On training in musical theater

Actress LAURA BUHAGIAR talk to Lara zammit on his experience at the Royal Conservatory of Scotland.

Having just completed her Bachelor of Arts in Musical Theater at the Royal Conservatory of Scotland, Laura Buhagiar studied for a program focused on theater, song, dance and music.

Asked how her training in all of these disciplines contributes to the quality and breadth of her acting skills, Buhagiar noted that having been trained in four disciplines allows her to approach theater more broadly.

“It allows me, as an actor, to explore beyond average storytelling, which typically includes spoken text or song. This training enables artists to tell stories using the discipline that best suits that particular story. Some things cannot be said but can be expressed through movement and music, for example.

When asked if there was a performance theory that she encountered during her graduation that she believes could have left an imprint on her, Buhagiar noted that the course did not focus directly on theory as it was a professional hands-on program.

“The only class that involved theory was our History of Musical Theater class which focused on learning about different artists and styles over the years and how those eras were influenced.

“What I found most fascinating was how each type of musical or form of theater was always influenced by what was going on at that time. For example, the musicals of the Golden Age normally offered pure entertainment and comedic relief to members of society who all went through difficult times along the way. That’s why we find a lot of older musicals these days more unrealistic, for the simple reason that that was their primary intention – to take audiences out of the real world for a moment or two.

When asked if she thinks her degree prepares her for the real-world demands of a career in musical theater, Buhagiar said she feels sufficiently prepared.

“I feel like I have been well enough prepared for this industry and I am delighted to see what presents itself to me. It’s a very difficult industry, so to some extent no one can prepare you for the shock that the real world is.

“I see myself playing for a few years, mostly in the UK, but I’m happy to see where this journey takes me! I would also like to get into choreography and higher education in the future.

Louisa Buhagiar is a recipient of the Malta Arts Scholarship Scheme.

Independent journalism costs money. Times of Malta support for the price of a coffee.

Support us