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How to prepare for a theatre arts scholarship audition

Your audition will consist of either an acting audition or a technical portfolio review and an interview with a faculty member from Theatre Arts.

Plan to arrive (or log in for virtual auditions) 10 minutes before your audition time. You will remain in a waiting room until the panel is ready for you. The audition should last no longer than 15 minutes. Please read through the information below to help you prepare.

Wear professional, but comfortable clothing and shoes. Choose attire you might wear to a job interview. Rehearse in your outfit ahead of time to ensure your movement will not be constricted or hindered during your audition.


Applicants must prepare two contrasting pieces not to exceed five minutes combined. Time yourself. Your pieces must be memorized. You may present two monologues or a monologue and a song. You may wish to get help from your high school theatre teacher or coach to prepare.

• Monologues should be of a contrasting nature. Contemporary material is preferred, but not required

• Musical pieces should show range and vocal quality and may be from contemporary or standard musical theatre literature.

• Don't choose original (unpublished) work to perform, or a standup comedy routine (or a piece that sounds like one). Do not do material from screenplays.

• Choose pieces similar to your own age and experience.

• Avoid using materials specifically written for monologue books or songs contained in musical theatre anthologies.

• Look for pieces that speak to you, to which you deeply connect and which you love and can’t wait to perform.

• Read the entire play and understand your character in the context of the play. Know what the piece means, what all the words mean, and how to pronounce them.

Vocalists should warm up before their auditions.

Musical selections must be presented with recorded accompaniment. You will need to provide your own playback device, but a Bluetooth speaker will be available for in-person auditions.

A chair and a stool will be provided for use in your performance, if desired.

Before you perform your audition pieces, we would like you to tell us your name, what selections you will be performing, including the name of the character, the title of the play, and the playwright’s name. Do not include a synopsis of the play, a description of the character, or a discussion of the play’s themes.

Have fun!

Technical portfolio review

Applicants must present a portfolio that indicates the variety and caliber of their work in fine arts or theatre. Portfolio presentations should be no more than five minutes in length.

Slideshow presentations work well, but hard copies also are acceptable. A large screen will be available to share for work for in-person reviews, if desired. For virtual portfolio reviews you will have the ability to share your screen with the panel in order to share your work.

The portfolio might consist of the following:

  • Elevations, ground plans, or renderings created by you.
  • Photographs of your ongoing process and the final product (costumes, scenery, props, etc.). This includes the research used during the design process.
  • Stage manager’s prompt book, if relevant.
  • Materials may be from realized productions or classroom projects.

Presentation is important. Use quality photos in the best lighting. Do not use flash photography for production photos, as you want to recreate the audience’s experience. One or two quality photos can be more impressive than many small photos.

You also may include evidence of related skills pertinent to theatre: visual arts, graphic design, costume building, music, filming, sound recording, editing, photography, etc.

The faculty recognize that many students have not been able to extensively document their experience and encourages students to interview with the materials they have available. Passion, commitment, creative problem-solving, and imagination can be as important as extensive experience.

The interview

After your acting audition/portfolio review, you will be interviewed by faculty. We are looking for students who are well-read, have a variety of interests and an array of experiences and talents. We want to get to know you. Be yourself. We want to know why theatre is important to you and why the arts are a part of your world. Tell us what you really think, not what you think we want to hear.

Virtual auditions and reviews

If you are auditioning and interviewing virtually, the same basic guidelines apply to your presentation as if you were meeting in person. The same time limits apply. If you are performing, it must be done live, not prerecorded.

Please take note of your lighting, your background, and where you place your camera to ensure the faculty can see and hear you clearly and without distraction.

For more information, email or call Jackie McCall, 309-794-7197.

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