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BA (Hons) Musical Theatre (Triple Threat)

BA (Hons) Musical Theatre (Triple Threat) has gained national recognition for excellence for its unique guaranteed offer to students to present fully-scaled productions with professional production teams for regional tour, major arts festivals and to create and premiere new commissions. The Triple Threat course is the regional option to the London conservatoires. Competition is stiff, but the rewards are excellent.

Student view

Tia Kenrick
It is overwhelming how much I have learnt from the whole process. I feel as if I have grown as an individual having worked with my tutors. It has been the most demanding yet worthwhile performing experience I have had to date.
Jordan Harrington

The most challenging and enjoyable three years of my life! I have been put through my paces at the university developing a variety of skills, from increasing my overall range in singing lessons to being pushed to the limit and beyond in dance classes. The cherry on the cake are the lecturers, their positive and encouraging attitudes towards students really give the drive to complete a challenging day of performing. An incredible university to study at. If I could I would do it all again in a heartbeat.

Ophelia Mancini

I feel so proud that I had an influence in creating this amazing show and fulfil my artistic ideas for the final piece. I would never have imagined creating something like this three years ago, which gives me the confidence that you can do anything that you put your mind to. What an incredible opportunity to have had my training at Chichester.

Mark Ward
Director for a leading West End agency, Belfield & Ward

I have worked in the entertainment industry for 25 years.  First as a trained performer for 8 years and subsequently as an artist's agent for 17 years. It has been my pleasure to be aware of the Musical Theatre (Single Hons- Triple Threat) programme at The University of Chichester since it's inception in 2009.  I have closely followed the path of the course as it has steadfastly established itself as a degree course offering applicable training in the arts  for performers preparing for entry into the industry.  The course has expertly created a relevant faculty who have their finger on the pulse of what performers need in an ever changing world and how best to carve out a successful career with the right and appropriate skill sets. The training and especially the productions that I have seen over the years have been astonishing in how quickly they have raised the bar for themselves every year to meet the high standards already set by other training establishments.  Using their considerable experience in mounting these productions, I have been impressed at the constantly improving standards over the years, especially when comparing them with other training courses and their productions that I see throughout every year. We are an extremely exclusive agency and select artists based on a number of factors, but good, solid and extensive training is a common starting point and I am thrilled that we have so far signed two University of Chichester alumni to Belfield & Ward.  This course is now on our 'watchlist' as a place that we recognise that is providing the training needed for the level of actor we seek to represent. 

Course content

One of the country’s leading and courses with strong industry links. Students can also audition for top-up entry into the third year through audition and a sufficient number of credits (240 as a guidance). 

The course is also unique in offering technical and producing routes to support students who develop the interest and have the capability to gain successful careers in stage management including sound, lighting and costume and arts management and producing. 

All students receive training in every aspect of Musical Theatre hence in acting, singing and dance and the focus is on developing technique and strength in all these areas equally. In the first year there is an end of year showcase presentation assessment and an informal audition in order to be placed into one of two companies in the second year of study. This leads up to public performances in The Alexandra Theatre, Bognor Regis. 

In the second year all students continue to have regular access to classes in acting, singing and dance and are also offered additional specialised modules in Stage Management/Technical Theatre and Arts Management/Producing.

At the end of the second year of study students are placed into one of three companies by audition:  Musical Theatre Tour, Musical Theatre Commission or Musical Theatre Festival.

Year 1

Acting:

This class develops the students acting effectiveness within a performing group, under the direction of specialist acting tutors. Classes support the development of confidence in ensemble performance, how to sustain energy through text and how to interpret and analyise the narrative whether spoken or sung, to give an honest and meaningful performance. Training includes performance techniques in a variety of acting contexts including immersive theatre, narrative analysis, dialect coaching, vocal projection, improvisation, script work, acting for screen, Shakespeare, metre and audition technique.

Singing:

In this module students assess their current repertoire, and begin an exploration of new work under the direction of individual vocal specialist teachers and in singing masterclass sessions. Each student has a teacher who will look after their technical voice development. Students will also have classes in vocal ensemble work and 1-2-1 repertoire. In addition there are a series of drop in repertoire sessions taking place throughout the week.

Dance:

In these classes students are taught by professional dancers and choreographers and receive training in Jazz, Contemporary, Ballet, and Tap, with daily technique and body conditioning sessions. The classes are streamed according to level, so students will be placed in a class that reflects their ability. One of the course aims is to enable students to develop technical and expressive skills in performance and be able to develop skills in conveying narrative and the meaning of text, through Dance.

There are four contextual, theory-based modules over the first year worth 15 credits each. These include:

  • Introduction to Musical Theatre
  • Musical Grammar (in Semester 1 and 2)
  • Stage Management   

Year 2

Technical classes in acting, singing and dance continue as detailed in the first year of study. Students are now placed into two companies and over the course of the year will engage in a fully-staged Musical Theatre performance at The Alexandra Theatre, a professional 350-seater theatre venue in Bognor Regis, plus a Revue/Showcase-style work in the University’s own studio space, The Assembly Theatre.

Students can also start to specialise in either Stage Management or Arts Management in addition to their performance and class-based training in acting, singing and dance. Students undertake additional practical tasks as part of the chosen specialism and opt for complementary contextual / theoretical modules to support that work. Professional mentoring is provided in these specialisms, which enhances the students’ training and support and provides quality assurance for the work that goes into the public domain.

Contextual modules include:

  • Contemporary Musical Theatre
  • Musical Theatre Industry

Or for Stage Management:

  • Props and Costume
  • Production and Stage Management

Or for Arts Management :

  • Events Management
  • Marketing and Self-employment
  • Producing

Year 3

In the third year of study, students are placed in one of three companies:

  • Musical Theatre Tour
  • Musical Theatre Commission
  • Musical Theatre Festival

Technical classes in acting, singing and dance continue with the addition of a weekly specialist workshop programme, including stage combat, audition technique, Musical Theatre libretti writing, visiting West End choreographers, voice technique, body percussion, puppetry, food and nutrition and a chance to meet and interview alumni who are thriving in the industry .

The Stage and Arts Management routes continue into third year with affiliated contextual modules.

Contextual Modules include:

  • Asian Musical Theatre and Performance Practice
  • Musical Theatre in the Community
  • Personal Study

Or for Stage Management:

  • Managing Teams and Processes
  • Budgeting and Financial Planning

Or for Arts Management:

  • Business Project
  • Fundraising in the Arts

Students are also part of a Producing team, who meet weekly.

Our facilities

Our facilities content

Over the past few years, we’ve redeveloped both of our campuses so that you have the best-ever facilities available for your degree. We pride ourselves on the quality of the learning environment we can offer our students which is as much about the quality of the tutors as it is about the spaces we work in.

There is an integrated approach to the provision of learning resources and support.  We offer a substantial collection of books, journals and other materials to help you further your research.

A range of study areas for group and quiet study includes Wi-Fi areas for laptop use or you can use our open access PC and Mac areas.  We use an electronic learning environment with an expanding portfolio of online library resources from anywhere at any time.

Tuition takes place in modern music facilities, which include computerised recording and media studios, well-equipped practice rooms with new grand pianos.

The Music department has access to several soundproofed practice rooms for rehearsals and lessons, as well as lecture and seminar rooms.

The Musical Theatre Single Honours programme is primarily based on the Bognor Regis campus with a good number of dance and rehearsal studios equipped with Harlequin flooring.

The Assembly Theatre has been redeveloped into a multi-purpose rehearsal and theatre studio space, seating up to 80 audience. Students will also use the 350-seater Alexandra Theatre in Bognor Regis.

The Bognor Regis campus is seven miles from the Bishop Otter campus and is connected by frequent buses. Our students therefore have access to both an historic cathedral city and an iconic south-coast seaside resort!

The Learning Resource at both campuses is the hub of the learning environment.  It has two upper floors of library resources, with a comprehensive musical theatre collection, one for silent study and one for quiet study, both of which have recently been refurbished.

On the ground floor, you’ll find the Support and Information Zone, Media Hub, Otter Gallery, Costa Coffee and a variety of IT resources.

There are pleasant green spaces with good seating, landscaped gardens and lockable bike sheds. 

Where this can take you

The student will have the opportunity of developing a broad range of skills to enhance employability in a range of areas beyond University.

The Musical Theatre programme runs a lively Alumni page on Facebook so join up and you will see some of the impressive things that students go on to do!

Course progression has been very high, with a number of students going on to further study in MA in Musical Theatre in some of the most prestigious conservatoires in the country and in PGCE teacher training.

As performers, alumni have gone into:

  • West End productions
  • major touring productions throughout Europe
  • major cruise ships including Disney
  • UK and International small-scale touring theatre
  • ​Film and TV in both the UK and US
  • Edinburgh Festival
  • Cabaret
  • stage managers, arts managers and producers picking up contracts in the UK and around the world

Work placements

We understand the importance of ensuring that you have the knowledge, skills and experience to compete successfully in today’s challenging jobs market. 

Our commitment is to make sure that students from all disciplines complete the necessary preparation to be able to apply for internships.

Our alumni are now working within some of the principal producing houses.

Events Management students on the Arts Management route have a further opportunity to develop a short project within a variety of workplaces which have included BBC local radio and a world-music agency. 

Indicative modules

Year 1

Dance Development (MTH411)

Dance experience in the first year is designed to provide a foundation for the practical understanding of different styles, and the ensemble skills which will enable an effective contribution to a musical theatre performance. In the first module students will aim to develop a range of technical and expressive skills and the ability to function as part of a company, developing rehearsal techniques and strategies for effective ensemble work.

Acting Development (MTH412)

The first year of study is intended to develop performance skills in acting and to broaden the student’s awareness of a range of skills, strategies and techniques which they can approach.

Vocal Development (MTH413)

The first year of study is intended to put in place the basic performance and communication skills on which subsequent achievement and technical and expressive development will depend. In this module student assess their current repertoire, begin an exploration of new work under the direction of an individual vocal specialist teacher, and start the process of developing an effective audition technique.

Introduction to Musical Theatre (MTH407)

‘Musical Theatre is a huge building site where every imaginable relationship between the materials of stage arts and the musical arts are tried out and tested’. P. Pavis, C. Shantz & M. Carlson, Dictionary of the Theatre, University of Toronto Press, p. 227

With almost a century of history behind it, Musical Theatre has a notable tenacity in reframing and reinventing accessible musical language for the stage. This module begins by tracing the development of the genre in the early years of the 20th Century, through to present day and is intended to provide students with an overview of succeeding styles and reinforce an awareness of the relevant social context that can help to translate and explain material for the modern viewer/listener.

Musical Grammar (MUL151)

A vital tool for any musical performer: students are streamed according to ability so even if a student has had no previous experience, classes are set at an appropriate level to provide knowledge from a basic overview up to a high level of understanding.

The module is designed for students whose practical skills in performance need to be matched by a confidence in using some of the technical language of music, or in describing and articulating its mechanical elements.

External useful websites are Music Theory and 8 Notes 

Stage Management (MTH414)

This module aims to introduce students to the roles, responsibilities and functions necessary for successful completion of running productions in Musical Theatre. It includes theoretical and practical approaches to costume and set design, stage management, lighting and sound and the development of the ‘prompt copy’.  

Year 2

Production 1 and 2 (MTH503/504)

The second year of study is intended to develop an exploration of performance styles in practical work and to encourage the willingness to approach new and more ambitious material particularly in the form of a traditional musical theatre show. A more professional approach to rehearsal will be encouraged under the direction of specialist performance practitioners.

Contemporary Musical Theatre (MTH523)

This module builds upon the level 4 Introduction to Musical Theatre by relating an historical overview of the development of the genre to an examination of current trends and practices in musical theatre both here and in the USA. A range of modules will be used to help students to further their understanding of the different cultural contexts in which the contemporary musical operates.

Musical Theatre Industry(MTH524)  

This module aims to help students to gain an understanding of different professional roles within the musical theatre industry through exposure to a variety of local, regional and national working models.  Students will examine the personal qualities required in working with people in a professional musical theatre context as well as developing important organizational and discriminatory skills.

Props and Costume (MTH509)

This module aims to introduce students to the challenges of acquiring, designing, making and hiring props and costume for a production project. It will include hands on experience within a theatre context.

Production and Stage Management

This module aims to develop skills in production and stage management which can be employed in support of a production project. It will include hands on experience within a theatre context.

Events Management (MTL220)

This module is designed as an introduction to theatre, festival and events management, from the business administration skills involved in coordinating people, sites and facilities to the legal, budgetary and insurance requirements for professional event planning.

Self-Employment, Marketing and Promotion(MUL242)

To provide tuition and advice designed to help graduates market themselves as trained professionals and to provide tuition on peripheral issues such as tax returns and self employment.

Year 3

Musical Theatre Tour MTH603 

This is a substantive piece of work that is designed to offer a transformative company experience to the participating students. Students produce a confident presentation of a classic musical theatre production presented in a number of mid to large-scale, high-profile theatres across the South East.  This is a challenging and exciting journey enabling students to access a wide range of personal capabilities and techniques necessary to adapt to a variety of performance spaces.  The touring shows have gained a national reputation for excellence with a loyal following and have now been seen by more than 10,000 people. Alumni have taken ensemble and lead roles in West End and equivalent European stages.    

Musical Theatre Commission MTH611 

Students embark on the development and devising of a new piece of contemporary Musical Theatre drawing on key themes set out by the artistic team, who are high-profile international pioneers in this field. This work is created with an immersive theatrical style as its methodology and is performed in a non-traditional setting appropriate to the event itself. Sites have included a working farm, South Downs National Park, a London warehouse and a south-coast pier. The process encourages the emergence of students to take increased responsibility for the key areas of writing, composition, choreography, design and direction mentored by the professional team of specialists. The process plays with the musical theatre form and is becoming the basis of academic research by other Universities. Alumni have secured major roles on TV, voiceover and performance work on stages all over the world.

Musical Theatre Festival MTH615 

The youngest of the companies, with the inaugural production of Spend, Spend, Spend, premiering at the Brighton Festival Fringe in May 2016.  The Festival Company is designed to enable students to gain a comprehensive understanding of the complexities and challenges of the festival circuit. Students explore the expansive world of multidisciplinary performance and eclecticism of the Festival concept through the performance of a fully-staged piece of Musical Theatre from the contemporary repertoire. Alumni have secured recording contracts in the commercial music industry and independently formed a graduate company taking a production to the Edinburgh Fringe for the first time in 2016. 

Personal Study(MTH600)

This module is undertaken by the students in the Festival company. It aims to provide students with an opportunity to select an area of study of their choice, in singing, dance and acting and lecture presentations or written work and to develop this over an extended period. For all students this provides an opportunity to develop an individual repertoire, and to present a longer and more challenging programme of research work.

Asian Musical Theatre and Performance Practices(MTH607)

Many courses focus on European and American traditions in Musical Theatre. However, there is a rich and abundant source of musical traditions in Asia where music and theatre traditionally play a fundamental part in society. This module explores different traditions of musical theatre focusing on the multi-billion dollar industry that is Bollywood, contextualised by the historical traditions of musical theatre we find in countries such as Japan, China and Thailand.

Musical Theatre in the Community(MTH610)

Musical theatre is a popular subject for community groups and schools to use to enhance and explore curriculum topics. This module utilizes analytical skills in a practical manner through the development of a workshop and performance which will be planned in taught sessions. This will give students the opportunity to research and prepare musical theatre materials and apply the contextual knowledge gained over the previous two years of study in a practical context.

Managing Teams and Processes(MTH608)

This modules is taken by the stage management students at level 6 and looks at specific areas of leadership and management. The module aims to develop competency in project planning and in developing leadership, co-ordination and management skills. Students will develop the imaginative use of physical and creative resources and be able to sustain the smooth progression of a production process. Students will also acquire skills in the organisation of people and resources.

Budget and Financial Planning(MTH609) 

This module is taken by the stage management students and can also be taken as a free choice module with permission from the programme lead. It aims to develop competency in managing and planning budgets and skills in leveraging resources. Students will also acquire skills in financial reporting.

Business Project (MTL320)

This module is taken by Arts Management students. It aims to develop competency in business planning and to develop the imaginative use of physical and creative resources. Students will acquire skills in the presentation of a hypothetical business model.

Introduction to Fundraising in the Arts(MTL321)

This module is taken by students doing the Arts Management route and aims to develop an understanding of the funding process and will acquire an understanding of a range of identified projects and their potential funding. Students will develop concision and relevance in presenting information, acquiring skills in researching trusts and other grant giving bodies. 

Teaching and assessment

The mission is to provide the student with skills that will enable them to navigate the complexities of the musical theatre industry through the offer of a professional standard of training within a well-structured and ambitious timetable with considerable contact time with tutors.

We pride ourselves on the quality of the teaching given to our students. Innovation, enthusiasm and expertise combine to deliver the excellent standards that give our institution its high reputation in this field.

The tutors are professional practitioners, demonstrating leadership in the industry offering peer support to colleagues and are generous with their knowledge and expertise.  

You will be taught by a core team of experienced and highly-qualified tutors together with a wide-ranging team of more than 30 tutors and vocal teachers.

You will be assessed by a variety of methods, including essays/portfolios, examinations, performances and practical work, project work, presentations and seminar discussions.

Our course will include a mix, so that you will be assessed on different types of work.

Modules are assessed at every stage of the course, offering cumulative assessment of your progress.

You can monitor your own progress, allowing you the opportunity to discuss any issues with your lecturers throughout the course.

Special arrangements can often be made for students with an identified need.

Additional Costs

Audition details

Overview

In the first year of study all students will embark on a technical foundation year of acting, singing and dance classes and will then specialise in year two.

The dance classes are streamed according to ability, so it is essential that all audition candidates participate in the dance section of the audition

The single honours route has a triple threat focus and while candidates need to demonstrate a certain level of proficiency in all three areas, the audition will also consider those with a stronger skill in one area as long as there is an acceptable level of ability in the other two.

The audition process will be the same for all candidates.

There will be three aspects to the audition;

Audition content

Dance: You will be taught some technical exercises in the centre and across the floor and also a musical theatre routine,(compulsory),  a short tap routine (optional ) and will need to demonstrate some ballet technique, (compulsory). Please bring appropriate clothing and jazz and tap shoes, (if you have them)

Singing: Please prepare two contrasting songs from the musical theatre canon. You will be asked to choose one to start with and if required you may be asked to sing some of the second. Please bring the music for the accompanist (no photocopies unless you have permission) and strictly no a capella or backing tracks

Acting:   The audition will include a short improvisation workshop. Please also prepare one short up-beat monologue that relates to you as an actor and that you feel appropriate to the Musical Theatre art form. It should last no more than 2 minutes.

For any further information or queries about the audition process please contact Karen Howard, Head of Musical Theatre on k.howard@chi.ac.uk

Soho Showcase

Our Musical Theatre (Triple Threat) has gained national recognition for excellence for its unique guaranteed offer to students to present fully-scaled productions with professional production teams for regional tour, major arts festivals and to create and premiere new commissions. The Triple Threat course is the regional option to the London conservatoires. Competition is stiff, but the rewards are excellent.

'The Triple Threat course training and productions that I have seen over the years are astonishing and meet the high standards set by other training establishments.’ Mark Ward, Belfield and Ward Artists Agency.

The London Graduate Showcase brings together the three companies for a final presentation to the industry.

Working with both the Arts Theatre, Leicester Square and Soho Theatres, Chichester students have been introduced to a large number of agents and have gone on to succeed:

  • within the industry in West End and international Musical Theatre productions, from 'The Ladykillers' to 'The Bodyguard'
  • in film and television from 'Macbeth' to 'Red Dwarf'
  • in video, the gaming industry and animation including Lara Croft and Blue Planet
  • in major Cruises including Disney and the Royal Caribbean 'Harmony of the Seas'
  • at major international festivals including Edinburgh and Brighton
  • in small and mid-scale productions throughout Europe and Australia
  • in theatre in education including tours of Italy and Spain
  • in new business enterprises including new dance schools and costume design
  • in producing and arts management including ATG and Bill Kenwright
  • in secondary-school teaching throughout the country
  • in advanced education including MAs at Central, GSA, Mountview and Arts Ed

'The most challenging and enjoyable three years of my life!’ Tia Kenrick.

'The cherry on the cake are the lecturers’ positive and encouraging attitudes to students who give you the drive to complete a challenging day of performing. An incredible university to study at.’ Jordan Harrington.

Credits

Direction by Karen Howard and Miranda Kingsley
Music Direction by Stuart Hutchinson
Choreography by Damien Delaney, Wendy White and Drew Varley
Produced by Paul Ackerley and Sarah-Leanne Humphreys
Filmed and Edited by Sascha Tucker for Global Fire Creative

Places still available

Codes

UCAS code: 
WW34
College Code: 
C58

Course length

3 Years (1 Year - Top Up)
Full Time