Should I Major In Musical Theatre?

bfa broadway industry college Feb 22, 2023

Deciding what you will study for four (or more) years post-high school can be daunting. It can feel like you're being asked to predict a future you very much don't know anything about yet.

This feeling of uncertainty is natural, no matter what path you're envisioning for yourself for your college experience. It's unfortunately the right of passage for high schoolers anticipating graduation.

However, we are here to provide you with a guiding compass for making the decision to pursue a musical theatre degree. 

Let's first dive into the pro's of a degree in musical theatre: 

1. The Expert Training

If you're in a BFA program, it will be a rigorous, structured four-year degree program, and you'll emerge from that with specialized singing, acting, and dance training. These programs are designed for a four-year trajectory, so you'll build your skills year after year and hopefully be set up for professional success when you get out of school. 

Plus, a lot of BFA's now include what's called a "Senior Showcase", which is an introduction to the industry when you get out of school. You would get to sing or maybe do a monologue for industry casting directors, agents, and managers, and it's just a way to be introduced to the business.

2. Interpersonal Life Skills

A degree in musical theater helps build confidence, self-awareness, collaboration, public speaking, organization, critical thinking, and discipline. It's not just about singing and dancing. Well, it is, but through those avenues, you learn how to conduct yourself in a way that makes you really well-equipped to speak professionally and handle yourself well in all sorts of situations.

3. Diverse Career Options

 With a degree in musical theater, obviously, you will be able to do things like act, sing and dance. But there are so many other things you can do, which most people wish they had realized sooner than later. Chelsea went on to become a voice teacher. Or you can go on to become a producer. Or a performing arts teacher in many different areas, different ages, and different venues. You could become a designer, or a casting director. You could go into tech support, backstage, directors, music directors, choreographers, composers, writers, company managers, public speakers, or digital media experts.

And that's just within our business. When you get out of this business, there are so many other avenues you would qualify for with your huge array of new skills.

4. The Opportunity For Discourse And Dialogue

Theater really demands that we see different perspectives than our own and allows us to consider the humanity, psychology, and motivations of others. As theater professionals, we become better at discussing difficult topics from a point of empathy and we can learn how to manage conflict resolution.

The conversations you'll have in your classes about characters and understanding why they do what they do and what types of people they are and how they interact and how they resolve conflict - plays out in real life as well. 

5. The Relationships

Studying musical theater in college allows you to develop relationships in ways that you never know how it'll benefit you in the future. They could become someone who recommends you for an amazing role, or may produce a production you want to become involved with or become your business partner (like Chelsea and Cynthia!)

It's also an easy way to find, "your people" as well. Especially if you're coming from a high school environment where like you're the one kid in your town who loves musical theater. 😉

If you’re considering a different path to a career in musical theatre, one that doesn’t include a performance degree, that’s fine too! There are plenty of examples of professional performers who went to college and studied completely outside of the arts. And there are plenty of Broadway actors who didn’t go to college at all. A BFA degree, or any degree, is not a prerequisite to becoming a Broadway actor.

We would say that the only prerequisite (or at least in your very best interest!) is to have invested in top-level training and developed great relationships. It boils down to training and relationships. You need both of these things to make a go of it in the professional theatre industry.

College BFA programs are simply the most efficient, pre-packaged route to get tons of necessary training in all disciplines and develop relationships with fellow actors, future directors, and lifelong friends.

Click here if you want more information about BVC Aspire (our college prep program!) or book a free consult with us!

Click here for your copy of our FREE GUIDE to Starting the College Musical Theater Audition Process

Click here to join our Facebook group for parents and students. We host biweekly Facebook Live Office hours to answer your questions and facilitate great discussions.

If you're interested in diving deeper into this topic or exploring other interesting musical theatre conversations - check out the Broadway Vocal Coach podcast! Or check us out on Instagram, and get involved in the conversation! 

Wondering what your next step should be?

Take the Quiz

Let's Keep in Touch!

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from BVC.

We hate SPAM. We will never sell your information, for any reason.