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At a glance: Musical Theatre
Ohio Northern is one of the few universities in the state offering a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Musical Theatre. This program is a more focused course of study (in voice, acting, and dance) yet still grounded in a liberal arts education that prepares students to be working professionals. The program works similarly to the structured discipline of a professional theatre. Visit the department's web site.
Casting is based on auditions/talent with class ranking not being a factor.
The program is enhanced by the integration of nationally recognized guest artists affording the student a variety of approaches to the work and an opportunity to begin to develop a network within the profession.
Senior Students are encouraged to attend national auditions for professional theatrical work as well as graduate schools.
Each year the graduating class in Musical Theatre travels to New York or Chicago to present a showcase for agents and casting directors. The senior showcase blends musical numbers, dance, and monologues into a cohesive whole.
The Freed Center for the Performing Arts is a modern facility with the latest equipment, including:
- A 550-seat proscenium theatre and 132-seat studio theatre
- Dance/rehearsal room, scenic and costume shops, and academic and performance support spaces
- “Smart” classrooms equipped with current instructional technology
- State-of-the-art computer lab
Theta Alpha Phi – national theatre honorary
The BA in theatre has been a stepping stone for a wide range of opportunities for ONU students. They have secured internships and employment in areas such as acting, stage management, children’s theatre (Missoula Children’s Theatre), theatre administration (Washington, D.C.,’s Imagination Stage and the La Jolla Playhouse) and at casting agencies. ONU theatre majors have also been accepted to an array of highly rated law schools (such as William and Mary) and have pursued a variety of careers in communication arts and business.
The BFA program in international theatre production (ITP) enjoys a very high rate of placement for its graduates seeking either employment or further education at the graduate level. ONU’s frequent hosting of guest artists enables many of its technical students to secure useful professional contacts, and sometimes employment, before graduating. Graduates from the ITP program have worked at such prestigious theatres as the Cleveland Playhouse, Actors Theatre of Harlem and the Utah Shakespeare Festival. They have been accepted to some of the most competitive graduate programs for theatre and design, including the Yale School of Drama and Carnegie Mellon University.
All theatre arts degree programs prepare students for exciting careers or graduate school opportunities. Students graduating with the BFA in musical theatre have enjoyed significant success in finding professional work, internships and graduate school placement. They have worked at many prestigious, nationally recognized theatres, including La Jolla Playhouse in California, the Goodman Theatre in Chicago and the Denver Center for the Arts in Colorado. They have performed in national tours such as Scrooge, Kiss Me Kate, Beauty and the Beast and Sesame Street. Musical theatre majors occasionally focus their career paths in the area of dance; students graduating with a minor in dance have worked professionally as dancers or instructors.