Performers on stage at Meadows

Preparing for a lifetime of leading roles

The new G. Marlyne Sexton Institute for Musical Theatre at Meadows School of the Arts will offer one of the few comprehensive training programs for performers and technicians available in a vibrant United States city. Philanthropist and Broadway producer G. Marlyne Sexton has made a $15 million gift to SMU Meadows School of the Arts to create a specialization in musical theatre that will prepare graduates for successful performing arts careers.

Introducing the Sexton Institute for Musical Theatre

The Sexton Institute for Musical Theatre will provide an education in one of the most popular and distinctly American forms of performance art.


Sexton Director of Musical Theatre

The support for the Sexton Director of Musical Theatre enables SMU to hire a dedicated leader who will shepherd the creation of the curriculum and all facets of the competitive musical theatre program. The search for the new director will be conducted during the 2023-2024 academic year.


Students will participate in cutting-edge productions and gain valuable training and expertise from internationally recognized faculty and performers. Graduates will earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre with a specialization in musical theatre studies.


Each academic year, students will perform and produce two to three musicals, including a fully produced musical, a workshop or chamber musical, and a workshop presentation of a new work.

Vibrant community

SMU’s location in the center of Dallas provides an active musical theater community and many opportunities for students. Dallas’ arts culture strengthens our ability to attract talented artists and performers and prepares students to contribute to the future of the community.

As they entertain, I hope students of musical theatre will develop their abilities to inspire us and build our capacity to empathize for others.

— Marlyne Sexton, Philanthropist and Broadway producer

Expected impact

  • Prepares students for a lifetime of creative roles and artistic leadership.
  • Attracts artistic and talented student performers to the thriving arts culture in North Texas.
  • Expands Meadows School of the Arts areas of study to include musical theatre programs and training.
musical theater

About G. Marlyne Sexton

Marlyne Sexton is a philanthropist and civic volunteer based in Indianapolis, Indiana. She is the owner of the Sexton Companies, a nationwide builder and developer of apartment homes and communities based in Indianapolis, founded by her late husband, Joseph Sexton, in 1962. In 1994, she received the Sagamore of the Wabash Award from Governor Evan Bayh for distinguished service to the State of Indiana. In addition to her extensive philanthropic work, Sexton is involved in producing and funding Broadway productions in New York and London.

Learn more

To learn more about the Sexton Institute for Musical Theatre and other ways to support the performing arts at the Meadows School of the Arts, contact Nicholas Weege, director of development, at or 214-768-2610.