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Audition Requirements for Theater Majors

 

Welcome Audition Requirements Page for the Department of Theater, at Cornish College of the Arts. We are very excited to see your work. Auditions are required for the BFA in Acting/Original Works and the BFA in Musical Theater. All students have the option to audition live in-person, live virtually (using the AuditionRoom platform by GetAcceptd), or submit a recorded audition to the “Portfolio” section of their admission application. Contact your Admissions Counselor (Albert Rubio) with any questions, comments, or concerns.

 


Live In-Person Audition

During the 2021-2022 recruitment season, Cornish will be hosting live in-person auditions for our BFA in Acting & Original Works, and our BFA in Musical Theater at the National Unified Auditions in New York City, Chicago, and Anaheim.

COVID-19 Safety & Prevention

For the 2021-2022 Academic Year, Cornish College of the Arts has adopted a COVID-19 vaccination requirement to safeguard the health and well-being of students, faculty, staff, campus guests, and the community from infectious conditions that may be mitigated through an effective vaccination requirement. Therefore, if you choose to audition for us in person, we ask that you either be fully vaccinated with an approved COVID-19 vaccine or that you have received a negative COVID-19 test result within 72 hours of your scheduled audition time.

Musical Theater applicants will have the opportunity to participate in a live Dance Call, but there will be limited slots available for each session in order to maintain physical distance. Applicants will also be required to wear a face-covering that completely covers your nose and mouth and fits snugly against your face so there are no gaps. If you are unable to participate in one of our Dance Calls, you will be able to submit a recorded dance audition in the “Portfolio” section of your Cornish admissions application.

Unified Theater Audition Dates

NYC January 28-30 | Chicago – February 7-10 | Anaheim – February 12-13

In order to schedule an audition at Unifieds, you must first start your admission application, and load a headshot & resume to the “Portfolio” section. Once complete, you will be able to sign up for an audition slot (and Dance Call if auditioning for Musical Theater) via a link on your Cornish application portal. If you do not see a sign up link, or if you’re having any general trouble at all, reach out to Albert Rubio so that he can send you the sign up link, or schedule your audition time manually. Additionally, please do your best to submit your admission application before your audition date.

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Live Virtual Auditions

During the 2021-2022 recruitment season, Cornish will be hosting live virtual auditions for our
BFA in Acting & Original Works, and our BFA in Musical Theater using the AuditionRoom
platform by GetAcceptd.

Live Virtual Auditions Dates

November 20 | January 22 | February 5 & 26 | March 5

Before you schedule a live virtual audition, start an admission application to Cornish. Once you
have started your Cornish application, you may schedule your live virtual audition directly from
Cornish’s GetAcceptd webpage. Additionally, please do your best to submit your admission
application before your audition date.


Audition Guidelines

Acting/Original Works
Audition Guidelines

Monologues

Applicants will prepare and perform two contemporary monologues.

The first monologue will be one of our prescribed pieces (options below), please select the one you feel the strongest connection to, and make sure to read the corresponding play beforehand (we know when you haven’t read the material). If you are having trouble accessing the play to read, please reach out to Albert Rubio, and he will assist with providing you with a digital “read only” file.

Monologue Options

CLICK HERE for Option 1 | Fool for Love, by Sam Shepard

CLICK HERE for Option 2 | Death of a Salesman, by Arthur Miller

For your second monologue, choose a piece from a contemporary play where the mood, style, and intention present 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.

Interview

Each student will have a short interview with our faculty to discuss their career goals and educational priorities.

Important Notes: For Those Auditioning Virtually on ACCEPTD

  1. For the purposes of this live audition try your best to set up the camera so that your full body is in the frame
  2. Record your audition in a neutral open space. This can be a classroom or rehearsal space if you have access to one, but if you do not we understand. A living room or bedroom with furniture moved to provide ample space to perform will work just fine. Try your best to neutralize the space; meaning that walls should be bare (can easily cover with a sheet of fabric), and furniture is moved out of the way so that you have ample space to work.
  3. Make sure that the acoustics are good enough for you to sound clear (no rooms with a strong echo)
  4. Make sure that there is sufficient light. This means that your face and body are fully visible.
  5. DO NOT wear costumes or use character makeup. Dress in an elevated version of your specific style.
  6. DO NOT use background sound effects or virtual backgrounds.
  7. Contact your Admissions Counselor, Albert Rubio if you have any questions.

Optional: Additional Skills and Interests:

If you are a student interested in creating original works, we encourage you to submit a short video excerpt of a play you directed, a sample from a play/text that you have written, a self-written spoken word sample, a devised solo piece, or something similar.

If you are applying to Musical Theater and would like to showcase additional skills (instruments you play, tap, tumbling, flexibility, etc.) feel free to include this additional material in the “Portfolio” section of the Cornish Application for Admission. This is completely optional, and choosing not to submit additional material will not affect our consideration of you for the program.

Musical Theater
Audition Guidelines

Monologue

Applicants will prepare and perform one contemporary monologue.

The monologue performed will be one of our prescribed pieces (options below), please select the one you feel the strongest connection to, and make sure to read the corresponding play beforehand (we know when you haven’t read the material). If you are having trouble accessing the play to read, please reach out to Albert Rubio, and he will assist with providing you with a digital “read-only” file.

Monologue Options

CLICK HERE for Option 1 | Fool for Love, by Sam Shepard

CLICK HERE for Option 2 | Death of a Salesman, by Arthur Miller

For your second monologue, choose a piece from a contemporary play where the mood, style, and intention present 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.

Songs

Each applicant will prepare two contrasting songs. The first song should be from a Musical in the Golden Age style (can be contemporary, should just have a classical feel), and the second song should be from a Contemporary Musical. Each song should be 16 to 32 bars in length (verse and chorus). Choose contrasting songs that showcase your vocal range. The songs should also allow you to play an action, and bring your focus out rather than inward.

Applicants applying to our Musical Theater BFA will be expected to perform their song with accompaniment. If you’re auditioning in-person, you’ll use the accompanist we provide. Therefore, you should come prepared with your music in a binder, and in the correct key.

If you’re auditioning live virtually on Acceptd, you may use a live accompanist if you wish, but you may also use recorded accompaniment. If you choose to use recorded accompaniment, a personal Bluetooth speaker is best. If you don’t have access to a speaker to play music, check with your school or community first to see if there is one that can be lent to you. If you still have trouble finding one, contact Albert Rubio, to explore other options.

Dance

Applicants applying to our Musical Theater BFA are asked to attend a dance-call if auditioning in-person (see COVID-19 SAFETY & PREVENTION), or submit a recorded dance audition in the “Portfolio” section of their Cornish admission application if auditioning live virtually on Acceptd following the requirements below:

  • 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. If you have questions about how to set up this shot, contact Albert Rubio to set up a Zoom session to walk you through best practices.
  • You may use a dance studio, black box, or rehearsal hall; but we understand that not every student has access to these types of spaces. If you have limited space, make the best of your available space. Show us your best in the space you have available. Imagine that it is a live audition and the choreographer has given you an improvisational score where you must work in a confined space. This can help with your mindset going into the filming process for this portion of the audition. You can also reach out to Albert Rubio to schedule a Zoom session where he will help you with using the space you have available.
  • Execute a brief series of ballet moves: plie’, tendu, and grand battement; and pirouette en dehors to both sides. You may use music if you like.
  • 60-90 seconds of choreography from the discipline you are most comfortable with. Ballet, jazz, contemporary, African, East Indian, Brazilian, etc. Please stick to vocabulary and steps you are familiar with and can execute well. All choreography must be performed to music; no “a-cappella” dance media, please. The execution of the choreography should be story-driven, and allow you to express a goal.

Important Notes: For Those Auditioning Virtually on ACCEPTD

  1. For the purposes of this live audition try your best to set up the camera so that your full
    body is in the frame
  2. Record your audition in a neutral open space. This can be a classroom, or rehearsal
    space if you have access to one, but if you do not we understand. A living room orbedroom with furniture moved to provide ample space to perform will work just fine. Try your best to neutralize the space; meaning that walls should be bare (can easily cover with a sheet of fabric), and furniture is moved out of the way so that you have ample space to work.
  3. Make sure that the acoustics are good enough for you to sound clear (no rooms with a strong echo)
  4. Make sure that there is sufficient light. This means that your face and body are fully visible.
  5. DO NOT wear costumes or use character makeup. Dress in an elevated version of your
    specific style.
  6. DO NOT use background sound effects or virtual backgrounds.
  7. Contact your Admissions Counselor, Albert Rubio if you have any questions.

Optional: Additional Skills and Interests

If you are a student interested in creating original works, we encourage you to submit a short video excerpt of a play you directed, a sample from a play/text that you have written, a self-written spoken word sample, a devised solo piece, or something similar.

If you are applying to Musical Theater and would like to showcase additional skills (instruments you play, tap, tumbling, flexibility, etc.) feel free to include this additional material in the “Portfolio” section of the Cornish Application for Admission. This is completely optional, and choosing not to submit additional material will not affect our consideration of you for the program.

Recorded Audition Guidelines
Acting/Original Works

If you are unable to join us for a live in-person or virtual audition, we are glad to accept a recorded audition submission. Recorded auditions should be uploaded to your Cornish admission application in the “Portfolio” section, and must follow the additional requirements below.

Important Notes: Shot Set Up + Lighting + Space 

  • Introduction of monologues should be filmed in a full body shot.
  • Monologues can be filmed however works best for how you prepared the material, but if you decide to film one monologue as a close-up, the best practice would be to have the second monologue filmed in the ¾ to full body shot range.
  • Songs should be filmed in a ¾ shot, which means the top of the head to the knees should be visible in the frame.
  • Record your audition in a neutral open space. This can be a classroom, or rehearsal space if you have access to one, but if you do not we understand. A living room or bedroom with furniture moved to provide ample space to perform will work just fine. Try your best to neutralize the space; meaning that walls should be bare (can easily cover with a sheet of fabric), and furniture is moved out of the way so that you have ample space to work.
  • Make sure that the acoustics are good enough for you to sound clear (no rooms with a strong echo)
  • Make sure that there is sufficient light
  • DO NOT wear costumes or use character makeup. Dress in an elevated version of your specific style.
  • DO NOT use background sound effects or virtual backgrounds.
  • If you have any questions contact Albert Rubio.

Monologues + Introduction

Applicants will prepare and perform two contemporary monologues.

The first monologue will be one of our prescribed pieces (options below), please select the one you feel the strongest connection to, and make sure to read the corresponding play beforehand (we know when you haven’t read the material). If you are having trouble accessing the play to read, please reach out to Albert Rubio, and he will assist with providing you with a digital “read-only” file.

Monologue Options

CLICK HERE for Option 1 | Fool for Love, by Sam Shepard

CLICK HERE for Option 2 | Death of a Salesman, by Arthur Miller

For your second monologue, choose a piece from a contemporary play where the mood, style, and intention present 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.

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.

Questions

Please answer these questions after your introduction or at the end of your audition, on video.

  1. Why do you want to study at Cornish? What excites you about our program?
  2. Who is one of your heroes—either in life or in the performing arts—and why?
  3. 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?

Optional: Additional Skills and Interests

If you are a student interested in creating original works, we encourage you to submit a short video excerpt of a play you directed, a sample from a play/text that you have written, a self-written spoken word sample, a devised solo piece, or something similar.

If you are applying to Musical Theater and would like to showcase additional skills (instruments you play, tap, tumbling, flexibility, etc.) feel free to include this additional material in the “Portfolio” section of the Cornish Application for Admission. This is completely optional, and choosing not to submit additional material will not affect our consideration of you for the program.

 

 


Recorded Audition Guidelines
Musical Theater

If you are unable to join us for a live in-person or virtual audition, we are glad to accept a recorded audition submission. Recorded auditions should be uploaded to your Cornish admission application in the “Portfolio” section, and must follow the additional requirements below.

Important Notes: Shot Set Up + Lighting + Space 

  • Introduction of monologues should be filmed in a full body shot.
  • Monologues can be filmed however works best for how you prepared the material, but if you decide to film one monologue as a close-up, the best practice would be to have the second monologue filmed in the ¾ to full body shot range.
  • Songs should be filmed in a ¾ shot, which means the top of the head to the knees should be visible in the frame.
  • Record your audition in a neutral open space. This can be a classroom, or rehearsal space if you have access to one, but if you do not we understand. A living room or bedroom with furniture moved to provide ample space to perform will work just fine. Try your best to neutralize the space; meaning that walls should be bare (can easily cover with a sheet of fabric), and furniture is moved out of the way so that you have ample space to work.
  • Make sure that the acoustics are good enough for you to sound clear (no rooms with a strong echo)
  • Make sure that there is sufficient light
  • DO NOT wear costumes or use character makeup. Dress in an elevated version of your specific style.
  • DO NOT use background sound effects or virtual backgrounds.
  • If you have any questions contact Albert Rubio.

Monologue + Songs + Introduction

Applicants will prepare and perform one contemporary monologue.

The monologue performed will be one of our prescribed pieces (options below), please select the one you feel the strongest connection to, and make sure to read the corresponding play beforehand (we know when you haven’t read the material). If you are having trouble accessing the play to read, please reach out to Albert Rubio, and he will assist with providing you with a digital “read-only” file.

Monologue Options

CLICK HERE for Option 1 | Fool for Love, by Sam Shepard

CLICK HERE for Option 2 | Death of a Salesman, by Arthur Miller

If you feel that you do not have adequate time to prepare one of our monologue options, choose a piece from a contemporary play that you have prepared. 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

Each applicant will prepare two contrasting songs. The first song should be from a Musical in the Golden Age style (can be contemporary, should just have a classical feel), and the second song should be from a Contemporary Musical. Each song should be 16 to 32 bars in length (verse and chorus). Choose contrasting songs that showcase your vocal range. The songs should also allow you to play an action, and bring your focus out rather than inward.

Applicants applying to our Musical Theater BFA will be expected to perform their song with accompaniment. You may use a live accompanist if you wish, but you may also use recorded accompaniment. If you choose to use recorded accompaniment, a personal Bluetooth speaker is best. If you don’t have access to a speaker to play music, check with your school or community first to see if there is one that can be lent to you. If you still have trouble finding one, contact Albert Rubio to explore other options.

Introduce your audition by stating your name, age, and place of residence. Briefly discuss your goals and experience. Introduce and then present your monologue and your contrasting songs.

Dance

  • 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. If you have questions about how to set up this shot, contact Albert Rubio to set up a Zoom session to walk you through best practices.
  • You may use a dance studio, black box, or rehearsal hall; but we understand that not every student has access to these types of spaces. If you have limited space, make the best of your available space. Show us your best in the space you have available. Imagine that it is a live audition and the choreographer has given you an improvisational score where you must work in a confined space. This can help with your mindset going into the filming process for this portion of the audition. You can also reach out to Albert Rubio to schedule a Zoom session where he will help you with using the space you have available.
  • Execute a brief series of ballet moves: plie’, tendu, and grand battement; and pirouette en dehors to both sides. You may use music if you like.
  • 60-90 seconds of choreography from the discipline you are most comfortable with. Ballet, jazz, contemporary, African, East Indian, Brazilian, etc. Please stick to vocabulary and steps you are familiar with and can execute well. All choreography must be performed to music; no “a-cappella” dance media, please. The execution of the choreography should be story-driven, and allow you to express a goal.

Questions

Please answer these questions after your introduction or at the end of your audition, on video.

  1. Why do you want to study at Cornish? What excites you about our program?
  2. Who is one of your heroes—either in life or in the performing arts—and why?
  3. 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?

Optional: Additional Skills and Interests

If you are a student interested in creating original works, we encourage you to submit a short video excerpt of a play you directed, a sample from a play/text that you have written, a self-written spoken word sample, a devised solo piece, or something similar.

If you are applying to Musical Theater and would like to showcase additional skills (instruments you play, tap, tumbling, flexibility, etc.) feel free to include this additional material in the “Portfolio” section of the Cornish Application for Admission. This is completely optional, and choosing not to submit additional material will not affect our consideration of you for the program.


Further Resources

Visit Cornish's 2021 Fall Opening page to stay up to date on health and safety requirements, and campus updates.