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Program Spotlight: Texas Christian University (TCU)

Updated: Jun 17, 2021

42nd Street at TCU

For our next stop we travel to the great state of Texas and visit with Alan Shorter, Associate Chair of the Theatre Department at Texas Christian University (TCU) located in Ft. Worth.

How long has your BFA program been around?

Approximately 25 years

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

10-15 BFA Musical Theatre students each year

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

Approximately 50 BFA Musical Theatre

What's unique about your program?

Our MT program, while it has considerable training in singing, dancing and MT performance, is still acting-based.  Acting classes are the heart of the program.  And, while it is an intensive professional training program, it includes broad-based theatre coursework (stagecraft, lighting, costuming, makeup) as well as TCU’s challenging and acclaimed Core Curriculum of general education classes.

TCU emphasizes social values and ethics in all of our graduates.  Many of our alums have been complimented on both their professionalism and their humanity.

TCU takes advantage of being in a very large professional theatre market and regularly schedules co-productions with local Equity theatres, allowing our students to work side-by-side with outstanding professionals and earn EMC points.  Our students are also allowed to audition and work professionally in this market while students at TCU, with scheduling permission from the department.

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

Most of our faculty have extensive professional theatre experience.  I refer you to the faculty bios on our website:

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

42nd Street

bare, a rock opera

Bat Boy

Fiddler on the Roof

Sweeney Todd


Upcoming co-productions with professional Equity theatres:

Man of La Mancha (with Lyric Stage in Dallas)

First Date (with Stage West in Fort Worth)

How about alumni?

Ben Thompson: currently playing Earl in WAITRESS in NY

Jonathan Fielding: recently in the cast of THE PLAY THAT GOES WRONG in NY

Alison Whitehurst: currently playing Cynthia Weil in National Tour of BEAUTIFUL

Taylor Quick: currently in the National Tour of ANASTASIA, and covering the title role.  Last year played title role in THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLIE at Goodspeed Opera House.

Carman Lacavita: CYRANO DE BERGERAC on Broadway with Kevin Kline, Jennifer Garner

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

Many don’t realize what a highly selective academic institution TCU is; we are the second more selective university in Texas.  Last year we received more than 20,000 applications for a first-year class of about 2,000.  The BFA in Musical Theatre is even more selective.  So TCU is a great fit for students who are highly talented, academically excellent, and are seeking an atmosphere of high ethics and accountability.

Anything else?

We have a highly successful BFA MT Senior Showcase in New York each March which has led to many graduates signing with excellent agents, and acquiring early work and auditions.

TCU sounds like a great place to earn a BFA and have the complete college experience. Want to learn more about TCU's Musical Theatre program? Visit their website through this link.

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