Musical Theatre BFA
1. All students should apply to the University of Memphis. Admission to the Department of Theatre & Dance is contingent upon successful admission to the University and generally we do not make a final decision on a student's application until they have been accepted to the University. Therefore, we encourage students to apply as early as possible. The online application can be found HERE.
2. Apply to the Department of Theatre & Dance. As part of the application you will be asked to provide information about yourself and your history as a theatrical artist. In order to successfully complete the application you should be ready to:
Provide biographical information about yourself and your family
Provide information about your academic background include GPA and test scores
Provide contact information including email for at least one reference who will be willing to submit a recommendation on your behalf
Upload a resume including any past work in theatre
Upload a short essay on your general background, theatrical interests and hopes, and why you are interest in study within the Department of Theatre & Dance.
The application is due no later than one week before your chosen audition date.
3. As part of the department application, you will have to make an appointment for one of our on-campus audition dates.
Students are automatically considered for all scholarship opportunities as part of
their application and audition/interview provided they complete the in-person or recorded
audition/interview by the last scholarship date (March 16, 2024 for students beginning
The 2024 on-campus audition/interview date for admission and full scholarship consideration for the 2024 Fall semester are:
Saturday, February 24, 2024
Saturday, March 16, 2024*
The musical theatre program ONLY offers auditions on-campus on these dates. Auditions on other on-campus days are for other programs only.
On your audition day, you will participate in group dance class as well as present a monologue and a song. In person auditions are required for all students who live within a 150 mile radius of Memphis. Students who are unable to travel to campus should apply online and will be given instructions about how to submit their electronic audition following the completion of the departmental application. Auditions must be received no later than March 16, 2024 for scholarship consideration.
At this time we anticipate participation (either in-person or virtually) in the following regional auditions:
Florida Thespian Festival
South Eastern Theatre Conference (SETC)
Tennessee Thespian Festival
Students wishing to audition at one of these sites should complete the departmental application and indicate their audition preference on the form. They will then need to register separately for the event with the event's organization directly.
The Musical Theatre 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.
A short exceprt (32-64 bars) of 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 dance 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.
4. Students can expect to hear about their application status approximately two weeks after their audition has been completed. Scholarship decisions are generally made during the first week of April. All students are automatically considered for scholarships provided they complete their in-person (or online) audition by March 16, 2024.