NYCDA Musical Theater performance of Malfi

Our acting-focused two-year Musical Theater AOS Performance program delivers rigorous courses in voice, dance, acting, and theater business. Get the complete education you need to be able to work as a singer-dancer-actor onstage and onscreen.

 

Associate Degree in Occupational Studies, Musical Theater Performance*

*NYCDA is the only two-year conservatory in New York City offering an AOS degree in Musical Theater Performance.

 


Musical Theater: Platform Year

In the first year, focus is on building each of the artistic skills required of a musical theater performer. You will experience a personalized teaching approach to entry levels of Meisner, Singing Technique, Private Voice, Ballet, Music Theory. An introduction to professional theater and the history of musical theater will balance out the first semester.  At the culmination of semester one, you will participate in a rehearsal project that brings together all components of musical theater in a performance celebrating the great Broadway composers.

THE161 – Acting I: Meisner Technique

Moving through Meisner’s classic repetition exercises and into independent activities, while adding work with actions, objectives, and personalization, students learn to use craft to bring spontaneity and emotional freedom to scenes, both improvised and scripted.

4.0 Credits

THE163 – Singing Technique I

This course is designed to improve singing skills through specific exercises and song.  The technique of legit and mix are learned and applied to musical theater material.  In-class performances offer students the opportunity to use techniques learned.

1.0 Credit

THE164 – Voice and Speech I

This course will focus on the skills and techniques of efficient vocal production and the elimination of native regional dialects, while coaxing the voice into Neutral American Speech.  The use of physical and vocal exercises are used to establish the student’s connection between movement and sound.

2.0 Credits

THE165 – Private Voice I

Students are assigned a private voice teacher for a one-on-one experience that allows the student to perfect the skills introduced in Singing Technique.  Students work on vocal exercises to further develop technique, which may include legit, mix, belt and pop-rock for contemporary theater.  Students meet with their private voice teacher weekly during the semester.

1.0 Credit

THE166 – Dance: Ballet I

This course covers ballet terminology and technique. Barre, center and across the floor work are introduced. A strong emphasis is placed on the actor/dancer integrating the acting training.

2.0 Credits

THE167 – Music Theory I: Foundations

In this course the student will develop skills in sight reading.  This course incorporates sight singing, ear training, and basic pitch and musicality.

1.0 Credit

THE168 – Introduction to Professional Theater

Students are introduced to technical theater terminology, the physical layout of a performance space and its surroundings.  The types of professional theater are introduced and ethics and business models are reviewed.

1.0 Credit

THE169 – The History of Musical Theater

In this course, students learn the history of the art form, exploring landmark shows within historical eras. Influential work of the American Musical, articulating the social, historical, and commercial forces that lead to the creation of the most important musicals is discussed.

2.0 Credits

THE170 – Rehearsal Project: The Great Broadway Composers

Material from the canon of musical theater composers are assigned to each student, and their story and songs are studied in the rehearsal room, culminating in an integrated presentation and performance at the semester’s end.

3.0 Credits

THE181 – Acting II: Scene Study

In this course, students apply the principles of truth to specific text work through heightened awareness. Exploring text, preparation techniques, personal invention, and focus on believable behavior in order to achieve spontaneity and honesty are explored.

Prerequisite: THE161

Credits 3.0

THE182 – Acting the Song

With an emphasis of the performance of a song as a monologue or scene, students analyze lyrics and text, create a character and environment and learn how the musical construction of a song supports the journey of the character.

2.0 Credits

THE183 – Singing Technique II

New styles are introduced for both traditional and contemporary theater work.  The techniques addressed includes using register transitions, extending range, and musicality with melody.

Prerequisite: THE163

1.0 Credit

THE184 – Voice and Speech II

This course continues the exploration of voice & body synthesis as students expand on Neutral American Speech and the removal of native dialects.  An examination of Shakespearean text and Classical Speech furthers the actor’s skills.

Prerequisite: THE164

2.0 Credit

THE185 – Private Voice II

A continuation of the one-on-one experience with a voice teacher to perfect the skills introduced in Singing Technique. Students will advance their work on vocal exercises to further develop technique, including legit, mix, belt and pop-rock for contemporary theater.  Students meet with their private voice teacher weekly during the semester.

Prerequisite: THE165

1.0 Credit

THE186 – Dance: Ballet II

This course consists of warm-up exercises, formal ballet barre and center work with dance routines based on classic ballet repertoire. Classical ballet terms and concepts are taught as students refine their development of proper classical ballet technique.

Prerequisite: THE166

1.0 Credit

THE187 – Dance: Jazz I

Starting with warm-ups designed to stretch, align, strengthen, isolate, and create awareness of the body, the class moves through technical and stylized across the floor exercises, finishing with a jazz combination.

1.0 Credit

THE188 – Dance: Conditioning & Stretch

This course introduces students to dance conditioning: a practice that focuses on strengthening, toning, and stretching. This total body workout focuses on the different muscles needed for various genres of dance.

1.0 Credit

THE189 – Stage Combat

The focus of this eight-week class is to learn safe and dramatically effective unarmed stage combat techniques.  Fundamental safety skills are stressed, as well as fighting styles common to conflict situations from all periods in history.

5 Credits

THE190 – Music Theory II: Sight Singing and Basic Piano

Skills introduced in the first semester are further developed in this course, with the goal of training students to sight sing melodies with no accompaniment, be confident readers of ensemble harmonies, and play out a melody on the piano.

Prerequisite: THE167

1.0 Credit

THE191 – Stage Makeup

This course focuses on the craft of makeup design and application of makeup design concepts. The student learns how to research and use practical application of stage make-up during this seven-week specialty class.

.5 Credits

THE192 – Performance Project: Staged Reading of a Classic Musical

The practicality of the staged reading in musical theater is addressed by giving students an opportunity to participate in a fully staged reading of a musical.  Students will audition for each reading.  Two public performances are held at the end of the rehearsal process.

3.0 Credits

 

 


Musical Theater: Performance Year

Now with a solid foundation, you will concentrate on coursework that prepares you for the professional world of musical theater, including: auditioning, monologues, cold reads and building a repertoire of songs.  The final semester introduces the on-camera musical, the dance audition, and a focus on the business of the business.  Additional dance classes and a continued focus on audition skills will prepare you for the next steps in your career as an actor. Master classes taught by visiting industry professionals, and a main stage production of a musical finalize the two year program.

THE203 – Vocal Performance II: Contemporary Songs

Students work on songs from contemporary musical theater, from musicals written in 2000 to present.

Prerequisites: Successful completion of the First Year or equivalent, THE182

2.0 Credits

THE201 – Acting III: Advanced Acting Styles

This course moves the student to create characters who are large, eccentric and truthful. Through workshops in Mask and Commedia, as well as Vocal and Physical Improvisation, verbal and physical storytelling, group collaboration, and spontaneous behavior are developed.

Prerequisites: Successful completion of the First Year or equivalent, THE161 and THE181

2.0 Credits

THE202 – Acting: Musical Theater Scene Work I

Combing the tools acquired from the platform year, students work on musical scenes. This class builds a foundation in acting the musical scene by working on selections from the Golden Age of musicals.

Prerequisites: Successful completion of the First Year or equivalent.

2.0 Credits

THE204 – Monologues & Cold Reading

In this course, actors learn how to select and approach the monologue audition and refine their audition skills through exploring a variety of materials.  Monologues suited to the individual actor are identified and cold reads utilizing film and TV sides are introduced.

Prerequisites: Successful completion of the First Year or equivalent

1.0 Credit

THE205 – Private Voice III

A continuation of the one-on-one experience with a voice teacher to further perfect the skills introduced in Singing Technique. Students will advance their work on vocal exercises to further develop technique, including legit, mix, belt and pop-rock for contemporary theater.  Students meet with their private voice teacher weekly during the semester.

Prerequisites: Successful completion of the First Year or equivalent, THE185

1.0 Credits

THE206 – Voice & Speech III: Dialects

This course will provide the actor with the ability to utilize the primary dialects found in musical theater and to understand the process of researching dialects first-hand.  Students will work in groups to research dialects found in contemporary musical theater. Replicating authentic dialects in spoken text is introduced.

Prerequisites: Successful completion of the First Year or equivalent, THE184

2.0 Credits

THE207 – Dance: Jazz II

Furthering jazz technique, students learn more advanced combinations and audition dance combos are introduced.  This class explores both traditional and contemporary ideas of Jazz Dance movement in the context of Musical Theater.

Prerequisites: Successful completion of the First Year or equivalent, THE187

1.0 Credit

THE208 – Dance: Tap I

Students learn the repetitive language of tap and are introduced to single and double sounds, as well as triple and quadruple sounds. Shim shams, riffs, drawbacks, cramp rolls, 3 and 4-count paddle rolls, as well as some step-time choreography are introduced and repeated.

Prerequisites: Successful completion of the First Year or equivalent

1.0 Credits

THE209 – Audition I: Repertoire Building

In this course, students research, choose and prepare appropriate audition material from all genres of the American Musical Theater.  Students prepare a minimum of two pieces per week for each style and era of musical theater from standards to pop-rock.  Identifying “type”, researching appropriate music for an audition and preparing appropriate cuts are introduced.

Prerequisites: Successful completion of the First Year or equivalent

2.0 Credits

THE210 – Performance Project: Showcase

Over the course of 5 weeks, students are taught, rehearse and perform a showcase of their acting, singing, and dance skills.  Students are showcased in 15-20 minute sections taken from a Broadway musical, or a cabaret put together with a music director and choreographer.  Students go through the entire audition process, including dance calls and callbacks.

Prerequisites: Successful completion of the First Year or equivalent

1.0 Credits

THE211 – Performance Project: Staged Reading of a New Musical

Students audition for the reading of a new musical as they would a Broadway workshop, with callbacks and dance calls.  A recently-premiered new musical or a new show that is commissioned and written for the students will be performed.

Prerequisites: Successful completion of the First Year or equivalent

2.0 Credits

THE285 – Acting IV: Heightened Language & Shakespeare

Technique learned in the first three semesters is combined with dialect work, as students work on scenes from Shakespeare.

Prerequisites: Successful completion of the First Year or equivalent, THE161, THE181, and THE201

2.0 Credits

THE286 – Acting: Musical Scene Work II

Focusing on scenes from recent musical theater productions, this course will draw on previous training in the first three semesters.

Prerequisites: Successful completion of the First Year or equivalent, THE202

1.5 Credits

THE287 – Acting for the Camera: Musicals On-Screen

Students are introduced to the craft of acting for the camera. Beginning with scene analysis and continuity, students learn the challenges of being on-set. With a focus on movie musicals and live television events: actual scripts and music from recent airings are used in order to prepare the student.

Prerequisites: Successful completion of the First Year or equivalent

1.0 Credit

THE288 – Private Voice IV: Coaching

A Vocal Coach helps students refine their audition material including building the acting journey in the song, preparing appropriate cuts, choosing the best key, and arranging the cut for varied styles. Students meet with their Vocal Coach weekly during the semester.

Prerequisites: Successful completion of the First Year or equivalent, THE205

1.0 Credit

THE289 – Dance: Tap II

More advanced techniques are introduced and practiced, resulting in the final classes dedicated to more challenging tap combinations.

Prerequisites: Successful completion of the First Year or equivalent, THE208

1.0 Credit

THE290 – Dance: Musical Theater Styles

Students are introduced to additional dance styles that may include Hip-hop, Modern dance, and Contemporary by both faculty and guest teachers.

Prerequisites: Successful completion of the First Year or equivalent

1.0 Credits

THE291 – Dance: Audition

In this course, mock auditions are held and combinations are taught, performed and repeated.  Feedback is provided at the end of each session.

Prerequisites: Successful completion of the First Year or equivalent

1.0 Credit

THE292 – Audition II: The Business of Auditioning

In this course, students refine audition material.  Work sessions are conducted so students can polish full songs, as well as 32-bar and 16-bar cuts. Mock auditions with industry professionals are provided and feedback is given.

Prerequisites: Successful completion of the First Year or equivalent, THE209

1.5 Credits

THE293 – Preparation for the Profession

Students begin to make the journey from the academic world to the entertainment industry in this course.  Each week a new topic is researched and discussed. Q & A’s with guest artists will be presented.

Prerequisites: Successful completion of the First Year or equivalent

2.0 Credits

THE294 – Masterclasses

Each week a new guest teacher is brought in to give a masterclass or a talk back to the students.  Guest teachers may include actors, music directors, agents & managers, producers and casting directors to give the students additional insight into the industry.

Prerequisites: Successful completion of the First Year or equivalent

1.0 Credit

THE295 – Performance Project: Main Stage Musical

Students audition for, rehearse, and perform a full-length musical at a New York City theater.

Prerequisites: Successful completion of the First Year or equivalent.

3.0 Credits