04 | Musical Theater Curriculum A Boot Camp for Future Stars
“The first day of classes, one of our teachers told us that this program was ‘the closest [we’d] ever come to a boot camp, without joining the army,’” musical theater student Catherine Dietrich recalls. “I’m afraid he might be right.”
Even listening to her schedule sounds exhausting. “A normal unit load is 20-23 units per semester. We have plenty of written character analyses, script analyses, and play critiques, and what we lack in [other] written work, we make up for in practice time. For dance, we are running our routines, practicing turns and technique. For acting, we have the repetition [acting exercise], journaling, weekly partner assignments and other scene preparations.
“For outside voice [private classes], we are running songs and technique daily. We are listening to dialects and accents, and practicing incorporating them until they are natural. Outside of class, we are rehearsing scenes, and, if you can get them, parts in the mainstage shows – the ones that subscribers attend in the gorgeous new theater building. Then, there is work.
“Do I mind it? No, honestly I love it. It is an incredible process, and you share so much of yourself with your friends and peers and teachers. So many true connections develop between people.”
After graduation Dietrich expects to perform professionally. “Eventually I also would love to direct and teach, but the performing needs to come first,” she said.