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AMDA Audition Information Musical Theatre Programs

Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree (LA), Associate Degree (LA), Conservatory Certificate (NY)

Audition Requirements: Please prepare 60-90 seconds (or 32 bars) of a song from Musical Theatre repertoire and a 60-90 second monologue. The song selection should demonstrate engaged storytelling performed with proficient pitch, tone, diction and vocal clarity. The monologue selection should demonstrate a connection to the character’s emotional life, clear physical choices and a solid understanding of the text.

Before the Audition

    • Select a song from Musical Theatre repertoire and carefully acquire the correct sheet music. Musicnotes.com and sheetmusicdirect.com are the best online sources for finding published sheet music.

      More information on how to select a song

    • Select a monologue from a published play. Please choose age-appropriate material for which you feel a personal connection.

      More information on how to select a monologue

    • Research the show, composer, lyricist and playwright. Familiarize yourself with the show your song is pulled from and read the play from which your monologue selection is sourced.
    • Identify the characters' environments and to whom each character is speaking.
    • Choose an appropriate performance focus for each piece (where the person to whom your character is speaking is located)
    • Schedule a time to run through your music with an accompanist prior to the audition. If possible, seek the support of theatre teachers, directors or coaches.
    • Memorize the material until you have full command of the music and text.

Quick guide to ensure your sheet music is prepared correctly

Correct sheet music will have:

    • three staves
    • a legible melody line with lyrics
    • a piano part

It will look like this:

Sheet music

Do not use a lead sheet:

Sheet music

Do not use an incomplete transcription from the internet:

Sheet music

Preparing Your Song For The Audition Accompanist:

Prior to the start of your audition, you will do a quick run-through of your song with the accompanist provided by AMDA. You must prepare your sheet music for this accompanist before you arrive at your audition:

    • Mark your sheet music with the words START and STOP to clearly indicate where your song performance begins and ends
    • Make sure the sheet music is written in the same key you have rehearsed
    • Be prepared to communicate cuts and tempo to the accompanist
    • Use a 3-hole punch and place the sheet music into a 3-ring binder OR use scotch tape to tape your music like this example:

Sheet music

It is strongly recommended to schedule at least one rehearsal session with a pianist in your locality prior to your audition, especially if you learned your song from a recording. By rehearsing with a pianist, you can be sure the sheet music is written in the key you have rehearsed. AMDA will provide an accompanist on the day of your audition. You will have an opportunity to do a quick run-through with this accompanist prior to the start of your audition. You may be asked if you have additional material prepared. It never hurts to rehearse and prepare an additional song and/or monologue, in order to show another side of your skills, range, and/or abilities.

In The Audition Room

    • The AMDA audition representative sitting behind the table in the Audition Room is called ‘the adjudicator’. They are there to assess your audition and make a recommendation regarding your admission to AMDA.
    • Your audition begins immediately from your entrance and continues until you exit.
    • Music Requirements
    • Upon entering the audition room, quickly greet the adjudicator and head directly to the accompanist. Communicate your cuts and tempo to the accompanist. Proceed directly to the center of the audition room and await instructions from your adjudicator.
    • Be prepared to introduce yourself with your name, age, city/country of residence, and the program and campus for which you are auditioning. You will also introduce the selections you will be presenting. Please state the title of the song you will be presenting, the show it is sourced from and the composer/lyricist. For your monologue, please introduce the character’s name, play and the author.
    • Start with your song. After you finish your song, take a moment to refocus, and when you are ready, proceed with your monologue. Hold the last moment of your monologue for a beat, then restore to neutral and wait for a response from the adjudicator before you leave the room, even if it is just a “thank you.”
    • Be prepared to take an adjustment from your adjudicator. Your adjudicator may want to work with you on one or both of your pieces. You may also be asked questions about the play, the scene, or the character presented in the monologue.
    • Plan to articulate why you are auditioning for AMDA and why you want to pursue training in the performing arts. This is an opportunity to express your passion and your professional goals.
    • Thank all panelist(s) (i.e. adjudicator, pianist etc.) before exiting the audition room

Important Tips for a Successful Audition

    • Present strong, effective posture and vocal clarity.
    • Enter and leave with confidence (i.e. keep your head up, avoid looking at the floor).
    • Maintain eye contact with your adjudicator for the introduction/slate and feedback portions of your audition.
    • For your song and monologue, choose a specific “performance focus” above or slightly to the right or left of the audition table and adjudicator.
    • Do not use props or costumes other than the chair that is provided.

Dress And Appearance

Women

Dress Neutral – Casual but nice: pants/skirt and blouse, or a simple dress. No denim, shorts, or extreme miniskirts. All clothing should be clean and pressed. Please avoid clothing that is too tight or too short; clothing should allow for natural movement and not distract from your performance. No flip-flops, sneakers or crocs. Dress shoes or character shoes are acceptable. Long hair or bangs should be pulled back and away from the face. Makeup should include a light base, natural lips, light eye makeup, and simple blush. No heavy makeup, false eyelashes, or theatrical makeup. Please remove all jewelry before auditioning.

Men

Dress Neutral – Casual but nice: pants/khakis, shirt and/or sweater; tie and jacket if you are comfortable but not required. No denim or shorts. All clothing should be clean and pressed. Please avoid clothing that is too tight; clothing should allow for natural movement and not distract from your performance. No flip-flops, sneakers or crocs. Dress shoes or character shoes are acceptable. Long hair or bangs should be pulled back and away from the face. No makeup is required. Please remove all jewelry before auditioning.

More information on how to select a song

More information on how to select a monologue