Theatre - Acting
Welcome to the Acting sequence at Illinois State University! This is where your amazing journey to become a professional actor begins. Under the hands-on mentoring and rigorous demands of the professional acting faculty you will be challenged to become citizens of the world and courageous theatre artists. Opportunities to hone your craft on the stage are numerous, and we pride ourselves on providing training to prepare you for a life in the theatre or wherever your life leads. Join in the excitement of the Acting program in the School of Theatre and Dance, where we play boldly.
Point of Pride
Students are directors, playwrights, theatre managers, dramaturgs, actors, and critics. They propose, produce, and direct their own projects, collaborate in the annual Playwrights' Workshop, or assist with marketing and management of the School of Theatre and Dance main season. Students have many opportunities to interact and network with diverse visiting artists.
Why study Theatre - Acting?
Theatre is performed everywhere – on Broadway in New York City, in shows that travel around the country, in professional regional theaters in large cities, in community theaters in small towns, in school or even in the streets. People who have trained in theatre may also have the opportunity to work in movies and on television. There are additional professional jobs beyond being an actor; usually a theatre or movie production consists of a few actors and many backstage production personnel. A theatre major provides the background for all such jobs.
Applying to Illinois State
Illinois State's preferred filing period for freshman students for the fall semester is September 1-November 15. Applying early is encouraged, as the University must limit enrollment due to space at the University and in specific majors/programs. Visit the Office of Admissions to apply today!
Prepare two contrasting monologues. Total time for both monologues combined should be approximately two minutes (you will not be timed).
- Each audition piece should consist of a single character speaking. Auditions must be memorized.
- There will be a chair for you to use if you choose.
- At the beginning of the audition, state your name, the title of your pieces, and the characters you are playing.
- Do not explain the plot unless instructed to do so by the interviewer.
- Bring a current resume and a headshot (or a recent photo that shows "who you are") to your audition.
Choice of Material
Choose something you like.
Choose age-appropriate material.
Avoid self-written monologues.
Make sure the character is in conflict!
Cut material to fit easily into the two-minute time limit (including transitions between monologues).
Examples of contrasting monologues are: dramatic/comic, contemporary/classic, sophisticated/unsophisticated, urban/rural, manic/depressed, etc.
A classical piece is not required.
Know the character you are playing. For example Laura in The Glass Menagerie is NOT extroverted; Oscar in The Odd Couple IS a slob.
Phone call monologues
Climax of the play
Sexually explicit or extremely offensive material
Dress comfortably, but strive to make a good impression.
Keep hair away from your face.
Wear sensible shoes. No flip flops or extremely high heels!
Avoid jewelry that is distracting, such as clanging earrings or bracelets.
Performing Your Monologues
Remember that your audition begins with your entrance.
Use the introduction to let us get to know you—speak clearly and take command of the room!
Place your imaginary scene partner directly downstage from you, over our heads.
Don't speak to a chair—it will cause you to focus on the floor.
Don't rush the audition transitions. Allow yourself time to transition—after the introduction, between the pieces, and before you say "Thank you."
Concentrate on pursuing what you want from your imaginary scene partner.
Finally, do not try to make an impression or give us what you think we want. Be yourself!
Deadlines and Review Dates
Students are accepted into the Acting major within the School of Theatre and Dance on a rolling basis, contingent on admission by Illinois State University. Normally students are notified within two weeks whether or not they have passed their audition.
2019-2020 Audition Dates
- November 9, 2019: Illinois State Campus
- January 10, 2020: Illinois High School Theatre Festival (not for scholarship consideration) Students much be registered to attend the festival and sign up to participate in the auditions
- January 18, 2020: Illinois State Campus
- February 15, 2020: Illinois State Campus
- February 29, 2020: (Not for Scholarship Consideration)
*School of Theatre and Dance scholarship awards are announced after March 1. You will automatically be considered for a scholarship at all auditions except for the final audition date on March 30.
If you cannot attend one of the on campus auditions you may upload your audition electronically via the Acceptd Website.