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Conservatory of Performing Arts

Theatre FAQs

Frequently asked questions about the theatre department and audition process

  1. Describe the B.A. in theatre arts: performance and practices, and the B.F.A. degrees in acting, musical theatre and production?
  2. How many people audition and are admitted into the theatre program each year?
  3. How long is the audition?
  4. What should I prepare for my audition?
  5. How should I dress for my audition?
  6. Can I audition for both musical theatre AND acting concentrations?
  7. What is the difference between on-campus and off-campus auditions?
  8. If I choose to attend an off-campus audition instead of an on-campus one, will that affect my chances for getting admitted?
  9. Will I be provided with an accompanist at my audition?
  10. Are letters of recommendation required?
  11. How long will it take before I hear about my audition results?
  12. Can I get feedback from my audition?
  13. Are students eligible to re-audition for the theatre department?
  14. Can theatre students begin in the spring semester?
  15. I am a transfer student. How does that affect me?
  16. Can I double major or declare a minor?
  17. How much training should a prospective student have prior to attending Point Park?
  18. What is the average size of theatre classes at Point Park?
  19. What dance classes are required for musical theatre students?
  20. When am I eligible to audition for theatre productions?
  21. Does the Conservatory offer talent awards?
  22. How does Point Park help graduating seniors with career employment?

Describe the difference between the B.A. and the B.F.A. programs.

These revised and new degree programs reflect the efforts of our faculty to address the best possible training for each student: training that connects classical conservatory foundations and a forward-thinking contemporary theatre world.

Our revised B.F.A. degrees in theatre production immerse students right away into the backstage operations, design studios, stage management and apprenticeships in the various shops: scenic, properties, costume, audio, etc. With 18 annual productions, discipline-focused assignments, faculty advisement and mentoring, and a rich variety of hands-on experience, production students are poised to enter the theatrical workforce upon (and in some cases, before) graduation.

Our revised B.F.A. in acting builds upon our historically strong program and excellent reputation in the industry for providing a strong foundation in acting, voice and speech, and movement techniques by adding studio sequences beginning in the second year for more advanced acting studies, along with requirements in improvisation for the actor, acting for the camera, and professional preparation, among other courses, and a New York City showcase.

As in the B.F.A. in acting, our revised B.F.A. in musical theatre takes an already strong program with an excellent reputation in the industry and adds rigor with the addition of a repertoire course, extended music theory, ensemble singing, a third-year lab for advanced musical theatre techniques, and revised dance courses, among other courses, and a New York City showcase. All B.F.A. performance students will be assessed regularly by faculty and receive feedback and consultation as they prepare for a professional career in theatre.

Our new B.A. in theatre arts: performance and practices is a flexible program that offers two years of demanding performance study, including sequences in acting, voice, speech and movement, and theatre history, text analysis, signing, and production (crew), among other requirements. Students may self-design beginning in either the first or second year with an exciting variety of minors, double majors and study abroad opportunities. Some of the possible minors and double majors include dance, musical theatre, cinema, sports, arts and entertainment management, business, stage management, and theatre design, among many others. Disciplined students are able to complete this degree in three years, or in four years, depending on the requirements in their chosen minors, double major, etc. The dazzling variety of courses, minors and double majors at Point Park allow students to cultivate intellectual and scholarly interests, in addition to receiving rigorous performance training.

How many people audition and are admitted into the theatre program each year?

The number of students who audition fluctuates every year. Traditionally, the theatre department has auditioned approximately 1,000 students for performance majors and admits 28 for the B.F.A. in musical theatre, 24 for the B.F.A. in acting, and 22 for the B.A. in theatre arts: performance and practices program. Theatre production (stage management, design and technical design and management) aims to admit 20 students out of 50 applicants for this program.

How long is the audition?

The duration of each audition varies depending on the number of candidates. Students should plan to be on campus all day.

What should I prepare for my audition?

Please refer to Theatre Audition Guidelines

How should I dress for my audition?

Please refer to Theatre Audition Guidelines.

Can I audition for both musical theatre AND acting concentrations?

Students cannot audition for both musical theatre and acting. Students must pick one concentration.

What is the difference between on-campus and off-campus auditions?

On-campus auditions give you an opportunity to see the University and facilities, as well as attend a possible theatre performance that may be in production during the weekend of the audition. 

If I choose to attend an off-campus audition instead of an on-campus one, will that affect my chances for getting admitted?

No, both auditions carry the same weight.

Will I be provided with an accompanist at my audition?

Candidates at both on and off campus auditions will be provided with an accompanist. Students should bring their own sheet music that is appropriately marked for the accompanist.

Are letters of recommendation required?

No, letters of recommendation are not required for acceptance into the Conservatory of Performing Arts programs. If you would like to submit a letter of recommendation, please bring it with you on the day of your audition.

How long will it take before I hear about my audition results?

Acting and Musical Theatre

Admittance into the Department of Theatre is based on talent and potential as demonstrated in the audition/interview. Applicants must be artistically admitted into the theatre program AND academically admitted into the University. Applicants WILL NOT receive their artistic decision until they have received an academic decision from the Office of Admission.

Applicants who audition by March 6, 2016 and have been academically admitted to the University will receive their artistic admission decision and artistic achievement award by March 15, 2016. 

Candidates will be notified both by email and letter of the admission decision. 

We are not permitted to disclose audition results over the phone or by email.

Full financial aid awards will be sent by March 15, 2016 provided the financial aid application (FAFSA) is completed and received by the Point Park University Financial Aid Office. 

Theatre Production

Successful applicants must be artistically admitted into the theatre production program and academically admitted into the University. Applicants will not receive their artistic decision until they have received an academic decision from the Office of Admission. 

Theatre production students will receive notification of admission to the major and the artistic achievement award on a rolling basis. That is, candidates will be notified of their artistic admission and artistic achievement award as the academic admission and artistic decisions are made. 

Candidates will be notified both by email and letter of the admission decision. 

Full financial aid awards will be sent by March 15, 2016 provided the financial aid application (FAFSA) is completed and received by the Point Park University Financial Aid Office. 

Can I get feedback from my audition?

Due to the volume of students who audition each year for the Conservatory programs, it is impossible to provide feedback on individual audition results.

Are students eligible to re-audition for the theatre department?

Yes, students may audition once per year with a maximum of two auditions for the program.

Can theatre students begin in the spring semester?

Acting and musical theatre students must begin in the fall semester. Technical theatre/design and stage management students may begin in the spring semester with permission.

I am a transfer student. How does that affect me?

Any student transferring into the acting or musical theatre programs will be admitted as a freshman. Transfer students will receive elective credit for previous college-level theatre training.

Can I double major or declare a minor?

Double majors and minors are possible and encouraged in our B.A. in theatre arts: performance and practices program, which includes a rigorous two year sequence in acting with an ability to self-design the remaining degree requirements beginning in the second year. Due to the intense eight semester sequencing of the B.F.A. theatre degree tracks, a double major is not recommended. Minors are available in any of the programs offered at Point Park, including cinema studies, screenwriting, dance and theatre production. Musical theatre and acting minors are only open to Conservatory students. Students interested in a minor in one of the other Conservatory of Performing Arts programs must complete an audition at either the end of the first year or during the second semester of their sophomore year.

How much training should a prospective student have prior to attending Point Park?

Theatre performance students should have at least one year of acting training; those majoring or minoring in musical theatre should also have at least two years of private voice and one year of dance training. Students should have experience in high school or professional/community theatre prior to auditioning for the program.

What is the average size of theatre classes at Point Park?

The average ratio for most theatre classes is 15:1, except dance, which has a ratio of 20:1.

What dance classes are required for musical theatre students?

Musical theatre students will take one year of classical ballet, three years of jazz and one year of tap. Additional training requires an interview with the chair of the dance department. It is also possible for musical theatre students to audition for a dance minor, which is common within the department. 

When am I eligible to audition for theatre productions?

Students may audition in the second semester of their freshman year for Playhouse Jr. and student-directed one acts. Main stage productions require students to have sophomore status.

Does the Conservatory offer talent awards?

The Conservatory offers two types of awards: scholarships and apprenticeships. Talent awards are offered based on the student's performance during the audition process. A talent apprenticeship offered to a student based on his or her audition/interview is a job-related award. The student will be expected to work a set number of hours per week in exchange for a monthly stipend. For more information on awards, refer to Scholarships and Apprenticeships.

How does Point Park help graduating seniors with career employment?

The theatre curriculum includes a Professional Seminar course that focuses on the business aspects of an artistic career. Each year, the Conservatory hosts a senior Showcase in New York. Agents, managers and casting directors are invited to review student performances. Beginning with the class of 2018, B.F.A. performance majors have the showcase as their capstone project; theatre arts: performance and practices majors create an original performance as their capstone project. Theatre production students will take a professional preparation course to develop resumes, portfolios and interviewing skills. These students also have an opportunity for sponsorship to the USITT or SETC conferences for networking, career exploration and job interviews.