MT at Virginia Commonwealth University?

<p>I see that VCU is not listed among MT schools here. Is there a special reason for that?</p>

<p>My son's drama coach has been saying that VCU has the best theatre department in the state (though I think he was implying "that's not saying much").</p>

<p>According to their web page, VCU does not offer a specific degree program in Musical Theatre. Only programs with dedicated academic programs in Musical Theatre are included on the "Big List," i.e, a degree in MT (BA or BFA), a specific concentration in MT, a certificate in MT, etc.</p>

<p>Looking through their course catalog, I could not find any classes in MT other than one for Stage Management of Opera and MT.</p>

<p>There are many very fine theatre programs that do musicals but have no specific MT programs that are not listed.</p>

<p>JMU has a great program. Also, George Mason has some wonderful faculty--better for a kid who is a self-starter, according to a former student of mine who majored in theater there (and is now a working actor in DC). Definitely look at JMU, though! They have a separate track for MT; both acting and MT are auditioned.</p>

<p>VCU has musical theatre course work and opportunities to perform in musicals, but it is not a musical theatre program. I have seen musicals at VCU, and they were well done, and the students were talented and well coached.</p>

<p>JMU has auditioned programs in Theatre-Performance Track (as well as other tracks in Theatre that require a portfolio review) and Musical Theatre Performance. </p>

<p>VCU is a BFA program (although it is my understanding that at the end of sophomore year students audition to remain in the BFA program and if not admitted switch to the BA track... verify with VCU). </p>

<p>JMU is a BA program that offers professionally focused training within a strong liberal arts context. </p>

<p>I teach at JMU in the Theatre and Musical Theatre programs, and have the opportunity to meet and see students audition from other schools (through my capacity as the SETC VA Screening Coordinator, and as the Artistic Director of a professional summer theatre). I also see productions at many schools in VA. There are many strong programs for Theatre and Musical Theatre in VA... and some Theatre programs (like VCU) that offer some musical theatre opportunities. There are many talented students in VA, and many are also well trained and coached. finding a program is ultimately all about fit and educational goals.</p>

<p>If your son's drama coach is in VA and is not keeping abreast of the programs in VA (and the surrounding region) and what they offer, he should probably take some time to see what is going on at the different programs in the state. </p>

<p>I have been here in VA for six years, and have been impressed with the growth in the programs in the state. There are many strong options. </p>

<p>Off the top of my head programs to look at that offer MT or MT opportunities in the region include:</p>

<p>American
Catholic
Christopher Newport
Emory & Henry
James Madison
Shenandoah
VCU</p>

<p>Many of the other schools in VA also do musicals as part of their season.</p>