Theatre and Dance

Does Millikin require an audition or interview for your program?
Yes. All four of the BFA programs in the School of Theatre & Dance require and audition or interview for acceptance. Our BA in Theatre does not require an audition or interview.  

Do I have to apply to Millikin before I can schedule an audition or interview?  
Yes. All students applying for any of our BFA programs in the School of Theatre & Dance must first apply to and be accepted by the Millikin University Office of Admission prior to beginning the audition/interview process.  

What is a "Pre-Screen?" 
A Pre-Screen is a video audition. Because we often have more applicants than we have audition slots available, the Pre-Screen allows us to see all applicants interested in auditioning for our program. Applicants are then invited to attend one of our in-person auditions on campus or in Chicago based on the results of the Pre-Screen.  

Does Millikin require a Pre-Screen?
Yes. Pre-screen materials must be submitted to GetAcceptd.com 

What is the Musical Theatre Common Pre-Screen?
The Common Pre-Screen was developed to help students seeking a degree in Musical Theatre navigate the complex audition process. Over 50 colleges and universities accept the Common Pre-Screen meaning each student may create one video package of their audition materials and submit it to all participating schools.  

Does Millikin accept the Common Musical Theatre Pre-Screen?

Can I use the same material from my pre-screen for my audition?  
For your Millikin audition, yes. However, our in-person auditions do have slightly different criteria than the Common Pre-Screen requirements. For example, Millikin defines a "contemporary monologue" as one that was written after 1990 whereas the Common Pre-Screen defines contemporary as post 1900. If you choose a monologue written after 1990 for your pre-screen, then yes, you may use that monologue for our audition. Please look at our Audition Requirements page for specifics including playwrights, composers, and specific types of material to avoid when selecting your audition pieces. It is quite easy to cater your material to satisfy the requirements of both the Common Pre-Screen and the Millikin audition.  

How do I schedule an audition?
Auditions are granted by invitation only. Once admitted, those seeking auditions for our BFA Musical Theatre and/or Acting programs will receive a code that will permit them to submit their GetAcceptd pre-screen materials. Pre-screen submissions will be evaluated in the order in which they are received and audition invitations will be extended on a rolling basis using the GetAcceptd.com messaging and scheduling system. Specific guidelines detailing pre-screen requirements may be found on the Millikin University GetAcceptd page. Please note the deadline for pre-screen audition materials on our Audition Information page.

How do I schedule an interview?
Once accepted by the Office of Admission, candidates for our BFA programs in Design and Production and Stage Management will be contacted by the School of Theatre & Dance with instructions on how to schedule your interview. Interviews may be scheduled most days classes are in session when the appropriate faculty are available for the interview. If you are unable to attend an in-person interview, a digital interview may be granted via Zoom. 

When should I audition?
We hold auditions throughout the fall and spring. View our Audition Dates page for detailed information on pre-screen deadlines and audition dates. Our auditions fill quickly so it is highly recommended you apply early and submit your pre-screen materials early so as to secure an audition appointment.  

Are auditions/interviews held anywhere else than at Millikin University?
Millikin holds off campus auditions and interviews in Chicago the first weekend in February. In addition, we periodically attend in and out-of-state college audition events. Each of these auditions have their own set of criteria and do not always require the same audition elements that we require for our program.  In these instances, we may invite students to attend a campus audition or invite them to send a video submission demonstrating that what we did not see at the initial audition. For information regarding our attendance at these events, please contact our Audition and Interview Coordinator.

Does Millikin accept video auditions? 
Millikin does accept video auditions but on a very limited basis. To submit a video audition you must fall into one of the following categories:

  • International Students
  • US citizens residing outside the "Lower 48" including but not limited to Alaska, Hawaii, Guam, Puerto Rico, The USVI, US Military Bases overseas, etc...
  • Alumni of Broadway Dreams
  • Students seen at off campus auditions/showcases who have been specifically invited to submit video materials.  

Please note: All applicants must still submit a pre-screen audition. Those who meet the above qualifications may elect to use their pre-screen submission as their official audition.

Why are your live audition song selections limited to 60 seconds or 16-32 bars?  
We are listening for the qualities of your singing voice, rather than to the song. These short selections give our faculty ample time to evaluate your singing potential as well as your ability to act the song. Also, 30-60 seconds (16-32 bars) is the basic guideline for professional auditions. We recommend being prepared to sing the entire song if asked. We also recommend having alternate selections in your book. You may also be asked to vocalize with our musical director should we need to hear more from your voice than your initial selections offer.  

Where can I find titles of musicals and when they were written?
Musicals101 is a comprehensive resource for musicals. Select the Production Chronology link. There you can see what musicals opened in what year. Click on a decade either prior or post 1960 and you'll find lists of musicals that were written in that era. Other resources include the Internet Broadway Database and Playbill Vault.  

Once you find show titles you are familiar with, you can then start looking for songs. Pandora Radio, Spotify, Youtube, and Amazon.com are all good resources for finding audition songs. You will find many Broadway cast recordings on these sites.  

Sheet Music Direct and Music Notes are both excellent recourses for purchasing audition sheet music.  

What are the qualities of a good monologue?
Choose a monologue from a full length published play. Read the whole play so that you know the context of the monologue and the character's set of given circumstances. The character you select should be close to your age, and the monologue should be performed without a dialect or accent. We want to hear your natural speaking voice. Choose a monologue where the character you are playing has to use tactics to affect another character, i.e. make them feel something, get them to tell you something you're wanting to know (a secret maybe or gossip). Imagine the character to whom you are speaking is actively listening to what you are saying. Monologues that detail events that have already happened, story monologues, dreams, speaking to the audience, telephone calls, self-reflection, etc... do not make successful audition monologues. Do not choose monologues that are cited as "original" or written by "anonymous."  Monologues from films, TV shows, and musicals are also not appropriate for our auditions. Your monologue should not exceed 45 seconds for an audition for our Musical Theatre program or 60 seconds for our Acting program.  

Where can I find monologues?
Read plays. Avoid the monologues published in the many audition monologue books or on-line databases because those monologues are overdone. You might use those books or websites as reference material to find interesting characters perhaps, but always find and read the full play and then choose a monologue that is not in the published monologue book or on the website. Also, do not choose monologues that are solo interpretive pieces that are not part of a complete play. These types of monologues may be appropriate for speech team competitions, but they are inappropriate for audition monologues.  Please refer to our audition guidelines for more details on monologues.  

Why are we asked to avoid regional dialects in our monologue choices?
We are interested in hearing and evaluating your natural speaking voice. In addition, some dialects are very tricky and can upstage an actor and their ability to be authentic in the moment, pulling the viewer out of the world the actor has been trying to establish. In other words, dialects have the ability to negatively impact the quality of the work. If you feel a monologue requires a dialect, we recommend finding a different monologue.    

What types of scholarships are available?
Millikin offers a number of scholarships. Details and application deadlines are available on our Scholarships page. In addition to University scholarships, students who are pursuing studies in theatre may qualify for either a College of Fine Arts Scholarship or the prestigious Dean's Scholarship for Excellence. These scholarships are based on talent and/or academic standing and are awarded after your audition or interview. College of Fine Arts Scholarships renew each year a student remains enrolled in the College of Fine Arts.  

Are there student work-study positions available in the School of Theatre & Dance?
Yes, there are many work-study positions available within the school and across the University. Information is available through the Career Center.

Are students able to major in musical theatre and minor in something else, business, for example?
It possible, but only encouraged for students with exceptional academic skills, time management abilities, and discipline. Other issues are time and expense. Adding a minor, such as business, may require an additional semester and/or overload fees to complete.

Does Millikin bring in any guest artists for the students to work with during the school year? 
Yes, master classes are offered annually by a variety of artists. Many artists and companies who perform at Kirkland Fine Arts Center offer master classes for our students. In addition, the School of Theatre & Dance invites a variety of artists to campus to share their perspectives with our students. Guest artists have included: Sierra Boggess, Alice Ripley, Andrew Lippa, Sheri Sanders (Rock the Audition), Marcia Madeira (TONY nominated lighting designer), Kari Margolis (The Margolis Method), Caitlyn Shaw (Tara Rubin Casting), Bob Mason (Chicago Shakespeare Theatre), Roberta Duchak (Chicagoland Musical Director) and many more.  

Where are current students and alumni working in theatre?
Millikin alumni are working in many different venues: professionally on Broadway, on international and national tours, in regional theater companies, dinner theaters, cruise lines, TV and film. They also perform and teach with children's theatre companies.

Since admission to Millikin University is required before I can schedule an audition, how can I apply?
Visit our Apply To Millikin page.