David Loudermilk, an alumnus of the Catawba theatre program, was with the department in 2021-22 as a visiting instructor in musical theatre. He returns this year as Assistant Professor of Musical Theatre. Professor Loudermilk has performed both regionally and internationally at theaters, theme parks, and on cruise ships. He holds a Master of Fine Arts degree and has a Bachelor of Fine Arts with an emphasis in directing from Catawba College. He has also served as an educator, artistic director, and producer/investor (Broadway: Doctor Zhivago, Tuck Everlasting; West End: Memphis). His favorite shows include Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill, Green Day’s American Idiot, Cats, A Chorus Line AND Songs for A New Word produced at Catawba 20 years ago. Loudermilk recently received recognition for his direction and choreography for his thesis production of HAIR, and choreography for Newsies and The Hunchback of Notre Dame. He was the 2005 Region IV Society of Directors and Choreographers Finalist and received an Honorable Mention at the 2019 Region V Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival, in the same category. He has also received awards from the North Carolina Theatre Conference and Star News Media.
Also joining the faculty this year with a joint appointment in Music and Theatre Arts is Nicholas Fuqua. Professor Fuqua will join the School of Performing Arts as an Assistant Professor of Musical Theatre. Professor Fuqua will receive his Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Idaho in May of 2023. He holds a Master of Education from the University of Louisville, a Master of Music in musical theatre/opera performance from Arizona State University, and a Bachelor of Arts in theatre/musical theatre from Siena Heights University. Fuqua has a broad variety of experience ranging from teaching theatre, musical theatre, music theory, to mentoring tap students who placed first overall in dance competitions, to designing sets and lights for musicals, dance performances, and showcases. He has worked extensively in theatre for youth as a director, music director, coach, and mentor. Fuqua has also managed auditorium spaces, taught voice, violin, viola, and piano. A performer of note, Fuqua was a semi-finalist in the first national musical theatre competition where he placed in the top sixteen. Praised as a surprisingly terrific countertenor by Opera Canada and a pleasant tenor, Fuqua is no stranger to the stage. He has worked professionally on musicals including: Hair!, Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, Shrek, Peter Pan, 42nd Street, Tick, Tick . . . Boom! Fuqua has worked at the Kentucky Opera, The Barn Theatre, Phoenix Theatre, Halifax Opera, Arizona Opera, and Hale Center Theatre among others.
Professors Loudermilk and Fuqua will join the current musical theatre faculty and, according to Theatre Arts Department Chair Erin Dougherty, “leverage Catawba’s intimate setting to provide top-flight artist-faculty that gives Catawba’s musical theatre students the kind of performance and real-world experiences that only Catawba can provide.”
Catawba’s Musical Theatre Program provides students with the professional training of a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in musical theatre combined with the breadth of a liberal arts degree.
Catawba developed the Musical Theatre Major as a divisional major of the Shuford School of Performing Arts in 1985. The first student to complete this major was Fred Inkley in 1988. After leaving Catawba, Fred made his first Broadway appearance as Jean Valjean in Les Misérables and he originated the Beast in the first national tour of Beauty and the Beast among many other professional roles.
In 1997, the Musical Theatre Major became the Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Musical Theatre furthering the professional training of Catawba musical theatre students with an enlarged faculty focused on the “triple threat” of acting, song, and dance.
Catawba has many alumni active in professional theatre on Broadway, in regional theatre, and working in communities throughout the country. The Musical Theatre program provides each student with a solid foundation in fundamental musical and theater skills, as well as a broad background in practical entertainment business, literature, and the humanities.
Raise the curtain, cue the orchestra, and let the show begin!