Freshman applicants interested in Musical Theatre should have training and experience in musical theatre techniques and production. The ability to read music fluently and training in ballet are assets.
Transfer applicants considering Michigan must have the prerequisites of recent ballet training and college coursework (or its formal equivalent) in voice, piano and music theory. If invited to audition, transfer applicants must audition in Ann Arbor, rather than in Chicago.
All Musical Theatre applicants must upload a set of unedited video recordings by December 1 to be considered for the in-person auditions.
If your completed Common Application with the UM Supplement and audition recordings are submitted and uploaded by October 15, you will receive a live audition decision by November 15. Later submissions, through December 1*, will receive a decision by December 23.
Because the exceptionally large volume of Musical Theatre auditions in a season, candidates should apply early in the fall of the senior year. Audition dates will fill quickly and applicants who wait until Thanksgiving weekend to apply may find their options quite limited. If a student is invited to the audition, an audition/interview fee of $35.00 in addition to the application fee, will be assessed and is payable upon receipt of a confirmed audition/interview date.
Written Requirements, Video
Performance Requirements, Video
Acting (upload 2)
Voice (upload 2)
Dance (upload 1 or 2)
The Department is committed to finding a diverse group of individuals. Some of you may be singer/actors who move well and some may be competitive dancers who sing and act well. The movement/dance portion of your audition should reflect who you are as a performer. We will accept a wide array of presentations that demonstrate your abilities.
Dance Video Preparation Suggestions
- -Wear appropriate dance attire that will show clean line.
- -Your full body should be in view at all times.
- -Music may be live or recorded.
Video Preparation Suggestions
The faculty realizes that making an audition video adds an extra challenge to the application process. Please know that you will not be evaluated on the quality of the video recording itself. It isn’t necessary to submit a multi-camera, highly technical studio video. The main goal is simple clarity so that your work can be seen.
- Dress as you would for an in-person audition.
- Avoid extreme close-ups and be sure to include full-body shots.
- Try to balance the volume of the piano with your singing, but don’t sing with a microphone or extra amplification.
- Say your name and the name of the song, monologue or dance before you begin each section.
- When uploading video recordings, separate tracks are preferred and will upload faster. However, we will accept single file uploads as well.
All Musical Theatre applicants must submit the set of unedited video recordings described above by December 1 to be considered for the in-person audition. Those invited to the in-person auditions will be asked to follow these requirements:
Written Requirements, In-person
Acting: Prepare two short, contrasting monologues from plays. Neither may exceed 1½ minutes. Each monologue must be memorized and should be performed in the context of the entire play. The emphasis is on simple reality. Note: Auditionees will present one monologue only. The faculty panel will determine which one will be presented.
Choose monologues that are appropriate for your age and experience.
Be able to discuss the play as a whole. It’s best to select monologues from plays, as opposed to special material written for monologue books.
Avoid historic styles, such as Shakespeare, and verse or poetry. Avoid dialects.
Use good judgment in selecting the monologues, avoiding pieces that may be inappropriate because of language or situation.
Voice: Prepare two 16-bar selections, to include at least one song from your video recording. Both songs must be memorized, and one should be written before 1965. Auditionees will present one song only. The faculty panel will determine which one will be presented.
An accompanist (usually a faculty member) will be provided. You may not sing with your own accompanist, a cappella, or with recorded accompaniment.
Suggestions for choosing music:
Choose songs with which you can communicate a specific situation in a clear context with an objective (goal). Make the situation as honest and specific as possible.
Even though a 16-bar song is very short, do as much as you can to give the song a progression. What happens or changes as the song proceeds?
Select material that is suitable for your age and experience.
Choose songs which fit comfortably within your range. If you are using a transposition of a song, be sure that you have correctly printed the melody, lyrics and accompaniment in the new key.
Suggestions for preparing your music:
Your music should be in a binder, or taped without page turns.
Include a 2-bar or 4-bar introduction for each song, and mark it clearly in the music. The measures of introduction do not count in the 16-bars you will be singing. Make sure that the introduction leads clearly and naturally to your entrance in the song. Write the title of the song at the top of the page, along with the time signature.
Explore the lyrics of the song as carefully as you explore the music. Be absolutely certain that you are singing correct words, notes, and rhythms.
Final vocal tips:
Do not try to sing too high or too loudly. An enormous number of applicants present songs in keys that are too high for them to show themselves at their best vocally. Volume and range can be explored separately if the faculty has questions.
It's wise to work with a skilled accompanist at home before you begin your college auditions, making sure that all elements of your printed music are presented clearly and correctly.
Do not use a chair or props in the vocal audition.
Dance: All applicants will participate in a dance class emphasizing ballet technique and including a short combination from a musical. The faculty will evaluate your technique, incorporation of choreographic intent, performance vitality, acting/communication skills, and potential for growth.
Apparel: Women should wear character or jazz shoes (and can bring ballet slippers), leotards, tights and/ or dance skirts. Men should wear jazz shoes (and can bring ballet slippers), tights, jazz pants, t-shirts or shorts, and a dance belt.
Though it isn't possible to prepare specifically for the dance audition, applicants generally have better success if they have had some training in ballet. While most auditionees have danced to various degrees in productions, the specific skills acquired in ballet training are invaluable preparation for this portion of the audition.
Start warming up as soon as you come into the room.
Piano: The piano audition consists of sight-reading and an interview. The faculty will evaluate your music reading skills and your understanding of rhythmic notation. The ability to read music is an important factor in the evaluation of your application. It isn’t necessary to prepare a piece.
Playing another instrument can be extremely valuable for your overall understanding of music. However, it's still important to begin studying piano before and/or during high school. Learning to play the piano immediately before this audition is fine, but generally of limited value. It's best to begin a steady, organized process of piano study long before your senior year. While playing by ear is of value, it's not a substitute for music reading skills.
Audition Day Recommendations:
has intellectual curiosity, imagination, and recognizable talent.
The staff of the Admissions Office and the Musical Theatre faculty are not able to provide individual feedback from student auditions, again, because of the volume of candidates to consider. We ask your understanding, and thank you in advance.
INTO THE WOODS
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