Theater Auditions

Video by Gigantic Planet.

Audition Dates for 2018/19 admission

On campus audition dates

Theater Department Open House November 18 - 19 RSVP
January 27
February 3
February 17
Theater Department Open House February 24 - 25 RSVP
March 3
March 17
April 21

Off campus audition dates

October 22Spokane, WA
January 20/21Unified Auditions - NYC
February 5/6/7Unified Auditions - Chicago
February 9Los Angeles
February 10Unified Auditions - Los Angeles
February 11San Francisco

Applicants are strongly encouraged to audition in person for Cornish College of the Arts. . Cornish hosts audition dates in Seattle on campus, as well as an audition weekend in San Francisco each year for theater applicants.

Cornish participates in the Unified Theater Auditions and conducts auditions at the New York City, Chicago and Los Angeles sites.

Audition Requirements

To audition for the Theater program, Cornish requires you to prepare two monologues and a song. Each audition will include group warm-up and ensemble improvisation work.

  • Of our two prescribed pieces (options below), select the one with which you feel the strongest connection. Make sure to read the corresponding play. 
  • For the contrasting monologue, choose a monologue in which mood, style and intention offers an interesting contrast to the Cornish selection. It should have a strong objective that allows you to play actions that connect you with another character. Most importantly, it should be a piece that you enjoy performing.
  • Song: Prepare 32 bars of a song (a verse and a chorus) to be sung *unaccompanied. Choose a song that allows you to play an action and brings your focus out rather than inward.

*Applicants to our Musical Theater concentration will be asked to perform their song with an accompanist (venue permitting). Please bring sheet music with cuts clearly marked and page turns easily managed. Make sure the music is notated in the correct key, the accompanist will not transpose for you. Please bring your book, our auditors may ask to hear another song.

Each student will have an interview with faculty to discuss career goals and educational needs. Applicants interested in the Musical Theater concentration should be prepared to discuss their reasons for this choice in their interview.

Option One

Fool for Love by Sam Shepard


Okay. Look. I don’t understand what you’ve got in your head anymore. I really don’t. I don’t get it. Now, you desperately need me. Now, you can’t live without me. NOW, you’ll do anything for me. Why should I believe it this time? It was supposed to have been true every time before. Every other time. Now it’s true again. You’ve been jerking me off like this for fifteen years. Fifteen years I’ve been a yo-yo for you. I’ve never been split. I’ve never been two ways about you. I’ve either loved you or not loved you. And now I just plain don’t love you. Understand? Do you understand me? I don’t love you. I don’t need you. I don’t want you. Do you get that? Now if you can still stay then you’re either crazy or pathetic..

Option Two

Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller


No! Nobody’s hanging himself, Willy! I ran down eleven flights with a pen in my hand today. And suddenly I stopped, you hear me? And in the middle of that office building, do you hear this? I stopped in the middle of that building and I saw—the sky. I saw the things that I love in this world. The work and the food and time to sit and smoke. And I looked at the pen and said to myself, what the hell am I grabbing this for? Why am I trying to become what I don’t want to be? What am I doing in an office, making a contemptuous, begging fool of myself, when all I want is out there, waiting for me the minute I say I know who I am! Why can’t I say that, Willy?

Audition Online

An in-person audition will give us a chance to actively work with you and better judge your skills, especially improvisational skills, and your ability to work with an ensemble. It is to your advantage to audition in-person at Cornish or for the Cornish representative at the Unified Auditions. If circumstances make an in-person audition difficult, you may upload an audition online with your Application for Admission.

Guidelines for Recording Auditions

  • Record your audition in a theater space or rehearsal hall.
  • Make sure that the acoustics are good (with no echo) and that there is sufficient light.
  • No costumes, makeup, or background sound effects should be used.
  • Feature your whole body on the recording though it is permissible to zoom in to a waist-up view once you have begun a monologue.
  • Introduce your audition by stating your name, age and place of residence. Briefly discuss your goals and experience. Introduce and then present the two contrasting monologues, each no longer than two minutes
  • Sing 16 bars of a song, unaccompanied
  • Include two letters of recommendation by people familiar with your performance work.  They can either accompany the upload or be sent separately.
  • Answer the following questions:

Who is one of your heroes—either in life or in the performing arts—and why?

Imagine that you received a grant to produce a play that you would either commission or write yourself. It could be in the theater of your choice, with the cast of your choice. The only condition is that it has to be about some issue—personal, social, political, environmental—that you care strongly about. What would you want your play to be about and what would you want the audience to take away from the experience of seeing your play?

To schedule your Theater audition, please contact your Admission Counselor, Tadd Morgan: