Undergraduate Degree & Course Catalog

Music Theatre - About The Program

About Our Degrees

Acceptance Criteria
Audition into the BFA Music Theatre program
Acceptance into the university
Letter of intent

Minimum GPA of 2.0 overall.
Minimum GPA of 2.5 in required Music Theatre courses.
Minimum grade of C+ in all required courses.
Audition and acceptance into the university.
Interview with Program Director at the end of the first year.
Letter of intent.

Degree Requirements
Please see Degrees and Policies.

About Our Facilities

University at Buffalo's Theatre & Dance department utilizes three performance spaces including a flexible black box theatre and two distinct performance venues. With a rehearsal workshop space, numerous dance studios, scene and costume shops, a craft room and a design suite, UB boasts an array of resources for both classroom training and practical preparation for productions.

The Center for the Arts (CFA) benefits UB students who use its outstanding public performance and exhibition facilities. Within the CFA, students from the Department of Theatre & Dance directly benefit from the use of:
  • The Drama Theatre: a 388-seat theatre that is the venue for most of our fully produced shows, from large-scale dramas to Broadway musicals to performances by Zodiaque, the department's dance company.
  • The Black Box Theatre: a flexible space that can be configured in a variety of ways with seating of 100-120. This is where the department produces and supports several smaller-scale productions and workshops each season in this flexible black box theatre.
  • Rehearsal Workshop: a mirror image of the Black Box Theatre, our rehearsal workshop is used for acting classes and as a rehearsal room for departmental productions
  • Dance Studios: two spacious studios used for classes and rehearsals. Dance studios are spacious with Marley covered maple wood floors engineered for maximum resiliency, twelve-foot mirrors, upper-level observation spaces, and specially designed sound systems.
  • Scene Shop
  • Costume Shop
  • Craft Studio
Students also use the Katherine Cornell Theatre (KCT), a flexible performance space housed in the Ellicott Complex on UB's North Campus. This space functions as a rehearsal space, performance space, and the Graduate Student Studio. Theatre majors are eligible to apply to use the space for original student-created shows with generous financial support from THD alumni.

Alumni Arena, adjacent to the Center for the Arts, also includes:
  • The Design Suite, which includes a drafting studio, lighting lab and a ten-seat computer lab with design software, including Vectorworks, WYSIWIG, and Adobe Photoshop
  • Two additional classroom and rehearsal spaces
  • A departmentally run seminar room for lectures
  • Department and Faculty Offices

About Our Courses

Suggested Introductory Courses: The typical class size for:
Freshman/introductory courses is: 16-50
Sophomore/intermediate courses is: 15-30
Upper level/advanced courses is: 15-25

In the Music Theatre program, what do teaching assistants (TAs) do?
Teaching assistants serve as demonstrators, give corrections, and generally assist in the studio classes.

For course descriptions, please see Courses.

About Our Faculty

Nathan R. Matthews, Director of Music Theatre, was Music Associate on Broadway for "Children and Art", the Stephen Sondheim 75th Birthday gala. Subsequently, the University of London - Goldsmiths College invited him to speak on the subject of performing Sondheim in concert. His former students have received the Tony Award, the Theatre World Award, Tony Award nominations, and have performed on Broadway, at Lincoln Center including the Metropolitan Opera, and nationally and internationally. Mr. Matthews is the founding Producing Artistic Director and Music Director of the Riverside Opera Ensemble in New York City. He has served on the music staff of the Santa Fe Opera, music directed and conducted operas and musicals in NYC as well as at regional theatres and universities, and performed throughout North America as a solo and collaborative pianist. He was Mark Hamill's keyboard coach for the original Broadway production of "Amadeus". Mr. Matthews also sits on the Advisory Board of Amas Musical Theatre.

Please visit our department website for additional information about our faculty.

Practical Experience and Special Academic Opportunities

Notable Program Features
The Department of Theatre & Dance offers BA and BFA degree programs in which students may study a broad range of production, design, technology, performance, historical, and literary aspects of theatre, dance, and music theatre.

Department classes balance scholarship and practical training. In theatre, there is a full sequence of courses in theatre technology and design, acting, playwriting, directing, and history and literature. In dance, there is a full sequence of courses in jazz, ballet, contemporary dance, tap, choreography, teaching methods, and history and research.

Performance and production are essential parts of the curriculum, providing hands-on learning experiences for students in every area.

The Theatre & Dance department produces eight shows a year including two musicals, two theatrical productions, and four dance concerts by the Zodiaque Dance Company, Zodiaque Dance Ensemble, and Emerging Choreographers Showcase, in addition to numerous student-led productions throughout the year. Students can begin performing as early as their second-semester Freshman year, and Design & Technology students can begin working on productions their first semester at UB.

Undergraduate Research and Practical Experience
Internships are possible by arrangement with the Director of Music Theatre.

Honors, Awards, and Scholarships
  • College of Arts and Sciences Dean's Departmental Award
  • College of Arts and Sciences Outstanding Senior Award
  • Departmental Honors
  • Julia Pardee Prize [Awarded for excellence in writing in theatre, dance or music theatre]
  • Performing and Creative Arts Scholarships

The Perry Watkins scholarship is available to African American freshman students majoring in design/technology. Talent-based scholarships are also available to all students. Auditions, portfolios, and a personal interview are required for all scholarship students.

Extracurricular Activities

The principle performance spaces for all of the following are the theatres and studios in the Center for the Arts. See Center for the Arts.

Dancers Workshop
Dancers Workshop is a student organization that offers non-credit performing and related opportunities for the university community at various levels of ability and interest. Workshop advisers are members of the dance faculty.

From the Wings
From the Wings is a student organization that offers non-credit performance opportunities for, but not limited to, music theatre majors. Faculty advisors are members of the music theatre faculty.

The Guild
The Guild is managed entirely by students. It hosts opening night receptions, is the liaison among department faculty, staff, and students, and produces evenings of new works by students.

See the UB Student Association.

Complementary Programs and Courses

Minors that Compliment Music Theatre

Courses Outside the Major that Could Improve Employment Opportunities

Links to Further Information About this Program

Last updated: November 22 2021 21:01:55