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Nationally recognized Musical Theatre program adds new concentration in dance

Posted: 07/15/2013

The Theatre Conservatory at Roosevelt University, known nationally for preparing student actors and singers for professional theatre careers, has added a new Bachelor of Fine Arts in Musical Theatre degree with a dance emphasis.

The new dance-focused program, which starts this fall at Roosevelt’s Chicago Campus, complements the theatre conservatory’s existing BFA in Musical Theatre degree with a voice emphasis.

The program is the first of its kind in the Midwest, as well as one of the first in the nation and its inaugural class of 17 students hail from 11 U.S. states and Canada.
“We are creating a new kind of program that will provide the most comprehensive and well-rounded musical theatre education available to actors, singers and dancers,” said Sean Kelley, director of the Theatre Conservatory at Roosevelt University, which will welcome the inaugural class in August.
 
“It will give us a reach like never before, putting us in a category to become the premier musical theatre program in the country,” predicted Kelley, who expects enrollment in the musical theatre program at Roosevelt’s Chicago College of Performing Arts to double in four years’ time.

More than 60 highly skilled dancers from all over North America applied for admission to the new program, performing at auditions that were held earlier this year in New York, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and at Roosevelt University in Chicago.

 “Today’s theatre professionals need more and more skill. With this new component, we are creating a triple threat of acting, singing and dancing, which we believe will pave the way for our graduates to succeed in any one or all three disciplines,” said Luis Perez, a noted choreographer, Joffrey Ballet principal and Broadway star who is director of musical theatre at Roosevelt and designer of the new program.

“We are bringing a whole new level of energy and excitement to our musical theatre program, which we believe will be a model for future theatre training in the U.S.,” Perez said.

Dance classes will be offered for the program in a new 13,000-square-foot facility located at 218 S. Wabash Ave. in the heart of Chicago’s Loop. The program’s dance faculty includes Tony-nominated Broadway performer Jane Lanier as well as a cadre of instructors from the theatre and dance scene in Chicago.

To reach members of the inaugural dance class, contact Laura Janota at 312-341-3511 or ljanota@roosevelt.edu.

For more information about the new Bachelor of Fine Arts in Musical Theatre degree program with a dance emphasis, contact Luis Perez, head of musical theatre at Roosevelt University at lperez@roosevelt.edu or 312-341-2347; or Patrick Zylka, assistant dean for enrollment management at Roosevelt’s Chicago College of Performing Arts, pzylka@roosevelt.edu or 312-341-2347.