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B.F.A. in Musical Theatre

Develop your skills.
Discover your process.
Dare to find your artistic voice.

Musical Theatre at Penn State is recognized as one of the finest training programs in the nation. Our mission is to train young artists so that they may thrive in the professional musical theatre and enjoy a successful and lifelong artistic journey. Students are recruited nationally and share a positive, professional, and dedicated attitude as humans and artists that allows them to enter the Industry ready to contribute to the stories they want to tell and the art they want to make.

The Musical Theatre B.F.A. degree program is an intensive pre-professional training program with alumni working around the country and the world.

Our faculty is made up of artists dedicated to both the profession and the academy. As working actors, dancers, music directors, choreographers, and directors, we bring our students Broadway, national tour, regional theatre, and film and television experience. With a ratio of thirteen faculty to forty-nine students, the training is individualized, specific, and demanding.

Students accepted into the program will receive specialized training in singing, acting, and dance. In addition to this training, Penn State Musical Theatre offers signature initiatives like the New Musicals Initiative (which commissions musical theatre writers to write for our students), the Master Class Series, and our unique Musical Theatre Wellness Center – which assists our students in the areas of Mental, Physical, Vocal, and Nutritional Health during their training.

Connect with us

We are so proud of our many alums working around the world. Below are just a few of the exciting projects that involve Penn State Musical Theatre alumni. Check back frequently – we are always updating!

Caroline Bowman – Frozen, National Tour (Elsa)
Audrey Cardwell – The Music Man, Broadway, (Ensemble and Marian u/s)
Kevin Clay – The Book of Mormon, Broadway (Elder Price)
Ixchel Cuellar – Hamilton, National Tour (Swing)
Alex Dorf – The Boy Band Project
Amina Faye- Six, National Tour (Jane Seymour)
Jasmine Forsberg- Six, National Tour (Jane Seymour)
Marcus Paul James- Ain’t Too Proud, National Tour (Otis Williams)
James T. Lane – Ain’t Too Proud, National Tour (Paul Williams)
Connor McRory- Funny Girl, Broadway (Swing)
Jake Pederson- Wicked, National Tour (Boq)
Allsun O’Malley- Wicked, Broadway (Vacation Swing)
Allie Pizzo – Aladdin, National Tour (Ensemble)
Julio Rey – The National Lampoon Broadway Vacation, Seattle Pre-Broadway (Ensemble)
Talia Suskauer – Wicked, Broadway (Elphaba)
Christian Thompson – The Devil Wears Prada, Chicago Pre-Broadway (Christian Thompson)
Brinie Wallace- A Beautiful Noise The Neil Diamond Musical, Boston Pre-Broadway (Swing)
Maria Wirries – Kinky Boots, Off-Broadway (Ensemble)

Musical Theatre students performing a scene from American Idiot.

See it in 360º

Welcome to our studios and spaces! Each of these 360º views is a portal of sorts into the learning and performance spaces in the School of Theatre!

You can click-and-drag to control the view in the frame, and there are embedded ‘links’ within the viewer that enable you to move among physical locations. By clicking the arrow icon at the footer of the viewer window, you can access the tour navigation menu, including the full screen (and you really should check these out full screen).

Pavilion TheatreSnap Content

Theatre Performance Classrooms + Stages

Considering the B.F.A. in Musical Theatre? Consider this.

​With our curriculum, initiatives, and connections – we are defining 21st century Musical Theatre training.

  • Tony, Grammy, Obie winning writers work in our New Musicals Initiative

  • Master classes taught by Broadway’s elite professionals

  • Graduating students leave with professionally filmed material for their websites

  • Each year, we spend time in NYC taking classes, seeing shows, and meeting alumni

Alumni Spotlight

Penn State embraced my vision for a cross-disciplinary education that combined electrical engineering with theatre and stage lighting.
Penn State alumnus Andrew Giffin

Alumni Spotlight

Andrew Giffin

Inter-College Bachelor of Philosophy, 2005

Andrew Giffin – a Schreyer Scholar who earned a inter-college Bachelor of Philosophy incorporating studies in Theatre Design and Technology plus Electrical Engineering – is the associate lighting designer for the rock band, Phish, and is widely considered as the top lighting programmer in the industry. Andrew has designed and programmed light shows for musicians such as Pearl Jam, Ariana Grande and Justin Bieber in addition to his work on music award shows, theatre productions and sporting events.

News from A&A

Theatre alumni apply Penn State experience to the tech front

Theatre design alumni Tyler Hoffman and Mike Birardi founded in 2017 Illuminated Integration, an audio, video and lighting company based in Harrisburg.

College of Arts and Architecture alumni Tyler Hoffman and Mike Birardi are using the skills and experiences they gained as Theatre Design and Technology majors to bring all kinds of

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School of Theatre’s Student Diversity Committee gains University organization status

The School of Theatre’s Student Diversity Committee has become an official University organization.
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Animated film takes viewers behind the COVID-19 frontline

In his latest animated film, “Frontline Nurses: Dispatches from the COVID-19 Pandemic,” Penn State Theatre faculty member William Doan tells the stories of frontline nurses.
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