Evaluating your talent
Admission to the musical theatre program is competitive. Each year 16-18 students, ranging in experience level, are accepted into the program. While exceptional talent is certainly appreciated, the department is not always looking for readiness for the profession, but the readiness to train for the profession.
During your audition experience, the department encourages you to:
- Leave your ego at the door, be yourself
- Be giving to your audition colleagues
- Allow the day to be an enjoyable one.
The purpose of this audition process is to allow us to evaluate your training and our ability to educate you with respect to a career in the theatre. The process is also designed to afford you the chance to decide if this program is best suited to your goals and abilities.
The audition for the musical theatre program will include the following:
- Monologue — Prepare a monologue from a play or musical, not to exceed 90 seconds. These selections should be drawn from contemporary, published theatre literature and should not require props. The selections should be appropriate to your age and type, and be prepared and memorized. Please review the Audition Preparation Guide for helpful suggestions. You should also have a second, contrasting monologue prepared in the event the auditors need to see more of your work. The second monologue should also not be more than 90 seconds in length.
- Songs — Prepare two song cuttings: one up-tempo and one ballad, with 16 bars of one type and 32 bars of the other. Both selections should be chosen from standard musical theatre repertoire, each memorized and with sheet music in the appropriate key. Do not bring chord charts. The staff music director will accompany auditions. Music should be provided to the accompanist double-sided, in a three-ring binder (no loose sheets). You should be prepared to sing the full song of your song selections if asked to do so.
- Dance — You will be required to participate in a dance class that will include some or all of the following genres: ballet, contemporary, jazz and tap. You will have time to change before and after the dance class. Women should wear a solid-colored leotard and convertible tights or leggings; no skirts or shorts, please. Men should wear a solid-colored close-fitting t-shirt, tights or leggings, and a dance belt. Please secure hair away from your face and neck and remove any heavy jewelry. Everyone should bring appropriate shoes, if you have them, for ballet, jazz (flat shoes only: a small heel, but no character shoes or jazz sneakers) and tap shoes. If you do not have shoes for dance, you may take the class in socks.
- Interviews — You will be interviewed by members of the faculty to discuss skills and interests. An interview will allow you to talk informally with a faculty member and discover what Missouri State University and you have to offer one another.
- Warm-ups — Candidates will participate in a group warm-up session. This session is intended to loosen up your physical and vocal instrument, to release any unnecessary tension, and to determine your participatory demeanor within a group context. Please be advised that this class does not specifically warm up your voice for singing. All applicants are expected to find appropriate spaces to warm up individually before their auditions. Empty classrooms can often be found on the upper floors for privacy and sound considerations.
- Attire — During the monologue segment, you should wear appropriate audition attire. No hats. For the group warm-up, please have clothes that allow you to move freely and comfortably. You will have time to change between the warm-up and monologue segments.
- Parent chat — During the auditions, parents of audition candidates can meet with department faculty for a question and answer session.
- Student chat — You will have an opportunity to talk with current MSU students about student life and the department.
Additional audition considerations
Audition personnel may ask you to perform one or more of the following tasks, and may ask that some of these tasks be completed within specific guidelines or conditions:
- Briefly discuss the plays and/or characters of your audition pieces
- Perform a simple physical task without words
- Re-perform one of your audition pieces with a different set of goals and conditions
- Ask the interviewers some questions relating to the musical theatre program at Missouri State University.