Studying Musical Theater Performance at Thurston High School

MTStudio members work on building / improving the following skills:
Singing While Acting and Acting While Singing

MTStudio members will work individually on solo showtune performances, and collaborate with others on duet or trio showtunes, and as a class on musical theater scenes.

More than most, this class requires students to be very self-motivated; a major part of the class is working on solo performance! NO AUDITION REQUIRED

Some MTStudio performances will take the form of In-Class Recitals, with MTStudio members performing for each other; parents / family members are welcome at In-Class Recitals, and from time to time, students from other classes may attend as well. Evening Recitals (one or two per semester) are open to the general public. There will be a small admission charge for evening recitals, to help offset materials and accompanist costs.

MTStudioI Can” Statements:
MTStudio members will be scored on their ability to OWN the following statements:

1. “I Can Work Well Individually to Reach MTStudio Goals”
Learning Progression:
  • Stay On-Task while working individually in practice rooms, etc.
  • Choose and Prepare Solos and Ensembles for MTStudio Performances ... On-Time!
  • Try to work with the pianist as often as possible, to make sure you are (BOTH) prepared for performance.
2. “I Can Sing With Good Musical Theater Vocal Technique”
Learning Progression:
  • Develop the “Belting” Voice.
  • Develop Explosively Expressive Consonant Diction!
  • Use Dynamics (Volume) Expressively.
3. “I Can Create a Character in the Performance of Musical Theater Literature”
Learning Progression:
  • Who is it?
  • What’s the Motivation?
  • Tactics / Choices
4. “I Can Understand and Interpret the Meaning(s) of Song Lyrics”
Learning Progression:
  • Relate Lyrics to Character’s Motivation
  • Consider Alternate Interpretations - Which One is Most Likely?
  • How Do The Lyrics Help Tell The Story?
5. “I Can Sing With Appropriate Style, Expression, and Movement”
Learning Progression:
  • Understand Musical Style Based on Story, Historical Setting, etc.
  • Build Expressive Elements into Performance Based on Character’s Motivation.
  • Create Movement in Performance Based on Character and Style.

  • Prepare & Perform AT LEAST 2 Showtunes w/varied Styles (w/movement)
    • Your first solo is due for performance at our first recital, October 16th. Two solos is the MINIMUM requirement; the expectation is that you are so excited about the opportunity to perform, that you’ll do three or four!
    • Try doing solos from different styles and tempos! For example, do an up tune AND a slow ballad, followed by an angry, stomp-around, barn-burner! Give yourself chances to try different kinds of energy in performance.
  • Create Character Studies for each Showtune
    • Who is the character you’re portraying in the song? 
    • What does that person want? Why are they happy/sad/angry/excited?
  • Build a “SCENE PLAN” for each song.
    • What happened to your character to make them say what they’re saying in the song? Research the showtune and see how it works in the show.
    • What is happening to the character/what is the character DOING during the song?
    • How does the song tell part of the story of that character’s life?
    • NO “PARK ‘n BARK” Performances!!
  • Prepare & Perform AT LEAST 1 Duet/Trio/Group Scene (song w/movement) per Semester.
    • Each person in the group scene should create a character study, and group members should work together to build a scene for the showtune.
  • Prepare & Perform All-Class Group Scene (1 per Semester?)


Tuesdays and Thursdays:

    • Work individually on Solos, or with duet/trio partners. Marybeth Andrews, our professional pianist, will be here to work with you. MAKE SURE she gets a copy of your songs as early as possible! Try to have a good idea of how your song works BEFORE working with her - if you can’t play piano well enough to learn your part yourself, get someone else to play notes for you, OR research the tune on Youtube and learn the tune that way. Marybeth is NOT here to teach you the song!
    • LOOKOUT! You will have alot of time in class on your own. You will need to be self-motivated!!  You are expected to be ON TASK working on your upcoming performances. This is NOT CHAT TIME!  Frequent chatters OBVIOUSLY need extra work to keep them busy!
On Fridays:
  • We’ll be exploring musical theater through the wonders of YouTube, DVDs, iTunes, etc., as well as doing workshops on Voice in Musical Theater, Belting Technique, etc. There may also be time available for individual work on your solos/duets/trios.


  • In-Class Recital, October 16th, at 8:40am in the Choir Room, During Class    
  • In-Class Recital. October 28th, at 7:30pm in the Choir Room


  • In-Class Recital, December 4th, at 8:40am in the Choir Room, During Class
  • In-Class Recital, January 13th, at 8:40am in the Choir Room, During Class    
  • Evening Recital (AKA “The BIG SHOW”), January 22nd, in the Auditorium, at 7:30pm

Parents are welcome to attend In-Class Recitals, which are held at 8:40am in the Choir Room.

Evening Recitals are open to the public, for a $2 admission.

Performances are REQUIRED for all MTStudio Members!!

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