The Bachelor of Fine Arts in musical theatre at Binghamton University is a four-year progression of classes that will give you the foundation you need in acting, singing and dancing: the three skills at the heart of this art form.
In addition to performance courses in a wide range of techniques, you will audition for main stage and studio productions ranging from the classical to the contemporary, including musicals, plays and dance productions.
A full curriculum listing can be found on the Theatre Department website.
Internships, Research Opportunities and More
To hone their skills, students in the Musical Theatre BFA program take part in juried performances at the end of each semester such as a studio voice recital, or a slate of audition material.
The Theatre Department is an active member of Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF), which means a representative within the network sees our faculty-directed productions to review and recognize students for outstanding work in performance, stage management and design.
Students are encouraged and coached to audition at unified auditions, such as the A1 Conference, StrawHat Auditions and the New England Theatre Conference, to procure summer employment at summer stock theatre companies, theme parks, cruise ships or other performance venues.
Some courses to consider in your first year:
THEA 203 - Theory of Technical Production
Lectures and discussions on technical elements that make a theater production. Classes delve into introductory material on designers and their functions; scenic and costume construction techniques; stage rigging, hardware and material; sound; stage procedures and safety. Simple drafting projects and the ability to read floor plans and stage elevations are stressed.
This class has as a co-requisite THEP 216. To sign up for THEA 203 and THEP 216 you must be free for all times and dates (all rehearsals and performances) for 1 of the shows listed below. If you are not able to do a show, you may be asked to drop the class.
THIS COURSE IS APPROPRIATE FOR FIRST-YEAR STUDENTS.
Co-requisite: THEP 216
THEA 204 - History of the Theatre
Content and approach examine primary aspects of theatrical performance from the time of the ancient Greeks to approximately 1870. Traces the development of theater architecture, theatrical design concepts, theater technology, acting styles and playwriting. Concentration is on Western theater, but attention is given to non-Western forms when possible and/or appropriate. . Required for major. Lectures augmented by audio and visual elements. THIS COURSE IS APPROPRIATE FOR FIRST-YEAR STUDENTS. Students that have taken THEA 304 will not receive credit for THEA 204. Required for majors. 4 credits. Offered Fall semester
THEA 208 - Acting I
THEA 208 is the advanced section of THEA 207, Acting 1. Therefore, it is intended for students who have had previous acting experience. Description: Development of student's awareness of self and the means of focusing that awareness on stage. Special attention given to truthful doing and finding the character in the play. Involves text analysis, determining and playing objectives, exploring physical characterization, and developing relationships to people and things. Includes performance of exercises and scenes. Must be prepared to hold rehearsals outside of class time. Format: Hands-on activity nearly every day. Grading is based on attendance, class participation, quizzes, play and textbook readings and other assignments, quality of exercises, scene work, rehearsal discipline, and creative initiative. Admission by instructor's permission. Interview/Auditions held prior to the first day of classes. Contact Elizabeth Mozer firstname.lastname@example.org, for more information on how to join this class. THIS COURSE IS APPROPRIATE FOR FIRST-YEAR STUDENTS
THEA 207 - Actor Trng I - Basic Processes
Development of student's awareness of self and the means of focusing that awareness into stage characterizations. Special attention given to finding the character in the play. The nomenclature of acting, physical characterization, the playing of objectives and character relationships to people and things. Includes rehearsal and performance of exercises and scenes. Notes: THIS COURSE IS APPROPRIATE FOR FIRST-YEAR STUDENTS. Offered in Fall and Spring. 4 credits
THEA 223 - Dance Technique I: Tap
Basic tap technique, terminology and rhythm. Covers beginner level skills and tap history. Offers physical exercise, along with an introduction to the art of tap dancing. For majors and non-majors. Meets two times per week. Experience helpful but not necessary. 2 credits. Offered in Fall and Spring. Repeatable.
THEA 225 - Dance Technique I: Ballet
An introductory level course based on the practical and theoretical principles of Classical Ballet. The student will learn about body alignment, barre and center work as well as the history of both Classical and Contemporary Ballet. This course is for beginners in dance as well as students who are looking to refine and perfect their technique. For majors and non-majors. Meets four times per week. Prerequisites: None THIS COURSE IS APPROPRIATE FOR FIRST-YEAR STUDENTS. Repeatable, 4 credits.
THEA 226 - Dance Technique I: Jazz
First level of jazz dance that introduces students to jazz technique. The course will cover various jazz styles including, concert, night club, television and film, in addition to Broadway. This is a strenuous and physically demanding class. It will explore the dance styles of Bob Fosse, Jack Cole, Lester Horton, Luigi, Fred Benjamin, Frank Hatchett, and other famous styles of jazz throughout history. Class will include coverage of the origins of Jazz dance and is particularly suited to the student studying musical theatre. THIS COURSE IS APPROPRIATE FOR FIRST-YEAR STUDENTS.
For majors and non-majors. Meets four times per week. Repeatable.
Offered Fall and Spring semester
THEA 306 - World Dramatic Literature
Explores the diversity of theatrical literature from ancient times to the present. Students develop an in depth understanding of the dramatic experience and explore theatrical practice in a variety of cultures. Investigates the following traditions: ancient Greece and India; medieval and early-modern China and Japan; early-modern and modern Europe; and contemporary Africa and the Americas. Also considers how the study of theater history stimulates and informs the work of contemporary theater practitioners. Emphasizes the development of writing and editing skills appropriate to the subject matter. A minimum of 10 pages of finished, carefully prepared critical writing is required.
THEA 315 - MUS THEA I: Acting the Song
Introductory course exploring the fundamentals of song analysis and performance technique in the preparation of musical theatre repertoire. Students will be exposed to a variety of musical theatre styles, literature, composers, and lyricists. Students will perform multiple solos throughout the semester and will seek appropriate audition material from the musical theatre canon. Basic music skills and singing ability are highly recommended. Prerequisite: THEA 207 or 208. Offered regularly. 4 credits.
THEA 319 - Voice Lessons Intermediate
This course will provide the student with private vocal (singing) instruction. Focus will be on consistent and healthy vocal technique as it applies to the singer of musical theatre. Restriction: By audition only. It is recommended that students enroll in THEA 119: Musical Theatre Singing before taking THEA 319: Voice Lessons.Offered regularly. 1 credit.
After You Graduate
After completing the BFA in musical theatre, most students will move to New York City or another major theatrical hub to pursue full-time theatrical employment as a freelance artist. Those who book theatre work will frequently perform regionally, on national or international tours, and/or cruise ships and theme parks before securing higher profile productions on Broadway or with other major NYC theatre companies. Students with a strong stage background also frequently work in television, film, commercials and voiceovers.
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