Welcome from the Coordinator
As Coordinator of the Musical Theatre program at Montclair State University, I am delighted to introduce you to a unique educational opportunity.
Musical Theatre at Montclair is a joint venture of the John J. Cali School of Music and Department of Theatre and Dance. Together we have applied the best of our resources to develop an intensive course of study and performance applications which we believe are of equal importance to your development.
I hope I have sparked an interest in our program, as I would look forward to meeting you in person. Please take the time to look over our information including curriculum, facilities, performance opportunities and faculty, as well as the steps for preparing to audition. We feel that your education at Montclair would be just the first step towards a rewarding journey. At Montclair State, our goal is your success.
The Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Musical Theatre is a highly selective, four-year, conservatory-derived professional training program that prepares students for successful careers in musical theatre stage performance.
Our rigorous, innovative curriculum combines instruction and experience in the acting, dance and music demanded by this unique craft. Distinguished by close, individualized attention from our outstanding faculty, the program is a successful launch pad for future careers as “triple threat” performers.
Our proximity to Manhattan allows us to attract an outstanding full-time faculty and prominent guest artists who work closely with students each semester. With Manhattan just 30 minutes away, you will be able to connect with on and off-Broadway productions and internships.
The BFA in Musical Theatre program combines a conservatory-like experience with a traditional liberal arts education. The curriculum consists of 123 credits, including 92 credits in a common core curriculum of music, acting and dance and 31 credits in General Education.
The program’s core curriculum includes instruction in:
As a BFA Musical Theatre student, you will be able to build your resume as early as your freshman year through access to a wide range of performance opportunities, including:
- Fully staged main stage and studio productions
- Concert productions
- Dance performances
- Classical and new musical theatre works
Students learn their craft by “doing.” As we do not offer a master’s degree program in acting, you will never compete with graduate students for acting opportunities and leading roles. A culminating program activity is our career-building New York Senior Showcase.
Students learn by watching as well as doing. You will be able to attend more than 500 professional events on campus each year, including those presented by the Theatre and Dance Department as well as by Montclair’s Peak Performances program of theatre, dance and music productions. Students – who are sometimes cast alongside seasoned performers and renowned actors – are admitted FREE to these campus events.
More than 75 permanent faculty members and visiting professionals – including internationally renowned celebrity guest artists and artists-in-residence – mentor our Theatre and Dance students each semester. These working professionals share insights gleaned from their professional experiences in the “real world” of theatre with students in studio workshops, seminars, and lectures. Faculty mentoring can often lead to opportunities beyond the classroom.
Our award-winning musical theatre faculty members are performers, designers, directors, conductors, choreographers and musicians who have worked in the U.S. and abroad in film, opera and television, and on and off-Broadway.
Montclair State boasts exceptional performance facilities with impressive technical specifications. You will perform in six well-equipped theatres, including the state-of-the-art Alexander Kasser Theater; the 946-seat Memorial Auditorium; our 2000-seat amphitheater, and the intimate L. Howard Fox Theatre.
This exceptional range of performance spaces reflects industry opportunities and prepares students for future performances in a variety of settings.
Allison Strong – BFA Musical Theatre Major
“Montclair State was the right choice for me because of the exceptional musical theatre training, nurturing environment, as well as its proximity to New York City and all the opportunities the city has to offer. There’s no question that I made the right decision. Even after making my Broadway debut in Bye, Bye Birdie, I can’t imagine completing my BFA anywhere else.”
Josh Dela Cruz – BFA Musical Theatre Major
“When I decided I wanted to pursue musical theatre, I knew almost immediately that Montclair State was the place for me. The BFA Musical Theatre degree offers a strong core curriculum that challenges us physically and mentally to stretch our limits in the class and in performance, as well as the flexibility to focus on specific aspects of this multi-faceted art form. The level of professionalism that the program, productions, and faculty demonstrate is amazing. There is no other place I would want to be.”
Tara Tagliafero – BFA Musical Theatre Alumna, Class of 2010
“I am grateful for having such gifted teachers as the backbone of my training. I owe everything to my time spent finding myself as a performer at Montclair and for all the professional and unparalleled guidance in the classroom and on stage. I truly feel prepared to face the real world – a confidence I did not have upon entering the BFA Musical Theatre program. I came to Montclair so raw and so eager and I’m leaving with the strong foundation I need for success.”
The BFA Musical Theatre program meets the rigorous standards of the National Association of Schools of Theatre (NAST) – a distinction that places us among the nation’s most competitive programs.
Musical Theatre Video Montage
Applications / Admissions
Can I pay a visit to the University and take a tour of the campus?
There are a lot of ways to visit our beautiful campus! We have daily campus tours throughout the year and various events to visit Montclair State. To register for a campus tour or visit, you can go to http://www.montclair.edu/admissions/visit-us/
How do I access an application form?
To apply to the University, please head to http://apply.montclair.edu/apply to log in or create an account.
Do I need to send an application to the university before I audition?
Yes! We highly recommend that you apply to Montclair State prior to completing your audition.
Do you accept the Common Application or Accepted?
Montclair State is not on the Common Application or Accepted. To apply to the University, you will need to apply at the links above.
What are the deadlines for applying?
Freshmen applications for the BFA Musical Theatre are due no later than March 15th. For the most up to date application deadline information, please visit http://www.montclair.edu/admissions/apply-and-check-status/admissions-deadlines/
Is there a deadline for Merit based awards?
Yes. For first time freshmen, students must submit their application for admission by January 15th to be considered for merit based scholarships. There is no separate application for scholarships.
What are the undergraduate admission standards?
Can I apply to more than one program?
No. However, if a student is not admissible to their particular major but is still a strong fit for Montclair State, they may be admitted Undeclared.
What is the minimum ACT or SAT test score required for admission?
Montclair State University is SAT/ACT optional. To read more about our policy, go to http://www.montclair.edu/admissions/apply-and-check-status/admissions-requirements/satact-test-optionalpolicy/.
How do I check the status of my application?
To check the status of your application, go to http://apply.montclair.edu/apply and log in to your application and see the status.
What is the cost of tuition?
The current cost of tuition can be found at https://www.montclair.edu/red-hawk-central/tuition-fees/.
Do you offer financial assistance?
We do. Also, Montclair State University offers many options to help you finance your education, including payment plans and financial aid packages; more than 78% of Montclair State students receive some form of financial aid. To contact someone in the Office of Financial Aid or learn more about the process, please visit the Office of Financial Aid website.
Who is an Early Action Freshman applicant?
Montclair State does not currently offer Early Action, but does offer a priority deadline. This deadline is December
1st. For the most up to date information, please visit: http://www.montclair.edu/admissions/apply-and-check-status/admissions-deadlines/
Who is an EOF Applicant?
The Educational Opportunity Fund (EOF) is a state access program for students from traditionally disadvantaged backgrounds and districts. The EOF program is for New Jersey residents only. EOF students must meet strict financial criteria to be admitted. To apply to the EOF program, submit a regular freshmen or transfer application and make sure to click “EOF” under your admit type.
Who is a Transfer Applicant?
A transfer application is a student who has attended college elsewhere prior to applying to Montclair State. This does not include students who are taking college courses as part of, or concurrently with, their high school curriculum.
Do you have an Honors Program?
What do I do if I have missed the application deadline?
If you’ve missed the application deadline, please email firstname.lastname@example.org call the Office of Undergraduate Admissions at (973) 655-4444 for guidance.
Can Montclair State University be followed on Facebook and Twitter?
Yes, and on Instagram and Snapchat too! To follow us on social media, visit: http://www.montclair.edu/admissions/contact-us/
B.F.A. Musical Theatre Auditions
When and where are auditions held?
Annual Auditions for the BFA Musical Theatre program are held on the University campus from January through April, and as a participating member of the National Unified Auditions, https://www.unifiedauditions.com ,auditions are held during the months of January and February in New York City, Chicago and Los Angeles.
https://www.montclair.edu/theatre-and-dance/admission/#appointment . In November, auditions are also held in Dallas, TX as part of the Dallas Moonified Auditions, http://www.collegeauditioncoach.com/moonifieds ,and in Atlanta, GA as part of the College Audition Project (CAP) http://collegeauditionproject.com/.
How do I schedule an audition date and time and is there a pre-screen process?
Auditioning for the BFA Musical Theatre program is a two-step process which first involves officially applying to the University through the Office of Undergraduate Admissions (http://www.montclair.edu/admissions/) and then scheduling an audition for the program. Once students have started the application process they will receive information to schedule an on-site audition, or an audition through the National Unified Auditions http://www.unifiedauditions.com/ in NYC, Chicago or Los Angeles. https://www.montclair.edu/theatre-anddance/admission/admission-bfa-musical-theatre/ .
There is no pre-screening required for audition purposes.
If potential students are unable to attend any of our on-site auditions, they may submit a digital audition for program acceptance consideration. We ask that they follow the Musical Theater Common Prescreen guidelines.
For information regarding the Musical Theater Common Prescreen, please visit: https://papermill.org/musicaltheater-common-prescreen/ . We ask that you use Option A for both songs and monologues. Students should also include an example of their dance training by showing their level of technique in Ballet or Jazz and/or Tap.
Can I audition before I apply to the University?
It is highly recommended that you apply first and then audition. Auditions can be scheduled prior to the Application process being completed but auditions results cannot and will not be disseminated until there is an indication from the Office of Admissions that the student has officially and fully applied to the University which includes receipt of all required documents and fully paid application and audition fees .
Is there a deadline for applying to the Musical Theatre program?
Currently the deadline for applying to the University in order to audition for the BFA Musical Theatre program is February 15th.
Is there an audition fee and is it refundable?
Currently there is a $50 Audition Fee for the processing of materials and the scheduling of an audition date. The fee is non-refundable.
What is required for the audition and what will the day be like?
The Audition process will consist of two segments: An Individual acting/ vocal audition and a dance placement audition. The Acting/ Vocal segment will last approximately 10 minutes and are scheduled, in the order the request is received, throughout the audition day from 9:30 am – 7:00 pm. The Dance Placement segment is scheduled at 10:00 am, 12:00 or 2:00 pm for on-site auditions and 8:00 am, 12:00 or 5:00 pm for the National Unified Auditions. For specific audition preparation requirements please visit: https://www.montclair.edu/theatre-anddance/admission/admission-bfa-musical-theatre/
What should I do if I cannot attend my audition appointment and can I change an audition date and time?
Students that have scheduled an audition appointment and have received a Confirmation of an audition date and time should call and leave a message for the Auditions Coordinator – Kim Whittam (973) 655-7201 at least 48 hrs. prior to the actual audition date if they cannot attend. Students are allowed to reschedule an appointment only once with the understanding that most, if not all, audition dates reach capacity very quickly and students may be relegated to a waitlist for a non-specific audition date cancellation based on the order that the reschedule request is received. A last-minute cancellation or failure to attend a confirmed appointment will automatically make you ineligible to re-schedule a later audition.
Are there additional materials required as part of the audition process and where do I send them?
Musical Theater applicants will submit all additional materials along with their application in their application portal. You should make sure that the Office of Undergraduate Admissions has received all of your required items, including any audition fees, transcripts, and recommendation letters, in advance of your audition date. Please note you will not receive the results of your audition or portfolio review until your application requirements have been received. You can view your application status by logging into your application status portal at apply.montclair.edu/apply. On the day of your audition, please bring a hard copy of your head shot and resume with you.
Do you accept Digital Auditions and do I still have to pay the audition fee?
The BFA Musical Theatre will accept Digital submissions. All audition requirements must be demonstrated by following the Musical Theater Common Prescreen guidelines. For information regarding the Musical Theater Common Prescreen, please visit: https://papermill.org/musical-theater-common-prescreen/. We ask that you use Option A for both Songs and Monologues. Students should also include an example of their dance training by showing their level of technique in Ballet or Jazz and/or Tap. The Digital Submission should be sent to the Auditions Coordinator. The Application and Audition Fee will still need to paid in full through the Application Portal. https://www.montclair.edu/theatre-and-dance/admission/admission-bfa-musical-theatre/
How will you notify me concerning the results of my audition and do you offer feedback on the audition itself?
Following an audition and within a few weeks’ time, students will receive a letter from the Office of Undergraduate
Admissions stating one of three results. Not Accepted would mean that the student was denied acceptance to the
University based on the required criteria as part of the application process submitted through the Office of Admissions. Accepted/ Undeclared would mean the student has been accepted by the University but has not been accepted by the BFA Musical Theatre program based on their audition results. Accepted/ Freshman Class BFA Musical Theatre would mean that they have been both accepted by the University and the BFA Musical Theatre program based on their audition results. It is College of the Arts policy to not offer feedback pertaining to a student’s independent audition or the sharing of audition results themselves.
Do you have a waitlist for potential students and will I be notified of such?
Aside from the Letters listed above, students may also receive an e-mail stating they are relegated to a Wait List status, based on their successful audition results, and will be notified by the University of their Official Status by a specified date.
If you are not accepted by the University can you still be accepted by the BFA Musical Theatre program?
Students cannot be accepted by the BFA Musical Theatre program if they have not met the admission requirements set by the University and the Office of Admissions.
Can I re-audition if I am not accepted into the BFA Musical Theatre program on the first try?
Students can re-audition for the BFA Musical Theatre program but not twice within the same audition year cycle. Students are encouraged to contact the Auditions Coordinator about their desire to re-audition the following year and sign up for a date and location of their choosing, once the dates have been announced and posted on the Musical Theatre web page. The Audition Fee will be waived for the re-audition but the written materials will again need to be received as stated. https://www.montclair.edu/theatre-and-dance/admission/admission-bfa-musicaltheatre/
Is an audition required for the Musical Theatre minor?
There is no audition for the Minor in Musical Theatre. Students interested in the Musical Theatre Minor program should contact Professor Eric Diamond (email@example.com) and arrange an interview prior to declaring.
B.F.A. Musical Theatre
What does the Musical Theatre curriculum consist of and what classes are offered?
Defined by a rigorous and innovative curriculum, BFA Musical Theatre majors benefit from an intensive program that fuses acting, dance and music into a “craft” focused on providing young artists with the knowledge, practical experience and professional exposure needed for a successful career and advancement in musical theatre. All BFA majors take classes in ballet, musical theatre dance, acting, music theory and aural skills, private voice studio, piano, vocal and performance ensembles, makeup, history of theatre and musical theatre, musical theatre styles, movement and speech. The BFA Musical Theatre degree consists of 123 credits, including 92 credits in music, acting and dance and 31 credits in General Education combining the best of a conservatory- like experience and a liberal arts education. Our curriculum offers strong pre-professional training geared for the business as it is reflected today. And make no mistake musical theatre is a business. (note: Students in all Theatre & Dance majors must pass yearly juried reviews for continuation in the preprofessional programs). http://www.montclair.edu/catalog/view_requirements.php?CurriculumID=991
How does the John J. Cali School of Music and Department of Theatre and Dance each support the BFA Musical Theatre program?
The BFA Musical Theatre program is administered jointly though the alliance of the John J. Cali School of Music and the Department of Theatre and Dance and both the School and Department have a vested interest in the continued success of the BFA Musical Theatre degree. All theatre and dance based courses are offered through the Department of Theatre and Dance and all music based courses are offered through the John J. Cali School of Music. All yearly musical theatre productions are produced collaboratively with the Department offering technical support in terms of sets, costumes, lighting, directors/ choreographers and the School in terms of music personnel, music directors, conductors, accompanists and orchestral support.
Are Voice Lessons included or is there an extra per semester cost?
Voice Lessons are included in the tuition base with no additional per semester cost passed onto the student, which can be the case of other musical theatre programs. There is a student fee of $450. applied each semester to your private vocal studio which helps to offset the cost of a private accompanist which you have for the entire private studio time. Private studio lessons begin second semester of the freshman year and continue into the senior year. The lessons per week are one (1) hour in length and there are fifteen (15) lessons in each semester.
How many performance opportunities are available during the academic year?
Currently the BFA Musical Theatre program provides 5 yearly performance opportunities for the musical theatre students. Three productions are fully produced (sets, costumes, lighting, sound and orchestral support) and are held in three different performance spaces: The Fox Theatre (100 seats), Memorial Auditorium (900 seats) and the state of the art Kasser Theatre (500 seats).We also produce a yearly Musical In Concert held in Leshowitz Recital Hall (275 seats) and we produce a New Work or Reimagined Musical workshop held in the 125 seat Dance Theatre.
Are there performance opportunities other than musicals?
Students are also eligible and encouraged to audition for our yearly series of three to four fully produced Plays, six to eight Concerts, two fully produced Operas, two Industrials and three to four Dance concerts. Aside from
Departmental/ School productions, a Student Union generated collective, Players, produces two to three plays and one to two musicals each academic year. Musical Theatre students are encouraged to participate if they have not been cast in departmental productions.
Are freshman students allowed to perform?
BFA Musical Theatre students are required to audition and are eligible to be cast starting second semester (Spring) of their freshman year. There are no barriers as to which level of production or performance size venue freshman students could be cast for, nor is there any barrier as to principal, supporting or ensemble role designation. Production support responsibilities are spread out over all four years as opposed to only the freshman year.
Are Students allowed to audition and work professionally?
We do allow students, in good standing, to audition professionally and accept outside employment, but there is an administrative process that students must follow. That would involve putting the request in writing and getting permission from all Musical Theatre faculty as well as their Vocal Instructor prior to the actual audition date. Once and if permission has been granted, students are allowed to audition for outside professional and non-professional employment opportunities. Currently we hold our own set of “Straw Hat“ type auditions on campus each academic year, where several dozen professional summer and regional theatres audition our musical theatre students privately, on campus, for summer employment. These auditions usually produce a strong number of students receiving successful offers, many offering EMC points. We also encourage students to audition in New York City for summer employment at a myriad of summer and regional theatres as long as they receive permission and follow the established protocol for outside auditioning and employment. Auditions and professional employment cannot interfere with classes or program rehearsal/performance commitments. Failure to adhere to the policies and procedures for outside auditions or employment may result in probationary measures or expulsion from the musical theatre program.
Do you have a senior showcase?
Montclair State University produces a yearly BFA Acting and Musical Theatre Showcase held in one of several theatres on Theatre Row, 42nd Street, NYC. There is no audition or pre-screening process and all graduating seniors in good standing are eligible to participate. The Showcase is produced in affiliation with the Actors Connection (http://www.actorsconnection.com/) and prior to the Showcase itself, seniors participate in two full days of actor intensives/ workshops with industry professionals as well as a closed showcase with two different panels of top NY Casting Directors and Agents. A Preview of the Showcase is held on campus for family and friends prior to the actual NYC showcase date.
Do you have a cut policy?
The BFA Musical Theatre program does not have a cut policy (being asked or forced to re-audition after the first or second year in order to remain in the program or being asked to assimilate to a BA degree). The number of musical theatre students accepted into any given freshman class are the students we want to see graduate with a BFA Musical Theatre degree.
Does your teaching faculty also work professionally?
All Full Time faculty as well as our Visiting Specialists continue to work professionally. From Performance to
Production Design, our nationally renowned, expert faculty are working professionals from New York to Los Angeles and around the world. Their abundance of professional credits include Broadway, Off Broadway, National tours and Regional theatres, cruise lines, opera, film, television and abroad, mentoring our students in every way.
Do you offer talent based scholarships for incoming students?
In lieu of Talent Based Scholarships we currently award all Out-Of-State students who are accepted into a given BFA Musical Theatre freshman class the same tuition rate as an In-State student. At an $8,700 a year difference, that is approximately $35,000 or more in savings for a student and their family towards their higher educational journey. In addition to this award, there are Merit based awards as well as financial aid incentives which may be available and applicants are encouraged to pursue those independently. College of the Arts at Montclair State University offers several yearly scholarships and awards to students who are currently enrolled in a CART based program. Students, from freshman thru senior year, are encouraged to apply for one or more of any number of these annual awards. The deadline in consideration for University Merit Based Scholarships in association with the initial application process through the Office of Admissions is January 15th of any given year.
Are students outside of the program allowed to take BFA musical theatre classes?
All classes offered within the BFA Musical Theatre program are designed and designated for MUTR (Musical Theatre) majors only. These would include all performance based courses (Acting, Music and Dance) within the John J. Cali School of Music as well as the Department of Theatre and Dance. Students outside of the BFA Musical Theatre degree wishing to take a musical theatre based course are encouraged to explore the Musical Theatre Minor, which offers a variety of performance based courses specifically for non-majors. Please contact Professor Eric Diamond for more information. firstname.lastname@example.org
Are students placed in dance classes according to their level of technique?
All freshman students in the BFA Musical Theatre program are placed in Dance classes according to their incoming level of technique. There are five levels of dance classes within the DNCE major program (ballet, jazz, modern and ethnic each offered two or four times a week) and five levels of dance within the Musical Theatre structured classes (jazz and tap each offered once a week). Once a Musical Theatre student is placed in Level II or higher, they could be eligible, through placement by the Dance Faculty, to take the same level classes as the DNCE majors. As a Musical Theatre major, students have the option, according to the availability within their schedule, of taking the majors classes, four times a week for three (3) credits or twice a week for two (2) credits. Students also have the option of mixing and matching classes according to their level of technique in different disciplines, meaning, a student could be in a higher level of one discipline (i.e.: jazz) and a lower level in another (i.e.: tap).
Are your graduates successful?
Our Musical Theatre graduates are currently representing Montclair State University in major leading roles on and off Broadway, in National and International touring companies, cruise lines, television and in many major regional theatres across the nation.
Do you have a study abroad program?
Montclair State’s Global Education Center, recognized as one of the nation’s best programs by NAFSA: Association of International Educators, provides leadership and organizational focus for the University’s globalization efforts. http://www.montclair.edu/global-education/ . The Global Education Center comprises the International Affairs Office for Montclair State Faculty and Visiting Scholars, the Office of International Services, Study Abroad and International Summer Institutes, and Special Programs.
Do you have a graduate program?
Unlike most other theatre programs across the country we do not have a graduate program in performance. This means that the undergraduate student gets more opportunities to work and perform starting their freshman year. It is not unheard of for our students to have built a sizable performance resume upon graduation.
Do you accept change of major and transfer students?
Every year, through the BFA Musical Theatre audition process, we accept several transfer and change-of-major students into the MUTR (Musical Theatre) program. We do our best to assimilate compatible performance based courses and previously earned credits toward their degree requirements. Students looking to transfer to Montclair State University should first apply through the Office of Admissions as a Transfer Student and then schedule an audition for the program. Once students have started the application process they can then schedule an on-site audition, or an audition through the National Unified Auditions in NYC, Chicago or Los Angeles.
Can I plan a visit to the University and meet with a Musical Theatre faculty member?
Interested students and their family can plan a visit to the University, tour the campus and arrange a one (1) hour personal meeting with a Musical Theatre faculty member, but, it requires a two week, minimum, window of request time to ensure faculty availability according to teaching schedules, departmental responsibilities and personal accessibility. It is recommended that you schedule a General Tour of the Campus through the Office of
Admissions first. https://www.montclair.edu/admissions/visit-us/campus-tours/ . Once you have a Tour Confirmation, contact the Coordinator of Musical Theatre by email email@example.com and inquire as to faculty availability, dates and times. We will do our best to accommodate you either before or after your General Tour. Personal meetings with Musical Theatre faculty are not held on weekends during the academic year or during the summer months of June through August (Summer Break when faculty are not on campus and most are engaged in Professional Scholarship). General Tours of the University campus through the Office of Admissions are available all year long. https://www.montclair.edu/admissions/visit-us/campus-tours/