As part of the Ira Brind School of Theater Arts community at the University of the Arts, you’ll study on Philadelphia’s famed Avenue of the Arts, home to the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, the Academy of Music, the Wilma Theater, the Suzanne Roberts Theatre and the Merriam Theater, and within three blocks of the Forrest Theatre, the Walnut Street Theatre, and the Theatre at the Drake, home to four resident companies.

In additional to having numerous performance opportunities right here in UArts' Brind School (starting your freshman year), you'll also benefit from the city’s rich theater community, whether it’s through master classes, internships or jobs after graduation. The city of Philadelphia provides an almost endless number of opportunities for practicing your craft in more than 100 performance venues (dozens of them within walking distance); you’ll take regular trips to New York City—less than two hours away—or travel abroad to immerse yourself in the international theater scene.

Sydney K Banks Headshot
Sydney K Banks

'19

Theater - Musical Theater (BFA)
Hometown: Baltimore, Maryland
Brady Fritz headshot
Brady Fritz

'19

Theater - Musical Theater (BFA)
Hometown: Bel Air, Maryland
Rose Pell Headshot Musical Theater
Rose Pell

'22

Theater - Musical Theater (BFA)
Hometown: Orange County, California

Experience the passion and creativity of young artists on the threshold of professional success. See this season's lineup of shows.

On Stage

You’ll learn from a faculty of professional actors, directors, singing coaches and choreographers—among them a Tony Award nominee and multiple Barrymore Award winners—many of whom coach the pros as well. 

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Alex bechtel head shot
Alex Bechtel

Theater - Musical Theater (BFA)
Actor, composer, sound designer, writer, director
Charlie Gilbert
Charlie Gilbert

Theater - Musical Theater (BFA)
Composer and lyricist whose shows have been produced in New York and Philadelphia.

Sample Courses in the Musical Theater Major

First Year
Ballet Dance Practice (by placement)
Survey of Theater Arts
Scenic & Prop Technology or Costume Technology
Acting Studio I
Music Skills I & Music Skills Lab
Musical Theater Performance: Introduction
Voice Lesson for Musical Theater
Writing I Placement
Jazz Dance Practice (by placement)
Tap Dance Practice (by placement)
Acting Studio II
Music Skills II & Music Skills Lab
Musical Theater Performance: Foundation
Voice Lesson for Musical Theater
Writing II Placement
Script Analysis

Second Year
Ballet Dance Practice (by placement)
Jazz Dance Practice & Tap Dance Practice (both by placement)
Crew
Acting Studio: Technique I
Music Skill III & Music Skills Lab
Musical Theater Performance: Principles of Singing Acting I
Voice Lesson for Musical Theater
Language & Diction for Singing Actor
Theater History I
Acting Studio: Technique II
Music Skills IV & Music Skills Lab
Advanced Music Skills Lab
Musical Theater Performance: Principles of Singing Acting II
Voice Lesson for Musical Theater
Theater History II
Thinking through Science

Third Year
Musical Theater Dance Repertory
Acting Studio: Poetic Realism
Musical Theater Styles: Solos & Scenes I
Voice Lesson for Musical Theater
Critical Studies (your choice)
Production Hours
Musical Theater Dance Repertory II
Musical Theater Styles: Solos & Scenes II
The Singing Instrument
Voice Lesson for Musical Theater

Fourth Year
Business of Theater
Musical Theater Dance Auditioning
Musical Theater Performance: Professional Prep
Voice Lesson for Musical Theater
Critical Studies (your choice)
Production Hours
Free elective (your choice)
 

About the Curriculum

The Musical Theater Program in the University of the Arts' Brind School prepares students as artists in the musical theater or for continued study in graduate school. Students receive the same acting technique training as acting majors as well as  training in vocal technique, musicianship, dance, movement, musical theater performance techniques and study of musical theater repertoire in print, recordings, rehearsal and performance.

Graduates of the Musical Theater program will demonstrate all the competencies of the Acting major and will also:

  • Effectively analyze song content and structure, identify dramatic conflict, and craft [strong] choices of objective, obstacle and tactic that serve both the needs of the script and score, and the artist’s individuality.
  • Communicate authentically, specifically, and expressively within the given circumstances of a song or musical scene.
  • Be able to reveal both a strong sense of self and a strong sense of character in performance as the material demands.
  • Be able to reveal both a strong sense of self and a strong sense of character in performance as the material demands.
  • Be able to read/learn music independently based on a solid understanding of pitch and rhythm as well as musical form with adequate mastery at the piano for the purpose of learning music.
  • Demonstrate a dynamic, healthy, and expressive singing voice that reveals the artist’s unique individuality, while technically meeting the nuanced needs of the material they sing.
  • Be able to read/learn music independently based on a solid understanding of pitch and rhythm as well as musical form; have adequate mastery at the piano for the purpose of learning music.
  • Be an articulate and expressive dancer with a technical foundation in ballet, jazz, tap and partnering; have clear understanding of the dance styles encountered in musical theater; learn steps quickly and execute choreography in all major musical theater styles.

Explore the full curriculum

UArts' Brind School Musical Theater alumni can be found on Broadway, in Hollywood, in London’s West End, and in successful careers in every sector of the theater industry.  

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Lucas Steele facing the camera in a striped white shirt and black leather
Lucas Steele

BFA 2001

Theater - Musical Theater (BFA)
2017 Tony Award nominee
Sarah Bolt
Sarah Bolt

BFA '03

Theater - Musical Theater (BFA)
Broadway productions of "Wicked" and "Sister Act"
Head shot of Rory Donovan
Rory Donovan

BFA '11

Theater - Musical Theater (BFA)
"Finding Neverland" and "Elf" on Broadway

The Ira Brind School of Theater Arts is committed to developing the individual artistic voice of each student: You will develop both skills and an expanded point of view. Further, you’ll graduate a fearless, innovative and adaptable creator, ready to engage the medium and the world with a strong sense of yourself as a citizen artist.

The Brind School is tailored for those who want to head to Broadway and those who are intent on challenging the status quo. Our faculty includes 60 instructors, the majority of which are current theater professionals. Additionally, alumni regularly return to UArts as educators and hold central positions in Philadelphia’s theater culture, extending your creative community far beyond campus. 

We celebrate acting instruction as the focal point of training in both the Acting and Musical Theater programs, and emphasize vocal and physical training as principal support areas. Our Theater Design and Technology and Directing, Playwriting and Production programs also focus on technique supported by extended collaborative learning opportunities in production. Opportunities abound for master classes, guest speakers, internships and apprenticeships with both nationally prominent guest artists and Philadelphia’s many professional companies.

Through its dozens of performances each year–including the annual Polyphone Festival of New and Emerging Musicals–the Brind School is both a school and a producing company. We present an annual season of work which includes projects led by students, faculty and renowned guest artists from the national and local theater scenes. Auditions are open to all Brind School students.

Venues and Learning and Practice Spaces 

The Brind School is primarily located in the Terra Building at 211 S. Broad St. Spaces include seminar rooms and classrooms, as well as studios for individual voice, speech, dance, movement and acting instruction. 

We also utilize five public performance venues.

  • ArtsBank Theater: 230 seats
  • Laurie Beechman Cabaret Theater: 60 seats
  • Caplan Recital Hall: 200 seats
  • Caplan Studio Theater: 90 seats
  • Levitt Auditorium: 700 seats

A production shop, a costume shop, a design studio, a lighting lab, areas for both property and costume stock, and a fully equipped video editing studio round out the comprehensive theater experience Brind provides.

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