“We’re very excited and happy to welcome Valerie Accetta as our new head of musical theater,” said Kelly Allison, M.F.A, chair of the Department of Theatre. “With her exceptional professional stage experience, students will now be able to pursue a higher level of musical theater education here at UAB.”
Accetta is an Actors Equity Association actress who studied musical theater at the University of Miami before playing Margy Frake in the first national tour of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “State Fair,” starring John Davidson. She performed in numerous other musicals including the title role in “Cinderella,” Maria in “The Sound of Music” and Marion in “The Music Man.” Accetta received a bachelor’s degree in musical theater pedagogy from Otterbein University.
Her directing or associate directing credits include “Gypsy,” “Phantom,” “The Producers” and “Avenue Q.” She was the head of drama at Campion School, a British international school in Athens, Greece, and she directed seven productions including “Godspell,” which toured to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in summer 2010. Accetta recently completed a Master of Fine Arts in theater pedagogy from Virginia Commonwealth University.
Accetta will teach an introductory tap dancing class and a second-level musical theater class this semester. She will direct Theatre UAB’s production of “Urinetown,” a comedic homage to musicals, in April.
“I want to make sure that I take students on the next step of the journey and explore things they haven’t covered in musical theater class before,” Accetta said. “I want them to be prepared for auditions and also really understand the history of musical theater, so we will do a Golden Age ballad and early character songs from composers such as Cole Porter and Irving Berlin. We’ll then work our way up to contemporary musical theater and pop/rock songs because so many Broadway musical auditions ask for that now.”