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Theatre - Acting

Program Requirements

Students must apply to Illinois State University prior to auditioning for the Acting major within the School of Theatre and Dance.

The School of Theatre and Dance applies the same academic standards as those required for admission to Illinois State University. There is no separate ACT or Grade Point Average requirement for admission to the School of Theatre and Dance.

All applicants to the Acting major must audition. Your audition also counts as your School of Theatre and Dance scholarship interview.

  • Prepare two contrasting monologues. Total time for both monologues combined should be approximately two minutes (you will not be timed).
  • Each audition piece should consist of a single character speaking. Auditions must be memorized.
  • There will be a chair for you to use if you choose.
  • At the beginning of the audition, state your name, the title of your pieces, and the characters you are playing.
  • Do not explain the plot unless instructed to do so by the interviewer.
  • Bring a current resume and a headshot (or a recent photo that shows "who you are") to your audition.

Audition Tips

Choice of Material

  • Choose something you like.
  • Choose age-appropriate material.
  • Avoid self-written monologues.
  • Make sure the character is in conflict!
  • Cut material to fit easily into the two-minute time limit (including transitions between monologues).
  • Examples of contrasting monologues are: dramatic/comic, contemporary/classic, sophisticated/unsophisticated, urban/rural, manic/depressed, etc.
  • A classical piece is not required.
  • Know the character you are playing. For example Laura in The Glass Menagerie is NOT extroverted; Oscar in The Odd Couple IS a slob.


  • Yelling
  • Screaming
  • Using dialects
  • Phone call monologues
  • Climax of the play
  • Sexually explicit or extremely offensive material


  • Dress comfortably, but strive to make a good impression.
  • Keep hair away from your face.
  • Wear sensible shoes. No flip flops or extremely high heels!
  • Avoid jewelry that is distracting, such as clanging earrings or bracelets.

Performing Your Monologues

  • Remember that your audition begins with your entrance.
  • Use the introduction to let us get to know you—speak clearly and take command of the room!
  • Place your imaginary scene partner directly downstage from you, over our heads.
  • Don't speak to a chair—it will cause you to focus on the floor.
  • Don't rush the audition transitions. Allow yourself time to transition—after the introduction, between the pieces, and before you say "Thank you."
  • Concentrate on pursuing what you want from your imaginary scene partner.             
  • Finally, do not try to make an impression or give us what you think we want. Be yourself!

Deadlines and Review Dates

Students are accepted into the Acting major within the School of Theatre and Dance on a rolling basis, contingent on admission by Illinois State University. Normally students are notified within two weeks whether or not they have passed their audition.

Audition Dates for 2017-2018

Saturday, November 4 (Illinois State University)
Saturday, January 20 (Chicago)
Saturday, February 17 (Illinois State University)
Friday, March 30 (Illinois State University)
*School of Theatre and Dance scholarship awards are announced after March 1. You will automatically be considered for a scholarship at all auditions except for the final audition date on March 30. 

If you cannot attend one of the on campus auditions you may upload your audition electronically via the Acceptd Website.

School of Theatre and Dance scholarship awards are announced after March 1.

Minimum GPA Requirement


Average Admitted Student Profile

2.53 - 3.32

Required Courses


Recommended Courses


Additional Information

Sequence requires an audition.

Sample Plan of Study

Two Year Transfer Sample Plan of Study
2017-09-25T13:53:44.29-05:00 2017