A. Max Weitzenhoffer School of Musical Theatre

Ashton Byrum, Director
104 Carpenter Hall
840 Asp Avenue
Norman, OK 73019-4091
Phone: (405) 325-0538
Fax: (405) 325-7663
musicaltheatre@ou.edu
musicaltheatre.ou.edu

General Information

The A. Max Weitzenhoffer School of Musical Theatre at the University of Oklahoma is the only independent school of musical theatre in the country. With an innovative and challenging curriculum, impressive faculty and a select student body, OU Musical Theatre provides its students with the best of two worlds — conservatory-style training within a dynamic liberal arts university environment. In the midst of an intensive, world-class program of study in the arts, OU Musical Theatre gives students unique opportunities to broaden their knowledge with a wide array of possibilities outside of the school. Apart from offering a high caliber faculty, curriculum and performance opportunities, the goal of OU Musical Theatre is to provide its students with the necessary training and tools to make them highly marketable, employable and successful both on stage and off.

Born out of a generous gift from acclaimed Broadway producer and OU School of Drama graduate A. Max Weitzenhoffer, in 1998, the School of Musical Theatre stands along with the Weitzenhoffer Family College of Fine Arts as a testament to the University of Oklahoma’s continued commitment to the fostering of artistic talent. OU Musical Theatre bridges the gap between past and present, uniting a University steeped in tradition and history with a fresh and contemporary outlook toward the future of Musical Theatre.

In its relatively short history, the Weitzenhoffer School of Musical Theatre has established itself as one of the premier musical theatre programs in the country, graduating students who perform on Broadway, in Europe, with national tours, at regional theaters, and in film and television.

Special Facilities and Programs

The school’s administrative and faculty offices are located in Carpenter Hall. The Musical Theatre dance studios and performance classrooms are also located here, along with all voice studios and student lounge. The Fine Arts Center contains the 600-seat Elsie C. Brackett Theatre and the 250-seat Weitzenhoffer Theatre as well as classrooms and studios used by drama, dance, and musical theatre. The Catlett Music Center houses the Paul F. Sharp Concert Hall, the Morris R. Pittman Recital Hall, the Grayce B. Kerr Gothic Hall, as well as the FACTS Box Office for all Weitzenhoffer Family College of Fine Arts productions and concerts. In addition, Catlett houses many of the School of Music classrooms and rehearsal halls which include state of the art technology. The exquisitely renovated and restored Donald W. Reynolds Performing Arts Center (formerly historic Holmberg Hall) is used for performances, faculty studios and the School of Dance offices.

The A. Max Weitzenhoffer School of Musical Theatre presents two main stage productions each year. Many of our students also participate in other University Theatre productions. Additional opportunities include cabaret, revue, and workshop performances.

Programs for Excellence

The A. Max Weitzenhoffer School of Musical Theatre is one of the very few comprehensive and balanced musical theatre programs offered at a publicly supported university. Its conservatory type atmosphere is unique in a liberal arts university setting. The school is an interdisciplinary degree program working cooperatively with other units in the Weitzenhoffer Family College of Fine Arts. This performance-based degree is involved with and supported by a multitude of diverse theatrical and performance opportunities ranging from fully produced musicals, dramas, dance and cabarets. These opportunities provide the students with a wide variety of experiences in which they can put classroom skills into practice.

A special feature of the A. Max Weitzenhoffer School of Musical Theatre is its commitment to the development of new musical theatre works. This is accomplished through unique partnership arrangements with recognized producers, regional theatres, and creative artists who are leaders in the professional theatre world. The school has worked with up-and-coming writers, composers, and lyricists on such projects as “Something Wicked this Way Comes”, “The First Gentleman”, and “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea”. Networking with Broadway casting directors and agents has led to numerous professional performance opportunities for our students upon graduation.

During the summer, faculty members work professionally in a variety of musical theatre venues. In addition, a majority of students in the school secure summer employment with professional theatres and entertainment venues throughout the country. Students are also given the chance to explore international performing opportunities in Europe and South Africa.

Scholarship Information

A number of scholarships and awards are available to qualified students each academic year. Initial scholarship considerations and offers are made following admission auditions in the spring. Returning students apply for scholarships and waivers through scholarships.ou.edu. Additional non-departmental scholarships and financial aid are available through the University of Oklahoma’s office of Financial Aid Services. These applications must be made separately.

For specific information and deadlines, contact the A. Max Weitzenhoffer School of Musical Theatre’s office at musicaltheatre@ou.edu or (405) 325-0538.

Undergraduate Study

Admission

Admission to the School of Musical Theatre is a two-part process. It involves a pre-audition (either through an electronic video submission or by attending regional or national audition events such as Unifieds). These preliminary auditions may result in a possible on-campus callback audition. In order to reserve your spot at an On-Campus Audition, you must be called back from your pre-audition. For more specific audition information, please visit our website.

Proficiency Evaluation

Review of a student’s progress for continuation in the school will occur during the spring semesters of their freshman, sophomore, and junior years. Academic and artistic progress will be evaluated during this period accompanied by career counseling.

Degree Requirements

Students are advised each semester by the school faculty concerning enrollments, advancement toward degree and career options.

Students considering a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Musical Theatre should call (405) 325-0538 or visit the website for curriculum requirements, admission guidelines, scheduled admission audition dates, scholarships and awards. The Musical Theatre office is located in Carpenter Hall, Rm 104.

Courses

MTHR 1102. Tap Foundations.2 Credit Hours.

Introduction to the basic concepts of tap dance. Students learn step development, basic rhythms, and the rudiments of placement, balance, and weight change. (F, Sp)

MTHR 1112. Tap I.2 Credit Hours.

Prerequisite: DANC 1212 and permission of instructor. May be repeated; maximum credit four hours. A beginner class emphasizing tap fundamentals and terminology that includes weight change, proper placement and simple step patterns. The course concentrates on basic rhythms, counting, ear training and clarity of sound. (F, Sp)

MTHR 1402. Jazz Foundations.2 Credit Hours.

Introduction to the basic concepts of jazz movement. Students learn basic motor skills used in musical theatre and focus on the rudiments of placement, alignment, flexibility, and assimilation. (F, Sp)

MTHR 1442. Jazz I.2 Credit Hours.

Prerequisite: DANC 1212 and permission of instructor. May be repeated; maximum credit four hours. A beginner class that provides the student with a comprehensive understanding of the technical fundamentals of jazz dance including basic rhythms, vocabulary and skills. Focus is aimed towards proper placement, strength and flexibility development. (F, Sp)

MTHR 1501. Music Theory Notation.1 Credit Hour.

Prerequisite: admission to Musical Theatre program. Lecture/discussion class to enhance the ability to read music and attain a general understanding of the theory of music, including treble and bass clefs, major and minor scales, diatonic intervals and chords. A rhythmic component is added to attain mastery of simple and compound meters. (F)

MTHR 1502. Studio Voice I.2 Credit Hours.

Prerequisite: majors only. May be repeated; maximum credit six hours. Establishing basic vocal technique for musical theatre singing, including vocal exercises and breathing technique. Application of technique through the study of beginning level Broadway up-tempos and ballads as well as English art song and American folk song. (F, Sp)

MTHR 1551. Sight Reading and Theory.1 Credit Hour.

Prerequisite: admission to Musical Theatre program. Lab practice of theory, rhythm and pitch recognition, including the ability to perform diatonic intervals, ascending/descending, as well as simple/compound rhythms in both division and subdivision. (Sp)

MTHR 1713. Understanding Musical Theatre.3 Credit Hours.

A course for non-majors in musical theatre appreciation covering basic aspects of the various components, and history of, the musical theatre genre(s). (F, Sp) [IV-AF].

MTHR 1911. Rehearsal and Production.1 Credit Hour.

(Crosslisted with DRAM 1911) Prerequisite: Majors only. May be repeated; maximum credit four hours. Study, practice and participation in every phase of dramatic production work and management; attendance and critical discussion of plays. Kinds of service are given unit evaluations in terms of relative difficulty and time consumption. Laboratory (F, Sp, Su).

MTHR 2101. Performance Practicum.1 Credit Hour.

Prerequisite: Majors only; Must be cast in a show; May be repeated; maximum credit four hours. Study and practice in rehearsal and performance as a cast member in musical theatre productions including cabaret work of the freshman/sophomore level. (F, Sp)

MTHR 2112. Tap II.2 Credit Hours.

Prerequisite: MTHR 1112 and permission of instructor. May be repeated; maximum credit four hours. An advanced beginner class that maintains focus on proper placement and clarity of sound while introducing more complicated rhythms, step patterns and vocabulary. Counting and ear training continues as the student hones assimilation skills. Focus is placed on tap dynamics including accenting, shading and movement quality. A variety of styles will be introduced. (F, Sp)

MTHR 2122. Auditions.2 Credit Hours.

Prerequisite: Musical Theatre majors only. An introduction to musical theatre performance through the practice of auditioning. Study involves an overview of song form, style, and composers. Assignments include casting notices, resume format and research tools. Emphasis is placed on assembling a portfolio of song cuttings. (Sp)

MTHR 2181. Accents and Dialects for Musical Theatre Performance.1 Credit Hour.

Prerequisite: DRAM 1643 and DRAM 2513. This course offers a foundational exploration of the most commonly used accents and dialects for Musical Theatre performance. This International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) is employed as a tool for exploring speech and will supplement practical tools and fundamental skills for developing successful accents and dialects for the stage. (Sp)

MTHR 2222. Core Practice.2 Credit Hours.

Prerequisite: May be repeated; maximum credit 12 hours. Designed to provide physical conditioning for musical theater performers. Included in the training will be C.O.R.E. principles (Corrective Oppositional Resistance Exercise), injury prevention, circuit training, kinesiological awareness designed to improve students' level of dance and mind/body connection. (F, Sp)

MTHR 2442. Jazz II.2 Credit Hours.

Prerequisite: MTHR 1442 or permission of instructor. May be repeated; maximum credit four hours. This advanced beginner class expands on the techniques learned in Jazz I with focus on cleanly executed technique, well connected movement quality, dynamics and increased strength and flexibility. A variety of jazz styles will be introduced. (F, Sp)

MTHR 2502. Studio Voice II.2 Credit Hours.

Prerequisite: Majors only; MTHR 1501, MTHR 1502, and MTHR 1551. May be repeated; maximum credit six hours. Continuing practice of vocal technique for musical theatre singing; includes developing range, flexibility and tone color. Application of technique through the study of intermediate level Broadway up-tempos and ballads, as well as Italian art song and European operetta. (F, Sp)

MTHR 2552. Singing for the Stage.2 Credit Hours.

Prerequisite: Non-majors only; May be repeated; maximum credit eight hours. Class is designed for non-majors only. Vocal technique for musical theatre singing, including technical exercises and application through the study of songs. (F, Sp)

MTHR 2970. Special Topics/Seminar.1-3 Credit Hours.

1 to 3 hours. Prerequisite: May be repeated; maximum credit nine hours. Special topics course for content not currently offered in regularly scheduled courses. May include library and/or laboratory research, and field projects. (Irreg.)

MTHR 3112. Tap III.2 Credit Hours.

Prerequisite: Majors only; MTHR 2112 and permission of instructor. May be repeated; maximum credit six hours. An intermediate class with focus placed on refinement of technical and assimilation skills while dramatically increasing tap vocabulary. Students focus on tap dynamics, performance quality, style variety and movement coordination while learning longer and more complicated step patterns. Tap improvisation is introduced. (Irreg.)

MTHR 3142. Song Study I.2 Credit Hours.

Prerequisite: 2122 or permission of instructor. Development of musical theatre performance technique through the study of solo song. Study includes exploring aspects of interpretation and expression to support the vocal, physical and mental aspects of performing. Emphasis is placed on integrating singing and acting skills. (F)

MTHR 3143. History of American Musical Theatre.3 Credit Hours.

Prerequisite: English 1213. Surveys history of the American musical theatre from its beginnings in the late 19th century to the present. (F, Sp) [IV-AF].

MTHR 3152. Song Study II.2 Credit Hours.

Prerequisite: MTHR 3142. Expand analytical and performance skills through extended song forms. Study includes breath, body and visualization techniques to continue integrating vocal, physical and mental aspects of performing. Song Study II will focus on contemporary commercial music. (Sp)

MTHR 3162. Repertoire I.2 Credit Hours.

Prerequisite: Musical Theatre majors only, MTHR 3152. Investigation of Broadway and Hollywood songwriting during the first half of the 20th Century. Performance material will consist of songs appropriate for the student's vocal range. Study includes critical listening to period recordings. (F)

MTHR 3172. Repertoire II.2 Credit Hours.

Prerequisite: Musical Theatre majors only, MTHR 3162. Exploration of musical theatre repertoire from the second half of the 20th Century. Performance material will consist of songs appropriate for the student's vocal and physical range. Study includes viewing performances of artists from the Broadway stage. (Sp)

MTHR 3182. Musical Scenes I.2 Credit Hours.

Prerequisite: 3152 or permission of instructor. Application of musical theatre performance technique utilizing scenes from the Broadway stage. Study includes using show research and script analysis to develop characterization. Emphasis is placed on creating unified performance both dramatically and musically. (F)

MTHR 3192. Musical Scenes II.2 Credit Hours.

Prerequisite: 3182. Application of musical theatre performance skills using contemporary scenes from the Broadway stage. Study includes larger scene-song forms including one-acts or new-works from the musical theatre. (Sp)

MTHR 3440. Mentored Research Experience.3 Credit Hours.

0 to 3 hours. Prerequisites: ENGL 1113 or equivalent, and permission of instructor. May be repeated; maximum credit 12 hours. For the inquisitive student to apply the scholarly processes of the discipline to a research or creative project under the mentorship of a faculty member. Student and instructor should complete an Undergraduate Research & Creative Projects (URCP) Mentoring Agreement and file it with the URCP office. Not for honors credit. (F, Sp, Su)

MTHR 3442. Jazz III.2 Credit Hours.

Prerequisite: MTHR 2442 and permission of instructor. May be repeated; maximum credit four hours. An intermediate class that moves at a heightened pace, this level expands on the techniques learned in Jazz II. Additional focus is placed on style variety, assimilation skills, and more advanced movement coordination and rhythms. (Irreg.)

MTHR 3502. Studio Voice III.2 Credit Hours.

Prerequisite: 2502. May be repeated; maximum credit four hours. Broadening development of vocal technique for musical theatre singing; includes learning to blend the vocal registers for healthy tone production. Application of technique through the study of advanced level Broadway up-tempos and ballads, as well as German art song and American operetta. (F, Sp)

MTHR 3960. Honors Reading.1-3 Credit Hours.

Prerequisite: admission to Honors program and permission of instructor. Consists of either reading topics or independent study designated by the instructor in keeping with the student's major program. Covers materials not usually presented in the regular courses. (F, Sp)

MTHR 3970. Honors Seminar.1-3 Credit Hours.

1 to 3 hours. Prerequisite: admission to Honors Program. May be repeated; maximum credit six hours. Subjects covered vary. Deals with concepts not usually treated in regular courses. (Irreg.)

MTHR 3980. Honors Research.1-3 Credit Hours.

Prerequisite: admission to Honors program and permission of instructor. Provides an opportunity for the gifted Honors candidate to work at a special project in the student's field. (F, Sp)

MTHR 3990. Independent Study.1-3 Credit Hours.

1 to 3 hours. Prerequisite: permission of instructor and junior standing. May be repeated once with change of content. Independent study may be arranged to study a subject not available through regular course offerings. (F, Sp, Su)

MTHR 4101. Advanced Performance Practicum.1 Credit Hour.

Prerequisite: Majors only, Junior standing, and must be cast in a show; May be repeated; maximum credit four hours. Study and practice in rehearsal and performance as a cast member in musical theatre productions, including mainstage or cabaret/revue participation during the junior and senior years. (F, Sp)

MTHR 4112. Tap IV.2 Credit Hours.

Prerequisite: MTHR 3112 and permission of instructor; May be repeated; maximum credit four hours. This advanced class furthers the tap dancer's vocabulary, refines technical skills, greatly increases assimilation ability and furthers the study of tap improvisation. (Irreg.)

MTHR 4162. Introduction to Urban Dance.2 Credit Hours.

Prerequisite: Majors only. The goal of this course is to learn a variety of contemporary styles in the genre of urban dance. Students will explore various dances influenced by the rhythms and techniques of funk and hip-hop. Through weekly combinations, students will refine authentic urban dance moves and techniques, and learn new ways of hearing tempo, accents and sounds in performance. (F, Irreg.)

MTHR 4171. Industry.1 Credit Hour.

Prerequisite: MTHR 4173; senior standing and majors only. This class focuses on preparation for musical theatre casting in New York City. Performance material will consist of songs appropriate for the students' vocal and physical range. (Sp)

MTHR 4172. Theatre Dance Styles I.2 Credit Hours.

Prerequisite: 2112 and 2442, and senior standing, or permission of instructor. A practical and historical study of the Broadway dance styles. The main focus is in the jazz idiom; however, strong ballet, jazz, and tap skills are required. Emphasis is placed on technique, performance quality and auditioning skills. (F)

MTHR 4173. Coaching.3 Credit Hours.

Prerequisite: Majors only and Senior standing. Advanced techniques of musical theatre performance through individual coaching. Study includes developing a song notebook appropriate to one's type for professional auditions and assignments related to working in the Broadway profession. Emphasis is placed on presenting a variety of musical and dramatic styles. (F)

MTHR 4182. Theatre Dance Styles II.2 Credit Hours.

Prerequisite: 4172. This course is a continuing study of Broadway dance styles. Strong skills in jazz, ballet, and tap are required. Emphasis placed on techniques, performance quality and auditioning skills. (Sp)

MTHR 4183. Capstone Experience.3 Credit Hours.

Prerequisite: Majors only and Senior standing. Requires written documentation in appropriate format. Senior year project which demonstrates mastery of skills and knowledge in musical theatre, selected under advisement and guided by appropriate faculty. (F, Sp) [V].

MTHR 4190. Special Studies.1-4 Credit Hours.

1 to 4 hours. Prerequisite: junior standing, major in musical theatre, and permission of instructor. May be repeated with change of content; maximum credit six hours. Varying individual or small group topics or projects in the study and practice of musical theatre not covered in regularly scheduled courses. (Irreg.)

MTHR 4192. Advanced Musical Theatre Workshop.2 Credit Hours.

Prerequisite: MTHR 3192; senior standing and majors only. Integrates production skills of new musical theatre pieces. Emphasis is placed on self-motivation and multi-tasking several projects. Students will select three of the following skills: create, perform and produce new works; proficiency in self-tape auditions; write, direct, and/or produce a short musical; create and perform a solo/duet cabaret; create/record content for a YouTube channel or perform a thesis project. (F)

MTHR 4252. Advanced Tap.2 Credit Hours.

Prerequisite: MTHR 4112 and permission of instructor; May be repeated; maximum credit eight hours. Class conducted at a professional level. Step breakdown will be minimized and students will be asked to create their own choreography and work heavily in improvisation. (F, Sp)

MTHR 4442. Jazz IV.2 Credit Hours.

Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. May be repeated; maximum credit four hours. An advanced class emphasizing strong technique and assimilation skills as well as the ability to adapt to any jazz style. Continued focus is placed on flexibility, strength, dynamics, and solid performance quality. (Irreg.)

MTHR 4502. Studio Voice IV.2 Credit Hours.

Prerequisite: 3502. May be repeated; maximum credit four hours. Furthering development of vocal technique for musical theatre singing; includes practical application of technical skills and knowledge. Application of technique through the study of classics and contemporary Broadway up-tempos and ballads as well as French art song and American art song. (F, Sp)

MTHR 4960. Directed Readings.1-4 Credit Hours.

1 to 4 hours. Prerequisite: good standing in University; permission of instructor and dean. May be repeated; maximum credit four hours. Designed for upper-division students who need opportunity to study a specific problem in greater depth than formal course content permits. (Irreg.)

MTHR 4970. Special Topics/Seminar.1-3 Credit Hours.

1 to 3 hours. Prerequisite: Senior standing or permission of instructor. May be repeated; maximum credit nine hours. Special topics or seminar course for content not currently offered in regularly scheduled courses. May include library and/or laboratory research and field projects. (Irreg.)

MTHR 4990. Independent Study.1-3 Credit Hours.

1 to 3 hours. Prerequisite: Senior standing and permission of instructor. May be repeated; maximum credit nine hours. Contracted independent study for a topic not currently offered in regularly scheduled courses. Independent study may include library and/or laboratory research and field projects. (Irreg.)

Faculty

Last Name First/Middle Name Middle init. OU Service start Title(s), date(s) appointed Degrees Earned, Schools, Dates Completed
Byrum Ashton w 2018 PROFESSOR OF MUSICAL THEATRE, 2018; GREGORY D. KUNESH CHAIR OF MUSICAL THEATRE, 2018 MFA, Univ of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music, 2010
Christman Paul G 1999 PROFESSOR OF MUSICAL THEATRE, 2010 M Music, Arizona State Univ, 1991; DBA, Wright State Univ, 1988
Churchman David S 2008 ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF MUSICAL THEATRE, 2016 B Music, Oklahoma City Univ, 1989
Cramer Lyn M 2001 PROFESSOR OF MUSICAL THEATRE, 2006; WEITZENHOFFER PROFESSOR OF MUSICAL THEATRE, 2006; ADJUNCT PROFESSOR OF LIBERAL STUDIES, 2011 MA, Univ of Texas Pan American, 1994; BA, Univ of Texas Pan American, 1980
Jiran Amanda 2005 ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF MUSICAL THEATRE, 2021 MA, Univ of Oklahoma, 2009; B Music, Oklahoma City Univ, 1996
Leseney Vincent J ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF MUSICAL THEATRE, 2010 M Music, Oklahoma City Univ, 1994; BS, William Jewell College, 1992
Mortimer Harold 2011 ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF MUSICAL THEATRE, 2011 DMA, Univ of Washington, 1999; M Music, Univ of Washington, 1997; BME, Mansfield Univ, 1988