Tips for Students Auditioning For the Theatre Program at Butler
Following a morning of orientation with the Jordan College of
the Arts and theatre representatives, auditions will begin
with a 50 minute class consisting of a warm-up session, movement,
voice and monologue work. Please wear comfortable movement
Monologue presentations and individual interviews with Theatre
faculty will begin at 1:15 PM.
Prepare one monologue, which may be classical or contemporary
and should be less than two minutes in length, from a full-length
published play. If you choose a monologue that you enjoy preparing
and presenting, your audition will be more successful.
Your monologue should demonstrate your abilities. Always choose
material that is within your range of life and stage experience.
Parts which call for extremes of accent, age, or occupation should
be avoided. Work honestly within your limitations. Young actors
often ask about auditions, "What does the faculty want?" A much
better question is, "How can I best show them what I am?"
Always read the whole play from which you are taking your
monologue; only by doing this will you gain real insight into the
life of your character and hints as to how your monologue should be
Seek the help of teachers or friends with theatre experience
when preparing your presentation. Props should not be used in your
You may prepare to stand or sit for your audition.
Wear appropriate clothing that you are comfortable moving
in so as not to distract or detract from your work.
Begin your audition by introducing yourself, stating your name.
Then introduce your monologue including the name of your character
and the play. For example, "Hello, I'm Jane Smith. I'll be
performing Nora from 'A Doll's House'." After your introduction,
pause before you begin the piece.
Do not direct your monologue directly at the faculty.
Place the person you are talking to in the monologue on one side or
the other and beyond the faculty. Do not make direct eye contact
with the faculty during your piece. It is often helpful to "cast"
the person you are speaking to in the monologue and place them at a
spot beyond the faculty.
When your piece is finished (and don't rush the ending!), pause
for a moment to let the piece 'finish' and then make eye contact
with the faculty who will ask you to take a seat for the interview
portion of the audition. (You may say "thank you" if you wish but
avoid finishing your audition by saying "scene".)
Above all, enjoy your audition. Relax, breathe and enjoy
this opportunity to perform.
Guidelines for Portfolio Applications in Design, Stage
Management or Arts
If you applying for an area of theatre other than acting, you
may choose to present a portfolio as part of an extended
interview. You should still include a photograph with your
application, send or bring a resume of your experience, and bring
selections of your best work.
Work with your theatre or art teacher or a guidance counselor to
create a resume: this typically includes your name, contact
information, career identification or goal, and lists of your roles
on productions at school and in the community, pertinent coursework
and workshops, and specific awards or honors you have received. You
might also list pertinent skills (such as proficiency in Photoshop,
use of power tools, sewing, secondary languages, or ability to read
Your portfolio is a tool to show us how you think about your
work, and what you have done well. It is a visual expression
of what you put on your resume. Work with your art or theatre
teacher to create a binder of work that showcases your best
creations. A typical portfolio includes these types of
things: (it is not necessary to have them all - selecting a few
good samples is better than showing everything you have ever
- Name on a cover page
- Design work on productions, including
- A brief (2-3 sentence) concept statement explaining the design
goal or production concept (use professional theatre program notes
as a model)
- Research that inspired the direction of your work
- Drawings or paintings of your design choices
- Photo of finished work
- Project(s) you are proud of from related coursework or
- Idea or goal of the assignment either as a title or a
- Process if important (for example, a before and after shot of a
redesigned garment is appropriate, but the first draft of a program
is not necessary)
- The final product.
- Art Samples (fashion design, photography, painting, digital
work, wood working, sewing project, etc.)
- Reviews of productions or exhibitions only if they specifically
address your work
- Prompt book (or pages from it) and supporting documents such as
magic sheet, props list, preset checklist, schedules, or other
organizational material you created and were responsible for (Stage
- Program, poster design, press release, front of house forms
On audition day, you will interview with a faculty panel.
Introduce yourself, tell us your areas of interest, and offer a
resume if you have one. Set your portfolio or prompt book to face
the reviewers. Turn the pages as you briefly summarize two or
three of your best projects, explaining your contribution and
showing the results. Don't be concerned if the faculty want to turn
the pages at their own pace, and allow room for questions during or
at the end of your presentation. It is often helpful if you
practice presenting your work to someone before the audition day,
just as you would for a school presentation or an acting
performance; it builds confidence and results in a smoother
presentation. Please limit your presentation to five
minutes: after your presentation, there will be a short
interview, which gives us a chance to learn more about you.