Our mission is to provide holistic and individualistic training in musical theater performance to prepare our artists for the current professional market, and to facilitate our artists to live with integrity in the world both as professionals and as people.
Helmed by award-winning Broadway, film and television actress/director Kaitlin Hopkins, this innovative pre-professional training program is one of the only musical theatre programs in the country run exclusively by industry professionals. Our customized approach to artist development eschews the traditional “one size fits all” approach of many university training programs and concentrates on the specific needs of each individual student. Our curriculum is designed to prepare students to enter the professional market by preparing them for a comprehensive career in show business, not just in musical theater.
Our faculty members work together to fully integrate all aspects of the curriculum with a focus on the health of the performer physically, vocally and mentally. Our curriculum has a current, outside the box approach and was designed by Broadway professionals to train future Broadway professionals. At the same time, each student gets a solid liberal arts education, which we feel is essential for success in the industry today. With extensive experience in theater on and off Broadway, regionally and internationally, in television, film, recording and radio, our faculty are accomplished professionals that return to the profession frequently to continue their own growth as artists and keep current on industry standards. Learn more about our faculty.
Our program is a conservatory style, four-year, sequence-based program with the benefits of a liberal arts education in a beautiful university setting. The performance curriculum is designed to provide extensive training for the whole actor: voice, acting, dance, collaboration techniques and artist-entrepreneurial skills. Liberal arts classes expand your understanding of yourself, your culture and society, helping you to become an educated citizen-artist. We strongly believe that what is unique about each student must be supported by the curriculum, not supplanted by it. We cater each degree plan to the individual students needs and interests. Including course substitutions and creating individualized tracks and opportunities including internships for students who are interested in further exploring their gifts as writers, choreographers, directors, producers, casting, etc.
Senior Showcase in dedicated to exposing our Musical Theatre seniors to industry professionals. In addition to the showcase performances, events include workshops, panel discussions with professionals, panel discussions with alumni and our annual alumni reunion.
In addition to our New York Showcase we have set up a network of alumni and working professionals in cities all over the country to help assist our graduates as they transition into the business. We also bring in top Broadway casting directors and industry professionals to work with our students beginning their freshman year. This allows for personal relationships to develop, which will better serve our graduates when they enter the profession. We work closely with our seniors before and after graduation in helping each individual prepare for a transition into their professional careers. This includes a series of "Business of the Business" labs. These labs include everything from comprehensive instruction in all types of contracts in theatre, film and television, how to do their taxes (especially on tour when they are filing in multiple states), financial planning and budgeting and what the professional expectations will be under specific contracts union and non-union once they book the job.
Our goal is to provide you with the tools to create your own way of working and the confidence to begin your independent artistic journey as a professional artist-entrepreneur.
“As Texas State faculty, we have the greatest job in the world; we are able to support emerging artists in every area of their work and their lives as they journey to access their authentic selves through their art form and connect to “their” unique voice as artists. It is what we are about. It is why we are here. It is in every classroom, every hallway, and every performance space; in every breath faculty and students take here. It defines who we are as a department, not just a musical theater program. We focus on the “process” not just the result. We celebrate failing as a win. We believe “failing forward” leads to breakthroughs and growth in the work. We challenge ourselves everyday to push past what is comfortable and easy and collaborate with our students and fellow faculty to create an environment where we all feel supported and safe to play. Part of our primary mission is to function as an ensemble of creative artists, students and faculty together. As a company of artists we challenge each other to be present in our lives and in our work, and to a daily commitment that embraces discovery, growth and giving back to our community.
Often through failing in our process as actors we make our greatest discoveries, our potential for greatness as artists lies in us being willing to be brave, uncomfortable, messy and not perfect. Embracing our flaws or perceived weaknesses instead of trying to hide them is exciting to us, as those are often the things that define us and make us unique. One of our goals is to take those unique “flaws” and turn them into your strengths by the time you walk out the door. Our faculty and our students strive to live with intent in the world. It is that energy in the lobby of our theater building that I can’t wait to have hit me whenever I walk in. We strive to access the “joy” in the work, and the sense of “play”. It’s not always as easy as it sounds but it is imperative to our creativity and growth and informs how we live our lives and ultimately in our work as actors.”
- Kaitlin Hopkins
Head of Musical Theatre
To learn more about the program check out a recent interview with Kaitlin- Huffington Post “Women in the Performing Arts."