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Kean Offers Students New Options in Musical Theatre, Exercise Science

Kean Theatre Conservatory production

A recent production of the Kean Theatre Conservatory was the musical comedy, 'Avenue Q.'

Kean University is expanding academic options in musical theatre performance and exercise science beginning in Fall 2022.

“Kean University is committed to offering world-class education that expands students’ horizons and prepares them for a wide variety of future careers or graduate study,” said Kean President Lamont O. Repollet, Ed.D. “These two new academic program options are in response to our students’ interests and needs.”

Kean’s undergraduate theatre offerings currently include majors in theatre, theatre performance, and theatre design and technology. The new option, BFA Theatre Performance: Musical Theatre, is a concentration within the performance major.

“Musical theatre is something that we’ve known for years is a very popular degree,” said Holly Logue, director of the Kean Theatre Conservatory. 

The new option adds more training in voice, dance and music. Both theatre performance options prepare students for performing careers as well as for many other future careers, Logue said.

“Musical theatre is not just Broadway,” she said. “It’s regional theater, cruise ships, becoming a performer at Disney. And when you think about transferable life skills, theatre students are problem solvers and creators. They work collaboratively; they meet deadlines; they are poised presenters. Businesses want people with creative backgrounds and training and skills.”

Kean sophomore Brandon Luckenbaugh, of Hillsborough, a theatre performance major, said he looks forward to reviewing what new courses would be available in the new musical theatre option. He said he wants to become a professional repertory actor and build a career in voice acting.

“Access to classes that have to do with music theory and potentially even choreography would absolutely interest me,” he said.

In exercise science, the new B.S. Exercise Science, Pre-Athletic Training/Physical Therapy option adds a choice for students seeking a Bachelor of Science degree in the growing field.

exercise science class
A new undergraduate exercise program option is offered at Kean.

“There are many different career paths for exercise science students,” said Assistant Professor Adam Eckart, D.Sc., coordinator of Kean’s exercise science program. “The base program prepares students for careers as exercise physiologists, personal trainers, group training instructors, wellness coordinators, and strength and conditioning coaches. The new option will be geared toward those students specifically planning to pursue a master’s degree in Athletic Training, a Doctorate of Physical Therapy, or other clinical careers after they graduate.”

The new option includes more emphasis on math, science and health-related courses, which means students applying to graduate programs would not need to take those prerequisites in addition to the regular exercise science program.

With exercise science in high demand, Eckart said he believes interest will increase “without question” for Kean’s programs. Kean also offers Master of Science programs in exercise science and athletic training, and a Doctorate of Physical Therapy program.

Both exercise science undergraduate options are offered within Kean’s School of Health and Human Performance.

“We expect the number of students enrolled in either program to spike considerably,” he said.

Current students interested in both new options can discuss them with their advisors.