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Audition Requirements for Theater Majors

These auditions give Cornish the opportunity to see the passion and commitment behind your artistic work and creative process.

Each audition will include two contemporary monologues (one is provided by us, the other is your choice), a verse and chorus of a song, an interview, and for our live in-person auditions: group ensemble movement exercises and improvisation work will also be required. Our BFA Musical Theater applicants will be required to join us for a dance call (if auditioning live and in-person), or they will submit a recorded dance audition. All students have the option to audition live, or submit a recorded audition along with their application for admission.

 


Live Audition Updates

Normally, Cornish attends auditions around the country, and offers our own on campus. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, live in-person auditions are no longer a possibility. In lieu of this, Cornish is accepting recorded audition submissions (that are uploaded directly into your Application for Admission), and will be hosting live virtual auditions using the AuditionRoom platform by GetAcceptd. To register for your live virtual audition you must first start and submit your Cornish application for admission.

After you submit your Cornish Application, you can reserve your live virtual audition time on Cornish’s GetAcceptd webpage. If you have any questions regarding Cornish’s application for admission or audition requirements, please contact your Admission Counselor (Albert Rubio) at arubio@cornish.edu

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or

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Sign up for your Live Virtual Audition at:


National Unified Auditions are going virtual this year! Cornish and the other Unified Schools will be hosting live virtual auditions during these dates:

January 23-24
February 8-11
February 13-14

ADDITIONAL LIVE VIRTUAL AUDITION DATES

December 12
January 16
January 30
February 6
February 20
February 27
March 6

Remember to first submit the Cornish Application for Admission before you sign up for an Audition slot on Cornish’s GetAcceptd webpage. GetAcceptd is currently working on final touches, but we should have a link to the website posted here by the end of October. Contact your Admissions Counselor (Albert Rubio) with any questions, comments or concerns.

 


Live Virtual Audition Requirements

 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. Students who would like to schedule a live virtual audition should first: start an application for admission to Cornish College of the Arts.

Applications can be started directly from our website by CLICKING HERE, or students can apply through the CommonApp as well. Once you have started your Cornish application, you may schedule your live virtual audition directly from the Cornish’s GetAcceptd webpage once it is ready in late October-Early November.

 

Acting/Original Works
Audition Guidelines

MONOLOGUES

Applicants will prepare and perform two 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:

Option 1 | Fool for Love, by Sam Shepard

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.

SONG

Prepare 16 to 32 bars of a song (verse and chorus).

Choose a song that allows you to play an action and brings your focus out rather than inward. BFA Acting/Original Works applicants are invited to perform their song with accompaniment, but may choose to sing unaccompanied. If you choose to use accompaniment, you may use a live accompanist, or you may use recorded accompaniment. Remember that accompaniment is NOT REQUIRED for BFA Acting/Original Works applicants.

INTERVIEW

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

IMPORTANT NOTES: SHOT SET UP + LIGHTING + SPACE

  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 playtext 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

MONOLOGUES

Applicants will prepare and perform two 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.

SONG

Prepare 16 to 32 bars of a song (verse and chorus).

Choose a song that allows you to play an action and brings 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 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 will be required to submit a recorded dance audition along with their Application for Admission.

  • 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.

INTERVIEW

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

IMPORTANT NOTES: SHOT SET UP + LIGHTING + SPACE

  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 playtext 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 & Musical Theater

If you are unable to join us for a live virtual audition, we are glad to accept a video submission. Video auditions should be uploaded with your Application for Admission 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 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:

Option 1 | Fool for Love, by Sam Shepard

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.

SONG

Prepare 16 to 32 bars of a song (verse and chorus).

Choose a song that allows you to play an action and brings 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 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. BFA Acting/Original Works applicants are invited to perform their song with accompaniment, but may choose to sing unaccompanied.

DANCE (FOR MUSICAL THEATER APPLICANTS ONLY)

Applicants applying to our Musical Theater BFA will be required to submit a recorded dance audition along with their Application for Admission.

  • 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. Who is one of your heroes—either in life or in the performing arts—and why?
  2. 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 playtext 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 reopening page to stay up to date on health and safety requirements, and campus updates.