Auditions and Admission

Dance warm up

Auditions Admission Overview:

The School of Theatre Arts sees hundreds of candidates from across the country each year and mindfully accepts only a handful. Faculty annually attend the International Thespian Festival, Southeastern Theatre Conference, North Texas Drama Auditions and Illinois High School Theatre Festival. Students may receive a callback from any of these off-campus auditions and asked to attend one of our four on-campus auditions. In that case you may skip step two in the process below. Additionally if you are a BA candidate you may skip step two as well. Please read carefully our three-step admissions process.

Step 1: Fill out your FREE application with Illinois Wesleyan University. All incoming students must submit a completed application to IWU including current transcripts and test scores prior to any on campus audition/interview.

Step 2: All students auditioning/interviewing for the BFA Programs in Acting, Music Theatre must to pre-screen by uploading their audition/portfolio to the acceptd. website ($25.00 fee). or uploading to the IWU application. Pre-screen submissions to acceptd. must be completed by February 20th in order to allow enough time to be scheduled for an on campus audition. Acceptd. is a third-party agency being used by many of the top programs as a way to save applicants the time and expense of traveling across the country. Faculty will review digital auditions/portfolios and determine if the student will receive a callback for an on-campus audition. To request an audition date, click here. Please call the Theatre Recruiting Office (309) 556-3944 for more information or assistance with this process.



Step 3: BA candidates and Design and Technology BFA candidates should contact the Theatre Recruiting Office at (309) 556-3944 to schedule their on-campus interview on one of the four audition Saturdays. BA candidates are encouraged to audition or present portfolios to apply for Talent Awards or Alumni Talent Scholarships. BFA candidates living within 200 miles of IWU should contact the Theatre Recruiting Office to schedule their audition/interview. BFA candidates who received a callback from accepted. or one of the off campus auditions will be contacted by the Theatre Recruiting Office to schedule an on campus audition. Please remember that all prospective students MUST complete their application including transcripts and test scores prior to their on-campus audition/portfolio review.

All three steps must be completed prior to any review for admission. Auditions, interviews and/or portfolio presentations must be completed before our final audition/interview date--Saturday, March 1, 2014.

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Auditions for Fall 2014 Admission into the BFA in Music Theatre and BFA in Acting have ended.  If you wish to interview for the BFA in Design and Technology or the BA please contact the Recruiting Office as soon as possible. (309) 556-3944


Audition Procedures:


Trojan Women

BFA in Acting:

Resume and Headshot: Applicants must submit a recent headshot and a resume of all theatre work.

Audition: Prepare two contrasting monologues that are within your casting age and range. They should be taken from modern plays. (No Shakespeare, verse or dialects, please.) Select active monologues (not passive voice) that you feel express your current strengths as an actor. Each selection should be memorized, thoroughly rehearsed and one to two minutes in length.

Interview: In addition to the audition, prospective students will interview with Acting faculty.



BFA in Theatre Design & TechnologHamlet Machiney:

Resume and Photo: Applicants must submit a recent photo or headshot and a resume of all theatre work.

Portfolio: The portfolio should present examples of your work in the form of light and sound plots, paint elevations, costume renderings and prompt books from theatrical productions. Other examples include photographs, schedules, paper work, programs/posters, sewing projects, sketches (hand or computer), craft and properties projects, design boards, research or other evidence of your artistic abilities.

Interview: In addition to the audition, prospective students will interview with the Theatre Design & Technology faculty.



BFA in Music Theatre:Hello Again

Resume and Headshot: Applicants must submit a resume of all theatre work and a recent head shot.

The audition has four components:

Dancing: The dance audition will be taught as a class, with warm up, followed by ballet and jazz combinations. Bring appropriate attire for dance, especially shoes.

Acting: Prepare two contrasting monologues within your casting age range: adolescent to 30 years old and personality type. (No Shakespeare, verse or dialects, please.) Each one should be approximately one minute in length. Avoid text from musical theatre librettos. Each selection should be memorized and thoroughly rehearsed.

Singing: Prepare vocal selections from music theatre literature, one ballad and one up-tempo. Cut the song to 32 bars of music. (Do not sing the whole song.) An accompanist will be provided; bring your sheet music and make sure your cuts are clearly marked and you are prepared to talk with the accompanist. Please note that a 32-bar cut is sufficient, but you may be asked to sing the entire song. Each selection should be memorized and thoroughly rehearsed. (Note: overdone songs that should be avoided)

Interview: In addition to the audition, prospective students will interview with the Music Theatre faculty.



BA in Theatre:Opportunity

Resume and Photo: Applicants must submit a recent photograph or head shot and a resume of theatre work.

Application: Applicants must submit a completed copy of the BA Application for review.

Talent Audition: Students wishing to audition for a talent award or talent scholarship may present either the acting or the portfolio, as outlined on the previous areas requirements.

Interview: All BA applicants must schedule an on-campus interview with the Theatre Studies faculty. Auditions and interviews are held on campus during audition days.



Admission Deadlines & Notification:

Admission to Illinois Wesleyan University is selective, and auditions are an integral part of the admission decision. Prospective students in Theatre and Music Theatre must complete both their application to the University and their audition for the School of Theatre Arts before their application will be reviewed for admission. We recommend you complete your application and audition prior to the final on-campus audition date. Review of applications begins in December with notification of decisions being mailed January 1 through April 1. In addition, prospective students must submit an application to the University, along with transcripts and test scores. To contact IWU's Admission office, click here.

If you would like to set up a visit to campus and sit in on classes or meet professors and students, see our Campus Visit page.

To arrange an Audition or a Portfolio Presentation, please call or write Cristen Susong in the Theatre Admission Office, Illinois Wesleyan University, P.O. Box 2900, Bloomington, IL 61702-2900. (309) 556-3944 • E-mail:


School of Theatre Arts
Illinois Wesleyan University
P.O. Box 2900, Bloomington, Illinois 61702-2900
Telephone: 309.556.3944
Fax: 309.556.3411
Theatre Box Office: 309.556.3232