Drama and Theatre Programmes
Preparing to audition for a drama or theatre programme is very different to a traditional University interview. So where do you start?
It is important to make sure that you find out what you will be expected to do before and on the day of the audition at each institution that you are applying for.
The process for applications for a University programme and a Drama School programme are slightly different. Typically, there are more places on a University Theatre course compared to a Drama School course, so it is often more difficult to gain a place at a Drama School. This means that the Drama School audition process is usually quite lengthy and may involve multiple rounds with different activities.
You will usually receive a pack of information when you have booked your audition. This pack of information should give you all the information you need, so make sure you read it carefully!
Typically, you will be asked to prepare two monologues to perform on the day, one from a play by Shakespeare or another Elizabethan/Jacobean playwright and a contrasting (different theme or emotion) monologue from a 21st Century play.
If you are applying for a musical theatre course, you might be asked to prepare a song and/or a dance piece too. With all your audition pieces, try to make sure that you pick something that YOU are comfortable with and try not to worry too much about what other candidates might pick.
On the day of the audition, you may take part in group audition activities which may involve improvisation. University drama programmes often include other elements of theatre practice such as scriptwriting, direction, and stage management. There may be elements of these practices in your audition day, such as writing a short script, so it could be useful to think of some ideas you could use on the day.
YouTube is a brilliant resource to find out how others found the audition process at different places. Many auditionees have documented their experience in Vlogs which can be useful to watch.
However, when it comes down to making a choice between offers after the audition process, make sure that you choose somewhere that you feel is best for you, not based on others’ opinions.
- Give yourself plenty of time to learn and rehearse your monologues.
- Do not read from a script on the day.
- Pick a piece where the character is similar in age and life experience to.
- Pick a piece which shows off your strengths as an actor.
- Make sure you can answer questions about the play and the playwright.
- Work with a drama teacher or coach for support if you can
- Make sure you do a physical and vocal warmup in the morning before the audition.
- Wear clothing that you are comfortable in.
- If you are applying to a drama school, remember to factor in the audition and travel costs involved.
- If you do not get a place on a course, do not be disheartened. Places on a drama course are highly competitive, particularly at popular drama schools.