Musical Theater Studies

UW launches new degree pro­gram in Musi­cal Theatre

Start­ing in fall 2013, the Uni­ver­sity of Washington’s Col­lege of Arts and Sci­ences will offer a new Bach­e­lor of Arts (BA) degree in Musi­cal The­atre. This program–a col­lab­o­ra­tion between the Dance Pro­gram, School of Music and School of Drama–is designed to cul­ti­vate and nur­ture the cre­ative artistry of highly moti­vated stu­dents who wish to develop their com­bined tal­ent as vocal­ists, actors and dancers.

The Musi­cal The­atre pro­gram is offered through the Col­lege of Arts and Sci­ences Indi­vid­u­al­ized Stud­ies pro­gram. Stu­dents will expe­ri­ence a dynamic pro­gram of course­work, performance-based projects, fac­ulty and student-directed pro­duc­tions, and spe­cial work­shops with guest artists and instruc­tors. Because of the inter­dis­ci­pli­nary nature of the degree, this BA also enables stu­dents to pur­sue a dou­ble major within most schools at UW.

“The goal of the pro­gram is to offer an intense and dynamic cur­ricu­lum that equips our grad­u­ates with the skills nec­es­sary to become well-rounded musi­cal the­atre artists,” said pro­gram lead Wil­son Mendieta.

In addi­tion to hon­ing stu­dents’ per­for­mance skills, Mendi­eta plans to focus on skills needed out­side the stu­dio like mar­ket­ing, man­age­ment, sell­ing and nego­ti­at­ing skills–all inte­gral to ensur­ing a sus­tained career. “What I hope stu­dents take away from the pro­gram, besides their honed tal­ents, are the skills that will make employ­ers want to rehire them, cou­pled with an entre­pre­neur­ial per­spec­tive on how to man­age their per­form­ing careers,” said Mendieta.

Mendi­eta, a 2013 Mas­ter of Fine Arts (MFA) grad­u­ate of the UW Dance Pro­gram, is a Broad­way vet­eran with a wide range of per­for­mance cred­its, includ­ing “Jose” in Man of La Man­cha, “Salim” in Bom­bay Dreams and “Harry” in Chicago. He also has exten­sive teach­ing and musi­cal the­atre expe­ri­ence at places such as Uni­ver­sity of Min­nesota, Tisch School of the Arts, Steps on Broad­way, Dance New Ams­ter­dam, and Col­lab­o­ra­tive Arts Project 21.

Stu­dents inter­ested in admis­sion to the Musi­cal The­atre Pro­gram are required to audi­tion, with audi­tions begin­ning Sept. 23. Pre­req­ui­sites include Drama 251 and one of the fol­low­ing dance courses: Dance 110, 111, 112, 107, 108, 109, or any 200-level dance/musical the­atre course. For more infor­ma­tion or to sched­ule an audi­tion, please con­tact Wil­son Mendi­eta at wilsonm1@uw.edu.