Andrea Leigh-Smith, Program Coordinator
820 East Genesee Street
Brian Cimmett, Rodney Hudson, Rebecca Karpoff, Marie Kemp, Andrea Leigh-Smith, David Lowenstein, Brian J. Marcum, Anthony Salation
The purpose of the musical theater program is to train students in a systematic way that prepares them to compete realistically in the complex professional world of musical theater. Achieving this goal requires a carefully structured balance of studio and academic work. Musical theater studio work requires skills not only in dramatic performance, but in music and dance as well. Students develop their skills in a structured, intensive format that features careful and expert guidance.
Performance is a major focus of the 128-credit program. Students gain skills and experience in the various modes of musical theater: the revue, traditional musical comedies, operettas, and new and experimental forms. Coursework includes a balance of acting, voice, dance, theater history, music theory, and liberal education studies.
The first year is the foundation for all future training. It focuses on techniques of acting, ballet, voice-both singing and speaking-sight-singing, music theory, dramatic theory, and technical theater crafts. Writing is also a requirement for all musical theater majors. The first year is a non-performance year, but students are assigned to work on one production behind the scenes. They may elect to work on additional productions in a wide variety of jobs.
After the first year, students may audition for all productions-musicals, dramas, films-i.e., all productions connected with the Department of Drama, Syracuse Stage and the wider University. They also begin specialized training in musical theater performance, scene study, audition techniques, musical theater history, musical theater dance, and choreography. Supplementing these studies are courses in theater history, additional weekly lessons in voice, vocal ensemble experience, piano, and academic electives.