Boston Conservatory at Berklee's musical theater program is recognized internationally for training leading artists on and off Broadway, on television, and in film. Working closely with a faculty comprising Broadway veterans and theater professionals, students receive rigorous training—in acting, dance, and voice—designed to develop them into well-rounded artists prepared to take on any role. Recent guest artists include the acclaimed Adam Guettel (The Light in the Piazza—two Tony Awards), Nick Adams (Priscilla, Queen of the Desert), Susan Stroman (five Tony Awards), and Andrew Lippa (Tony Award and Grammy Award nominee), to name a few.
In addition to stage experience and classroom study designed to build a strong theater foundation and expand students' perspectives, a large portion of the program is devoted to establishing a professional network. From day one, students are encouraged to build valuable relationships with mentors, peers, and Boston's vibrant theater community, positioning them to take advantage of the many professional opportunities that the city offers.
What It Takes to Succeed
Boston Conservatory musical theater students are driven by the desire to shape the future of the art form and inspire generations of actors, dancers, singers, and theatergoers. Deeply aware of the commitment required to be successful in this program and in the industry at large, they dedicate themselves to such rigorous training in order to reach their full potential as artists. They are intensely focused in their individual pursuit of technical and artistic command, but are also socially conscious and seek out opportunities to grow as community leaders. They value their peers as artists and collaborators working together to present high-quality productions that resonate with modern audiences.
The four-year curriculum of the B.F.A. in Musical Theater is demanding and aimed to arm students with a variety of techniques and styles for acting, dancing, and singing. With a focus on performance, students have opportunities throughout their four years to perform in mainstage productions, student- and faculty-produced black box shows, annual revues, cabarets, showcases, and collaborative student productions.
In the first two years of the program, students move through a four-semester progression of foundational courses in acting, dance (ballet, jazz, and tap), movement on stage, voice and speech, musical theater repertoire, ear training, and piano. They also receive weekly private voice lessons with notable Conservatory voice faculty. Through crew assignments for mainstage productions, students gain an intimate understanding of off-stage work and the many details of running a show. At the same time, students begin to audition and perform in various Conservatory and Boston-area productions.
In their junior and senior years, students refine the skills they have acquired in their first two years and delve deeper into acting, dance, and voice specialties. For example, students take courses in directing to develop leadership skills and gain insight into shaping a production. Students also work closely with faculty to hone their audition techniques so they can begin auditioning successfully in theater hubs like New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago.
Alumni of the Conservatory's musical theater program are Tony Award–nominated actors, directors, and producers who are performing and directing on and off Broadway, on regional stages, on television, and in film. Some alumni are songwriters or pursuing other artistic and theatrical endeavors regionally and nationally. Some alumni include:
- Nick Adams (B.F.A. '05, musical theater), winner of two Broadway.com Audience Choice Awards for Priscilla, Queen of the Desert
- Erin Davie (B.F.A. '00, musical theater), lead in Broadway's Side Show and performer in A Little Night Music
- Josh Grisetti (B.F.A. '04, musical theater), winner of the Theatre World Award for Outstanding Debut Performance for Enter Laughing (originally titled Song Long, 174th Street), which also garnered award nominations from Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, Lucille Lortel, and Drama League
- Chad Kimball (B.F.A. '99, musical theater), nominated for a Tony Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Musical for Memphis
- Rachael MacFarlane ('95-'98, musical theater), voice of Hayley Smith on the hit FOX/TBS television show, American Dad
- Katharine McPhee (B.F.A. '06, musical theater), American Idol sensation and lead in NBC's television series Smash
- Alysha Umphress (B.F.A. '04, musical theater), lead in Broadway's revival of Bernstein's On the Town