By Lizbeth Persons Price
The SDSU MFA Musical Theatre Program has launched an innovative two-year development program dedicated to fostering the creation of new musicals.
The SDSU MFA New Musical Initiative was conceived with the idea of helping musical theatre writers develop a new work through a two-year process, including a reading (fall 2018), a workshop (spring 2019) and a full production (spring 2020). After a competitive submission process, which saw over 100 new scripts and scores, the selection committee chose ‘Til Death Do Us Part by Bobby Cronin and Caroline Prugh.
Mr. Cronin and Ms. Prugh will work directly with MFA Musical Theatre students and select undergraduate students to rehearse and present a staged reading of this ‘Til Death Do Us Part on Friday, Nov. 9 at 4:00 p.m. on the stage of the Don Powell Theatre on the SDSU campus. Professor Stephen Brotebeck will direct the reading with musical direction by Professor Robert Meffe.
“In my experience working with new musicals, what is missing is a sense of continuity as each piece is written and rewritten,” said Robert Meffe, Head of the MFA Musical Theatre Program. “This two-year process gives the writers the valuable chance to develop their work with the same case and creative team.”
The SDSU reading of ‘Til Death Do Us Part is supported by a Writers Residency Grant from National Alliance for Musical Theatre.
The SDSU Musical Theatre Program is dedicated to creating a space for musical theatre writers to develop and try out new material, and an opportunity for students to apply theory to practice by helping creating new work. Everybody wins: artists hear their work, and students get first hand experience in just what goes into creating a new musical.
Past SDSU MFA New Musical Initiative artists have included Ryan Scott Oliver, BD Wong, Wayne Barker, Michael Federico and Home for Hovercraft band members Seth and Sean Magill.
About the SDSU Master of Fine Arts (FMA) Degree in Musical Theatre
The SDSU Master of Fine Arts (MFA) Degree in Musical Theatre in the School of Theatre, Television, and Film has helped hundreds of people establish life-long careers as musical theatre artists. Many of our graduates have used this terminal degree to teach in musical theatre programs in schools and universities worldwide. Others have gone on to become professional performers, directors, choreographers, music directors, producers, casting agents, and writers. The SDSU MFA Musical Theatre program is a National Alliance for Musical Theatre (NAMT) member.
At SDSU we strive to bring the professional world of musical theatre together with the academic world of the university. Our students bring their professional experience to us, and together we develop the skills needed to carry it forward.
This program, which began accepting students in 1982, is unique in its integration of performance training with academic study. It is a two-year MFA program designed so that students can complete 60 units of study in four consecutive 15-week semesters, with one summer break, during which students complete a theatre internship.
The SDSU MFA Musical Theatre program is a member of the National Alliance for Musical Theatre.
The content within this article has been edited by Lizbeth Persons.News List