College of Communication and Fine Arts Department of Theatre & Dance
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Musical Theatre Admission

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

b. www.memphis.edu/admissions

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 of Memphis.

2. Students should additionally apply directly to the Department of Theatre & Dance

a. (901) 678-2523

b. www.memphis.edu/theatre

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.

Department of Theatre & Dance
144 Theatre Building
Phone: (901) 678-2523
Fax: (901) 678-1350
Email: theatre@memphis.edu

Box Office: (901) 678-2576
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Last Updated: 9/18/12