Carrie Gates | September 9, 2018
Musical theatre is seeing a resurgence in popularity and an evolution in style and form. Matt Hawkins wants Notre Dame students to be in the midst of it.
“About five or six years ago, I fell in love with musical theatre all over again, because the art form is changing,” said Hawkins, director of Notre Dame’s new musical theatre program. “It’s an exciting time. As artists, we need to innovate and create and move forward — and this is especially true for young people right now. They have a lot to say, and our program will help them develop their voices.”
This fall, the College of Arts and Letters is launching an interdisciplinary minor in musical theatre — a collaboration between the Departments of Music and Film, Television, and Theatre — which can be customized for students interested in performing, songwriting, directing, conducting, or scholarship.
The program begins at a time when dramatic, music-based performances are thriving on campus, including Opera Notre Dame’s recent productions of Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, Candide, and a world-premiere operatic version of As You Like It, and FTT musicals such as Cabaret, Little Shop of Horrors, and Spring Awakening.
“The Department of Music is absolutely delighted to be partnering with FTT on this minor,” said Peter Smith, chair and professor of music theory. “We have already built a collaborative foundation through Opera ND, and now we will expand that to include a formalized curriculum and theatrical productions geared not just around classical opera, but around the great tradition of American musical theatre.”
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