Musical Theatre

Musical theatre is a form of theatrical performance that combines songs, spoken dialogue, acting and dance. The story and emotional content of a musical – humor, pathos, love, anger – are communicated through the words, music, movement and technical aspects of the entertainment as an integrated whole. Although musical theatre overlaps with other theatrical forms like opera and dance, it may be distinguished by the equal importance given to the music as compared with the dialogue, movement and other elements. Since the early 20th century, musical theatre stage works have generally been called, simply, musicals.

Although music has been a part of dramatic presentations since ancient times, modern Western musical theatre emerged during the 19th century, with many structural elements established by the works of Gilbert and Sullivan in Britain and those of Harrigan and Hart in America. These were followed by the numerous Edwardian musical comedies and the musical theatre works of American creators like George M. Cohan at the turn of the 20th century. The Princess Theatre musicals (1915–1918) and other smart shows like Of Thee I Sing (1931) were artistic steps forward beyond revues and other frothy entertainments of the early 20th century and led to such groundbreaking works as Show Boat (1927) and Oklahoma! (1943). Some of the most famous musicals through the decades that followed include West Side Story (1957), The Fantasticks (1960), Hair (1967), A Chorus Line (1975), Les Misérables (1985), The Phantom of the Opera (1986), Rent (1996), The Producers (2001), Wicked (2003) and Hamilton (2015).

Musicals are performed around the world. They may be presented in large venues, such as big-budget Broadway or West End productions in New York City or London. Alternatively, musicals may be staged in smaller venues, such as fringe theatre, Off-Broadway, Off-Off-Broadway, regional theatre, or community theatre productions, or on tour. Musicals are often presented by amateur and school groups in churches, schools and other performance spaces. In addition to the United States and Britain, there are vibrant musical theatre scenes in continental Europe, Asia, Australasia, Canada and Latin America.

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Matching Musical Theatre Colleges

Berklee College of Music
Four or more years; Private not for profit; $41,530 average out-state tuition; $41,530 average in-state tuition
Roosevelt University
Four or more years; Private not for profit; $28,963 average out-state tuition; $28,963 average in-state tuition
The New School
Four or more years; Private not for profit; $46,251 average out-state tuition; $46,251 average in-state tuition
Columbia College Chicago
Four or more years; Private not for profit; $25,580 average out-state tuition; $25,580 average in-state tuition
Ithaca College
Four or more years; Private not for profit; $42,884 average out-state tuition; $42,884 average in-state tuition
SUNY at Purchase College
Four or more years; Public; $16,320 average out-state tuition; $6,670 average in-state tuition
Syracuse University
Four or more years; Private not for profit; $45,150 average out-state tuition; $45,150 average in-state tuition

Scholarships for Musical Theatre Majors

Bullet name award deadline Link

Homecoming Scholars Award

BeyGOOD

$25,000 Varies See Details

Homecoming Scholars Award

BeyGOOD

award

$25,000

deadline

Varies
See Details

2020 Emerging Artist Scholarship

Academy of Art University

Up to $3,000 April 15, 2020 See Details

2020 Emerging Artist Scholarship

Academy of Art University

award

Up to $3,000

deadline

April 15, 2020
See Details

The Sven E. and Lorraine Eriksson Alaska Scholarship

Alaska Community Foundation

Up to $2,500 April 09, 2020 See Details

The Sven E. and Lorraine Eriksson Alaska Scholarship

Alaska Community Foundation

award

Up to $2,500

deadline

April 09, 2020
See Details

Ruth and Horace Daum Memorial Scholarship

Hood River County Education Foundation

$2,000 April 17, 2020 See Details

Ruth and Horace Daum Memorial Scholarship

Hood River County Education Foundation

award

$2,000

deadline

April 17, 2020
See Details

Denton, Cottier and Daniels Music Scholarship

Buffalo Music Hall of Fame

$1,500 May 15, 2020 See Details

Denton, Cottier and Daniels Music Scholarship

Buffalo Music Hall of Fame

award

$1,500

deadline

May 15, 2020
See Details

NSHSS Foundation STEAM Scholarship

National Society of High School Scholars

$1,000 April 15, 2020 See Details

NSHSS Foundation STEAM Scholarship

National Society of High School Scholars

award

$1,000

deadline

April 15, 2020
See Details

Mary Dumm Memorial Music Scholarship

Prince George's Community College

Up to $1,000 May 15, 2020 See Details

Mary Dumm Memorial Music Scholarship

Prince George's Community College

award

Up to $1,000

deadline

May 15, 2020
See Details

Janet C. Thompson Memorial Scholarship

Hood River County Education Foundation

$250 April 17, 2020 See Details

Janet C. Thompson Memorial Scholarship

Hood River County Education Foundation

award

$250

deadline

April 17, 2020
See Details

Marie and Alfred Macomber Music Award

Bristol Community College

Varies April 17, 2020 See Details

Marie and Alfred Macomber Music Award

Bristol Community College

award

Varies

deadline

April 17, 2020
See Details

Jack and Roselyn Goloff Nowitz Musical Scholarship

Fairfield County Community Foundation

Varies April 19, 2020 See Details

Jack and Roselyn Goloff Nowitz Musical Scholarship

Fairfield County Community Foundation

award

Varies

deadline

April 19, 2020
See Details