DePaul University Theatre School > Conservatory > Undergraduate Conservatory > Acting > Audition

Audition

BFA Acting

Our audition process focuses on your potential for future growth. We believe that imagination, personal initiative, self-discipline, stamina, seriousness of purpose, commitment to the profession, and trainability are fundamental principles for Theatre School students.

For acting applicants, the audition is comprised of two parts: 1. the video prescreen and 2. the callback for an in-person audition. All acting applicants are required to go through the prescreen process.

We strongly encourage actors to submit their applications and prescreen videos by December 1 to allow enough time for a callback decision prior to the start of the January/February audition season.


About the monologues

We are looking for your ability to play the actions inherent in the text and to reveal the inner life of the character as it intersects with your own experience, imagination, and understanding. Because of that, we strongly suggest that you choose roles that are close to your own life experience and age. Our goal is to see you and your strengths, not how far you can stretch.

  • Prepare two (2) contrasting monologues, no longer than a minute each; you will present both monologues for your video and select one to present again for the in-person audition.
  • One of your monologues must be contemporary; the other monologue may be contemporary, classical, or heightened text.
  • Heightened text, regardless of when it was written, it is one-step-removed from natural speech. The focus is on poetic imagery, rich descriptions, and complex rhetorical thoughts. (Think: Shakespeare... but also Chekov, Shaw, Albee, etc.)
  • Your monologues must be memorized and rehearsed.
  • Choose monologues from plays and read the plays to understand the context of your text.
  • Choose monologues in which you speak directly to one other person and in which you play only one character.
  • Do not use accents/dialects that are not your own.

About the Video Prescreen

This is an audition for a theatre program. You do not need to worry about "acting for the camera" or using professional equipment. Your smartphone/digital camera is just there to record your work so that you can share that with us.

When you film, choose a well-lit, quiet place with a plain, solid colored background. Watch your video before you upload it to be sure you can be clearly seen and heard. You are welcome to do your introduction and/or monologues in separate takes as long as you ultimately upload them together as a single video file.

Your video must contain the following:
  • A brief introduction - introduce your name and your two monologues, including the names of the characters, the titles of the plays, and the authors. Please also include a brief personal statement in which you describe a profound experience you have had in theatre, either as a performer or spectator, that inspired you to pursue acting as a profession.
  • One contemporary monologue (one minute maximum)
  • One additional contrasting monologue: contemporary, classical, or heightened text (one minute maximum)
Please frame one monologue as a "wide shot" so that we can see your whole body and how you move as  you perform. The other monologue should be a "medium" or "three button" view so that we can focus on your face and expressions.

About the In-Person Audition (Callback)

Check-in occurs at the audition start time and our auditions typically last about three (3) hours. You will need to be present for the entire audition session. Please wear movement clothes appropriate for physical activity throughout the audition.

After a short information session, the audition will begin with a group warm-up/class session led by members of our performance faculty. The class session may include group improvisation, acting exercises, and vocal expression or movement work.

Next, you will be assigned a scene partner from among the other auditionees in the group. Under the direction of the faculty, you and your scene partner will work on a short “open scene” that the faculty will provide to you.

The final part of the audition is an individual monologue session with our faculty. You will be asked to choose one of the monologues that you presented in your video and perform it. Following your monologue, faculty may work with you on the piece and/or engage in a short informal interview conversation about your theatre interest and experience. After you have finished your monologue session, you have completed the audition process.