Theatre Major: Musical Theatre Option (B.A.)

Theatre Major: Musical Theatre Option (B.A.)

Musical theater students performing

What is musical theatre?

From Broadway to cabaret, musical theatre is a genre that continues to captivate generations by combining acting, song and dance. In this theatre degree program at UNH, you’ll develop and refine your talents in performance, movement and voice while studying the history of theatre and musical theatre. You’ll have the opportunity to perform in faculty- and student-directed productions, while also gaining hands-on experience through required practicums, working in areas such as sets, lighting, box office and marketing. Our program gives you a well-rounded experience for future work in theatre.

Why study musical theatre at UNH?

In addition to our award-winning faculty, the UNH Department of Theatre and Dance offers more than 25 performance opportunities every year in musicals, plays or dance concerts, including student productions. You’ll be able to pursue independent studies and you’ll be eligible to apply for R.E.A.C.H., financial assistance provided to students who participate in internships with professional theatre or dance organizations. Our Cultural Stages program brings acclaimed playwrights, choreographers and other theatre artists from around the world to campus. Our January Term study-abroad program offers a 10-day experience of London theatre.

Potential careers

  • Actor
  • Arts administrator
  • Choreographer
  • Singer
  • Stage director
  • Teaching artist


Jamie Clavet

Marketing & Promotions Specialist
Phone: (603) 862-2150
Office: Theatre & Dance, Paul Creative Arts Center Rm D22, Durham, NH 03824

Department of Theater and Dance
Paul Creative Arts Center
University of New Hampshire
30 Academic Way
Durham, NH 03824

Phone: (603) 862-2919
Fax: (603) 862-0298

  • Theatre Major | Music Director, Winter Park Playhouse (Winter Park, FL)
    What are you currently doing for work and what was the path you took to get here? Resident music director at Winter Park Playhouse, a full-time professional Musical Theatre located in the Orlando, FL area. I was introduced to the...
    Theatre Major | Music Director, Winter Park Playhouse (Winter Park, FL)
    What are you currently doing for work and what was the path you took to get here? Resident music director at Winter Park Playhouse, a full-time professional Musical Theatre located in the Orlando, FL area. I was introduced to the...

Curriculum & Requirements

The musical theatre option is designed to cultivate and nurture the creative artistry of those highly motivated students who wish to develop their combined talent as singers, actors and dancers. Students in the musical theatre option are trained as actors who sing and dance and will thrive in this intense and dynamic program of coursework, practical application, performance-based projects, departmental productions, and special workshops with guest artists and instructors. Students will be expected to fully integrate their rigorous training as actors, dancers and singers with the outstanding liberal arts education they will receive at UNH to become well-rounded and marketable musical theatre artists.

Contact Tom Alsip, Paul Creative Arts Center, (603) 862-3288.

In the freshman and sophomore years, students should enroll for at least two major and two Discovery courses per semester. The minimum grade requirement for major courses is C- per course. Any grade lower than C- will not count toward the major. Under department policy, students who complete both COMM 401 American Sign Language I and COMM 502 American Sign Language II satisfy the bachelor of arts language proficiency requirement. All majors must take courses in the following areas: performance, design/theatre technology and theory/history as well as fulfill between four and eight practicums and complete a capstone course.  Although timing will vary with each option, it is strongly suggested that all introductory courses be taken prior to the end of the student's sophomore year.  Students must also complete a digital portfolio that demonstrates fulfillment of student learning outcomes related to their area of study.

The required minimum overall GPA in major coursework is 2.0.

Candidates for a degree must satisfy all of the University Discovery Program requirements in addition to satisfying the requirements of each individual major program. Bachelor of arts candidates must also satisfy the foreign language proficiency requirement.

Theatre department majors may use one major-required course to satisfy one Discovery category requirement.

All UNH B.A. degrees require a minimum of 128 credit hours.

Required Courses
THDA 436History of Theatre I4
or THDA 438 History of Theatre II
THDA 450History of Musical Theatre in America4
THDA 455Musicianship and Beginning Vocal Techniques for Musical Theatre2
THDA 459Stagecraft4
THDA 460Elements of Design4
THDA 462Ballet I2-4
or THDA 562 Ballet II
THDA 463Theatre Dance I4
THDA 500Musical Theatre Voice I1
THDA 551Acting I4
THDA 555Acting The Song4
THDA 563Theatre Dance II2
THDA 570Movement & Vocal Production4
THDA 589Practicum (A - D) 14-8
THDA 600Musical Theatre Voice II1
THDA 655Musical Theatre Scene Study4
THDA 700Musical Theatre Voice III (repeatable)1
THDA 755Musical Theatre Repertoire4
THDA 799Capstone Project2
2 Additional Credits From Dance2
THDA 562
Ballet II
THDA 565
Beginning Aerial Dance
THDA 576
THDA 662
Ballet III
THDA 663
Theatre Dance III
THDA 665
Aerial Dance
Total Credits57-63

The practicum ensures a breadth of experience in the major, including sets, costumes, lighting, props, box office, marketing, and performing.  Students must register for practicum every semester.  They are notified of their practicum assignment at the beginning of each semester.

Core Student Learning Outcomes for the Bachelor of Arts in Theatre major: On completion of the B.A. in Theatre, students will:

  • Recognize and distinguish between various styles and forms of theatre or dance that have shaped the evolution of these disciplines.
  • Effectively communicate artistic ideas and/or critical analysis of theatre or dance works through appropriate oral, written or practical means.
  • Demonstrate knowledge and fundamental skill level of the basic areas of theatre or dance production in areas related to performance, design, technology or management.
  • Create and demonstrate informed and personal artistic choices in coursework and productions (i.e., design, dance, directing, acting).

Additional Student Learning Outcomes for Option in Musical Theatre: In addition to the shared department learning outcomes for all THDA students, upon completion of the major with an Option in Musical Theatre, students will:

  • Utilize a healthy vocal technique and demonstrate the ability to read music.
  • Effectively analyze a dramatic script.
  • Apply knowledge of theatre to write critically about both musical and non-musical theatre.
  • Demonstrate the ability to perform dance choreography.
  • Apply acting techniques both in writing and in practice.
  • Utilize knowledge of musical theatre history and styles to select appropriate repertoire for class and auditions.
  • Demonstrate the skills and create the elements necessary to compete in the professional theatrical world, including a professional resume and audition book.