The B.F.A. in musical theatre is a pre-professional degree in music, theatre, and dance, with an emphasis on the essential integration of these elements. Our faculty creates an environment where aspiring musical theatre artists can begin a career and where powerful transformational experiences occur.
While we intend to generate young artists who can sing, dance, and act with technical ease and facility, a liberal arts-based education becomes a necessary tool for a performer. Critical, analytical, and independent thinking are essential qualities as they serve as the foundation of creative work. Also, a small class size is crucial so that the individual attention from the faculty can be maintained as well as the monitoring of our students’ growth vocally, physically, intellectually, and emotionally.
At Nazareth College, training in the musical theatre major is not about being famous or becoming a star. It is about learning to work in ways that contribute positively to the art form, collaborating with fellow artists, and fostering a lasting appreciation for, and life in, the performing arts.
Because the Nazareth musical theatre program is small, every student has an opportunity to shine, and students are cast as early as their freshman year. The department produces two musicals and two plays each year in our state-of-the-art, newly renovated theater. Through intensive rehearsing, students learn firsthand the commitment and discipline required for professional performance in music, dance, and drama. They also learn the production end of theatre: set design, costuming, make-up, and lighting. At the same time, they receive a well-rounded liberal arts education that deepens their performance experience.
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.
"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."