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Performance Production Department Admission

A portfolio review is a required part of the Performance Production Department admissions process. Your portfolio will be reviewed by a faculty member who will gauge your potential for success in the Department. You are strongly encouraged to present your portfolio in person during a scheduled review on-campus. Cornish participates in the Unified Theater Auditions and conducts reviews at the New York City, Chicago and Los Angeles events if you cannot make it to our campus to review.

Portfolio Review Dates


  • October 12, 2014
  • November 16, 2014
  • February 16, 2015

Off Campus

  • January 24, 2015 – New York, New York
  • February 2 & 3, 2015 - Chicago, Illinois
  • February 8, 2015 – Los Angeles, California

Visit the Unified Theater Audition website for location details.

Portfolio Online

Portfolio Online Students may submit a portfolio for review online. A phone interview/or personal interview is still required. Please contact the Office of Admission at 800.726.ARTS to schedule the interview. Upload portfolios on Slideroom 

Portfolio Requirements

For many applicants, trying to figure out just what to send is a real hurdle. The following short guidelines for each concentration of Performance Production should help you decide on what to present. Please realize that we don’t expect any one person to have experience in all of the concentrations, and that we understand that many of you will have very little relevant work you can show.

  • Undecided Concentration:
    Not to worry - if you aren’t sure just where you want to focus yet, there is plenty of time to make that decision. What we’re looking for is work that you have done that shows us a little bit about what your basic skills are in the areas of visual arts, organization, and production activities. We love to see sketchbooks, painting or sculpture done either on your own or for class, drafting, samples of writing, photos of shows you have worked on, even written descriptions of the work that you have been involved with in the area of production. Photography (even not related to production) is great to see, notebooks you might keep to help you organize your projects, rough sketches of things you’ve built - all of these are good things to show.
  • Costume Design Concentration:
    In addition to any of the items mentioned in Undecided Concentration, we like to see work that you have done with fabrics or clothing. This can include pattern work, completed garments, work in progress, or sketches and design drawings for costumes, street clothing or accessories.
  • Lighting Design Concentration:
    In addition to any of the items mentioned in Undecided Concentration, you can show work that you have done with lighting, either on stage or in other environments. This may include light plots, lighting paper work like dimmer hook-up sheets or instrument schedules, and photos or slides of shows on which you’ve worked. Any other lighting or electric-related experience you may have should be communicated either by photos, written description, or drawing/sketching/drafting.
  • Scenic Design Concentration:
    In addition to any of the items mentioned in Undecided Concentration, it is great to see work that you have done in scene painting or in designing scenery for productions (or for classroom projects). Work that shows your understanding of or work with three-dimensional space is of special value.
  • Sound Design Concentration:
    In addition to any of the items mentioned in Undecided Concentration, we are interested in your experience with sound and sound equipment. This can range from production-related sound to home stereo hook-ups, as we want to get an idea about your experience and skill level. If you compose music or play music, we’d like to hear a sample (this is absolutely not a requirement for all applicants; many sound designers are not musicians). Experience with sound is difficult to document; sometimes the best you can do is to write up a description of the experience to help you to talk about it in the interview.
  • Stage Management Concentration:
    In addition to any of the items mentioned in Undecided Concentration, Stage Management applicants often bring prompt books from the productions they have recently worked (usually one good prompt book is enough). Also important are photos of the productions they have worked to help us see the scale of the show. Stage Management is probably the most difficult of all the concentrations to document, and the biggest thing we look for is evidence of organizational skills. Lists you’ve made for a show (or for a project other than a show), calendars, checklists, sign-up sheets, scene breakdowns, contact sheets-all of these can be good things to show. If you don’t have much to show, don’t panic. We understand how difficult it is to document your work in stage management.
    Note: Programs (unless you designed them) and newspaper reviews will not be reviewed.