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Department of Musical Theatre Auditions

Video Audition Requirements
In-Person Audition Requirements
What Do We Look For?
Audition Schedule and Application Deadline Dates 
General Undergraduate Audition and Interview Information

 

Apply

Applicants must 1) apply to the U-M via the Common Application and 2) upload a set of unedited video recordings by December 1 to be considered for an in-person audition.

The application for Fall 2015 will open in August.

Freshman applicants should have training and experience in musical theatre techniques and production. The ability to read music fluently and training in ballet are assets. A “B” average (3.0 GPA) or better with good college prep courses and SAT or ACT test results (with Writing) are required.

Transfer applicants must have the prerequisites of a 3.0 collegiate GPA or better, have recent ballet training and college coursework (or its formal equivalent) in voice, piano and music theory. If invited to audition, transfer applicants must audition in Ann Arbor, rather than in Chicago.

 

Video Audition Requirements

If your completed Common Application and audition recordings are submitted and uploaded by October 15, you will receive an in-person audition decision by November 15. Later submissions, through December 1*, will receive a decision by December 23. Read more...

Video Preparation Suggestions

The faculty realizes that making an audition video adds an extra challenge to the application process. Please know that you will not be evaluated on the quality of the video recording itself. It is not necessary to submit a multi-camera, highly technical studio video. The main goal is simple clarity so that your work can be seen. 

  • Dress as you would for an in-person audition. 
  • Avoid extreme close-ups and be sure to include full-body shots.  
  • Try to balance the volume of the piano with your singing, but don’t sing with a microphone or extra amplification.
  • Say your name and the name of the song, monologue or dance before you begin each section.
  • When uploading video recordings, separate tracks upload best and are preferred.

 

Video Requirements

 

 

Résumé Upload a pdf of your one page résumé, which includes any training and experience you have had in music, theatre, and dance.

Photograph Upload a recent photograph of yourself, headshot preferred.

Acting–upload 2

Prepare two short, contrasting monologues from plays. The monologues must be memorized and should be performed in the context of the entire play. The monologues should be no longer than 90 seconds each.

Voice–upload 2

Prepare two 16-bar selections. Both songs must be memorized, and one should be written before 1965. Sing with recorded or live accompaniment, not a cappella.

Dance–upload 1 or 2

The Department is committed to finding a diverse group of individuals. Some of you may be singer/actors who move well and some may be competitive dancers who sing and act well. The movement/dance portion of your audition should reflect who you are as a performer. We will accept a wide array of presentations that demonstrate your abilities.

1. Required for all applicants: present a 30-60 second clip of yourself moving/dancing. Your full body should be in view at all times. You may choose a cut from a musical or a dance performance in which you participated, or record something original. Any style is acceptable: musical theatre, ballet, jazz, tap, hip-hop, etc.  Wear appropriate dance attire that will show clean line.

2. Optional, for applicants with dance training: execute a set of plies, tendues, grand battements, and pirouettes. Straightforward, simple exercises are preferred. (side view is best)

Music may be live or recorded.

 

upload now

 

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In-Person Audition Requirements

If you are invited to the in-person audition, an audition/interview fee of $35.00 in addition to the application fee, will be assessed and is payable upon receipt of a confirmed audition/interview date. Those invited to the in-person auditions will be asked to follow these requirements:

In-person Written Requirements
  1. Résumé: Bring to the audition 2 copies of your one page résumé. Include all training and experience you have had in music, theatre and dance. Staple each résumé to a recent 8"x 10" photograph of yourself.
  2. Brief Personal Statement: Bring a short essay describing an artistic event that was memorable and/or influential to you personally (this does not need to be an event in which you participated). This is a different essay from the ones required for the University's application and should be no longer than two typed pages.
In-person Performance Requirements

 

Acting

Prepare two short, contrasting monologues from plays. Neither may exceed 90 seconds. Each monologue must be memorized and should be performed in the context of the entire play. The emphasis is on simple reality. Note:  Auditionees will present one monologue only. The faculty panel will determine which one will be presented.

 

 

Preparation Suggestions:

Choose monologues that are appropriate for your age and experience.

Be able to discuss the play as a whole. It’s best to select monologues from plays, as opposed to special material written for monologue books. 

Avoid historic styles, such as Shakespeare, and verse or poetry. Avoid dialects.

Use good judgment in selecting the monologues, avoiding pieces that may be inappropriate because of language or situation.


Voice

Prepare two 16-bar selections, to include at least one song from your video recording. Both songs must be memorized, and one should be written before 1965. Auditionees will present one song only. The faculty panel will determine which one will be presented.

An accompanist (usually a faculty member) will be provided. You may not sing with your own accompanist, a cappella, or with recorded accompaniment.

 

 

Vocal tips:

Do not try to sing too high or too loudly. An enormous number of applicants present songs in keys that are too high for them to show themselves at their best vocally. Volume and range can be explored separately if the faculty has questions.

It's wise to work with a skilled accompanist at home before you begin your college auditions, making sure that all elements of your printed music are presented clearly and correctly.

Do not use a chair or props in the vocal audition.

Suggestions for choosing music:

Choose songs with which you can communicate a specific situation in a clear context with an objective (goal). Make the situation as honest and specific as possible.

Even though a 16-bar song is very short, do as much as you can to give the song a progression. What happens or changes as the song proceeds?

Select material that is suitable for your age and experience.

Choose songs which fit comfortably within your range. If you are using a transposition of a song, be sure that you have correctly printed the melody, lyrics and accompaniment in the new key.

 

Suggestions for preparing your music:

Your music should be in a binder, or taped without page turns.

Include a 2-bar or 4-bar introduction for each song, and mark it clearly in the music. The measures of introduction do not count in the 16-bars you will be singing. Make sure that the introduction leads clearly and naturally to your entrance in the song. Write the title of the song at the top of the page, along with the time signature.

Explore the lyrics of the song as carefully as you explore the music. Be absolutely certain that you are singing correct words, notes, and rhythms.

 

Dance

All applicants will participate in a dance class emphasizing ballet technique and including a short combination from a musical. The faculty will evaluate your technique, incorporation of choreographic intent, performance vitality, acting/communication skills, and potential for growth.

 

 

Preparation Suggestions:

Apparel: Women should wear character or jazz shoes (and can bring ballet slippers), leotards, tights and/ or dance skirts. Men should wear jazz shoes (and can bring ballet slippers), tights, jazz pants, t-shirts or shorts, and a dance belt.

 
Though it isn't possible to prepare specifically for the dance audition, applicants generally have better success if they have had some training in ballet. While most auditionees have danced to various degrees in productions, the specific skills acquired in ballet training are invaluable preparation for this portion of the audition.

Start warming up as soon as you come into the room. 


Audition Day recommendations

  • At the beginning of every audition day faculty members and MT majors speak to the applicants as a group, discussing the Musical Theatre Department and answering questions. Parents are encouraged to attend these sessions, but may not observe the auditions.
  • Applicants should choose carefully what to wear for the audition day. An audition is similar to a job interview, in terms of apparel. The clothes for the acting/voice/piano segments of the audition should be somewhat dressy, appropriate, tasteful and generally conservative. We suggest that applicants practice and prepare in the shoes they plan to wear. Women should be careful of wearing extremely high heels.
  • Auditioning can sometimes be stressful, and though we do as much as possible to put applicants at ease, be sure to choose songs and monologues with which you can be comfortable in all situations. Get as much experience as possible in rehearsing and performing the songs with a skilled accompanist before any of your college auditions. It's also helpful to rehearse all of your material in different sizes of venues, from small rooms to large theatre stages. That way, whatever the circumstances you encounter at each school, you will feel comfortable and can easily adapt.  

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What do we look for?

Someone who…

  • has intellectual curiosity, imagination, initiative, discipline and recognizable talent.

 

  • is prepared, ambitious, flexible, and is clearly a team-player.

  • is comfortable physically.

  • can communicate very specific ideas and choices in dialogue/lyrics, music, and dance.

  • sings the correct notes, rhythms and words, with a clear sense of pitch, an understanding of musical line, and a healthy approach that doesn't push the voice higher than is appropriate. In addition, applicants should have music reading skills, especially at the piano.

  • is committed to acting as the basis of all training, and is passionate about working in plays, television and film, in addition to musical theatre.

  • appreciates and takes pride in the artistic growth of fellow students.

  • has interests beyond the arts, and is engaged in understanding the world at large.

  • is excited to find ways in which the arts can impact and enrich modern culture.

  • has done his/her homework about the Department and the University by reading the website and official publications and by speaking with faculty, students, School officials, and graduates, rather than relying only on internet opinions or YouTube postings.

  • is committed to a university environment and has thought carefully about the reasons for pursuing a BFA degree at a university rather than a conservatory.

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The staff of the Admissions Office and the Musical Theatre faculty are not able to provide individual feedback from student auditions, again, because of the volume of candidates to consider. We ask your understanding, and thank you in advance.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ROMEO & JULIET

Romeo & Juliet

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bat Boy

Bat Boy

 

 

 

The Laramie Project

The Laramie Project

 

 

 

Crazy For You

Crazy for You

 

 

Sunday in the Park with George

Sunday in the Park with George

 

 

 

 

 

 

INTO THE WOODS

Into the Woods

 

 

 

RAGTIME

Ragtime

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Photography Credits:

U-M Photo Services

Joe Welsh

Peter Smith

David Smith

Glen Behring

Tom Bower

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