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BFA Acting Audition Guidelines

BFA Acting Audition Guidelines

We are excited that you’ve chosen to audition for UMBC Theatre, and we’re eager to see your work!  Here are the guidelines and some things to keep in mind as you prepare a “virtual” audition.

Freshman:

Prepare one 60-90 second contemporary monologue. The piece may be either comic or dramatic. Try to select something that you feel connected to and excited to perform. We prefer monologues from published plays rather than from monologue books.

Transfers seeking accelerated placement:

Two, contrasting, 60-90 second monologues, exceeding no more than 3 minutes all together. The pieces may be either comic or dramatic, contemporary or classical. Try to select pieces that you feel connected to and excited to perform. We prefer monologues from published plays rather than from monologue books.

If you are a transfer student from within UMBC or another institution but you haven’t taken a lot of acting classes in the past, we recommend that you prepare one monologue as described for freshmen, above.

For all candidates:

In addition to the monologues, the faculty will ask you the following questions. There’s no need to prepare scripted answers; we are just looking to get to know you a little better.

  1. Why are you interested in the UMBC Department of Theatre?
  2. Choose one of your recent roles or performances.  What did you learn about yourself as an actor and a person from working on this role?
  3. In addition to acting and performance, what are your other academic and artistic areas of interest?
  4. How do you see yourself in five years?

What can you expect on your audition day?

Login information for the Zoom audition is sent separately on the Friday before the audition day. Only those candidates who have completed the BFA Audition Registration form will be sent the link.

You won’t be scheduled for a specific time. Instead, we ask you to attend the entire session, which usually run from 12 noon to approximately 3 p.m. Audition days always begin at 12 noon with a brief information session where you will meet members of the faculty, the Director of the BFA Program, and current BFA students.  Please bring your questions (and your family, if you want!). We want to get to know you, and we want you to get to know us.

After the information session, you’ll do your individual audition on Zoom. These will be conducted with current UMBC faculty members in breakout rooms. While waiting for your audition, you may chat with current students, ask questions of faculty representatives, or be placed into a “waiting room” to allow you a chance to prepare in private. Immediately after you present your pieces, we’ll conduct the brief interview with you. The whole thing takes about 10 minutes. Once you complete your audition and interview, you may leave the call.

We can’t send you a decision letter until we receive notification of your acceptance from the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. But once your application has been reviewed, we will make every effort to email you the BFA decision and instructions for next steps within a week of your audition date. (Unfortunately, because of the volume of auditions, we are unable to provide specific feedback.).

Tips for Zoom BFA Acting Auditions 

Here are some things to keep in mind as you prepare your at-home audition:

  • Set up your camera so that you are framed from head to toe.
  • It’s okay if you don’t have a perfect filming set up. We aren’t worried about your background. Pick a spot where you aren’t too cramped so you can do your best work.
  • Make sure we can see you. We aren’t looking for professional studio lighting but set up near a window or in a room with good lighting so we can see your work.
  • Try to limit background noise. We understand if your dog barks or if a car honks, but see if you can find a relatively quiet spot for your audition.
  • Set your camera in one spot and keep it at eye level. No fancy camera work here. Find a table, a sturdy stack of books, a tripod, or a reliable family member to hold the camera steady for you.

Pre-recorded auditions

We prefer a live-streamed audition, but we understand that not everyone is able to present their work in this way.  We are happy to accept a pre-recorded video. You must still schedule yourself for one of the published days, using the BFA Audition Registration form. Please follow all of the guidelines above and add:

  • After you present the audition, please answer the four interview questions.
  • Submit a link into the form above by Friday at 5:00 p.m. the day before your scheduled date.  Late videos will be rolled over to the next audition date.

Find a printable PDF version of this information here.