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FAQ

    

Applications are due by December 1.  Late applications may be accepted for a few days after the deadline, but late applicants will be reviewed and scheduled for an audition, if space remains, after on-time applicants.

What is the curriculum of the Musical Theatre Department?

What classes are offered?

How large is the Department?  How many people apply?

What performance opportunities are available?

Will there be opportunities for me other than in performance?

What will my options be after graduation?  

What about master classes with Musical Theatre professionals?

Do guest teachers work with the students?

What shows has the Department produced over the years?

 

 

What is the curriculum of the Musical Theatre Department?     

Most of the classes relate to performance, with courses in drama, music, dance and musical theatre. General academic studies total one-fourth of the degree requirements.  As a first-year student, your public performances will be limited and you will spend much of your time developing techniques in voice, dance and acting, as well as beginning your academic requirements.  After one year in the Department, Musical Theatre majors are encouraged to audition for all productions — musicals, plays, films, operas and dance concerts. 

                

What classes are offered?

 

Specialized courses are devoted to voice and performance, scene study, audition techniques, career opportunities, musical theatre history, choreography, musical theatre dance (including ballet, jazz, tap, and styles) and cabaret performance.  Supplementing these areas are general courses in theatre history, stagecraft, piano, music history, stage management, makeup, music theory and theatre analysis.   A major component of the Department during the first four semesters of enrollment is counseling to help you assess your progress and to provide guidelines for your last two years of study.  An overall performance evaluation is conducted at the end of the sophomore year.

 
 

How large is the Department?  How many people apply?

The Musical Theatre Department maintains an enrollment of approximately 84 undergraduate students.  There is no graduate program. 

Each fall, 22-24 new students are admitted from the approximately 700 who apply. 

                         RAGTIME

                                                                                                  RAGTIME

 

What performance opportunities are available?

Michigan offers extraordinary performance outlets.  Revues, Broadway musicals, operettas, new and experimental works — all of these are part of the daily life of a Musical Theatre student.  Productions presented by the Department have ranged from a lavish revue saluting the music of Broadway composer Cy Coleman (Sweet Charity, City of Angels, The Life) to the world premiere of a musical by Sheldon Harnick (Fiddler on the Roof) and Joe Raposo entitled A Wonderful Life, based on the popular Jimmy Stewart film.  The Department presented the first revival since Broadway of the legendary Kurt Weill/Alan Jay Lerner 1948 musical, Love Life. Other shows have included A Chorus Line (directed by Tim Millett, who played Zach on Broadway), 42nd Street (directed by Debra Ann Draper, who was the dance captain for the Broadway production), Sunday in the Park with George, and The Most Happy Fella.  Another production, Quilt, inspired by stories connected with the AIDS memorial quilt, has music composed by U-M graduate Michael Stockler.  Department students also participated in a staged reading on campus of the new musical Summer of '42, written by two graduates, David Kirshenbaum and Hunter Foster.
        

In addition, Musical Theatre majors often participate in MUSKET shows (student-produced musicals), Basement Arts shows, Gilbert and Sullivan Society operettas, faculty-directed plays, and  productions by the Ann Arbor Civic Theatre as well as the Michigan Opera Theatre. The University is also affiliated with the Purple Rose Theatre in Chelsea, Michigan, headed by actor Jeff Daniels.
      

A particular strength of the U-M is the variety of theatres in which students perform, ranging from an intimate arena theatre to a modern, 1,300-seat theatre with a proscenium stage.

         

              

 

Will there be opportunities for me other than in performance?             

The Musical Theatre faculty encourages students who show aptitude to pursue other areas of interest, such as composition, stage direction, choreography and the writing of lyrics and librettos.  In addition,  students need to learn as much as possible about  backstage areas of production.  You will have many opportunities to learn technical theatre skills, such as painting, scene design, costuming, makeup and property construction.  You may also serve as an assistant to a director.

 

What will my options be after graduation?         

    

No single route is followed by graduates of the Musical Theatre Department.  Many pursue careers in New York City or Los Angeles; some go on to graduate study, while others work in not-for-profit theatres or in television.  A major advantage of the degree is the Senior Showcase, in which graduating seniors present scenes and songs for agents and casting directors in New York City.
       

Recent graduates have appeared in the Broadway or touring productions of The Book of Mormon, Kinky Boots, Hair, Les Misérables, Cinderella, Dreamgirls, Jersey Boys, Wicked, Show Boat, The Lion King, Bullets over Broadway, Miss Saigon, Mamma Mia!, Aladdin, Motown the Musical, The Secret Garden, Forever Plaid, The Will Rogers Follies, Side Show, The Phantom of the Opera, Ragtime, Fosse, Fiddler on the Roof, Footloose, State Fair, Cats, Rent, Titanic, The Scarlet Pimpernel, Beauty and the Beast, Candide, and Carousel, as well as in not-for-profit theatres such as the Old Globe Theatre, the Goodspeed Opera House, the McCarter Theatre, the Guthrie Theatre, Theatreworks USA, and the Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera.

BRIGADOON

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What about master classes with Musical Theatre professionals? Do guest teachers work with the students?

We maintain extensive ties with the professional theatre community.  As a student at Michigan, you will meet many people with active and important careers in the field.  Guests have included:


       Gene Kelly
       Debbie Reynolds
       Jack O’Brien (Broadway director, artistic director of the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego, and a U-M graduate)

Andre De Shields (The  Wiz, Ain’t Misbehavin')
       Frank Rich (former theatre critic for The New York Times)
       Sheldon Harnick (lyricist of Fiddler on the Roof, Fiorello!, The Apple Tree)
       Cy Coleman (composer of Sweet Charity, City of Angels, The Life)
       Maureen McGovern (popular recording artist and stage performer)
       John Cullum (Northern Exposure, On a Clear Day..., Shenandoah, On the Twentieth Century)
       Barbara Cook (The Music Man, Candide, She Loves Me)
       Hal Cooper (Hollywood director of All in the Family, Maude, The Dick  Van Dyke Show,

              The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Gilligan’s Island, and a U-M graduate)
       Armelia McQueen (Ghost, Ain’t Misbehavin’)
      
       Stuart Ostrow (Broadway producer of Pippin, The Apple Tree, 1776, M. Butterfly)
       Michael Maguire (Tony Award-winner for Les Misérables and a U-M graduate)
       David Craig (renowned teacher of Musical Theatre performance technique)
       Pat McCorkle (New York Casting Director)
       Richard Maltby and David Shire (Big, Closer than Ever)
       Patti LuPone (Evita, Master Class, Sunset Boulevard)
       Susan Stroman (Choreographer of Crazy for  You, Show Boat, Steel Pier)
       Representatives from Johnson-Liff Casting, and Jay Binder Casting
       Mark Simon (Livent US Casting Director) and Jeffrey Huard (Livent Senior Musical Supervisor), New York City
       Jim Walton (Merrily  We Roll Along, And the  World Goes 'Round, Sweeney Todd)
       Jim Brennan and Karen Ziemba (Crazy for  You)
       Ben Whiteley (Musical director, national tours of Falsettos, Big, and Grand Hotel,U-M graduate )
       Malcolm Ewen (Stage manager of Paul Simon’s Capeman and of Steppenwolf  Theatre Company)
       Jeffrey Seller (Producer of Rent, Avenue Q and a U-M graduate)

       Alan Eisenberg (Executive Director of Actors' Equity)

 

GUYS AND DOLLS

GUYS AND DOLLS

 

What shows has the Department produced over the years?

 

A Tradition of Great Musical Theatre!

2013-14

A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC

A TRIBUTE TO JACK O'BRIEN

ROMEO & JULIET

LES MISERABLES

2012-13

SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH GEORGE

BAT BOY

THE LARAMIE PROJECT

CRAZY FOR YOU

2011-12

THE FULL MONTY

LITTLE WOMEN, the musical

SPRING AWAKENING

CHICAGO

 

2010-11

INTO THE WOODS

GIBSON FLECK

MY COUNTRY'S GOOD

BRIGADOON

 

2009-10

EVITA

SEE ROCK CITY

ALL'S WELL THAT ENDS WELL

RAGTIME

 

2008-09

RENT

ELLA MINNOW PEA

UNDER MILK WOOD

MT DEPARTMENT 25th ANNIVERSARY GALA CONCERT

42ND STREET

 

2007-08

BIG RIVER

A GOOD BOY

CAUCASIAN CHALK CIRCLE

CAROUSEL

2006-07

THE PAJAMA GAME

THE PERSUIT OF PERSEPHONE

THE WHO'S TOMMY

2005-06

THE BOYS FROM SYRACUSE

COMPANY

SEUSSICAL

2004-05

A CHORUS LINE

CITY OF ANGELS

THE WATER (premiere)

 

2003-04

GUYS & DOLLS

JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR

LUCK (premiere)

 

2002-03

CHILDREN OF EDEN

MERRILY WE ROLL ALONG

OKLAHOMA!

 

2001-02

GOOD NEWS

NINE

PARADE

2000-01

OF THEE I SING

ASSASSINS

SIDE SHOW

1999-2000

A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC

CASINO PARADISE

CABARET

1998-99

ANYTHING GOES

CANDIDE

1997-98

SWEENEY TODD

WEST SIDE STORY

1996-97

THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD

THE MUSIC MAN

1995-96

OH COWARD!

GRAND HOTEL

1994-95

SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH GEORGE

42ND STREET

1993-94

QUILT

THE MOST HAPPY FELLA

1992-93

A DAY IN HOLLYWOOD, A NIGHT IN THE UKRAINE

BRIGADOON

1991-92

COMPANY

PAL JOEY

1990-91

A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC

INTO THE WOODS

1989-90

IF MY FRIENDS COULD SEE ME NOW:  A Tribute to Cy Coleman

THE THREEPENNY OPERA

1988-89

A CHORUS LINE

DRAGONS

1987-88

A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM

ON THE TOWN

1986-87

DOONESBURY

LOVE LIFE   (1st Revival since Broadway 1948)

1985-86

A WONDERFUL LIFE (premiere)

1984-85

I'VE HEARD THAT SONG BEFORE:  A Tribute to Jule Styne

 

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Photography Credits:

U-M Photo Services

Joe Welsh

Peter Smith

David Smith

Glen Behring

Tom Bower

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