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.

Application Requirements

Applications to the School of Theatre Arts open on August 1.

First, apply to Illinois Wesleyan University. Every prospective School of Theatre Arts student must also submit a School of Theatre Arts application via Acceptd.  You can apply to IWU and SoTA at the same time. 

Specific requirements for each of our programs are detailed below.

Once your application is screened by our faculty, you may be invited to attend an on-campus audition or interview on one of the following days:

2022-23 AUDITION SCHEDULE:

October 29, 2022 live virtual audition*

November 19, 2022 on-campus audition

January 28, 2023 on-campus audition

February 11, 2023 on-campus audition

February 25, 2023 on-campus audition

*To be eligible for the Oct. 29 virtual audition, you must have submitted your School of Theatre Arts application and any required pre-screen materials by Oct. 15. Students auditioning virtually may be asked to complete an on-campus callback.

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. 

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 on a scheduled audition day
  • 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. These materials are to be included in your SoTA Acceptd application.
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 and portfolio presentation on a scheduled audition day.
  • Theatre portfolio, submitted with your SoTA Acceptd application. 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 day. At that time, you will submit a SoTA application form.

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:

  • OVERALL
    • Each piece should be filmed/uploaded as a separate piece of media. No continuous videos. Students are encouraged to use standard technology/recording devices that are available to them (i.e. smartphones, tablets,etc.)
  • 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.
    • The proper slate for a piece of dance is to share your name, the title of the song you are dancing to, and the name of the choreographer. If the piece is “self-choreographed” you should share your own name as choreographer.
  • 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.
    • 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 are asked to prepare one contemporary monologue (written after 1950) from a published play.
    • Monologues cannot be from musicals.
    • 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.
    • 30-60 seconds of dance in whatever dance discipline you feel most confident. This may include but is not limited to jazz, ballet, tap, modern, cultural dance styles, hip hop, lyrical or contemporary.
    • 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 day. At that time, you will submit a SoTA application form.

 

Admission Deadlines & Notification

Applications are accepted and reviewed on a rolling deadline beginning August 1. Please aim to complete your application by no later than February 15 to ensure we can process your materials before the final audition of the year.

Your pre-screen will not be reviewed if incomplete, including an IWU application.

If you wish to audition virtually, all requested materials must be submitted by October 15.

Please allow 4-6 weeks after submitting a BFA Acting or Music Theatre pre-screen for faculty to review your materials and make a call-back decision.

Review of applications begins in September. Admissions decisions will arrive by approximately March 10.

Apply Now!

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.