Musical Theatre: Acting the Song

If you love to sing and perform, this class is for you! You will work on analysis and performance of multiple songs from the musical theatre canon, exploring the golden age, modern, pop-rock and everything in between. You will apply your growing knowledge of technique to intelligently observe and comment on the work of your peers within a structured setting. 

Throughout the course we will incorporate group exercises and individual work to better explore performance technique while promoting a deeper understanding of score/lyric analysis along with physical and emotional risk needed to find your confidence as a musical theatre performer. The session is capped with a full company performance, including scenes, solos and ensemble numbers.

The goal is simple: Each student will discover their own unique theatrical voice, the power of their own experience and a renewed focus and freedom as a performer.

Academic Director

Matt Hawkins

Matt Hawkins is the Director of Musical Theater at Notre Dame and is a Chicago-based director, actor, fight choreographer and movement director. He is a Founding Member of The House Theatre of Chicago, an Artistic Associate and Resident Director with Strawdog Theatre, and has been an Artistic Associate with 500 Clown. He has also worked with The Kennedy Center, Stratford Shakespeare Festival, Steppenwolf, Goodman, Lookingglass, The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, Chicago Children’s Theatre, Victory Gardens, Old Town School of Folk Music, and his TV/Film Credits include Happily After (Glass City Films) and Chicago Fire (NBC). He has served as the director for the Chicago Public Schools' annual production at Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, which was the recipient of the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award, presented by Michelle Obama in 2014. He has been nominated for sixteen Jeff Awards and has been awarded five, including three for Best Fight Choreography, one for Best Director of a Musical, and Best Production of a Musical. He was named one of the top five “Most Prolific Artists Of The Decade” by Time Out Chicago, and his production of Red Noses at Strawdog Theatre was named one of the Top Ten Shows of 2009 by Time Out Chicago. While completing his B.F.A. in acting from Southern Methodist University, he was the recipient of the Greer Garson Award, the Bob Hope Scholarship, and the Dallas Critics’ Forum Award for Best Actor for his portrayal of Linus in You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown. He was a candidate for the Alan Schneider Directing Award, a finalist for the Eugene O’Neill National Directors Fellowship, a finalist for the National Alliance for Musical Theatre’s New Musical Theatre Festival, a semi-finalist for The Eugene O’Neill’s National Music Theatre Conference, and the recipient of a Faculty Research Support Program Award to fund My Heart Says Go (New Works Lab, University of Notre Dame) for creative development with Apples and Oranges Arts and The Goodman Theatre. He holds an M.F.A. in directing from The University of Iowa, where he was an Iowa Arts Directing Fellow and the recipient of the IRAM Award for outstanding contribution to Iowa’s New Play Festival.