Admission to the Musical Theatre program at the University of Memphis is a three-step
process in which students apply first to the University of Memphis, then to the Department
of Theatre & Dance and finally, participate in a Musical Theatre audition. All prospective
students must be accepted by both the Department of Theatre & Dance and by the University.
1. Students should seek enrollment in the University by contacting the Undergraduate
Office of Admissions:
a. (901) 678-2111
Students are encouraged to apply to the University as soon as possible as any offer
of admission to the program is contingent on successful application to the University
2. Students should additionally apply directly to the Department of Theatre & Dance
a. (901) 678-2523
Students are required to complete the Musical Theatre application, which includes a resume that details their previous performing experience. As part
of the application students will indicate the date they wish to audition and the application
should be submitted at least two weeks prior to that date.
3. Entrance to the musical theatre program is through audition only. The entrance
auditions are offered in the spring and are available both to prospective freshman
and transfers as well as current University of Memphis students. The audition is comprehensive
and evaluates students’ abilities in singing, acting, and dance. Space in the program
is limited and will be given to students who best exhibit potential for development
in the field based on the audition.
For the audition students should prepare:
• One short monologue from a play not to exceed 2 minutes. The monologue must be
memorized and should be performed in the context of the entire play. The emphasis
is on simple reality. Though not required, students may bring additional monologues
to the audition, which may be seen at the discretion of the faculty.
• One song from the standard musical theatre repertoire. The song must be memorized
and should be performed in the context of the entire show. An accompanist will be
provided. Students may bring their own accompanist but no recorded accompaniment
will be permitted and students may not sing a cappella. Though not required, students
may bring additional songs to the audition, which may be seen at the discretion of
the faculty. Students may also be asked to do some short pitch-matching exercises.
• A dance audition will be required which will consist of a short ballet class at
the conclusion of which a musical theatre combination will be taught and performed
for the faculty in small groups.
Suggestions for the audition:
• 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.
• 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.
Select material that is suitable for your age and experience. Choose songs that 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.
Your music should be in a binder, or taped without page turns.
• Though it isn't possible to prepare specifically for the dance audition, applicants
generally have better success if they either have dance training or have danced to
various degrees in productions. While the performance of the musical theatre combination
is important equal emphasis is given to the class section of the audition. Students
who seem readily trainable in movement will be most successful in the audition.