B.F.A in Music Theatre Performance

Music Theatre Performance

  • Video of Music Theatre Performance at WMU
  • Auditions are held in-person and virtually. Information and tips on how to prepare for the audition can be found by scrolling down on this page. We look forward to meeting you!

“Actors coming out of the Western Michigan School of Theatre are certainly among the best and most sought-after students I have encountered during my 25 years of recruiting for three nationally ranked graduate programs. They are extremely talented, expertly trained, and fully prepared for the rigors of the next level of training.” —Jim Wise, Professor of Acting/MFA acting program, The Pennsylvania State University

Western Michigan University offers an intensive course of study in musical theatre performance that culminates with a BFA degree and the opportunity to showcase in New York City for significant Agents and Casting Directors.  The program offers extensive professional training in all areas of acting, voice, and dance.  The program endeavors to train actors who sing and dance.  In addition, students will participate in a two-year musical theatre performance workshop series of classes that synthesize the training into a marketable skill that students will utilize for their entire careers.  The focus of the program is preparing emerging talent to enter and compete in the Broadway market.
The course of study provides students the opportunity to receive four years of private vocal instruction, training in jazz, tap and ballet, three years of acting training, musicianship, as well as courses in the history of musical theatre, audition techniques, stagecraft, directing and numerous electives available only to MTP students as the only cross-departmental program in the School of Fine Arts (theatre, music and dance).
The Department of Theatre produces two or three musicals each year in a rotating repertoire that includes contemporary shows, traditional classics, dance-based pieces, and new and original works.  Students are also encouraged to audition for the Theatre Department’s straight shows and the student-directed footlight series, as well as the School of Music’s operas and the Department of Dance’s concert series.
Program director Jay Berkow chatted with The College Audition podcast about all things WMU Music Theatre. Listen here!

For further information on Department of Theatre majors or the minor,  email Thom Cooper, academic advisor. 


Alumni from the WMU Music Theatre Department have been seen on Broadway in Hamilton, Waitress, Mrs. Doubtfire, West Side Story, Jersey Boys, Chicago, Radio City Christmas Spectacular, Shrek the Musical, Spamalot, The Wedding Singer, Wicked, Gypsy and more. Alumni have also been seen on national tours of Hamilton, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, The Drowsy Chaperone, Hairspray, MAMMA MIA!, Rent, Seussical the Musical, Thoroughly Modern Millie and more. Our graduates can also be found at Cedar Point, Walt Disney World and on various cruise lines.  

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Audition Information

  • Audition process

    Step one: Upload your prescreen video to your application on getacceptd.com.  This should be a 30-second song cut. 

    Step two: If your prescreen is approved and an audition is scheduled, it will include:

    1.Slate (state your name and your pieces in the order they will be presented)
    2.Two, 1-minute contrasting songs from the music theatre repertoire
    3.One, 1-minute monologue (contemporary preferred)
    4.One, 1-minute dance reel (if auditioning virtually) or live dance call

    We would love to see you in-person, but understand if you are unable to travel to campus. You may complete your audition entirely online by uploading to getacceptd.com two one-minute song cuts, a one-minute contemporary monologue and a dance reel of your choosing.  Or you may elect to have a live audition via ZOOM. 

  • Application requirements

    To complete the application for the BFA Music Theatre Performance Program, you will need to :

    •  Apply for the program on the getacceptd.com website:  https://getacceptd.com

    •  Upload a current digital photo and an acting resume
    • Provide email addresses for two references (teachers, directors) who know your work
    • Provide current GPA and if you have SAT/ACT scores, you may optionally provide this as well
    • Upload a 30-second vocal audition – this can be a cut from any music theatre repertoire.
    • Once your prescreen is approved, prepare for your virtual or live audition

    Audition checklist

  • Tips for preparing your audition

    When preparing your audition, be sure to use material that is within your age range, and understanding. It is always advised that you seek out coaching and work extensively on your audition. Wear clothing that is simple, professional and comfortable. Avoid material that is well beyond your age range or understanding or roles in which you would not feasibly be cast. Do not use costumes, dialects or props. A chair will be provided for you. Arrive early for auditions but be prepared to wait.

    A monologue should show off who you are. Look for contemporary pieces with roles in your age range that you could be cast in today. We suggest that you avoid Tennessee Williams, Arthur Miller and Neil Simon. Look for contemporary playwrights. Novels and unpublished plays often have good monologues. It is also possible to find good monologues in movie scripts, but be careful, you don’t want to do something recognizable. Choosing the perfect monologue is no place to take shortcuts. This is your calling card and should be done with diligence and care.

    Sample resume

  • Curriculum

    Check out course requirements for the BFA in Music Theatre Performance.

  • Dates and locations

    Find out where and when you can audition and how to apply.

  • Questions?

    For more information on the audition process, email or call us at (269) 387-3220.