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Conservatory of Performing Arts

Theatre Audition Guidelines

Acting | Musical Theatre | Technical Theatre/Design and Stage Management | What to Bring to Your Audition | Audition Attire


What to Expect on Audition/Interview Day

  • On-campus audition day activities typically last from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Plan to spend your day on campus.
  • Registration will begin at 8:30 a.m. in Lawrence Hall.
  • A campus tour and a financial aid seminar are included as part of the on-campus audition activities. 
  • A detailed itinerary with approximate times and locations will be mailed to you prior to your audition date(If you register for an audition date less than a month in advance, your itinerary will be sent to the email address listed on your registration form).

What to Bring to Your Acting and Musical Theatre Audition

  • Performance / training resume
  • Head shot (should not exceed 8x10 in size)

DO NOT send these materials prior to your audition. Any materials submitted to Point Park University are NON-RETURNABLE.

Acting Audition Guidelines

All candidates must come prepared with the following:

  • Applicants are asked to present two contrasting, one-minute, memorized monologues from works of established playwrights, including at least one contemporary selection.

In order to have the most successful audition possible, please read and adhere to the following guidelines:

  • Monologues must be from published plays written for theatre.
  • You should have read the entire play and have a thorough understanding of the character you are playing.
  • Choose a character that is close to your age range.
  • The monologue should be realistic (no dialects and/or character voices).
  • Monologue should not exceed one-minute in length.
  • Be prepared to perform an additional monologue if asked.
  • Monologues must be fully memorized.
  • Original material is not accepted.

We are interested in observing your talent and preparation, including thoughtful choices that demonstrate your understanding of the character's dramatic action.

On-Campus Auditions Only: At the completion of the monologue segment of the audition, some students may be asked to remain to rework their monologues under the direction of the faculty auditors. In some cases, a callback is not necessary, although auditors may choose to conduct a callback session with selected students. 

Acting Audition Attire

  • Please dress in clothing that promotes a feeling of confidence and allows movement. 

Be prepared, but also remember to have fun. We want to see YOU!

Musical Theatre Audition Guidelines

All candidates must come prepared with the following:

  • Two contrasting songs: a ballad (16-bar cut with a sustained legato line) and an up-tempo (32-bar cut which should show a contrast to the ballad in style, rhythm and vocal technique, i.e., legit/belt).
  • At least one selection should be from the pre-1980s Broadway repertoire.
  • A Contemporary monologue — no longer than one-minute in length — that must be chosen from a published play by an established playwright.
  • All musical theatre candidates will participate in a dance call.

In order to have the most successful audition possible, please read and adhere to the following guidelines:

SONGS
  • Candidates must provide the accompanist with sheet music in the proper key with full accompaniment. Music must be placed in a binder. 
  • Music should be appropriately marked, i.e., where you are starting/ending and the name of the song should be at the top. Please check that the base line of the piano part is included.
  • Accompanists will not transpose, no lead sheets, no a cappella singing
  • Occasionally, the panel may ask to hear you sing an additional selection. Please bring your audition book of songs with you.
  • All selections must be fully memorized.

MONOLOGUES

  • Monologues must be from a published (contemporary) play written for the theatre. 
  • You should have read the entire play and have a thorough understanding of the character you are playing.
  • Choose a character that is close to your age range. 
  • The monologue should be realistic (no dialects and/or character voices).
  • Monologue should not exceed one-minute in length.
  • Be prepared to perform an additional contemporary monologue if asked.
  • Monologues must be fully memorized.
  • Original material is not accepted.

Musical Theatre Audition Attire

  • Dance Call: wear appropriate dance attire. No bulky or loose-fitting clothing.
    • Female: Leotard and tights (you may wear dance shorts or a dance skirt). Jazz shoes or character shoes.
    • Male: Jazz pants. Form-fitting, solid color T-shirt. Jazz shoes.

Be prepared, but also remember to have fun. We want to see YOU!

Technical Theatre/Design and Stage Management Interviews

Candidates will interview with a technical theater/design or stage management faculty member. All candidates need to bring a portfolio and resume to the interview. Letters of reference from directors, theater teachers or other individuals who can judge your skills and character are appreciated but not required.

Along with your portfolio and resume please come prepared to discuss your skills as a theater artist:

  • Why are you interested in this profession and what do you know about our program?
  • What are your short-term and long-term goals?
  • What qualities do you think you need to possess in order to be successful?
  • Are you able to work as part of a team?

Also, be prepared to ask us your questions.

Technical Theatre and Design Portfolios

Include works that illustrate your artistic talents and involvement in theatre production. Not all samples have to pertain directly to theater but should show your creative and technical skills or potential.

Examples for a design (scenic, lighting, costume) area of interest:   

  • Sketches, drawings, paintings, sculpture
  • Scenic painting
  • Model building, scale sketches
  • Costume construction, garments
  • Photography
  • Associated paperwork: light plot, ground plan, elevations etc.
  • Photographs of theatrical elements in various stages of completion
  • Craft projects or objects you have built
  • Photos of productions under stage light

Examples for a technology area of interest: 

  • Photographs of theatrical elements in various stages of completion.
  • Drafting
  • Drawings
  • Photographs or paperwork related to technical or managerial/leadership projects.

Stage Management Portfolios

Candidates should include anything that demonstrates organizational and people skills as applied to the student's involvement in theatrical productions. Not all samples have to pertain directly to theater but should show your organizational skills.

Examples:

  • Prompt books
  • Running notes
  • Contact sheets
  • Cast lists
  • Prop lists
  • Rehearsal schedules
  • Photographs of performances

Please provide the adjudicator with samples of your portfolio that can remain in the possession of Point Park University. These samples should be hard copies or digital copies of your original work. Do not submit originals. Please do not include programs.

PRINT-FRIENDLY VERSION OF THE THEATRE AUDITION/INTERVIEW DATES AND GUIDELINES (pdf)


Artistic Decisions

Acceptance into the Department of Theatre is based on talent and potential as demonstrated in the audition/interview. Applicants must be artistically accepted into the theatre program AND academically accepted into the University. Applicants WILL NOT receive their artistic decision until they have received an academic decision from the Office of Admissions.

Candidates that have been academically accepted and audition/interview during the fall semester (Nov. 9, Dec. 8, or Dec. 15) will be reviewed in December and can expect to receive a letter regarding their audition/interview decision by Jan. 15, 2014. Candidates that have been academically accepted and audition during the spring semester (Jan. 18, Feb. 22, March 22, April 12 or the Unified Auditions), will be reviewed by March 31, 2014. Those students auditioning after April1, 2014 will receive a letter within four to six weeks of their audition date.

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Questions? Contact Us

If you have any questions, please read our frequently asked questions or contact the Conservatory of Performing Arts at (412) 392-3451 or via e-mail at conservatory@pointpark.edu. Office hours are Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Eastern standard time.