Bishop’s drama and music departments expand to include musical theatre

By Reann Fournier, Special to The Record

The music and drama departments at Bishop’s University have expanded with a new concentration in musical theatre as a supplement to the major in music or drama. A unique program among Quebec universities, students will be required to complete an additional 12 credits to graduate with the concentration.
The program will feature practical aspects of music, theatre and dance, and students will learn about the history of musical theatre. Rebecca Harries, the drama department chairperson, expressed her excitement about the program. “There has never been a musical theatre program at Bishop’s but the drama and music departments have already successfully collaborated to stage musical theatre,” she said.
The musical theatre history course will be taught by Wade Lynch, a director and playwright for over 35 years. “This is the first time the course has ever been offered and I am delighted that we have a healthy enrollment of 24 students,” he said.
“Observing students discovering the fact that musical theatre, like all art, is a reflection of the culture and era it is created in really excites me. I believe our students are aware that they are attending university at a unique time in history. My best hope is that our students will help tell their stories in song, dance, and music,” Lynch said.

Harries said that the plan pre-dated the pandemic, but that the university decided to go forward. While many of the courses are practical, the university was sure to remain within safety guidelines when developing this semester’s program. “The new courses are mostly practical,” she said. “We are, for example, offering introduction to dance and movement online this semester, which filled up quickly and has a large waiting list.”
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