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UW launches new degree program in Musical Theater

Submitted by Humanities Web Project on August 5, 2013 - 12:00am
Music Theatre poster
Earn a BA in Musical Theatre

Starting in fall 2013, the University of Washington's College of Arts and Sciences will offer a new Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in Musical Theater. This program--a collaboration between the Dance Program, School of Music and School of Drama--is designed to cultivate and nurture the creative artistry of highly motivated students who wish to develop their combined talent as vocalists, actors and dancers.

The Musical Theater program is offered through the College of Arts and Sciences Individualized Studies program. Students will experience a dynamic program of coursework, performance-based projects, faculty and student-directed productions, and special workshops with guest artists and instructors. Because of the interdisciplinary nature of the degree, this BA also enables students to pursue a double major within most schools at UW.

"The goal of the program is to offer an intense and dynamic curriculum that equips our graduates with the skills necessary to become well-rounded musical theater artists," said program lead Wilson Mendieta.

In addition to honing students' performance skills, Mendieta plans to focus on skills needed outside the studio like marketing, management, selling and negotiating skills--all integral to ensuring a sustained career. "What I hope students take away from the program, besides their honed talents, are the skills that will make employers want to rehire them, coupled with an entrepreneurial perspective on how to manage their performing careers," said Mendieta.

Mendieta, a 2013 Master of Fine Arts (MFA) graduate of the UW Dance Program, is a Broadway veteran with a wide range of performance credits, including "Jose" in Man of La Mancha, "Salim" in Bombay Dreams and "Harry" in Chicago. He also has extensive teaching and musical theater experience at places such as University of Minnesota, Tisch School of the Arts, Steps on Broadway, Dance New Amsterdam, and Collaborative Arts Project 21.

Students interested in admission to the Musical Theater Program are required to audition, with auditions beginning Sept. 23. Prerequisites include Drama 251 and one of the following dance courses: Dance 110, 111, 112, 107, 108, 109, or any 200-level dance/musical theatre course. For more information or to schedule an audition, please contact Wilson Mendieta at