Audition Guidelines

Storytelling is the nuts and bolts of musical theatre and we want to know your story. What are your strengths? What's your brand? In order to play someone else, you need to know who you are. 

Your audition gives you the opportunity to showcase your acting, dancing and singing talents as well as your passion and commitment. Demonstrate a positive attitude and a willingness to participate in all aspects of the audition. Enter the audition in a professional manner. Show us the best of your abilities with well-rehearsed and emotionally committed pieces.

Above all, embrace the joy we know you must possess for performance. It will carry you through whatever fears an audition experience holds.


1. Book your audition

Confirm eligibility

You are eligible to audition after you have applied to the Theatre Arts program and received a letter of acknowledgement from the Office of the University Registrar.

Select a date

Audition dates are scheduled for the Spring each year. You will need to select a date from the list that allows you to submit your application for admission in advance and gives you time to prepare for audition components.

Check audition dates

Book your audition

Once you have received confirmation from the Office of the University Registrar that your application has been received, you can contact us from your MacEwan University student Gmail account to book your audition.

Only candidates who have submitted an application and booked an audition will be considered for the program.

Contact us to book your audition


2. Review criteria and selections

Assessment criteria

All components of the audition will be assessed by two adjudicators, except for the monologue and song, which will be judged by several Theatre Arts faculty members. They will evaluate your audition using the following criteria:

  • Preparedness

  • Skill level in acting, singing and dancing

  • Ability to understand and communicate a character

  • Pitch-making ability and vocal range

  • Ability to pick up a simple dance combination with a sense of rhythm, musicality, enthusiasm and presentation

  • Commitment to studying all three disciplines

Approved list of songs and monologues

Approved list of monologues (pdf)

Approved list of songs (pdf)

Once you have applied to the program, the sheet music for songs will be sent to your MacEwan University student Gmail account.


3. Prepare for each audition component

Group dance class (Morning)

Together with other program applicants, you will learn basic dance techniques in this component of the audition. Be willing to participate freely in the exercises or steps the instructor leads you through. For this component of the audition, results are not as important as your willingness to commit.

You do not need to prepare prior to the day of the audition for this component. However, before the class begins, we recommend that you take some time to “warm up.”  If you’ve had previous dance training, you can do the warm-up exercises you are comfortable with. If you’ve had no previous dance training, do some stretching to help you feel limbered up.

Please wear proper dance attire or clothing that allows for easy movement. Ensure your clothes are not too loose-fitting. The adjudicators want to be able to see the lines of your body as you dance.

Music theory and ear training diagnostic exam (Morning)

Music theory

In the music theory segment of the exam, you will be asked to name notes and to identify and write key signatures, major and minor scales, triads, rhythms and time signatures. This part of the audition is based on the syllabus for Royal Conservatory of Music Grade One, Rudiments of Music.

There are numerous online and print resources available to help you prepare for this part of the audition. In particular, we recommend that you read and study The Complete Elementary Music Rudiments by Mark Sarnecki, published by Frederick Harris Music. Study the material related to:

  • Music Notation

  • Time Values

  • Semitones

  • Whole Tones and Accidentals

  • Major Scales

  • Minor Scales

  • Triads

  • Intervals

  • Simple Time

Ear training diagnostic

The aural ear training segment uses a multiple choice format. You will be asked to identify basic interval and chord types and to spell note/scale-tone relationships.

We do not use this component of the audition to determine whether or not you will be accepted into the program. Rather, the diagnostic exam allows us to identify students who may need additional developmental work. Students who achieve less than 65% on the music diagnostic exam are required to complete upgrading courses prior to the start of classes.

Group vocal warm-up (Afternoon)

The group vocal warm-up is intended to help you prepare for the presentation of your song and monologue. No preparation is required for the vocal warm-up.

Monologue and song performance (Afternoon)

Monologue and song performance

Choose one monologue and one song from the lists supplied by the program. Learn the lines as written, inside and out. We do not want you to paraphrase. Playwrights and lyricists choose every word for a reason and we want to see how you interpret them exactly. You must perform from memory. There will be no prompting.

You will be given two minutes to perform the monologue. Piano accompaniment will be provided for the song. No other type of accompaniment is acceptable (e.g., guitar, CDs, etc.).


Practice and perform over and over again—preferably in front of friends and family or any audience you can find. Repetition allows you to be so familiar with the material that nerves will not throw you off and you can focus on the emotional journeys of your characters.

Go to the source

To prepare for the monologue, find and read the play source. This will help you understand the context. The Shakespeare texts are easily accessible online, and you should be able to locate the other works at a public library.

Learn about the musical that contains your song choice. Read about its plot and history, or watch the video and/or listen to a recording to help inform your understanding of the piece.

Analyze the characters and the context

Ask yourself: Who is my character speaking or singing to? What does she/he want to accomplish?

Choose an objective for your speech or song

Your objective is the goal you want to achieve as a result of speaking or singing those particular words. It motivates all of the action onstage. Knowing why is vital to successfully showcasing the journey of that character. It will also be the springboard for your personalized attachment to the emotional life of both pieces.

Here’s a simple way to phrase your objective—fill in the blanks to complete your interpretation: As a result of saying this speech or singing this song, I want [whoever you’re speaking/singing to] to [state your goal]. For example, I want you to accept my love.

Decide how badly this character wants to achieve this goal

Most stakes onstage are high, and it will affect how you deliver your performance.

Be brave in your performance 

Commit to truthful choices; make them your own. We want to see your “take” on the material supplied.


Calendar Deadlines Icon Illustration

Start the application process early

You need to meet a number of important deadlines when you apply for admission.

Next steps

Avoid delays by submitting any outstanding admission documents as quickly as possible and monitoring your To Do List in myStudentSystem for changes or new requests. After an admission decision is made you will receive a notice from the Office of the University Registrar.

Learn more about admission decisions