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BFA in Musical Theatre

Overview: 

The division of Acting and Musical Theatre offers a comprehensive approach to learning about the art and business of a professional actor. The BFA in Musical Theatre aims to prepare graduates to engage and persist in pursuit of a career as a professional actor in musical theatre. Specific goals of enrichment include the ability to observe, reflect and express their craft in service to the larger community.

Expected Learning Outcomes: 

At the completion of the BFA Musical Theatre a student will:

  1. Employ a broad range of acting knowledge including the ability to create characters convincingly and project one’s self believably in word and action into imaginary circumstances of the musical.
  2. Demonstrate analytical and performance skills required in musicals and plays from various genres and style periods.
  3. Demonstrate the acquisition of advanced technical proficiency in voice and speech, including the production of clear articulate and expressive speech, the ability to demonstrate phonetic transcription and versification skills.
  4. Demonstrate the acquisition of advanced technical proficiency in movement.
  5. Comprehend of the basic business procedures of the actor’s profession, including auditions, resumes and professional representation.
  6. Demonstrate advanced technical proficiency in singing, including vocal range, pitch, breath support and vocal styles.
  7. Demonstrate advanced technical proficiency in musicality, including skill in the understanding of written rhythm, written music and musical forms.
Assessment Activities: 

Mid/End of Year Evaluation

In order to assess Learning Outcomes, all BFA Acting students are reviewed at the end of the fall semester. At the end of the spring semester, freshmen and sophomores perform a prepared audition to demonstrate the skills that they learned in the year just completed. Students who show a comprehension of the learning and progress towards the learning outcomes listed above are advanced to the next year of the program. Juniors are reviewed at the end of both the fall and spring semesters. The Mid/End-of-Year Evaluation assesses student progress according to the identified learning outcomes based on faculty assessments and individual interviews between students and the entire Acting and Musical Theatre faculty. Mid/End-of-Year Evaluation forms are used to indicate areas of relative strength as well as weakness and are used as part of the ongoing assessment of student progress and success at the completion of each year. The faculty reviews the combined Mid/End-of-Year Evaluations each year to identify trends across the student population. The discussion and responses to the issues raised by the evaluations determine if changes need to be made to the program. Special consideration is given to questions of effectiveness and results that strengthen curricula. The Mid/End-of-Year Evaluation form also allows the faculty to track the progress of individual students from the time of their entrance through to graduation.

Mid/End of Year Evaluation Form

Assessment Findings: 

We are pleased to note that all of our outcomes measurements have risen in the past year.  This is due to having a full slate of Acting/Musical Theatre faculty in place.  The addition of a movement specialist has allowed us to offer dance classes within the School of Theatre, Film and Television, in addition to the dance classes that we require students to take in the Dance department.  Further, the addition of a tenure-track Acting faculty member has allowed the students to receive coaching and training from even more perspectives as they progress from the fundamentals of acting in their freshman year through specialized styles and skills in their junior and senior year.  We will continue to improve these outcomes as the new faculty members have more opportunities to work with students over multiple years in their training.

It should be noted that, while overall assessment scores are generally in the mid-70s, this is reflective of the students’ progress through four years of training.  Freshman student evaluation scores generally average in the low-70s while the seniors’ evaluations scores average in the low-90s.  It is expected that the students’ mastery of these outcomes will develop a higher success rate as they progress through the program.

BFA Musical Theatre Outcomes

Outcomes

Measured

(# of criteria based on eval. form linked below)

2015

Total %’s ÷ criteria ÷ students= n/100

2016

Total %’s ÷ criteria ÷ students = n/100

2017

Total %’s ÷ criteria ÷ students = n/100

1 (6)

71.85

69.52

78.47

2 (4)

77.3

73.43

80.81

3 (4)

73.6

70.70

80.88

4 (3)

68.4

66.91

75.79

5 (3)

90.35

89.11

95.91

6 (2)

69.4

68.89

77.61

7 (2)

69.4

71.73

82.53

Indirect Student Assessment

Exit Survey BFA Musical Theatre Spring 2016 Avg. Score n=9 Spring 2017 Avg. Score n=6
I have learned to employ a broad range of acting knowledge including the ability to create characters convincingly and project myself believably in word and action into imaginary circumstance. 3.89 3.83
I have gained analytical and performance skills required in plays from various genres and style periods. 3.89 3.66
I have achieved technical proficiency in voice and speech, including the production of clear articulate and expressive speech, the ability to demonstrate phonetic transcription and versification skills. 3.78 3.17
I have gained technical proficiency in movement including the ability to use my body effectively as an instrument for characterization to create a believable physical life and a detailed score of physical action 3.56 3.44
I understand the basic business procedures of the actor's profession, including auditions, resumes and professional representation. 4 3.5
I have achieved advanced technical proficiency in singing, including vocal range, pitch, breath support and vocal styles. 3.89 3.5
I have gained advanced technical proficiency in musicality, including skill in understanding of written rhythm, written music, and musical forms. 3.06 3.33
*Score Range: 4=strongly agree    3=agree    2=disagree    1=strongly disagree    

 

Change in Response to Findings: 

For Outcome #4, we fully anticipate that these scores will rise as students have the opportunity to work with our new dance & movement specialist over the course of four years (instead of only this first year of her teaching).  Further, we continue to refine the curriculum in the Voice & Movement classes so that students are able to better integrate the classroom movement explorations into their performance work.

For Outcome #6, scoring continues to reflect the trend that the sophomore year is the time our students are most challenged (and thus, a drop in scores is seen, as the difficulty of classwork increases.)  Students in this second year of training began to learn how to use their bodies as true instruments. As the body develops new techniques and skills, old habits and youthful misconceptions are shed.  This is a time when their voice, as a singer, begins to grow substantially with all of the daily technical and performance work presented in lessons, classwork, and rehearsal.  This past year, the School was able to move our Assistant Musical Director from a three-quarters time position to full-time. This means that in the coming year, our students will have more support available to them in the classroom.  It is our hope to add a second half-time pianist to further assist in teaching and coaching song material outside of the classroom.  As we help them navigate these exciting,  if sometimes difficult, physical & vocal transitions, the addition of our new Musical Theatre Professor with a specialization in dance will help students to understand and fully integrate new physical and movement technique to kinesthetically align the voice, as well as increase power, stamina, and overall confidence.  Also, increased focus on musical theatre style and genre work in the classroom during this school year will help students to better understand the overview of historical tradition so important in this specific art form.

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PDF icon BFA MTH mid/end of year eval81.97 KB
Updated date: Wed, 09/20/2017 - 11:10