Theatre and Dance

Acting Auditions

BFA Acting Degree Program

Ball State Audition Guidelines


The audition for the BFA Acting Program consists of three parts – vocal and physical warm-up, monologue audition, and an interview. For admittance to the program, you must demonstrate potential in all three areas. Your audience will consist of Department of Theatre and Dance faculty (and current students for on-campus) - all of whom will be wishing you great success!

Vocal & Physical Warm-up

  • A faculty member will lead the group in a vocal and physical warm-up. The warm-up is designed to center your mind and adjust your voice and body to the physical space of the theatre. We are looking for availability, flexibility, courage, and a sense of humor.

  • What to Wear:

    • Choose clothing that allows for ease of movement. Sweat pants or yoga pants and a t-shirt are fine as long as they are not too baggy. Shirts should cover midriff when your arms are raised.

    • Wear shoes that have a rubber sole and are comfortable. Tennis shoes are fine.

    • Make sure your hair is tied back and all watches, rings, bracelets, dangling earrings are taken off.

    • You will have time after the physical and vocal warm-up to change into a separate set of clothing for the audition and interview, if you wish.

Monologue Audition

  • Material Selection

    • Prepare two (2) memorized monologues that are each one minute in length.

    • The monologues should contrast. This basically means two characters who speak differently, move differently, and/or have a different set of values. Try to avoid thinking of pieces as dramatic and comedic. This usually leads young actors to emotionally driven bad acting. Think instead of contrasting situations and/or styles of writing. If you feel comfortable with a classical piece, you may choose to do one, more on this below in the “further guidelines” section. 

  • Further Guidelines on Choosing Material

    • Choose monologues that are well written-this means monologues from published plays. Avoid monologues from movies, monologue books, musicals and the internet. Never attempt an audition monologue without reading the entire play and understanding your character in the context of the play.

    • Monologues should have a beginning/middle/ end with a journey/discovery/change.

    • Choose characters that are within 5 years of your playable age range. Choose material that you connect with, and that you want to say. Those for whom you are auditioning are looking for you to create honest relationships with clear given circumstances outlined by the playwright.

    • Do not choose monologues that require accents, eccentric characterizations, props or costumes. Portray one character per monologue. Avoid material that is overly sexual, offensive, cynical, negative, about suicide or abortions. Avoid climactic material that requires great depth or intensity of emotions. There is not enough time to achieve these emotional peaks effectively and honestly. 

    • If you feel comfortable with classical pieces, select a monologue from both classical and contemporary sources. If not, choose monologues from contemporary plays.

  • The Introduction:

    • This is our first impression of you. Practice this so you feel confident. Find out how to correctly pronounce the play and playwright.

    • Those auditioning you will be writing down your monologue titles, so speak clearly and confidently. 

    • The monologue audition should be preceded by an introduction including only the following items: Your name, the name of the play and playwright.

  • Focus:

    • During the monologues, choose focal points slightly above and/or to the side of your audience.

    • Do not say “scene” at the end of your pieces.

    • Practice transitioning from one piece into the other

  • What to Wear

    • Choose clothing and shoes that are simple and comfortable. Be sure clothes fit well and are not too baggy or too tight. Clothes should be clean, ironed, and allow us to concentrate on your work rather than your outfit. Women avoid large jewelry, uncomfortably or hard-to-stand-in high heels, and revealing necklines.

    • Men and women should make sure hair is out of their face.

The Interview

  • Research the program. Chances are you will be asked what you are looking for in a program and why you're interested in this program. There will also be time for you to ask your own questions about the department in regards to what you want out of your four years in a musical theatre program. Researching our department before your audition ensures that you get information from the faculty that is not on the website or in any paperwork you may possess about our program and instead get more specific, in-depth information about Ball State’s Department of Theatre and Dance.

  • Creating a list of questions you ask every university for which you are auditioning may allow you to compare programs more specifically.

  • This is a time for the faculty to find out a bit more about you. Relax, breathe, and be yourself

Applicants auditioning in Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles should prepare for the monologue and interview portions of the audition. There will not be a physical and vocal warm-up for off-site auditions.

We audition hundreds of applicants each year from almost ten different locales for the Acting program. Out of these auditions, approximately 12-14 students will be offered a place in the incoming BFA Acting class.

Please call Andrea Sadler at 765-285-8740 for more information regarding DVD/VHS auditions.

Related Links

Auditions 2014-2015