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On the Town 1

Training in Musical Theatre

MUSICAL THEATRE TODAY is an impressive art form. From Sydney to Helsinki, Tokyo to Berlin, capacity audiences attest to the popularity of musicals created on the stages of Broadway and the West End. It is the most collaborative of all the arts, bringing together the composer, lyricist, playwright, choreographer, conductor, designer and performer in a unique way. Its emphasis is on the imagination and on bringing together the interpretative arts.

Whereas drama often relies on the spoken word for its effect, musical theatre encourages the use of other techniques to project dramatic ideas. It makes song, dance and gesture an essential part of the creative and interpretive process. So, in West Side Story Tony and Maria can sing of a better place "somewhere," in A Chorus Line Cassie can express her love of dance through movement and in The Fantasticks the Mute can move us to tears without saying a word.

It is difficult to predict coming trends in musical theatre or to delineate the skills needed by the successful performers of the future. Broadway shows of the past decade have utilized a startling diversity of talents. Contact, The Phantom of the Opera, Starlight Express, City of Angels and Pacific Overtures have demanded of their casts powerful dance skills, operatic voices, prowess in roller-skating, jazz improvisation and a knowledge of the Kabuki stage, as well as the talent for capturing universal emotions in sound and movement. Today, a young performer wishing to pursue a career in musical theatre should be able to sing and dance and act with technical mastery and craft. And that is the minimum requirement!

ON THE WEB SITE Talkin' Broadway, Scott Cain wrote of our musical theatre program, "CCM's program consistently produces some of the most talented and well-trained collegians in the nation." This is our stated mission. A professional training program such as the one at CCM is designed to help singers, dancers, and actors become "triple threats"— imaginative, creative, and capable of bringing their talent and intellect to bear on a popular art form — vocally, physically, intellectually and emotionally. If we had a Musical Theatre t-shirt, it would read: Act while you Sing; Sing while you Act; Dance when the spirit moves you. For us, that is the true philosophy of the triple-threat performer.

AT CCM, training in musical theatre is not about being famous or becoming a star. It is about learning to work in ways that contribute positively to the art of musical theatre. It is about freeing our own creativity, establishing a love of "the art in ourselves" and building a lasting appreciation for the performing arts.

"The Musical Theatre program at CCM appears to be a great fit for me and I would like nothing more than to be a part of it. The quality and strength of the training, the facilities and the current students blew me away. The alumni list alone is spectacular! I love the fact that the program is so focused and I look forward to taking on the challenge of living and breathing musical theatre with you."              

from an unsolicited letter of thanks following Program Auditions in Cincinnati

Meet Our Students

 

 

 

 

Introducing
Our Alumni

Ashley Brown

Ashley Brown
Class of 2004

Aaron Lazar

Aaron Lazar
MFA, 2000

Shoshana Bean

Shoshana Bean
Class of 1999

 

Photo Credits

Banner Top: Matt Risch, Eric Santagata and Kyle McDaniel in On the Town.