B.F.A. in Musical Theatre

Designed to prepare students as “triple threats”, our interdisciplinary BFA in Musical Theatre degree program offers a four-year sequence of courses in acting, voice, music and dance. Musical Theatre majors take courses in music theory, keyboard, musical theatre, private voice study, and extensive training in jazz, tap, modern, ballet and musical theatre dance. They also take courses with the BFA Acting majors, including diction and dialects, movement (Alexander and Feldenkrais), voice for stage (Fitzmaurice), scenework, acting for TV/film and styles including Shakespeare.

Coursework is augmented with a wide variety of public performances. Musical Theatre majors audition for all mainstage productions, not just musicals. Additional performance opportunities exist in directing workshops and various vocal ensembles. Students are expected to participate in music ensembles and mainstage theatre productions. All students are evaluated annually and must meet professional standards to complete the BFA program.

The senior year is highlighted by our Senior Showcase, produced in New York City for agents and casting directors, and by the potential for a ten-week internship in the American professional theatre.  

Placement in an internship is contingent upon the changing availability of internships as determined by the American professional theatre, screen, and entertainment industries, the landscape of social change taking place in the theater community, as exemplified by A New Deal for Broadway, and the readiness of the student to be a full, productive, and beneficial member of their host organization’ mission. 

While we see inestimable value in internship experiences, we fully support the journey toward a more inclusive, diverse, and equitable American Theatre. 

B.F.A. in Musical Theatre with an Integrated Dance Minor

The interdisciplinary BFA in Musical Theatre with an integrated Dance Minor offers students the chance to increase their dance skills while studying acting, voice, music and theatre.

Dance classes are structured to allow students to dance every day. Students are placed among four levels of jazz, tap, modern, ballet, or musical theatre dance, in order to ensure appropriate teaching, growth & success. All dance classes are taught by specialists of each technique.

Two choreography classes are offered and all dance students are encouraged to choreograph pieces for dance workshops as well as the annual dance concert, one of the mainstage productions.

Student Learning Outcomes University Learning Goals (KMERI*)
1. Strong technique skills in singing and the ability to execute a wide range of vocal styles required of musical theatre actors. Knowledgeable, Engaged
2. Competency in musicianship, sight singing, music theory and basic keyboard skills. Knowledgeable, Multi-literate, Engaged
3. Strong proficiency in the diverse historical and stylistic idioms of musical theatre repertoire; developing a rich and comprehensive book of song repertoire. Knowledgeable, Multi-literate, Engaged
4. Proficiency in a range of dance techniques and genres, including period styles, and the ability to quickly learn and retain choreography in both audition and rehearsal settings. Knowledgeable, Multi-literate, Engaged, Inquisitive
5. Presenting a gold standard of comporting one’s self in a professional context; including headshots, resume and website, and a dedicated awareness of physical fitness and healthy nutritional plans. Knowledgeable, Multi-literate, Engaged, Responsible, Inquisitive
6. Proficiency in identifying how musicals are created and how the form’s stylistic and technical elements cohere to express meaning and social resonance, including the historical development of the musical theatre libretto, scores and the writers/composers/choreographers who have influenced and created that development. Knowledgeable, Multi-literate, Inquisitive
7. Capacity to act scenes into songs from every genre of musical theatre, incorporating optimal intention and physicality to create fully realized, three-dimensional characters. Knowledgeable, Multi-literate, Engaged

*NOTE: KMERI refers to Otterbein's learning goals. It stands for KnowledgeableMulti-literateEngagedResponsible, and Inquisitive. To learn more about KMERI, visit our University Learning Goals page.