2015-2016 Undergraduate Course Catalog 
    Jul 17, 2018  
2015-2016 Undergraduate Course Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Musical Theater, BFA

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Andrea Leigh-Smith, Department of Drama
820 East Genesee Street, 315-443-2669, alsmit11@syr.edu


Brian Cimmett, Rodney Hudson, Rebecca Karpoff, Marie Kemp, David Lowenstein


The bachelor of fine arts (B.F.A.) degree program in musical theater is one of the few specialized musical theater programs in the country. 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. The B.F.A. program in musical theater utilizes the resources of both the Department of Drama and the Setnor School of Music. 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 and Syracuse Stage. 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 and piano, vocal ensemble experience, and academic electives.

Program Requirements

Dance: 18 credits

  • Ballet (x4)  (2 credits each)
  • Dance Electives (x5) (2 credits each)

(eight credits MUST be upper level 300+)


Theatre Laboratory: 0 credits

Drama Electives: 9 credits

Academic Electives 24 credits


Students may only have a combined total of 12 credits from Independent Study or Experience Credit

Total Credits Required: 128

Degree Awarded: BFA in Musical Theater

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