Theatre and Dance

Musical Theatre Auditions

BFA Musical Theatre Degree Program

Ball State Audition Guidelines


The audition for the Musical Theatre Option consists of three parts – acting, singing, and dancing. Your “audience” will consist of Department of Theatre and Dance faculty (and a few current students for on-campus auditions)- all of whom will be wishing you great success!

The purpose of the audition is to help the musical theatre faculty identify your strengths and potential in each of the three areas. For admittance to the program, you must demonstrate the potential to develop your skills in all three areas.

Please read each of the following guidelines very carefully. If you have any questions regarding the musical theatre audition, please contact Andrea Sadler. General audition questions can be answered by calling (765) 285-8740.

Dance Audition Guidelines:

The dance audition will occur before the acting and singing auditions.

  • Please dress in dance attire that allows for total freedom of movement as outlined below:
    • Men: Any solid color fitted T-shirt, leotard or tank, with black tights, jazz pants, or other close fitting pants
    • Women: Any solid color leotard with tights, jazz pants or other close fitting Capri style jazz pants.
    • Shoes – Ballet slippers, character shoes, jazz shoes or sneakers, and tap shoes (optional).
    • All – All should have hair neat and pulled away from the face. Please note that there should be no loose or dangling jewelry of any kind. Also, please note that no baggy clothing or street clothing of any kind may be worn – this includes, but is not limited to, sweatshirts, t-shirts, sweatpants, shorts.
  • There will be time between dance and acting/singing auditions to change. If attending an on-campus audition you are free to register in your dance attire.
  • The dance audition will run in the following order and be taught as a class:
    • You will be taught several ballet barre exercises and/or combinations.
    • You will be taught a jazz progression and/or combination.
    • Students who wish to be considered for advanced placement in tap may also complete a tap combination, but please note that this portion of the audition is optional and for placement purposes only.

We audition hundreds of applicants each year from almost ten different locales for the Musical Theatre Program. Out of these auditions, approximately 14-16 students will be offered a place in the incoming BFA Musical Theatre Class.

Acting and Singing Audition Guidelines:

Acting: Prepare one (1) monologue that is one minute in length from a modern 20th century play that showcases your ability. Please observe the following guidelines:

  • Choose monologues that are well written and 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 within the context of the play.
  • Monologues should have a beginning/middle/end with a journey/discovery/change.
  • Choose characters that are within 5-10 years of your playable age range. Choose material that you connect with. 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 or offensive (i.e. we advise against monologues 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.
  • A chair will be provided for your use if you choose to use it.
  • Monologues must be memorized!

Singing: Prepare two (2) 16 bar song selections contrasting in style that demonstrate your range and versatility:

  • Select songs from musicals or operettas (NO FOREIGN LANGUAGE classical repertoire, etc.)
  • Select a song sung by a character within 5-10 years of your playable age range.
  • Songs must be no longer than 16 measures in length; ballad OR up tempo. Every attempt should be made for selections to have as much contrast in style and character as is possible to provide adjudicators a sense of your abilities.
  • Send all well-marked music to the Department of Theatre/Dance no later than two weeks before your audition to insure competent accompaniment.
  • You must use the Ball State University provided accompanist.
  • Songs from the following musicals/composers are considered either iconic and/or utilized too often and are no longer effective in the audition process. Please DO NOT select music from the following shows:

Applicants auditioning in New York and Los Angeles will need to provide their own recorded accompaniment (and player/sound equipment).


  • This is our first impression of you. Practice this so you feel confident. Find out how to correctly pronounce the play/playwright and composer/lyricist/musical.
  • Those auditioning you will be writing down your name, monologue and song titles, so speak clearly and confidently.
  • The Audition should go as follows:
    • State your name
    • State your song, musical, and composer/lyricist selection
    • Perform song
    • State your other song, musical, and composer/lyricist selection
    • Perform song
    • State your monologue’s play and playwright
    • Perform monologue

*You may do your monologue before your songs, if that’s more comfortable for you. Also, be prepared to be asked to make an adjustment and try a piece again.


  • During the audition, 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. Avoid large jewelry, uncomfortably or hard-to-stand-in high heels, and revealing necklines.
  • Both men and women should make sure hair is out of their face at all times. 

Please contact Andrea Sadler at 765-285-8740 for more information regarding DVD auditions.

Related Links

Auditions 2014-2015