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NEW: Master of Fine Arts in Musical Theater


CONTACT: Joyce Linehan, (617) 282-2510 x 1,


Leading Performing Arts Conservatory Begins Three Year Overhaul of Curriculum

Boston, MA—April 13, 2012—The Boston Conservatory, the oldest conservatory of its kind in the nation, is proud to now offer a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degree in Musical Theater, the terminal degree for this field of study.  Nationally known for its musical theater training program and large number of alumni working on Broadway, the Conservatory currently offers a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA), as well as the graduate-level Master of Music (MM) in Musical Theater.  The Conservatory now joins San Diego State University as only the second college in the United States to currently offer the MFA in Musical Theater. 

“We have a track record of preparing and graduating students who consistently get work on Broadway, in national tours and in television and film,” says Neil Donohoe, Director of the Theater Division at the Conservatory.  “Given the strength and reputation of our program, it made sense for us to further expand our leadership in this area and offer the terminal degree.”

The Massachusetts Department of Education approved the Conservatory’s proposal on February 28, 2012, following an extensive, seven-month proposal and review period.  The new 60-credit-hour MFA degree will require five semesters of study, including one intensive summer session, allowing students to complete the program in just two years—a distinction from those MFA programs requiring three years of study.  The program will begin in September 2012 for current MM Musical Theater students, as well as those students accepted for fall enrollment to MM Musical Theater program.  Applications for fall 2013 enrollment are due December 1, 2012.

Adds Donohoe, “This is a great opportunity for recent graduates of our MM Musical Theater program to transfer their credits and earn the terminal degree.”

The decision to offer the terminal degree was, in part, an outcome of extensive program review and overhaul of the Conservatory’s curriculum to give students increased flexibility in career path and preparation for new performing arts careers in an ever-changing landscape.  The new curriculum will include course undergraduate offerings that integrate the disciplines of music, dance and theater, as well as a first year writing skills workshop and a senior experience program designed to help students prepare for the transition from student to professional.  Changes will be rolled out over a three year period.

“The world is changing and our curriculum needs to change with it in order to be relevant and prepare our students for the performing arts careers of the future,” says Pat Hoy, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Chief Academic Officer for the Conservatory.  “The curriculum review has given us a much-needed opportunity to scrutinize our course offerings, review our infrastructure and identify new ways to leverage our multi-disciplinary curriculum using a holistic, Conservatory-wide approach.” 

Notable Boston Conservatory theater alumni (and their most recent projects) include Chad Kimball (Tony Nominee, Memphis), Constantine Maroulis (Tony Nominee, Rock of Ages), Katharine McPhee (“Smash”), Nick Adams (Priscilla Queen of the Desert), Andrew Durand (War Horse), Allison Blackwell (The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess), Stephanie Umoh (Ragtime), Alysha Umphress (American Idiot), Nikka Graff Lanzarone (Chicago), Erin Davie (A Little Night Music), Adam Dannheisser (Rock of Ages), Derek St. Pierre (Rock of Ages), Chelsea Morgan Stock (Baby It’s You), Jason Michael Snow (The Book of Mormon), Dominic Nolfi (Jersey Boys), Dan’yelle Williamson (Memphis), Anne L. Nathan (Once), Eddie Korbich (The Little Mermaid), Matt Wall (How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying), Michael McGrath (Nice Work If You Can Get It), Laura Marie Duncan (Billy Elliot The Musical), Erick Buckley (The Addams Family), Marcy Harriell (In the Heights), Janet Saia (The Phantom of the Opera), Karen Murphy (A Little Night Music) and Drew Sarich (Les Miserables).

About The Boston Conservatory

The Boston Conservatory trains exceptional young performing artists for careers that enrich and transform the human experience. Known for its intimate and supportive multidisciplinary environment, the Conservatory offers fully accredited graduate and undergraduate programs in music, dance and theater and presents more than 250 performances each year by students, faculty and guest artists. Since its founding in 1867, The Boston Conservatory has shared its talent and creativity with the city of Boston, the region and the nation, and continues to grow today as a vibrant community of artists and educators. 

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