Auditions Admission Overview


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The School of Theatre Arts sees hundreds of candidates from across the country each year and mindfully accepts only a handful. Faculty attend the International Thespian Festival, Southeastern Theatre Conference, North Texas Drama Auditions and Illinois High School Theatre Festival annually. If you were seen at one of these off campus events, please check in with the Theatre Recruitment Office to see what your next steps are for admission.

Please read carefully our four-step admissions process below.

Step 1: All incoming students must submit a FREE application with Illinois Wesleyan University including current transcripts and test scores prior to any on-campus audition or interview.

Step 2: All students interested in BFA Acting or BFA Music Theatre must pre-screen by uploading their audition requirements to the Acceptd website ($30.00 fee). Students interested in the BA in Theatre Arts and the BFA Theatre Design and Technology DO NOT need to pre-screen via Acceptd.

Acceptd is a third-party agency used by many of the top programs as a way to save applicants the time and expense of traveling. Faculty will review these digital auditions and determine if the student will be invited for an on-campus audition. Once you receive a callback, please sign up for one of the four audition dates below or call the Theatre Recruitment Office (309) 556-3944 for assistance with this process.


Step 3: Sign up for one of our four audition dates.


On-Campus Audition/Portfolio Dates for 2015/2016

November 21, 2015

January 30, 2016

February 13, 2016

February 27, 2016


Audition Procedures

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.

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

The audition has three 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.

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.

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. All steps must be completed in order for a decision to be made. We strongly recommend you complete your application and audition prior to the final on-campus audition date. Review of applications begins in December with decisions being mailed January 1 through April 1. To contact IWU Admissions, click here.


For questions about the admission/audition process, please contact Nikki Wright in the Theatre Recruitment Office at (309) 556-3944 or via e-mail: