The Music Dance Theatre program sponsors a variety of musical productions that support the training received in classes and studios. Every other year, a large-scale musical is presented in the DeJong Concert Hall with a seating capacity of 1200. These musicals include support from the BYU Symphony and are generally well-known titles such as PHANTOM OF THE OPERA and MARY POPPINS. On opposite years, MDT sponsors a smaller-scale musical in the 500-seating Pardoe Theatre such as INTO THE WOODS and CHILDREN OF EDEN usually performed with a small instrumental ensemble or a recorded sound track. During that same academic year, MDT also presents a ‘workshop’ musical. This is usually a new work where students and faculty develop material at various stages of completion. Vocals style, size of cast, dance requirements, theatricality and other considerations all play a part in the selection of these MDT musicals. MDT students are required to audition for all MDT-sponsored musicals. The Theatre and Media Arts Department presents other musicals as well as non-musicals each season that MDT students may opt to audition for as well.
After spending five months performing as Northampton factory worker Lauren in Broadway’s “Kinky Boots,” Utah-native actress Westfall was cast as a 19th-century Londoner named Johanna in the Off-Broadway production of “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street” — and had a weeklong overlap of performances for one and rehearsals for the other.
“I would sometimes just get really confused because during the day, I was doing a standard British accent (for ‘Sweeney Todd’), and then at night, I’d have to switch it very slightly to this Northampton accent (for ‘Kinky Boots’),” Westfall said in an interview. “You just have to switch your mindset.”