This information is for current students interested in taking one of our acting classes or getting cast in a mainstage show.
There is no audition requirement for admission to Barnard College or Columbia University.
Auditions for acting classes and departmental stage productions are open to all undergraduates at Columbia University, including students at Barnard College, Columbia College, the School of General Studies, and the Jewish Theological Seminary. No prior acting experience is required. First-year students, transfer students, international visiting students, and non-majors are eligible and welcome to audition. (Graduate students, unfortunately, are ineligible to audition for our stage productions, and only eligible to take an acting class if there is room in the class after all undergrads have been placed, with special permission by the instructor.)
On the first two nights (Tuesday, Wednesday) of each semester, the Department of Theatre holds auditions for all acting classes and for all stage productions scheduled for that term. Auditions are open to all Barnard and Columbia undergraduates.
The audition piece must be memorized if you are a declared Theatre major or if you have taken an acting class. If this is your first time auditioning for the Department, it is very strongly recommended that your audition piece be fully memorized. Auditioners may have the script in hand. Prior performance or acting class experience is not required.
Faculty members of the Department of Theatre are looking for actors who are actively and imaginatively engaged in the pursuit of an intention/objective rather than merely demonstrating an emotion or personality. The most successful audition piece is one that actively reveals the experience of a person other than the actor him/herself. It is recommended that you select material that you respond to personally.
We are committed to providing an accessible and welcoming environment for all participants. Individuals with disabilities who anticipate needing accommodations or have questions about the Theatre Department's accessibility should contact the Theatre Administrator for assistance, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Preparing for Auditions
Read the entire play before the audition. Work on the audition piece in advance; waiting until the night before the audition is highly discouraged. The audition monologue is limited to 60 seconds.
Some basic questions to consider when preparing your audition piece:
- Who am I?
- Where am I (what is the time, weather and place)?
- Who am I talking to?
- Why am I saying this now, or what makes it important to say this now?
- What am I hoping to achieve by saying this? Or, how do I hope things will change because I say this?
All students auditioning for classes and/or productions must attend an informational meeting in the Minor Latham Playhouse prior to auditions, typically at 6pm on the Tuesday that is the first class day.
Auditions are held in two sessions, Tuesday 6:30pm and Wednesday 6pm. Students must be present at the beginning of the audition period, but will be auditioned individually, and may leave one they have auditioned. You will have the opportunity to declare whether you are auditioning for classes only, for productions only, or for both. Students auditioning for courses/productions that require singing (e.g. Acting the Song, Acting the Musical Scene) should prepare a monologue (60 seconds) as well as a song of up to 60 seconds, to be sung a cappella.
Class lists for acting classes will be posted late Wednesday evening: Thursday and Friday acting classes are held the first week of class. Callback lists for the semester’s productions are posted late Wednesday evening: callbacks are scheduled for Thursday evening and instructions will be provided. All shows for a given semester will be cast by Friday of the first week of class, so that students who are cast may register for the class/production.
No student will be admitted to an acting class without an audition during the audition period.