Audition Dates and Times
Becoming a Theatre Major at Kean University
Audition/Interview/Portfolio Review Dates/Times:
Saturday, September 27
Sunday, November 2
Saturday, January 24
Saturday, March 28
Sunday, May 3
Note: An audition or portfolio presentation is required of all students interested in being part of either the BA or BFA degrees in the Department of Theatre.
A. Complete the Kean University Application
B. Schedule your Audition or Portfolio Presentation:
1. Schedule and successfully complete an audition to demonstrate college level performance ability. To schedule, please call 908-737-4420 or email email@example.com A time will be assigned.
2. If you are a singer, when you schedule the audition, please let us know if you will be bringing your own accompanist or if you will instead be bringing a taped accompaniment for your musical selection. An accompanist will not usually be provided.
3. Fill out an application for the theatre major at the time of the audition.
Audition/Portfolio Preparation Information
What to Prepare:
Two contrasting monologues no more than 2 minutes each. Consider a comedy and a drama; or a classical (not necessarily Shakespeare unless you fully understand the selection and respond to it in a meaningful way) and a contemporary. Choose material that is age appropriate, appropriate to your experience and your type, which shows your strengths as an actor, and introduces us to your range and abilities. Be realistic. Choose characters you might actually play. Be sure your material is well rehearsed. Monologues are best if they are taken from published plays. Original material does not demonstrate your ability to take another person’s words and make them your own. Consider whether or not you have chosen material that reflects good taste. Attempting to shock the auditor’s with profanity, vulgarity, or tastelessness is probably not the best way to go. A strong monologue should present a journey for the character. There should be an arc; a peak; a resolution…something about the character is different at then end than at the beginning.
What to Wear:
Remember, the audition is like a job interview, so dress appropriately. A costume for the character(s) you are playing is not necessary. Instead choose clothing that is flattering and neutral enough to serve both characters.
What to Say:
When you enter the room, remember that your appearance, your personality and your attitude will be the first impressions you establish. Say hello, find a spot in the center of the room or stage, a position where you are fairly certain you are in good light, and introduce the two pieces you will be presenting. Be sure you are not too close to the table where those auditioning you are sitting. Then, when you are ready, begin. After the first piece, take a brief moment to transition to your second piece. If you are singing, be sure to have your accompaniment tape (or your music if there is an accompanist provided) ready. Give yourself a moment to chat with the accompanist about anything he or she needs to know about where you are starting the song, ending it, your preferred tempo, and any particulars that will help him/her accompany you.
Where to Look:
Do not look directly into the eyes of those auditioning you. They need to be objective, and will likely be looking down from time to time, taking notes. Look slightly above the heads of those you are auditioning for or somewhere in their direction. They need to see what you are doing, but not be “part of your scene.”
At the End:
When you have completed your work, make eye contact with those auditioning you and say a polite thank you. You are finished! There will be no feedback provided at the audition (unlike American Idol!) so do not expect any. Gather your things and exit the room.
Designer/Technicians Portfolio Presentation
What to Prepare:
Collect samples of your work as an artist, based on the area of design of technical theatre for which you are interviewing. Place the samples in a binder or portfolio in a logical order. For a scene designer, for example, you would include sketches, renderings, models, photos. A lighting designer would include light plots, cue sheets, photos. A costume designer would include sketches, renderings with swatches, photos of completed costumes. Scenic artists would include painting samples in assorted styles and textures. Master carpenters would include photos and working drawings of set pieces built. Stage Managers would bring their prompt book.
What to Wear:
As with the actors, you want to present yourself in a professional manner, so dress for a job interview.
What to Say:
Bring your materials to the table, introduce yourself and your area of specialty, hold your portfolio up so that all may see its contents. Describe what you will be presenting in general terms, then highlight what is in your book with an explanation of what each segment represents “This is a photo of the spiral staircase I built for Hello Dolly”, “This is the costume I constructed for Juliet in Act IV”, “I was the milliner on this production and these are several of the hats I created”, “This is the model for Of Mice and Men and here is a production photo.” Share the information that would be most useful for those viewing your work to get to know your talents and skills. Sometimes, a story about a challenge and how you dealt with it is interesting. Be prepared for questions. Less is more. It is not necessary to describe every single page of the book, but to find the pages that best represent you. Know the budgets you worked within. Know the titles of each show, the names of the directors and designers with whom you worked. Be sure to include a resume. Make eye contact with those interviewing you. Establish who you are as a person. Remember that we are looking to hire or admit you-the human being as well as you-the talent, and if you are to spend several semesters with us, we want to assess whether Kean will be a good fit for you.
At the End:
Gather your belongings, say a warm thank you and goodbye,
and exit the room.