University launches Musical Theatre MA in New York partnership

Aspiring actors and performers can now go straight to Broadway as part of a new course from the University of Chichester.

The master’s degree in Musical Theatre offers students a chance to develop their skills in dance, singing and acting at a company in New York.

The one-year programme is led by award-winning performers and technicians from Manhattan-based troupe The Broadway Experience. Students are recruited as an ensemble and receive tutoring from industry experts while performing in fully-staged productions.

Senior musical theatre lecturer Karen Howard said: “Our MA students will be the first in the country to transfer a full production to an off-Broadway venue. They will participate in the creation of a musical theatre company to produce and perform established and new repertoire in London and New York.”

The practical course has been created for performers who want to develop their skills in dance, acting and singing, or follow specialist paths in creative producing and stage management. It also explores the history of musical theatre in the USA as well as Europe, and allows students to hold a symposium before performing their work to industry experts in London. The postgraduate degree follows on from the University of Chichester’s BA (Hons) in Musical Theatre which currently tutors more than 130 students.

Award-winning performer Ben Hartley, a former principal in Cats and Swan Lake, founded The Broadway Experience in 2006, said: “This is a bold adventure for both our faculties. It is an amazing opportunity for emerging professionals to experience and contrast the world’s two foremost musical theatre environments and really extend their abilities.”

As part of the course, students will learn from the faculty at the Manhattan Movement and Arts Centre, which includes Ben Hartley and other award-winning performers. They will also work with tutors from the University including senior lecturer Karen Howard, Music Director Julian Kelly, and Choreographer Damien Delaney.

Ms Howard added: “Musical Theatre is gaining national popularity as a degree programme and its success at Chichester can also be attributed to our flexible programme, the involvement of industry-based professionals, as well as our regional tour and immersive theatre routes.”

The degree, which runs for 42 weeks, starts in January 2015 and will be divided into three terms. Auditions for a place on the course are being held at the University in January next year.

For more information on arranging an audition, contact

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