Theatre and Musical Theatre
The field of theatre – musical theatre in particular – is constantly changing and evolving, and Shenandoah Conservatory’s Musical Theatre Program is evolving as well. We are regularly reviewing our curriculum and comparing it with the demands of the industry to be sure that we provide the most cutting edge preparation for our students to go out and have long, successful careers in theatre. We are pioneers in the training of healthy pop/rock singing for musical theatre performers; we are leaders in preparing our performers to think of themselves as small business owners; and we take immense pride in the professional connections we are able to help our students forge within the industry.
- Four-year curricular track that includes Meisner training as well as other Stanislavski derivatives, a three-semester Acting Through Song sequence, Shakespeare, and Acting for the Camera coursework.
- Regular availability of faculty for private coaching.
- Four years of weekly private voice studio.
- Classical foundation applied to the contemporary needs of the musical theatre performer.
- One year of pop/rock/country/R & B styles training under a vocal pedagogy and physiology expert for healthy singing technique as well as microphone training.
- Repertoire that reflects the unique and specific audition needs of the individual student.
- Foundational work in ballet, jazz, and tap.
- A one-year Musical Theatre Dance Styles sequence in which students learn choreography from the history of musical theatre up to the present day.
- Opportunities for advanced dancers to perform concert dance as well as musical theatre dance.
OTHER PROGRAM BENEFITS:
- Audition and repertoire preparation taught and reinforced throughout the curriculum.
- Business of the business course that teaches branding and marketing for the performer; life and money management skills; networking; and web design for artists.
- Senior showcase that involves bringing major agents and casting directors to campus over the course of several weekends, during which students get one-on-one workshop time on their material with the industry guests, thus forging a relationship with them.
- Partnerships with Musical Theatre Programs in Europe (Sweden, Denmark, Germany) providing students with exchange opportunities to study abroad.
- Hands-on preparation for participation in professional theatre conferences so that students are encouraged to go out and work in the summers.
- Shenandoah Summer Music Theatre (SSMT), our own professional stock company, which produces four major musicals each summer.
- Ongoing partnership with the Tony Award-winning Signature Theatre in Arlington, VA, which has provided a professional pipeline for many students.
- A robust and diverse season consisting of 8-10 productions.
OUR RECENT ALUMNI:
- Perform in Broadway shows, including Mary Poppins, The Phantom of the Opera, Next to Normal, Wicked, Hair, and others.
- Perform in Off-Broadway shows, including Sistas, ImaginOcean, Dear Edwina, Iron Curtain, and others.
- Perform on major national tours, including Legally Blonde, Fiddler on the Roof, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Hair, Cats, The Wizard of Oz, and others.
- Perform in the Washington D.C. market at theatres such as Signature Theatre, Studio Theatre, The Washington Savoyards, and others.
- Perform regionally in professional theatres such as Flat Rock Playhouse, Charleston Stage, Thin Air Theatre, and Great Plains Theatre.
- Have won Tony Awards for producing theatre in New York as well as Helen Hayes Awards for performing in DC.
- Have networks in Chicago and Los Angeles in addition to New York City and Washington DC.
The theatre and musical theatre programs at Shenandoah prepare students for professional careers in theatre. Shenandoah's theatre and musical theatre graduates have won assistantships and fellowships for further study in professional theatre programs and graduate schools; they manage their own successful children's theatre companies; and they have appeared on Broadway, in films, television dramas and commercials, seasonal theatre companies, dinner theatres and major regional theatres in United States and Canada, and in numerous national and international tours.
The Conservatory is also home to Shenandoah Summer Music Theatre, a professional company that presents four professional, large-scale musicals with full orchestra each summer. Conservatory theatre students are given first auditions for the acting and technical company, and its music students have first auditions for the orchestra. Current students and alumni have made up the majority of the Summer Theatre's actors, technical and management workers and musicians since its inception in 1984.
Students interested in learning more about Shenandoah Conservatory who are not ready to audition, should register to attend an Open House program. Students are strongly encouraged to attend a Conservatory Audition/Open House; however, if a student is not able to attend one of these, they are welcome to attend a general Open House program. Read More
The Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting, Bachelor of Fine Arts in Costume Design, Bachelor of Fine Arts in Scenic and Lighting Design and Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre Stage Management provide an excellent balance of theatre studies with many opportunities for practical experience. All programs begin with concentrated study in the major in the first semester of the freshman year and continue to balance classes and production work or performance throughout the four-year program … Continue reading