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THEATRE-161 - Musical Theatre Techniques I - Matthew McCray

Course:Musical Theatre Techniques I
Professor:Matthew McCray
  • InPerson
Course Length:
  • 16 Week


Hey there! Welcome to Musical Theatre Techniques!  I have been teaching at College of the Canyons since 2015, and I love teaching this class!!  We’re going to have a great time learning about musical theatre and performing repertoire.

This course will demonstrate the integration of process and technique in rehearsal and performance of standard and contemporary Musical Theatre repertoire. Students will analyze and perform at least two contrasting songs using the techniques and skills learned during the semester.  Catalog Description: “Develops vocal skills, choreographic movement and acting techniques for musical theatre, including exercises, solo and fully-staged scenes.”


It is recommended (not required) that you have taken THEATR-140 & MUSIC-140. This course is an acting course through song. It includes a small amount of vocal instruction, but it is primarily an acting course.

Course Description

  1. Study the process of learning a song vocally.
  2. Study the process of learning a song through music and lyric analysis.       
  3. Study the development of a character through research and script analysis.
  4. Develop a character’s physical score of action through movement and choreography.
  5. Discover the connection of music and physical movement to lyrical phrasing.
  6. Presentation of two or more fully-staged musical theatre songs. 

What to Expect in this Course

  • You will prepare 2-3 musical theatre songs through coaching and exercises.
  • You will observe and respond to the work of classmates, providing constructive feedback.
  • You will learn musical theatre history and acting techniques.

Types of Assessments

Students are graded on written assignments, the implementation of classwork into performances and quizzes.

Textbook Information

Acting in Musical Theatre: A Comprehensive Course by Joe Deer and Rocco Dal Vera     

Please note: this textbook can be shared among classmates, if desired.

Other Relevant Course Information


Additional Resources


This course can be accessed on the first day of class via Canvas at Log into Canvas using your CanyonsID single sign-on:

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  • CanyonsID Password is your COC student email password

Please visit the Get to Know Your Online Classroom page for help logging into Canvas and for tips on using Canvas and Zoom. Canvas Chat Support is also available 24/7 for any Canvas related issues.

Online Education

Check out the Online Education website for more information on a variety of topics that can help you be a successful online student such as: exam proctoring, learning styles, computer skills, and tips for student success. If this is your first online course, feel free to take our online learning readiness assessment to assess your skills.

The Learning Center (TLC)

The TLC provides FREE online tutoring resources to COC students!

Academic Accommodation Center (AAC)

College of the Canyons AAC provides educational services and access for eligible students with documented disabilities who intend to pursue coursework at COC. A variety of programs and services are available which afford eligible students with disabilities the opportunity to participate fully in all aspects of the college programs and activities through appropriate and reasonable accommodations. For more information on their services visit the Academic Accomodation Center website.

Online Counseling

The Counseling Department offers appointments online. You can schedule an appointment by visiting the Online Counseling website. Counselors can help you map out a plan to reach your educational goals as well as advise you on course selection and registration.

Management of Stress and Mental Health

Often the pressure on our students is very strong, involving academic commitments, relationships, outside jobs and family pressure to name a few. The staff and faculty of College of the Canyons are here to see you succeed academically and care about your emotional and physical health. You can learn more about the broad range of confidential student services, including counseling and mental health services available on campus by visiting the Student Health & Wellness Center in the Student Services Building (across from the bookstore). The phone number is 661-362-3259 that you can call 24/7. You can also e mail for an appointment at At the Canyon Country Campus the Health Center will be in the new Student Services Building.

Also, the National Suicide & Crisis Lifeline number is now 988. All students at COC are encouraged to enter that phone number in their cells. You can call it when you, or someone you know, is having thoughts of suicide or is in severe distress.

You can also now use the Crisis Text Line: Just text "Courage" to 741741. Someone will get back to you immediately. Its free, 24/7, and confidential.

Veterans Resource Center

The College of the Canyons Veterans Resource Center is a department within the Student Services Division at the college, created to help veterans and veteran dependents with applying to College of the Canyons, enrolling in classes, and requesting VA Education or Vocational Benefits. For more information please visit the Veterans Resource Center website, email or phone (661) 362-3469.


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Last updated: 08/18/2023 Sub#: 1286