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Drew University Announces New Musical Theatre Minor

New minor supplements popular theatre arts major and four other program minors

April 2022 – Drew University has recently announced the addition of a musical theatre minor.

The minor is an interdisciplinary program incorporating the study of acting, dance, movement, vocal arts, performance history, and related musical subjects. The program distinctively offers students the opportunity to create original musicals as well as to participate in immersive experiences.

“The minor is an interplay of theatre, music, and dance,” said Lisa Brenner, chair of theatre and dance and professor of theatre arts.

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Drew students perform in a production of Heathers: The Musical, co-created by alum Kevin Murphy C'89.

“Other programs offer the opportunity to study directing, but not as extensively as our program, which also covers choreography. Additionally, what makes our program distinctive is the ability to focus not only on performance in these areas but also writing and composition. Our program also has an applied learning aspect, including a workshop course that features innovation and collaboration.”

The new musical theatre minor joins a robust list of theatre and dance program offerings, including a major in theatre arts—with concentrations in performance; design and technology; playwriting and dramaturgy; directing and stage management; and applied performance and community engagement—as well as minors in applied performance, arts administration: performing arts, dance, and theatre arts.

Brenner predicts great interest both inside and outside of the theatre and dance program.

“We anticipate that just as our dance minors often major in non-arts fields, many more outside the theater and dance department will want to minor in musical theatre to satisfy their passions,” she said, noting economics, biology, and psychology majors frequently choreograph the department’s dance shows and perform in theatre productions.

“We see a great many prospective students inquire about musical theatre, both those who plan to major in theatre and those looking to pair this interest with other majors at Drew,” said Brenner.

High-profile Drew theatre and dance alums include Emmy Award winners and classmates Kevin Murphy C’89 (Desperate Housewives, Heathers: The Musical) and Dan Studney C’89 (Jack The Giant Slayer), who shared a Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Music and Lyrics for Reefer Madness: The Movie Musical, and worked together on Honey, I Shrunk the Kids: The TV Show; production properties supervisor Buist Bickley C’07, who currently oversees props for Broadway shows like MJ, Moulin Rouge, Tina: The Tina Turner Musical, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, and Dear Evan Hansen; and casting director Patrick Goodwin C’06 (Tina: The Tina Turner Musical, The Cher Show, Waitress, Kinky Boots, SpongeBob Squarepants: The Musical, Finding Neverland, Pippin, Chaplin, Annie).

The addition of the musical theatre minor comes on the heels of two new education minors, one in education and society and another in teaching. Read more here.

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