Musical theatre is a collaborative process — both on stage and behind the curtain. The Central College musical theatre program exposes students to artistic development through a broad and comprehensive curriculum, including courses in acting, dance, directing, history, literature, music, theatre management, stagecraft, design and technical production. Musical theatre majors combine a rich, liberal arts experience with a variety of research, performance and technical opportunities while working alongside talented professors. Independent study is encouraged, and students can hone their craft in close mentorship with faculty and staff.
The college produces three to four main-stage productions every year in addition to numerous student-directed productions. Students also have a chance to attend performance conferences like the United States Institute for Theatre Technology and the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival to see the latest performance technologies and make connections with professional theatre practitioners for internships or advanced study.
No matter their career path, when the curtain goes up, students must be ready. A musical theatre degree at Central ensures proper preparation.
Grow as an artist in Central’s musical theatre program. In addition to rigorous academic courses, Central students have the opportunity to showcase their talents and experience musical theatre in multiple high-quality productions every academic year. In addition to acting, students have the chance to direct, design, choreograph and more.
The college is known for producing award-winning shows. For example, the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival has recognized these recent Central productions:
The Kruidenier Center houses two flexible theatres with up-to-date computer-controlled lighting and sound systems. The main-stage theatre seats approximately 200 audience members and has a full rigging system. The Mr. B studio theatre, which seats 50, is an experimental stage used for both productions and acting classes. The adjustable main classroom space is equipped with a projection system and drafting tables to accommodate most theatre courses. A smaller seminar room provides a cozy space for discussion classes. Large, well-equipped costume and scene shops, dressing rooms, recording studio, a green room and a makeup alley complete the support facilities.
A 10-station computer lab with 24/7 access is located in the Roe Center. This lab is shared with the art department and music department and is equipped with industry standard programs used in theatre including VectorWorks and Adobe Creative Suite.
Central students can study off-campus — both internationally or domestically in the United States. These opportunities give students the chance to prepare to be global citizens, equipped to compete in the global job market. Students can check out experiences led by Central faculty or attend select academic programs across the world that provide opportunities for study, service, internships and other types of experiential learning. Options include experiences in Chicago, Washington, D.C., Central America, Ghana, England, the Scottish Highlands and more.
Central College theatre majors are employed in many fields — from teachers, arts administrators and lawyers to finance, publishing and health care.
Students are encouraged to find internships or employment in theatre through sources such as ArtSearch. The theatre department also partners with the Union Street Players in Pella to provide summer experience in acting, directing and stagecraft.
No matter what your interests are, Central has a student group for you!
Theatre students study acting, directing, design, stagecraft and theatre history/literature, any of which can become the starting place for further exploration and study. Students also have the opportunity to earn practicum credit through acting or design/technology and pursue independent study projects in any of the areas of study. Participation in co-curricular theatre programs is expected of students seeking a major or minor in musical theatre.
Learn more about this discipline in the course catalog.