New minor gives students the chance to study and explore musical theatre
Published: Tuesday, September 3, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, September 3, 2013 00:09
Miami University has implemented a new Music Theatre minor guaranteed to give aspiring actors, theatre majors and vocal or instrumental performance majors the competitive edge in their future careers.
While not yet open to the entire university, the 21-credit-hour minor will help students in the areas of acting, singing and dancing in the world of music theatre. As an art form that is ever rising in popularity, music theatre requires talented individuals who can adapt to a variety of different roles.
The aim of this new program is to broaden the skills and marketability of Miami students entering the world of professional performance.
A variety of courses will be offered through the new minor that will help students to build upon all of the skills necessary for success. Through classes such as Dance, Acting for the Musical Stage, Music Theatre History and Stage Makeup, co-directors Alison Acord, professor of Voice and Vocal Pedagogy, and Julia Guichard, professor of Theatre, hope to create well-rounded, versatile performers.
As such, students with strengths in music will take more acting courses, while students with more acting experience will focus on music.
“Our goal is to prepare students with the necessary skills for the profession,” Guichard said. “We want our students to indulge in their passion for musical theatre in a deeper way than ever before.”
The Music Theatre minor will serve as another unique opportunity available to Miami students. While many universities have a Music Theatre major, very few of them possess a minor in the field. The faculty required to teach such in-depth concepts are rare among colleges throughout the country, making the program here on our campus even more valuable.
In comparison to Miami’s Music and Theatre majors on campus, the new minor focuses on specific skills and styles of theatre, as opposed to the broad range of studies included in the aforementioned majors. For those studying classical voice, theatre, design, and other forms of performance this is truly a wonderful opportunity.
The Music Theatre minor also brings many benefits to those around campus who aren’t involved in the performing arts. Students can expect to see their peers showcasing their talents in many more ways due to the expanding theatre program here at Miami.
“Students around campus will be able to see the interdisciplinary nature of the program through their peers’ performances in productions around campus, and that is so important and exciting,” Guichard said.
Acord also cited the importance of student theatre organizations such as Stage Left that continue to raise support and awareness for performing through their fantastic productions on campus.
Grace Eichler, a senior Zoology major and the president of Stage Left, said she definitely understands the importance of the new program and sees it as a great new opportunity for both performers and audiences.
“These classes don’t just build your résumé, they build the necessary skills required for theatre,” Eichler said. “This also might change how the Theatre Department schedules its shows, since there are so many people interested in musicals.”
Those interested in more information on the minor should contact either of the directors. For those with a more casual interest in the performing arts, a Musical Theatre Intensive workshop is scheduled for the upcoming winter term here on the Oxford campus. From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and during Friday mornings, non-majors will perfect their stage movement, acting and singing skills with the help of professionals from the greater Cincinnati area. The workshop will end in a cabaret performance consisting of many different musical theatre selections performed as solos, duets and in ensembles. Up to 30 students can enroll in the program, which can be part of a self-designed musical theatre thematic sequence.
“We want to encourage non-majors that love participating in theatre,” Acord said. “The Intensive gives these students an opportunity to find a balance by strengthening other skills.”