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 18-20 students will be offered a place in our incoming BFA in musical theatre class. Our welcoming faculty will look forward to meeting you at your audition!

Process and Guidelines

The audition for the musical theatre option consists of three parts: acting, singing, and dancing. Throughout the audition process, the musical theatre faculty will be able to identify your strengths and potential in each area. For admittance into the program, you must demonstrate the potential to develop your skills in all three areas.

You will be auditioning for two or more members of the faculty – all of whom will be supportive and hoping you do well.

On-Campus Auditions

The on-campus auditions for the bachelor of fine arts (BFA) in musical theatre 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, and more, while you are escorted by current students to the area where you’ll be auditioning.

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 musical theatre and dance 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.

At the on-campus auditions, the dance audition will occur before the acting and singing auditions.

If you are auditioning at the Unifieds in New York and Chicago, the dance audition will happen toward the end of each day after the auditions have been completed (you will have a chance to sign up for times prior to your audition day or on-site).  It's possible to do your dance audition on a different day than your acting/singing audition if you need to do so. If you are auditioning in LA, you will need to send a digital dance audition as we do not hold live dance auditions at that location.

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)
  • Everyone 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 (other than outlined above), 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.
  • If you wish to be considered for advanced placement in tap, you may also complete a tap combination, but please note that this portion of the audition is optional and for placement purposes only.

If you are submitting a digital dance audition, please do so by sending a YouTube or Vimeo link to: auditions@bsu.edu. Please make sure your video is ‘unlisted’ vs. ‘private.’

EMAIL US

Please include all information in your email:

  • your name
  • the date and location you auditioned for the Musical Theatre program
  • your contact info

The audition should contain the following:

  • Ballet Barre—including plies, tendus, degages, rond de jambes, and grand battements
  • Ballet Centre—including adagio, pirouette, petit allegro, and grand allegro
  • short modern combination, progression or phrase
  • short jazz combination, progression or phrase
  • short solo in the student’s strongest form

All digital dance auditions must be received by the last on-campus audition date (usually the third or fourth week of February).

Please contact Andrea Sadler at 765-285-8740 if you have any questions regarding digital auditions.

Prepare two 16-bar song selections contrasting in style that demonstrate your range and versatility:

Select songs from musicals or operettas (vs. 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.

If auditioning on campus and at Chicago and New York Unifieds, you must use the Ball State University provided accompanist. Please bring your music with you to the audition, and make sure it is well marked. Applicants auditioning in Los Angeles will need to provide their own recorded accompaniment (and player/sound equipment).

Songs from the following musicals/composers are considered either iconic and/or utilized too often, therefore we advise against using them in the audition process:

  • “Les Miserables”
  • “Wicked”
  • “Rent”
  • “Aida”
  • “Jekyll and Hyde”
  • the works of Andrew Lloyd Webber
  • the works of Stephen Sondheim

You will most likely audition with one song to start, and those auditioning you may or may not ask for a second song.

Prepare one contemporary monologue that is one-minute in length (maximum). Please time your monologue; it will not reflect favorably on your audition if you exceed the time limit.

We may ask you for a second monologue. If so, 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.

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 or musical that you are passionate about. We want to get to know you through this material and the character 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 audition should be preceded by an introduction including only the following items:

  • your name
  • the name of your song and the musical it’s from, as well as the name(s) of the composer(s) and lyricist(s)
  • the name of the play your monologue is from, and the name of the playwright

Example

"Hi, my name is Jane Smith; I will be performing the song ‘I Cain’t Say No’ from Oklahoma by Rodgers and Hammerstein, and a monologue from Summer and Smoke by Tennessee Williams.”

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 names of the play/playwright and composer/lyricist/musical.

During your song and monologue, 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 generally it is 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.

You may be asked to make an adjustment and try a piece again.

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!