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New degree at Loyola in Theatre Arts and Musical Theatre debuts this fall

Loyola press release - December 17, 2014

As one of the main recruiters trying to encourage students of musical theatre to bring their talents to Loyola University New Orleans, Patrick Gendusa, extraordinary professor of theatre arts and dance, has faced frequent disappointment.

"For nine and a half years I've traveled all throughout the country, trying to recruit these students," Gendusa said. "Then they would ask me, 'Do you have a degree program in musical theatre?' And I'd see them just zone out when I'd say no."

But now Gendusa finally can say yes.

Beginning in the Fall of 2015, Loyola's College of Music and Fine Arts will offer a degree in Theatre Arts and Musical Theatre.

"It's huge," Gendusa said. "I can't tell you how many students we have lost because we didn't have a degree program. I would see them lose interest. We've been working on this for so long. To have it finally come true is just amazing."

Until now, students interested in musical theatre would opt for a major in music with a minor in theatre or a major in theatre with a minor in music, said Anthony Decuir, Ph.D., dean of the College of Music and Fine Arts.

"Since the city offers performance opportunities in musical theatre, we felt that those opportunities were sufficient," Decuir said. "But, more and more frequently, faculty of both music and theatre were getting queries from prospective students about an actual degree. And, frankly, we were missing an opportunity—an opportunity to combine Loyola's fine theatre department with its world-class voice department. Hence, theatre and musical theatre was born. We anticipate this new degree will be popular."

Decuir said the first auditions have already been held. For more information on the program, contact the Department of Theatre Arts and Dance at 504-865-3840 or drama@loyno.edu.

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