1. Apply to the University

You must apply for admission to the university prior to scheduling your audition. Audition requests are made by filling out the supplemental theatre application that is part of the online application to the university.

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2. Schedule an Audition

You will need to schedule an audition for admission into the program. When you fill out your online application to Ball State, you will need to complete a supplemental application where you can schedule your audition.

We hold on-campus auditions and we also participate in the National Unified Auditions in Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles.

Dates

  • Saturday, November 4, 2017 – on campus
  • Saturday, January 20, 2018 – New York Unifieds
  • Sunday, January 21, 2018 – New York Unifieds
  • Saturday, February 3, 2018 – on campus
  • Monday, February 5, 2018 – Chicago Unifieds
  • Tuesday, February 6, 2018 – Chicago Unifieds
  • Wednesday, February 7, 2018 – Chicago Unifieds
  • Thursday, February 8, 2018 – Chicago Unifieds
  • Saturday, February 10, 2018 – Los Angeles Unifieds
  • Saturday, February 24, 2018 – on campus

If you are absolutely unable to attend a live audition, please contact Recruitment Coordinator Andrea Sadler regarding submitting a digital audition.

The Numbers

We audition approximately 1,400 applicants each year from throughout the country. Out of this number, approximately 16-20 students will be offered a place in our incoming BFA in acting class. Our welcoming faculty will look forward to meeting you at your audition!

Process and Guidelines

On-Campus Auditions

The on-campus auditions for the bachelor of fine arts (BFA) in acting program will begin with registration and a meet and greet at 8 a.m. in Ball Gym on the Ball State Campus.

At approximately 9 a.m., members of our REFLEX improv troupe will take you upstairs and warm you up for the day!

This is followed by a brief presentation by our chair, Bill Jenkins, who will introduce you to all of the theatre and dance faculty.

You will then have the opportunity to see one (or more) of our graduating seniors perform.

Next, your parents, guardians, or friends will meet with the chair and a few theatre and dance parents for a Q&A about the program, admission, financial aid, etc., while you are escorted by current students to the area where you’ll be auditioning.

You will be auditioning for two or more members of the acting, movement, and voice faculty—all of whom will be supportive and hoping you do well.

We hold auditions in New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles, as part of the National Unified Auditions.

If you choose to audition at one of these locations, you will be auditioning for two or more members of our acting faculty.

We will have alumni and/or current students proctoring the auditions, so you will have someone on hand who can answer any and all questions you might have about the Ball State experience.

If you audition at the Unifieds, and decide you want to visit campus at a later date, we would love to have you! We can set up a day where you’ll shadow a student, attend classes, and see a show, if possible. You can contact Recruitment Coordinator Andrea Sadler to arrange this.

  • Prepare two contemporary monologues that are each one-minute (maximum) in length. Please time your monologues! It will not reflect favorably on your audition if you exceed the time limit.
  • Your monologues should contrast: differences in tone, language styles, and character (i.e. characters who may speak differently, move differently, and/or have a different set of values). If you feel comfortable with a classical piece, you may choose to do one classical and one contemporary.
  • Choose monologues that are well written and from published plays. Avoid monologues from movies, monologue books (unless you have read the play), 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, and end with a journey, discovery/, or change.
  • Choose characters that are within five years of your playable age range.
  • Do not choose monologues that require accents, eccentric characterizations, props, or costumes.
  • Portray one character per monologue.
  • Avoid material that is overly sexual, violent, or offensive (i.e. there are a number of monologues about suicide, rape, and abortion; we advise against using those.)
  • Avoid climactic material that requires great depth or intensity of emotions. There is not enough time to achieve these emotional peaks effectively and honestly. 
  • Finally, choose material that you connect with and love. Choose a character and a play that you are passionate about. We want to get to know you through this material and the characters you are portraying. We are looking for you to create an honest relationship with the person you're speaking to in your monologue, as well as clear given circumstances outlined by the playwright.

Your monologue audition should be preceded by an introduction including only the following items:

  • your name
  • the name of the play
  • the playwright for each piece you are doing

You will decide which piece to do first, so come in knowing that; no need to ask us which piece you should start with.

Example

"Hi, my name is Jane Smith; my first piece will be from ‘Summer and Smoke’ by Tennessee Williams, and my second piece will be from ‘This is Our Youth’ by Kenneth Lonergan."

We are often taping the auditions for other faculty members to watch at a later date, so do not be thrown off if you see a camera. You will need to wait for the person operating the camera to give you a go ahead before you slate your name and pieces.

This is our first impression of you! Practice your introduction so you feel confident. Find out how to correctly pronounce the play titles and playwrights' names.

  • During the monologues, choose focal points slightly above and/or to the side of those you are auditioning for. Don’t look us in the eye or use us as your scene partner (unless you ask, but it is generally best not to do this). We need to be focusing on you vs. being in the scene with you.
  • Those auditioning you may be writing notes (or typing on a laptop) while you’re introducing yourself and also while you’re doing your pieces. Don’t let this distract you, and no need to wait for us to look at you before you start. Because of time, we need to take notes while you are performing. We assure you, we are watching you, seeing you, and are very supportive of you and your work.
  • Practice transitioning from one piece into the other. Students will often ask us, “Just go right into the next one?” The answer to that is always “yes.” So build your transition into your work and decide how you’ll move from one piece to the next.
  • 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, tasteful, and allow us to concentrate on your work rather than your outfit. Please avoid large jewelry, and uncomfortable or hard-to-stand-in high heels.
  • Please make sure your hair is out of your face (so we can see you!).
  • Creating a list of questions you ask every university for which you are auditioning may allow you to compare programs more specifically. However, the answers to many of your questions will be on the various departmental websites and in printed materials, so we cannot emphasize enough how important it is to research the programs prior to your audition. It's possible that you will be asked what you are looking for in a program and why you're interested in our program in particular. Having a sense of what differentiates one program from another is one of the best things you can do prior to your college theatre audition.
  • If you haven't been able to find an answer to your question(s), please feel free to ask the faculty or the theatre students who will be present on your audition day. We want to make sure you get the information you need!

This is a time for us to find out a bit more about you, and for you to learn more about our program and us. Relax, breathe, and be yourself. We look forward to meeting you!