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How to prepare for a theatre arts scholarship audition

Your audition will consist of either an acting audition or technical portfolio review and interview with Augustana faculty in theatre arts.

Wear professional but comfortable clothes. Do not dress in a costume or wear jeans, flip flops, sneakers or sweats. Do not wear what you would wear to rehearsals or to work crew for a show.


Applicants must prepare two contrasting pieces not to exceed five minutes combined. Your pieces must be memorized. You may present two monologues or a monologue/song combination.

• Monologues should be of a contrasting nature from contemporary material (written in the past 25 years)

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

• Get help from your high school theatre teacher or coach to prepare for your audition.

• Do not do original (unpublished) work

• Do not do 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. Read the entire play and understand your character in the context of the play.

• 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.

• Know what the piece means, what all the words mean and how to pronounce them.

• Vocalists should warm up prior to their audition times

Musical selections must be presented with recorded accompaniment. You will need to provide your own playback device. A chair and a table will be provided for use in your performance.

Before you perform your audition, tell us who you are and what selections you are performing. Include your name, the name of the character, the title of the play and the playwright’s name when introducing your pieces. Do not include a synopsis of the play, a description of the character or a discussion of the play’s themes.

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.

The portfolio might consist of the following:

• Elevations, ground plans, and renderings created by you.

• Photographs of your on going process and the final product (costumes, scenery and props). 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.

Be sure to include evidence of related skills pertinent to theatre: visual, graphic design, costume building, music, recording, animation or photography.

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, intelligence and imagination can be as important as extensive experience.

The interview

After your acting audition/portfolio review, you will be interviewed by members of the theatre arts department faculty. We are looking for students who are well read, possess a variety of interests and come to us with 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 part of your world. Tell us what you really think, not what you think we want to hear.
You may bring additional materials with you for the interview: photographs, programs, newspaper clippings, etc. which showcase your work in theatre and the arts.

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

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