Michael Casey, Musical Theatre Coordinator
Missouri State University
901 South National Avenue
Springfield, Missouri 65897
The Musical Theatre program at Missouri State is designed to develop "triple threats" (actor/singer/dancer), who possess a strong foundation in the requisite skills to pursue a career as a performing professional in musical theatre, including "book" musicals and variety productions.
The Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Musical Theatre is a pre-professional program offering a major curriculum consisting of 36 academic hours in theatre studies, 33 hours in music, 12 hours in dance and movement and six elective hours in theatre, dance or music.
In addition to the university’s admission requirements, students are required to audition for acceptance to the BFA in Musical Theatre program prior to the first semester of course work in the major. Auditions and interviews for a place in the program are held on campus in February and March of each year. Specific information as to the date and the audition process is available through the Department of Theatre and Dance website at www.theatreanddance.missouristate.edu.
It is recommended that the student enroll in eight to 10 academic hours in the major curriculum each semester of study, balanced with six to eight hours in general education course work. The total number of hours for the BFA in Musical Theatre is about 134. In order to complete the degree program in four years, the student must average 17 academic hours each semester. A worksheet showing the requirements and an outline of course advisement by semester is available from the Musical Theatre Coordinator.
Please consult the Missouri State Catalog online at www.missouristate.edu/catalog for undergraduate degree requirements.
Select from Stagecraft, Lighting, Costume Construction
Courses in the Musical Theatre program are taught by members of two different departments: the Department of Theatre and Dance and the Department of Music. Both departments include faculty members with diverse backgrounds and specialization. In addition to teaching classes in their area of expertise, faculty members also serve as artists-in-residence, directors, choreographers, designers and performers.
Missouri State presents two musicals annually with full production staff and budget. The university has a number of performance venues to accommodate the musicals: the Juanita K. Hammons Hall for the Performing Arts (2,200 seats), Coger Theatre (475 seats), the Balcony Theatre (100 seats) and Carrington Auditorium (450 seats). Other venues in the Springfield area are also available.
Any student contemplating a performance career in musical theatre must realize that this is an overloaded and highly competitive field. Any person who enters this field of study must first and foremost possess an overriding zeal that this is what he or she wants and must do. At the present time, especially because of the development in Branson, entry level positions, starting around $750 per week for talented, highly trained individuals in singing and dance, are available. The burn-out rate is high, however, due to the physical demands of performing two full-length (two to two and a half hours) shows daily, six days a week for up to 48 weeks a year. In addition to Branson, a number of students have found employment shortly after graduation with theme parks, cruise ships and non-equity tours.
In addition to the Musical Theatre productions, the Theatre and Dance Department presents many different kinds of productions each year, including contemporary and period plays, dance concerts and performances for children. Missouri State’s resident summer theatre program, Tent Theatre, presents three titles each summer, with a specially selected company of students and guest artists. The Department of Music offers a wide variety of performance groups, including the Concert Chorale, Chamber Singers, Opera Workshop, Symphony Orchestra and Band.