Musical Theatre (B.F.A.)
Ithaca College’s highly competitive BFA in Musical Theatre is an intensive, performance-oriented training program in acting, singing and dancing designed to develop and strengthen the skills, hone the instincts, and foster the passion necessary for a professional career in musical theatre.
A typical semester for a freshman or sophomore musical theatre major includes a weekly private voice lesson; classes in voice and speech, movement, acting, sight-singing, music theory, and keyboard musicianship. Studies continue in theatre history (including American musical theatre history), and ongoing courses in dance (ballet, modern, tap, jazz and musical theatre styles). Like all of our degree programs, accompanying these required courses are classes and production assignments that encourage collaboration with other theatre majors in the department in theatre studies, management, design and technology.
Our mainstage and workshop productions provide important opportunities for synthesizing classwork and establishing a professional work ethic. Ithaca College produces two musicals in most years, and a dance concert in alternating years, in addition to four plays and an opera. BFA Musical Theatre students are eligible to audition beginning in their first semester, and required to audition in every subsequent semester. This provides students with ample audition opportunities and experience in general auditions and callbacks. Ithaca’s professional venues regularly audition (and hire) current IC students, giving important early exposure to the professional production process.
As musical theatre majors make progress through their sophomore year, they are evaluated regularly by the theatre and music faculty, both in singing and acting reviews. Students receive clear, specific feedback on their strengths and areas for growth throughout the process. In the junior and senior years, BFA Musical Theatre students take advanced courses in musical theatre technique focused on audition techniques, repertoire and style, as well as dance for the musical stage. Many musical theatre students take advantage of Ithaca College’s London Center and spend the spring semester of their junior year studying British drama and culture. In the senior year, opportunities include workshops and master classes that help facilitate the transition to the profession. Most students attend a one-week field studies trip to New York City, connecting with a rich network of IC alumni in the entertainment business. Our alumni are committed to providing an important link to the industry, whether in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles or in theatre centers around the world. The Alumni Resources section of our website conveys the breadth and depth of Ithaca College’s presence in the entertainment industry.