This guide is designed to help you prepare for the Theatre program auditions and for considering ChiArts as an option for your high school. ChiArts is a wonderfully creative and educational environment, and we take our work seriously. The Theatre Conservatory consists of two majors: Acting and Musical Theatre. If you wish to be considered for both majors, you must audition for each program separately.
You can audition for two ChiArts programs. Select the one(s) that you have the most passion for. Once enrolled, transferring to another program at ChiArts is difficult if not impossible. So give serious consideration to which program is going to be your first and second choice. You can audition for both the Acting and Musical Theatre programs. If you do so, that would be your maximum of two programs for which you can audition.
AUDITION REQUIREMENTS FOR CHIARTS THEATRE
ACTING PROGRAM AUDITION REQUIREMENTS
2. Ensemble Class (Improvisation) for Callbacks Only
MUSICAL THEATRE AUDITION REQUIREMENTS
2. Vocal Audition
3. Dance Class for Callbacks only
4. Vocal Class for Callbacks only
As with all auditions, your primary responsibility is to be as prepared as possible. Start your preparation NOW. Be confident and believe in yourself! Every time that you audition, the people watching you are on your side and want you to do your best. Be passionate and unafraid to take creative risks.
MONOLOGUE (Acting & Musical Theatre)
- A monologue is a speech spoken by one person.
- It can be from a play, screenplay, short story, poem or written by you.
- Sample monologues can be found on the ChiArts website here. Although you may use these, we highly encourage you to find a monologue from a different play.
- There is a 90 second limit – you must stick to this or you will be cut off.
- Your monologue must be memorized.
- The material should be age-appropriate – suitable for a pre-teen through high school age character.
- Bring three copies of the monologue to your audition for the adjudicators.
PREPARATION OF MONOLOGUE
- Choose a piece that means something to you or that you can relate to. Select a piece that can be active, meaning your character wants something from someone. Those pieces that simply tell a story generally are not active.
- Read the entire play, story or poem so you know what is happening in this scene and what happened in the past leading up to this monologue. Know what you’re saying and why you’re saying it.
- Make notes in the piece about where something changes in the monologue, such as a new idea or a change in mood, and decide why this is happening. This is called a beat change.
- Rehearse the monologue out loud. A friend or family member can help you memorize by being “on book” (following along with the script while you are saying it) and helping you with trouble spots.
- Decide in advance who your character is, who you are speaking to in this monologue (this is called the “listener”) and where you imagine him/her/they are (the “environment”) when you are speaking to them. Rehearse by directing the monologue to the listener (Note: this will be an imaginary person during the actual audition). You may want to start by first using a real person to stand in for the character of the listener, and then ask that person to step away so you can practice saying it to the imaginary listener since that person will not be in the room when you actually audition. When you perform the monologue in the audition, you should imagine that listener in a specific spot in the room and NOT direct the monologue to the adjudicators.
- Rehearse until you have the piece memorized completely. However, every time you perform it should be as if you are saying these words for the first time. Your monologue must be memorized. Engage your whole body and voice so you are expressing what you character is doing and feeling. Do NOT sit through your entire monologue. Your pace should be appropriate to the piece. Speak clearly and at a volume in which you can be heard.
- You will not be allowed to use costumes or real props. You may only use a chair.
VOCAL AUDITION (Musical Theatre only)
- You will perform a solo song
- There is a 60 second limit – you must stick to this or you will be cut off.
- It is preferable that songs be from a musical, a folk song, a jazz song, a gospel song or an art song. DO NOT select something from the radio, particularly if contains inappropriate language.
- The song must be memorized.
- You MUST provide accompaniment on sheet music, or a track on CD, MP3 player, smartphone, or tablet. The track must be instrumental accompaniment only with no vocal tracks. The sheet music must be in the correct key. Only as a last resort may you sing a cappella (with no accompaniment). ChiArts will provide a pianist to accompany for those using sheet music.
PREPARATION OF VOCAL AUDITION SONG
- Choose a song (and style) that you enjoy, shows your vocal range and has meaning to you. It is wise not to choose something that a lot of others will choose too.
- Think of your song as a monologue that is set to music. Who is your character? Who are you singing to and why?
- Prepare just as you would for the monologue except incorporating the music.
- If using sheet music, mark the point where you will begin and end for the accompanist.
- If using CD, MP3 player, smartphone, or tablet, it should be the first track and cued up to where you will begin singing.
DANCE AUDITION (Musical Theatre only)
- Wear appropriate clothing that you can move in. These include leotards, tights, gym pants, T-shirts, ballet or jazz shoes, or bare feet. No jewelry or baggy clothes. Hair should be pulled back off the face.
- There is nothing to prepare. You will be taught a warm-up and a dance combination as part of an audition group.
- Before the dance audition, change into your dance clothes and warm-up your body.
THE DAY OF THE AUDITION – CHECK LIST
- Monologue (Acting and Musical Theatre) – 3 copies
- Sheet Music or Instrumental track (Musical Theatre)
- Appropriate school dress – NOT a costume – for the monologue (Acting and Musical Theatre) and song (Musical Theatre) audition
AT THE AUDITION
ARRIVAL AND PREPARATION
Arrive to the audition 15-30 minutes before your designated audition time so you can check in and get settled. Remember, Acting majors’ auditions consist of the monologue only in the first round. You should begin to prepare yourself for the audition as soon as you arrive. Be relaxed but focused. Start thinking about your character, the circumstances of the piece and what you want from the “listener” (your imaginary partner). Remember, we are on your side and want you to do your best!
ENTERING THE ROOM
When you enter the audition room, give a copy of your materials to the appropriate people. The three copies of the monologue should go to the adjudicators. The sheet music should be given to the accompanist; review the start/stop places and the tempo with the accompanist. The CD should be given to the staff member.
SLATING FOR THE CAMERA
The audition is videotaped so you will be asked to give your name, age, name of the school you attend and the names of the piece(s) you are performing. When you finish slating, find the place in the room from which you want to start your monologue or song.
PRESENTING THE MONOLOGUE/SONG
After slating, take a short beat and then begin your monologue or song. If you stumble over a word or two, don’t worry, just stay focused and keep going. If you suddenly go blank and can’t remember your piece (don’t worry, it has happened to all of us!), take a moment to collect your thoughts. The adjudicators will direct you on how to continue. After you finish your monologue and/or song, the adjudicators may or may not give you some notes and have you do part or all of it again.
QUESTIONS FROM THE ADJUDICATORS
The adjudicators may ask you some questions about why you want to attend ChiArts and your goals.
AFTER YOUR AUDITION
You have done your job! Now reward yourself! Again, your primary responsibility is to be prepared and to enjoy yourself. We want you to do your very best and are rooting for each and every one of you! Celebrate!
Some students will be asked back for a second audition, known as a callback. This will be scheduled at a later date after your first audition.
ACTING PROGRAM CALLBACK
2. Ensemble Class (Improvisation)
You will be asked to do your monologue again and to participate in an Ensemble Class that focuses on Improvisation. There is nothing to prepare for the Ensemble Class. This will be a series of theatre games and exercises. They are fun and you may have already played some of them. There is no preparation necessary. Simply listen to the instructions, stay focused and use your imagination, voice and body. Be supportive of your fellow ensemble members and be willing to take any directions that the instructor offers you. Dress so you can move freely. The adjudicators may give you some notes for your monologue and ask you to incorporate them.
MUSICAL THEATRE PROGRAM CALLBACK
1. Vocal Audition
4. Dance Class
You should stretch and warm-up your body before the dance callback. This portion of the callback will be conducted like a dance class and will include a warm-up, moving across the floor, and a short dance combination. You will also partcipate in a vocal exercise class, where instructors might ask you to match pitch or sing a scale. There is no preparation necessary. Simply listen to the instructions, stay focused, and be willing to take any directions that the instructor offers you. Dress so you can move freely.
This is one example. Please choose your own monologue.
Play: Our Town by Thornton Wilder
“Emily, I’m glad you spoke to me about that – that fault in my character. What you said was right; but there was one thing wrong with it. That’s where you said I wasn’t noticing – people – and you, for instance – why, you say you were watchin’ me when I did everything – Why, I was doing the same about you all the time. Why, sure – I always thought of you as one of the chief people I thought about. I always made sure where you were sitting on the bleachers, and who you were talking with, and for three days now I’ve tried to walk home with you; but something always got in the way. Yesterday, I was standing over by the wall waiting for you, and you walked home with Miss Corcoran.
“Listen, Emily, I’m going to tell you why I’m not going to Agricultural School. I think once you’ve found a person you’re very fond of – I mean a person who’s fond of you, too, and who likes you well enough to be interested in your character – Well, I think that’s just as important as college is, and even more so. That’s what I think:
“Emily, if I do improve, and make a big change, – would you be – I mean, could you be?”