Program Spotlight: Florida Southern College


FSC's production of Kiss Me Kate

One of my former students and teaching replacement at my previous classroom teaching gig is a graduate of FSC. With it being so close to Tampa, I've been able to watch this program up-close and thought it might be a great second school to highlight. Florida Southern College boasts the largest single-site collection of Frank Lloyd Wright architecture in the world. Dr. Christianne Roll is doing remarkable work as she develops the BFA Musical Theatre program there.


How long has your BFA program been around?

Our Musical Theatre BFA Program is starting its seventh year. However, the Florida Southern Department of Theatre and Dance has been established for decades.


How many students, in general, does your program accept every year? We accept 16 students.

How many students, in total, are enrolled in your program?

We have 50 musical theatre majors in a department of 120 students.


What's unique about the BFA program at Florida Southern? We encourage students, who have multiple interests, to double major. Musical theatre students can supplement their BFA degree with a double major in Dance, Vocal Performance, Technical Design, or even non-arts majors such as Political Science, Accounting, or Communications. The faculty, across campus, is very collaborative and supportive of our students' creative and scholarly goals and wants them to get the most out of their college experience. We also offer the perfect blend of rigorous conservatory-style theatrical training, within the context of a traditional college experience.


Tell us a little bit about the musical theatre faculty at FSC.

Our faculty has a great balance of professional and educational experience in the field of musical theatre. The head of our program, a member of Actors' Equity, is also a leading expert in the female belt voice. Our newest faculty member has countless professional music directing credits from productions all around the globe. This hands-on experience in the industry provides our faculty with current and imperative information to share with Florida Southern College students.


Are there any recent productions you're particularly proud of?

In Spring 2019, Florida Southern College produced Jesus Christ Superstar on our main stage. This show, due to the talent, dedication, and professionalism of its cast and design team, consistently sold out. Our program also does not shy away from large, challenging musicals such as our 2016 production of The Secret Garden and our 2015 production of Chess.


How about alumni? Recent alums are performing on national tours, cruise lines, and in regional theater and theme parks. Others alums have gone into educational theatre, or are pursuing graduate studies. One of our Florida Southern alums is also a Broadway producer.


What is your program's "best-kept secret"?

Our Department of Theatre and Dance was ranked in the top 20 College Theatre programs by The Princeton Review. The Princeton Review also consistently ranks Florida Southern College in the top 10 in their Most Beautiful campus category.


Anything else? For the 2019/2020 season, our five main stage productions all share a theme of World War II, to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the end of that war. In addition to the performances, the season will also include talk backs and special events centered around this theme to engage our students and community on a broader scope.


Thanks Christianne! Want to learn more about Florida Southern College? Visit https://www.flsouthern.edu/undergraduate/majors/musical-theatre.aspx and look for more featured programs in upcoming Program Spotlight blog entries.

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