Musical Theatre

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Musical Theatre (BFA)

Program led by former Broadway performer and regional professionals.

Study Musical Theatre at LBC

Bringing Glory to God on Stage

If you’ve always dreamed of performing under the bright lights, take your first step to getting there. With classes that focus on theater and the Bible, and the chance to interact with professionals in the field – including former and current Broadway performers – we will equip you with the tools you need to become a great performer.

LBC’s convenient location in the Mid-Atlantic affords students the chance to network with eight local theaters, is within driving distance of 15 theatrical venues in the greater Philadelphia area, and we boast a consistent high placement of LBC students in vocal competitions. We also have excellent relationships with other local performing arts companies and organizations, like Sight & Sound Theatres and Servant Stage Company.

LBC also has it’s very own performance venue in downtown Lancaster, the Trust Performing Arts Center, where students experience world-class visiting performing artists whom they can interact with in masterclass settings.

So if you’re looking for a Christian college that will give you an education in musical theatre with the Bible at its core, consider Lancaster Bible College.

Why Study Musical Theater at LBC?

  • Learn from top performers who have starred in regional and national performances.
  • Perform in one of our annual theatrical productions.
  • Receive training from working professionals, including the team at Sight & Sound Theatres.
Your Journey

Program Credits: 132

Locations: Lancaster


Degree

Bachelor of Fine Arts with majors in Musical Theatre and Biblical Studies


Accreditation: National Association of Schools of Music (NASM)


Internships
Here are some examples of internships completed by students in the past:

  • Actor in Local Professional Theatre Company
  • Actor in Local Christian Theatre Company
  • Actor in Spoken Word Ministry

Options

  • Traditional
  • Online & Evening (Adult Education)
  • Available as Minor

“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” – 1 Corinthians 10:31

A Closer Look: Musical Theatre

Hands-On Experience

Students in the Music, Worship & Performing Arts department get the chance to showcase their musical skills through recitals, concerts and by leading worship during chapel.

Meet the Faculty

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Paul Thorlakson, D.M.A.

Professor, Chair of Music, Worship & Performing Arts Department

“I think of faithful music making in much the same way as Eric Liddell felt about his athletic pursuits:  “I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast, When I run I feel God’s pleasure” When I perform music to the Glory of God, I sense in His pleasure in the pursuit of artistic excellence.” — Dr. Thorlakson

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Robert Bigley, D.M.A.

Professor, Director of Choral Studies, Musical Theatre Program Interim Director, Director of Arts and Culture Series

“God has entrusted each of us with talents (Mt. 25:14–30). Your job is to invest those talents in such a way that they develop into skill, which God will ultimately use for His glory (Ps. 33:3). My job as a professor is to help you do that (1 Chr. 15:22).” — Dr. Bigley

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Timothy Sidebothom, Ph.D.

Professor, Director of Music: Elective Studies

“While Desmond Tutu is credited with saying: “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.  If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse, and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality” God’s Word clearly taught us first that our role as Christ followers and musicians is not neutral in the present, the past or the future, but we first need to know where we’ve been (through studying history) so we best know where we’re going!” – Dr. Sidebothom

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Rachel Sidebothom, M.Ed.

Assistant Professor, Music Education Program Director, Associate Chair of WPA

“I believe music is an eternal gift given to us by God to glorify Him and encourage and edify one another.  What greater profession can one have than training students of all ages to know, understand, develop, and use this gift!” — Mrs. Sidebothom

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Bruce Gerlach, D.M.A.

Part-time Faculty

“In my joy, I’ve joined the dance of Union with the Three in One” – from the hymn “Union With the Three in One” – Dr. Gerlach

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Jeffrey Martin, D.MA.

Assistant Professor, Director of Vocal Studies

“God made each of us uniquely. Training our voices is equally unique.” Dr. Martin

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Sample Course Outline

WPA 102 – Introduction to Worship Arts

A foundational understanding of a biblical theology of worship is introduced. Additionally, an overview of the art of worship from early Christian times through the current post-modern trends is included. Practical implications for worship situations in today’s church are drawn from both the biblical and historical context.

THR 201 – Acting II

Designed to continue the actor training begun in Introduction to Acting, this course includes more advanced training in the skills of character analysis and performance. A variety of monologues and ensemble scenes will be studied and performed throughout the semester.

THR 130 – Ballet I

Beginning ballet; development of elementary ballet technique and knowledge of terminology using barre, center work, and beginning movement combinations; with an emphasis on alignment. Knowledge gained from this course will establish a foundation and proper understanding of ballet as a prerequisite for Ballet II.

THR 210 – Stage Management

This course introduces the student to the principles and practice of stage management, with particular emphasis on the role and responsibilities of a professional technical director. Dialogue on the impact of a biblical worldview to the technical arts is inherent in the course. In addition, discussion of leadership principles, resources for character development, and discussion of administrative process are included. The course includes exposure to technical directors serving/working in the professional world of ministry and/or public venues.

THR 301 – Acting III: Song as Text

Acting lll is a professionally based technique course in musical theatre performance. This class intends to help students find physical and emotional life in their work connected to the active pursuit of objectives in musical theatre texts. In other words this course intends to help students to “act” their songs.

HIS 224 – History of Christian Song

An investigation of the origin and development of sacred song from its beginnings to the present, with special reference to the relation of sacred Christian song to historical, sociological and theological trends, and the biblical principles and historical trends inherent in the use of sacred song in personal and corporate worship. Sacred song in Western civilization will be the central focus, though not to the exclusion of other world music movements and influences.

HUM 240 – Music History I

This course examines music from the Biblical and Ancient periods, through the Middle Ages, Renaissance and Baroque eras, concentrating on the major composers of each era, their musical contributions, vocal and instrumental developments and the progression of musical style and form within the historical, sociological, technological, and theological advancements and influences of these eras.

HUM 340 – Music History II

This course examines music from Classicism to Romanticism, concentrating on the major composers of each era, their musical contributions, vocal and instrumental developments, and the progression of musical style and form within the historical, sociological, technological, and theological advancements and influences of these eras.

THR 401 – Acting IV

Acting IV presents a professional perspective in the skills of character analysis and performance. A variety of monologues and ensemble scenes will be studied and performed throughout the semester, with the requirement that the student prepare as if auditioning for a professional theatrical call.

THR 340 – History of Musical Theatre and Repertoire

A study of the development of musical theatre from its roots in European opera and American minstrel shows through its variations of the 20th century and today.

THR 260 – Stage Combat & Movement I

This course will enable the student to safely rehearse and perform effective acts of violence for the dramatic stage. Additional focus will be given to freeing the body for natural and believable creative response by utilizing “The Viewpoints”. The Viewpoints is a technique of improvisation that grew out of the post-modern dance world. The Viewpoints allows a group of actors to function together spontaneously and intuitively to generate bold, theatrical work quickly. It develops flexibility, articulation, and strength in movement and makes ensemble playing really possible.

MPR 401 – Performance Career Seminar

Performance Career Seminar is designed to prepare upper-level students for careers in the field of musical theatre and opera. Team-taught by musical theatre professionals from the community, the seminar will expose students to a variety of subjects including audition preparation, networking, and professional etiquette. By the end of the seminar, students will articulate a mission statement for their careers balancing a biblical worldview with professional ambition and personal giftedness.

STEPS FOR ADMISSION INTO THIS MAJOR

1. APPLY TO LBC BY COMPLETING OUR ONLINE APPLICATION.

Apply

 


 

2. AUDITION FOR ACCEPTANCE INTO THIS MAJOR

Every student who applies to any major in the Music, Worship & Performing Arts department must audition for acceptance into the major of their interest and must also be accepted as a student to Lancaster Bible College.

Audition Requirements

Careers and Jobs in Musical Theatre

  • Actor
  • Community Theatre Director
  • Performer
  • Stage Director
  • Theater Producer

What’s your next step?