Why Choose Nazareth for Musical Theatre?

The B.F.A. in musical theatre is a pre-professional degree that integrates music, theatre, and dance to prepare students for a life in the arts. Classes are taught by theatre professionals, Nazareth faculty, and visiting guest artists in a rigorous and supportive environment.

You not only develop your ability to sing, dance, and act. Our liberal arts-based education teaches critical, analytical, and independent thinking, which are essential for creative work. Small class sizes enable individual attention from the faculty, who help you grow vocally, physically, intellectually, and emotionally.

Musical theatre majors learn to work in ways that contribute positively to the art form, collaborate with fellow artists, and develop a lasting appreciation for, and life in, the performing arts.

The department produces musicals, dramas, comedies, classics, dance concerts, and more in a state-of-the-art theater. Our collaboration with the three-stage Finger Lakes Musical Theatre Festival enhances training and learning opportunities and creates an intensive professional track training program, rivaling many national programs.

Through intensive rehearsing, you'll learn firsthand the commitment and discipline required for professional performance in music, dance, and drama. You'll also learn the production end of theatre: set design, costuming, make-up, and lighting.

Program Highlights

  • Musical theatre majors can begin auditioning for casting as early as their second semester.
  • Students perform each year in a showcase featuring their graduating class.
  • Guest artists from professional theatres regularly direct and teach in the program.
  • Strategic regional partnerships with professional theatres, agents, and producers.
  • Seniors perform their final showcase for agents in New York City.
  • 2015 graduate outcome examples: actor, Merry Go Round Youth Tour; actor, Geva Theatre; actor, Bristol Valley Theatre; apprentice, Actors Theatre of Louisville; production assistant, Finger Lakes Musical Theatre Festival.

Program Options, Requirements, and Course Descriptions

Master classes

Contact Information

Corinne Jerris Aquilina

Corinne Jerris Aquilina

Assistant Professor, Program Director of Musical Theatre in Theatre and Dance
Arts Center 6

Education: B.S., Nazareth College (Music Education); Graduate study, Eastman School of Music, SUNY Geneseo, Carnegie Hall Studios, NYC

Experience: New York and Tour credits include Broadway: Boy From Oz, National Tour: Annie, Five Guys Named Moe, The Great American Trailer Park Musical, and Spamolot. Off Broadway: original arranger/musical director for Menopause, The Musical and Rodgers and Hammerstein Library's Sophisticated Ladies for Inside Broadway. Corinne is resident Musical Director at Finger Lakes Musical Theatre Festival and a member of The Dramatists’ Guild, ASCAP, and the America Federation of Musicians Local 802. Composer/lyricist for Treasure Island, a musical premiered at Arkansas Repertory Theatre and The Littlest Witch, published and licensed by Stage Rights LLC. Past credits: adjunct at SUNY Cortland, musical director at Geva Theatre, Syracuse Stage, and Florida Studio Theatre.

Yuanting Zhao

Yuanting Zhao

Professor of Theatre Arts / Costume Design / Chairperson in Theatre and Dance
Arts Center 20

Education: B.F.A., Shandong College of Arts, China (Acting); M.F.A., University of Arizona (Costume Design)

Teaching and Artistic Interests: During her 20+ years teaching here, Professor Zhao designed costumes or supervised student costume designers for more than 60 productions. She also designed for Geva Theatre Center, Rochester City Ballet, and other local theatres. Before coming to the US, she taught acting and makeup at Shandong College of Arts and starred in movies, TV movies, and hosted many TV programs.

Audra Cramer, alum of the musical theatre degree program, musical theatre major at Nazareth College

Alumni Spotlight: Audra Cramer '09

"I am so proud to be one of the first graduates of the Nazareth College musical theatre program. Since graduation, I have been fortunate enough to work consistently as both a performer and a music director/pianist."

Example Careers

  • Acting
  • Musical theatre direction
  • Choreographer
  • Performance marketing
  • Performance management
  • Stage management

Internships/Field Experiences

  • Julliard
  • Merry-Go-Round Playhouse
  • Geva Theatre Center
  • Rochester Broadway Theatre League
  • Bristol Valley Theatre
  • Stella Adler Acting
  • Summer stock around the country
  • Woodstock Playhouse

Graduate Schools/Employers

  • Theatreworks USA
  • Walt Disney World
  • Goodspeed Opera House
  • The New School
  • Geva Theatre Center
  • RWS and Associates Entertainment, Inc.
  • Actor's Theatre of Louisville
  • Finger Lakes Musical Theatre Festival
  • Southern Methodist University

2015 Senior Showcase

    Musical Theatre and Acting students