Applying to SoTA

Because ours is a highly selective program, IWU students experience close, personal instruction from an outstanding faculty who lead them through rigorous theatrical training.

The School of Theatre Arts sees thousands of candidates from across the country each year and mindfully accepts only a handful.

Note: Faculty attend the International Thespian Festival, Southeastern Theatre Conference, College Audition Project and the Illinois High School Theatre Festival annually. Students called back at any of these events must still complete the full application process, listed below. 

Application Requirements

All students applying to the School of Theatre Arts must first submit a FREE application to Illinois Wesleyan University including current transcripts and test scores. Additionally, every prospective student must submit a School of Theatre Arts application via Acceptd* and complete an on-campus audition and/or faculty interview. Specific requirements for each of our programs is detailed below.

2021-22 AUDITION SCHEDULE:

November 20, 2021 live virtual audition

January 22, 2022 on-campus audition

February 5, 2022 on-campus audition

February 19, 2022 on-campus audition

Apply to SoTA

Application Requirements by Program

For the BA in Theatre Arts
  • Resume of theatre work
  • Headshot
  • SoTA Application Form (filed prior to faculty interview)
  • Faculty interview
  • Candidates for the BA program may additionally apply for a talent scholarship. Students may present portfolios in the areas of acting, vocal performance, directing, scholarship or creative writing.
For the BFA in Theatre Design & Technology
  • Resume of theatre and other relevant work
  • Headshot or current picture of you
  • SoTA Application Form (filed prior to faculty interview)
  • Faculty interview
  • Theatre 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.
For the BFA in Acting
  • Resume of theatre work
  • Headshot
  • Pre-screen audition*
  • Call-back audition
  • SoTA Application Form (filed prior to call-back)
  • Faculty interview (completed at call-back)

* Pre-screen materials should include 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.

If selected for a call-back, you will be notified by the recruitment office to sign-up for an audition, submit a SoTA application form and complete the faculty interview.

For the BFA in Music Theatre
  • Resume of theatre work
  • Headshot
  • Pre-screen audition*
  • Call-back audition
  • SoTA Application Form (filed prior to call-back)
  • Faculty interview (completed at call-back)

* IWU participates in the College Musical Theater Common Prescreen, which includes the following materials:

  • INTRODUCTION (“SLATE”)
    • There should not be a separate introduction or “slate” video. Instead, “slates” are to appear at the beginning of each piece and included as part of the time allotment.
    • The proper slate for a song is to share your name, the song title, and show in which it appears.
    • The proper slate for a monologue is to share your name, the title of the play, and the playwright.
  • SONGS
    • Students should prepare two contrasting pieces.
      • One song should be written before 1970. This song can be either the “uptempo” or the “ballad” (student’s choice).
      • One song should be written after 1970 and contrast the style of the first.
      • One song should be a ballad and one song should be an uptempo so as to contrast style
    • Each song file should be 60-90 seconds (This time limit includes the slate at the beginning of the piece and is strictly adhered to; please do not upload media files longer than 90 seconds)
    • Students must sing to musical accompaniment, which could include live or pre-recorded accompaniment. No “a cappella” singing (meaning singing without music).
    • Songs should be filmed in a ¾ shot which means the top of the head to the knees should be visible in the frame.
  • MONOLOGUES
    • Students may be asked to prepare either one or two pieces Each institution is responsible for indicating which options are accepted.
    • Monologues must be from a published play.
    • Monologues cannot be from musicals, television shows, or movies.
    • Each monologue file should be 60-90 seconds in length (this time limit includes the slate at the beginning of the piece and is strictly adhered to; please do not upload media files longer than 90 seconds)
  • DANCE
    • All dance media should be filmed in a “full body” shot taking care to keep the student’s entire body in the frame at all times.
    • Applicants do not need to slate in any dance media.
    • Regardless of which style of dance you execute, the choreography and the movement should be story-driven and connected to the music where the applicant is dancing with a sense of purpose.
    • 30-60 seconds of dance in whatever dance discipline you feel most confident.
    • Please do not submit ballet barre work.
    • Please use steps, movement, and physical vocabulary that you are familiar with and can execute well.
    • Dance media can be self-choreographed, but must be a solo video of you. This can include a show, competition, or other performance so long as you are clearly featured on your own.
    • All choreography must be performed to music; please no “a cappella” dance media.

If selected for a call-back, you will be notified by the recruitment office to sign-up for an audition, submit a SoTA application form and complete the faculty interview.

 

Admission Deadlines & Notification

Applicants to the BFA Acting and Music Theatre programs can pre-screen after Aug. 1. Your pre-screen will not be reviewed if incomplete, including an IWU application. Please allow 4-6 weeks after submitting your pre-screen for faculty to review your materials and make a call-back decision.

We strongly recommend you complete your application and audition prior to the final on-campus audition date. Review of applications begins in November with decisions being mailed January 1 through April 1. To contact IWU Admissions, click here.

For questions about the admissions process, please contact the Theatre Recruitment Office at (309) 556-3944 or by email at theatre@iwu.edu.

Apply Now!


* There is a $30 fee to apply to the School of Theatre Arts. Students participating in the live virtual audition on Nov. 20 pay an additional $30 fee. There is no additional fee to audition on campus. If you are applying to more than one of our programs and/or there is a financial barrier to applying, please contact the recruitment coordinator, Lauren Warnecke: lwarneck@iwu.edu.