Valencia College East Campus prepares for its first Musical Theater A.A.
The Musical Theatre degree has been in the works for about three years, and is now officially listed in the Fall 2018 course catalog. The degree is a limited access program beginning with only 25 students, so that way they all have individual instruction; however, as things progress, the Arts Department will broaden the number of students in the program.
Dr. Suzanne Salapa, Chair of the Valencia College Dance Department, said that despite art programs decreasing throughout the nation, Valencia is choosing to expand its programming. Salapa explained, “We have the students. We have the talent, and most importantly we have the administration.” She continued, “We want growth here; we want the arts here.”
Auditions for the program were held on Saturday, April 7, at the Black Box Theater on Valencia’s East Campus. At the auditions, students were tested on their singing, acting and dancing abilities.
During the auditions, Carlos Filomeno, a theater student, described the new program as, “A really good opportunity for some students, and it’s going to train us in all three aspects of musical theater that will benefit us better than just a theater degree.”
Dual-enrollment student, Isabeeau Tyndal, added, “What is great about this degree is that high school students get all the training in musical theatre because not everyone has had training in all aspects, so it helps to prepare for university auditions that can be really intense.” Valencia’s program is based on the University of Central Florida’s curriculum. The goal is to help students prepare for the interdisciplinary performance-based degree at UCF.
Students who auditioned will soon be informed if they are accepted into the program, or if they need any additional training.
Once students finish their Musical Theater degree at Valencia, they will be able to audition for UCF’s Musical Theater program to obtain their Bachelor’s Degree or go out into the field as well-trained young professionals.