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musical theatre Department of Theatre & Dance

Greetings from the Department of Theatre & Dance! The Department of Theatre & Dance at the University of Memphis invites you to join us as we explore the exciting world of the performing arts. We are dedicated to a unified program designed to help you learn to use your body, voice and mind more proficiently than you ever thought possible. We believe that each student should be broadly prepared in as many meaningful artistic experiences as imaginable. We celebrate theatre and dance in all its infinite varieties. We offer the BFA degree in Theatre with emphasis in Performance, Musical Theatre and Design and Technical Production and graduate studies leading to the MFA degree in Theatre. As a performer, you will notice that there is no MFA program in acting, which means you are not competing with graduate actors for roles! The University of Memphis is an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Theatre. Our emphasis on professionalism is reflected by the Department’s excellent faculty of teachers and artists dedicated to the nurturing of individual creativity. More than just outstanding professors, at the Department of Theatre & Dance you will encounter genuine mentors – faculty devoted to your development as an individual. Our faculty remain active in their chosen fields continuing to direct, design, choreograph, produce and perform, on campus and off. Faculty maintain professional affiliations and professional contacts, which enrich the classroom experience. The Department of Theatre & Dance mounts a full season of plays, musicals and dance concerts in a variety of performance venues, large and small and our audiences expect the best in area theatre and dance from us. With an emphasis on diversity and the breadth of experience only the performing arts can provide, our upcoming productions are an astonishing mix of comedy and drama, music and dance. Come Join Us! Robert A. Hetherington, Chair Department of Theatre & Dance

Program summary

Artists need a supportive, diverse and respectful environment in which they can learn; the freedom to experiment, fail, succeed and triumph; and the guidance to know which has happened. We are dedicated to mentoring and nurturing the individual student so that each can discover the artist within. The College of Communication and Fine Arts, which houses the Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music and the departments of art, architecture, communication, and journalism in addition to the Department of Theatre & Dance, provides a perfect environment in which to study a multi-disciplinary profession like Musical Theatre. The BFA is a four-year pre-professional degree in which students take approximately 70% of their coursework in their major area of study and 30% in other areas. This gives students the opportunity to grow and develop as theatrical artists while gaining a broader educational perspective. We are firm believers that the more you understand the world you live in, the more successful you will be in the theatre.

The professional coursework in the Musical Theatre program includes intensive studies in Dance (ballet, tap, musical theatre styles), Theatre (acting, history, technical production), Music (voice, piano, theory), and Musical Theatre (performance, history and more). The liberal arts coursework includes required studies in college-level writing, literature, social sciences, math and the natural sciences. Academic and professional electives are required and most students choose to graduate with more than the minimum required coursework in order to explore other areas of interest. It is our goal to give students the skill-set necessary to be successful in the popular and competitive professional musical theatre world. To develop that skill-set, students receive a broad education in all three areas of Music, Theatre and Dance. More importantly, in musical theatre one is called upon to use all three of these areas together at any given moment in performance. Therefore, additional training is given in Musical Theatre specifically to help students learn how to use all three of these areas together in the particular genre that is the American Musical. As part of the degree, students also have opportunities to learn about career strategies, audition techniques and a wide array of performance skills.

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Schedule at a glance BFA in Theatre – Musical Theatre Sample 4-Year Plan of Study Sequence

Year 1 Fall Intro to Music Theory Basic Piano Skills English Composition Stage Movement Intro to Design Intro to Theatre

Year 3 Spring English Composition Oral Communication Math History Performance Fundamentals Production Lab

Year 2 Fall Literary Heritage Singing for the Actor Ballet Acting I Dynamics of Vocal Performance I Production Lab

Fall MT Applied Voice MT Dance I Elective Acting for Musical Theatre Audition Prep Production Lab

Spring MT Applied Voice MT Dance II Elective Musical Theatre History Social Science Production Lab

Year 4 Spring History MT Applied Voice Ballet Acting II Dynamics/Vocal Perform II Social Science

Fall Natural Science Internship Dramatic Literature I Script Interpretation Elective

Spring Theatre History Theatre Management Musical Theatre Practicum Natural Science Elective

Sample 4-year Musical Theatre plan of study. For current official curriculum please view the course catalogues online at www.memphis.edu/theatre

Recent productions

A full production season of musicals and plays is mounted every year in the three theatres of the Department of Theatre & Dance. At Memphis, students are eligible to audition for main-stage productions from the moment they begin school and students in the musical theatre program are given the opportunity to be involved in musical and non–musical theatre. Musicals: The Phantom of the Opera (Webber) Bat Boy Edges Blood Brothers The Spitfire Grill The Mystery of Edwin Drood Assassins Into the Woods Parade Elegies

Plays: A Streetcar Named Desire Comedy of Errors Cyrano Fences Hedda Gabler Hay Fever Eurydice In The Blood Noises Off The Laramie Project As You Like It

Admission information

Admission to the Musical Theatre program at the University of Memphis is a three-step process in which students apply first to the University of Memphis, then to the Department of Theatre & Dance and finally, participate in a Musical Theatre audition. All prospective students must be accepted by both the Department of Theatre & Dance and by the University. 1. Students should seek enrollment in the University by contacting the Undergraduate Office of Admissions. (901) 678-2111 www.memphis.edu/admissions Students are encouraged to apply to the University as soon as possible as any offer of admission to the program is contingent on successful application to the University of Memphis. 2. Students should additionally apply directly to the Department of Theatre & Dance. (901) 678-2523 www.memphis.edu/theatre Students are required to complete the Musical Theatre application, which includes a resume that details their previous performing experience. As part of the application, students will select from available audition dates, and the application should be submitted at least two weeks prior to that date. 3. Entrance to the Musical Theatre program is through audition only. The entrance auditions are offered in the spring and are available both to prospective freshman and transfers as well as current University of Memphis students. The audition is comprehensive and evaluates students’ abilities in singing, acting and dance. Space in the program is limited and will be given to students who best exhibit potential for development in the field – based on the audition.

For the audition students should prepare: • One short monologue from a play not to exceed two minutes. The monologue must be memorized and should be performed in the context of the entire play. The emphasis is on simple reality. Though not required, students may bring additional monologues to the audition, which may be seen at the discretion of the faculty. • One song from the standard musical theatre repertoire. The song must be memorized and should be performed in the context of the entire show. An accompanist will be provided. Students may bring their own accompanist but no recorded accompaniment will be permitted and students may not sing a cappella. Though not required, students may bring additional songs to the audition, which may be seen at the discretion of the faculty. Students may also be asked to do some short pitch-matching exercises. • A dance audition will be required. This will consist of a short ballet class at the conclusion of which a musical theatre combination will be taught and performed for the faculty in small groups. Suggestions for the audition: • Choose monologues that are appropriate for your age and experience. Be able to discuss the play as a whole. It’s best to select monologues from plays, as opposed to special material written for monologue books. Avoid historic styles, such as Shakespeare, and verse or poetry. Avoid dialects. Use good judgment in selecting the monologues, avoiding pieces that may be inappropriate because of language or situation. • Choose songs with which you can communicate a specific situation in a clear context with an objective (goal). Make the situation as honest and specific as possible. Select material that is suitable for your age and experience. Choose songs that fit comfortably within your range. If you are using a transposition of a song, be sure that you have correctly printed the melody, lyrics and accompaniment in the new key. Your music should be in a binder, or taped without page turns. • Though it isn’t possible to prepare specifically for the dance audition, applicants generally have better success if they either have dance training or have danced to various degrees in productions. While the performance of the musical theatre combination is important, equal emphasis is given to the class section of the audition. Students who seem readily trainable in movement will be most successful in the audition.

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Financial assistance

Your investment of time, energy and money into your college education returns much more than a degree. It provides you with a set of opportunities, friendships, experiences and professional relationships that will help shape your life. We believe that students should choose a school that offers the best educational fit in the combination of faculty, curriculum and environment for their individual goals. The University of Memphis, as well as the Department of Theatre & Dance, along with generous community supporters, provides a wide array of financial assistance to help students meet the financial burden of a Memphis education. Financial assistance at the University of Memphis takes two forms: scholarships based on either academic or performance excellence, and need-based aid. Scholarships are available both from the University and the Department of Theatre & Dance. Generally, University scholarship support is provided based on academic potential as demonstrated in a student’s admission application. For more information: www.memphis.edu/scholarships The Department of Theatre & Dance offers competitive performance scholarships based on a student’s audition. Applicants are automatically considered for scholarships that range from several thousand dollars a year to full tuition and, generous support from local donors ensures that several major awards are available in each year. In addition to scholarships all students are encouraged to apply for need-based aid through the University. Through the need-based program other funding in the form of state or federal grant (free-money) programs and federal student loan programs may be available to students based on their specific financial circumstances. For more information: www.memphis.edu/financialaid

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The University of Memphis, a Tennessee Board of Regents institution, is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action University. It is committed to education of a non-racially identifiable student body. Photo Credit: Sunny Montgomery and Curt Hart Peerless Printing UOM176-FY1011

www.memphis.edu/theatre


Department of Theatre & Dance Viewbook