Stand Up and Be Heard!

As Western continues to expand and grow its reputation as one of the premiere higher learning institutions in a multitude of disciplines, it’s only natural that the university would be the first in the state to offer a Bachelor of Arts in musical theatre beginning in fall 2010.

“We have been attracting a lot of theatre students with backgrounds in acting, singing and dancing,” said theatre arts department chairman Sal Trapani. “As we added musical theatre classes, students began clamoring for more and more musical theatre instruction. After a long process, we have come up with what we think is a groundbreaking and unique program.”

With a specialized degree in collaboration with the university’s music department, the musical theatre program will give students a comprehensive knowledge of and training in all aspects of musical theatre. The program will include acting, dance training, individual voice instruction, music theory, keyboard competency, auditioning techniques, voice and diction and theatre history.

The program is unique, Trapani says, because it offers not only training and performance experience in New York City and internationally but also will provide contact with industry professionals from musical powerhouses all over the world.

“There is no other school in the country that offers the training and the performance opportunities that we do — with a very caring and professional faculty at public university prices,” Trapani said. “WestConn has all the attributes of a small private institution. The hallmarks of our program are professionalism and a commitment to excellence. This is an exciting time for us. The new degree program is going to make us less of a well-kept secret and more of a force in musical theatre education nationally.”

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A collaboration between the department of theatre arts and the department of music has yielded several show-stopping musical-theatre productions. "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas" was a highlight of the 2010-11 season.

"Seussical, The Musical" wowed audiences.