Are you a junior or senior in high school and are considering but aren't really sure about following a career in theatre, acting, singing, or Broadway?
If so, continue reading because we're about to break down all the benefits you'll gain from theatre and we have a list of places where you could go study.
As a student, the best way to make up your mind on what major and career to pick is by researching the pros and cons, knowing about any university, school, or college you could apply to, knowing your skills, and taking advantage of all the opportunities in your path.
If you want a career in Broadway you should get a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA). The BFA is an undergraduate university degree specialized in various aspects of acting and performing. The program focuses on training students in acting, movement, voice, and speech as well as actively participating in program productions.
Continue reading about this subject on Favorite musicals of all time.
Why you should study musical theatre
First, before we tell you about choosing degrees or majors that will take you to Broadway, know that you should pick a major that will fulfill your life's passion. If you love to act and dance, continue reading!
We will tell you about the benefits of learning about performance and theatre either if you're planning to study musical theatre, want to become a professional actor and work on Broadway, or if you just want to take a course and see if you have acting or dancing skills.
Singing is incredibly beneficial for your mind and body
If you want to be a professional singer, work as a backup in a Broadway production, or just want to sing as a hobby, you better know the benefits this activity will have on your brain and body.
Taking a course or many courses on musical theatre can be highly beneficial because it can raise your levels of endorphins — known as the happy hormones— and give you more energy, confidence, and better health.
It will also give you better physical health because during a performance you'll be asked to sing, dance, and act all at the same time. With hours and days of training, after a year in a performing course, you'll have the ability to run a marathon!
You will learn some impressive vocal techniques
In musical theater, singing is very diverse, and at an audition, you'll be asked to show the range of your voice. You're going to spend hours in a studio learning how to reach really high and really low notes. You'll learn and work to make your voice do things you can't even imagine.
You will learn better communication skills
Professional performing is all about telling the story of your character and have people believe you are the character you're playing. Learning how to embody feelings, expressions, and movements will turn you into a really good communicator.
Musical theatre helps with your confidence
People that only have some hours of stage time are way more confident than those who don't. Imagine if your job involves being on a stage or a studio, you will be a really confident person.
Being able to speak in public is one of the most desired skills in today's job market, and if you can do it from an early age, you'll have many more opportunities than someone who doesn't know how to speak in public.
Musical theatre courses are also about accountability
Handling a production as large and complicated as a play teaches students how to be accountable. Students will work on large productions with many people involved including cast, crew, production and creative teams, and more.
You'll become a hardcore project manager and collaborator. The responsibility of each member of a play is as big as anyone else's. Through musical theatre you'll learn to collaborate, find common ground with people from all backgrounds and gain an understanding of everyone’s individual contribution to the team as a whole.
Learn more about musicals in our article Musicals at a Glance.
Where you should study musical theatre
Picking a good school with a good program in your area of study is probably one of the most important decisions you'll have to make as a young adult. If you want to make it to Broadway, you have to find a school that is going to catapult you to your dreams.
We've listed below the schools that offer amazing programs for theatre and we're not only talking about the years you'll be there. These programs are known for providing students with a skill set desired by musical theatre, post-college prep, and opportunities — every year you're there and after.
- University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM)
- Baldwin-Wallace University
- Ithaca College
- Penn State University
- Carnegie Mellon University
- Pace University
- Boston Conservatory at Berklee
- Elon University
- University of Michigan
- Syracuse University
Theory and subjects you'll learn in a Bachelor of Fine Arts
The Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree is different than the Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree because with the BFA program you'll receive an education with a strong studio component, and the BA is structured around a classroom.
Students getting a degree in fine arts are most likely interested in one of the following career paths:
- Musical theatre
- Game design or computer animation
- Creative writing
- Dramatic writing
- Film production
- Visual effects
- Graphic design or industrial design
- Technical arts
- Stage management
- Television production
This degree traditionally takes four years to complete, some programs make it shorter or longer, it all depends on each of the students and the amount of studio coursework required.
If you like musicals but you don't really know much about them, we recommend you read our article Learning about musicals.
Difference between musicals in theater and film
Musicals in theatre and the film industry are very different from each other, and as a student, you can learn to do both but it won't be easy. Although the music can be very similar, and so can the audition process, the skills can vary.
In the film industry, you'll be required to act with a camera as far and as close to you as possible. There are many different angles and you have to be comfortable in front of a camera and a crew. However, in theatre, you'll be in front of a live audience.
Another difference is the method of acting. In a film, you won't be required to have a powerful voice so that the people in the back can hear you; you can have a really high or low tone and won't have to worry.
In theatre, your voice must be heard in every corner of the theater, which makes your acting more demanding and challenging.
Finally, in theatre, you have to be comfortable with quick costume changes from one scene to another. On the other hand, in a film, you don't have to worry about changing clothes quickly from one take to another.
If you're looking to create the best playlist with music from musicals read about it on Popular favorite songs from musicals.