

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Located near Kansas City theaters

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NAST-accredited Theatre program

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Low student-to-faculty ratio

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Opportunities to showcase your work

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Many theatre groups on and off campus

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NYC field trips and master classes

What you will study

UCM’s Musical Theatre majors have many opportunities to create and collaborate on outstanding stage productions. You’ll study the historical, cultural and stylistic dimensions of musical theatre while mastering the technical skills necessary to present works to the public.
Your core courses and electives will be both broad and thorough. Some of the courses you may take include:
Musical Theatre Laboratory: Work directly with industry professionals to hone your craft, workshop scenes and prepare your audition books for career opportunities.
Musical Theatre Dance: Gain performance skills in a variety of styles of musical theatre dance choreography in this practice-focused course covering basic musical theatre dance concepts. 
Senior Showcase: Put on a public showcase for industry professionals and casting directors — on campus and in Kansas City — to present your acting, singing and dancing skills. 
By the time you graduate from UCM’s Musical Theatre program, you’ll have a firm foundation in the quality and aesthetics of musical theatre and be ready to embark on an exciting career.


BFA Musical Theatre Auditions

All students applying for our BFA Theatre Performance degree must audition for consideration. Upon acceptance by the UCM Office of Admissions, you should fill out the UCM Theatre & Dance Admission Form and contact our Performance advisor to schedule your interview.  To ensure a strong and successful audition, please carefully read the guidelines below and bring the appropriate materials to the audition.

On the day of your audition please bring with you:

  • An acting/theatre resume 
  • A photograph (we prefer headshots, but will accept any close-up)
  • Two contrasting one-minute monologues (1 dramatic/1 comedic) from published plays (see the Audition/Interview FAQ section for assistance in finding appropriate materials and parameters.) All monologues must be memorized.
  • Two contrasting songs (1 uptempo/1 ballad). Each song should be 32 bars - 1 minute each. You must bring your sheet music printed out and in a binder for our accompanist with your music marked appropriately. All songs must be memorized.
  • Dance clothing: Any athletic attire that you can move freely in and that will show the line of your body. No jeans, no jewelry, no hats. Please bring jazz and/or tap shoes if you have them or be prepared to dance barefoot or in socks. The dance combination will be taught to you at the audition and you’ll perform it in small groups.
  • Be prepared to answer questions for your interview that reflect on your answers provided on your Theatre & Dance Admission Form. We encourage you to bring questions to ask us as well!
  • Please dress professionally for the audition


Excellence in Musical Theatre

  • UCM’s Theatre and Dance faculty, staff and students received a rare invitation to showcase productions at the Region V KCACTF in 2021. UCM has been recognized for multiple invited productions and has received top honors for excellence in choreography, acting, dramaturgy and other areas.
  • The University of Central Missouri’s Theatre program is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Theatre (NAST).
  • UCM is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM), a distinction it has held since 1947.


Unique learning opportunities in musical theatre

As you’re earning your BFA degree in Musical Theatre at the University of Central Missouri, diverse on- and off-stage experiences will prepare you to achieve your career goals:

  • Get real-world experience: UCM presents 35–40 theatre productions each year, including mainstage productions, large-cast musicals and a variety of studio one-acts, Black Box productions and concerts featuring opera and dance. Even as a freshman, you can audition to be cast in or help direct shows. Faculty also provide connections to regional summer stock theatre companies that offer opportunities to sing, dance and act, including paid work in Central Missouri Repertory’s touring productions. 
  • Feature your work: Direct, choreograph and engage with all aspects of production, culminating in an on-stage presentation of your work.
  • Learn from guest artists: Theatre professionals come to UCM to mentor and instruct students earning a bachelor’s degree in Musical Theatre. They’ll work directly with you to instill professional expectations, strengthen your work ethic and give you constructive feedback on your performances.
  • Experience NYC: Join UCM’s popular week-long tour of Broadway and the Theatre District to take in three Broadway shows, attend master classes at the Broadway Dance Center (that include talk-backs with actors and agents) and enjoy UCM Alumni Night to build your professional career opportunities and network.


What can you do with a degree in Musical Theatre from UCM?

Careers in musical theatre range widely — from being the lead vocalist in a regional theatre production to choreographing dancers for show choirs and more. If you want to play a role under the bright lights, UCM’s BFA degree in Musical Theatre will help you reach for the stars.

UCM graduates with a Musical Theatre degree excel both on stage and behind the scenes in a variety of careers. You could land a role in a Broadway production or tour with an acclaimed regional theatre company. Our alumni work as singers, actors and dancers on cruise ships and at theme parks. If you’re interested in a backstage role, you could become a choreographer or musical director.

The skills you’ll master can open doors to creating commercials, videos and promotions for industry and entertainment leaders. UCM’s BFA degree in Musical Theatre also prepares you to be a private teacher or to continue your studies in a graduate program.

A Musical Theatre degree from UCM opens up a diverse range of career options 

Use the interactive tool below to learn more about potential career pathways and salaries available to you with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Musical Theatre.




Financial assistance options for your Musical Theatre degree

The University of Central Missouri offers several resources to help you finance your college education and keep your student debt and college costs low.

Beyond the general scholarships and awards available through UCM, you may be eligible for scholarships reserved for students in the Musical Theatre program, including:

  • Charles G. and Laura Keynon Kuhn Distinguished Theatre Arts Award
  • Rye Studio Scholarship
  • Nina L. Devenny Distinguished Theatre Artist Award

Learn more about program-specific scholarships by using the UCM Scholarship Finder.


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Take your degree further.

Continue your studies at UCM and earn a graduate degree to further specialize your skills and increase your earning potential:

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Make yourself more marketable.

If you plan to promote yourself as a freelancer or want to concentrate on your singing or dancing abilities, sharpen your skills by adding a minor to your Musical Theatre BFA:

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Explore programs related to musical theatre.

If you’re interested in theatre but still not sure where you’d like to concentrate your interests at UCM, consider these related undergraduate degree programs:


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