Theater Audition

Acting Audition Requirements and Process

Students seeking admission to the NWSA High School Theater Program will be screened by a panel of theater professionals.

The process consists of the following elements:

  • A prolonged practical session under the guidance of NWSA teachers and students, including physical exercises, theater games and improvisations. No preparation for this session is needed other than to be adequately dressed in loose, comfortable clothing.
  • A memorized monologue from a published literary or theater work, one and a half to two minutes in length, by a character which must be from the applicant's age range. The judges will be looking for naturalness, honesty, evidence of a true understanding of both the character and full context of the monologue, good vocal projection, clear diction, and body control. Accents and dialects, not the candidate's own, are to be avoided at all costs. The applicant is also advised to have a clearly defined focus. To whom is the monologue being delivered? Where is the imaginary person standing or sitting?
  • Improvisation exercises may be requested from the applicant. Here the emphasis is on imagination, creativity, flexibility, and concentration.
  • An in-depth, confidential interview in which the applicant is expected to be relaxed, honest, and able to demonstrate a reasonable command of language. The applicant is advised to be articulate about career goals in the theater.

Music Theater Audition Requirements and Process

A select number of students will be admitted into the Musical Theater track, which is comprised of the basic core courses required of all theater majors, as well as training in voice, dance, and fundamental music theater repertoire. Applicants wishing to be considered for this track will be expected to:

  • Complete steps #1 through #4 as described above in the Acting section
  • Perform a song from a musical, demonstrate dance skills in a short dance class, and complete a basic music theory test.

Applicants should bring an accompaniment tape or CD containing only the instrumental score (karaoke-style or piano only), and wear loose, comfortable clothing and dance or other adequate shoes.

The Theater Division’s Call Back Policy

After applicants to the high school Theater Division have been auditioned, the Dean will identify the top scoring applicants in each of the two departments, Acting and Music Theater, about 30-40 each.


The Dean will identify perfect and near perfect scores on the monologue audition and adjust these scores by points gained or lost in the interview. The top 30-40 candidates will be called back.

Music Theater

The Dean will identify perfect and near perfect scores that are the average of scores for the monologue audition, the dance audition, the song audition, and the pitch test, and adjust these scores by points gained or lost in the interview. The top 30-40 candidates will be called back.

The Dean will also identify perfect and near perfect scores in the monologue audition of Music Theater applicants who did not achieve competitive scores in the dance or singing auditions. These Music Theater applicants will be called back to compete as ACTING applicants and will henceforth be grouped with the ACTING candidates. (In some cases, the Dean may decide to call back the applicant as a Music Theater applicant in all the music theater categories.)

The Call Back Audition

At the call-back, students will repeat the monologue (and song) that was presented at the initial audition. The dance portion of the music theater audition will repeat the original dance number taught at the initial audition.

Status of Applicants

A call back invitation should not to be interpreted as an acceptance to the program. Many more applicants will receive this invitation than will be accepted for enrollment.  

Note that, upon the strength of the initial audition, the Dean may choose to rank for acceptance an applicant. This applicant would not receive a call back appointment.

In effect, the call back list is not a final indicator of an applicant’s status.

The final indicator is the formal notice of acceptance, of alternate status, or of non-acceptance.

Audition Workshop

The 90 minute presentation provides general information about the Theater audition.

Workshops will be given on the following dates:


NWSA, 25 NE 2nd Street
Building 5, Eighth Floor, Black Box, Room 5807