screen acting, theatre performance

College of Performing Arts

» BFA in Screen Acting / BFA in Theatre Performance

If you are applying to the Department of Theatre as a Bachelor of Fine Arts major, you must complete The Common App (including the Chapman University Questions within the Common App), as well as the Creative Supplement. All BFA Screen Acting and BFA Theatre Performance applicants are required to submit a pre-screen audition in order to be considered for admission. Please note, a Common Application submission is required before you will gain access to the Creative Supplement and associated audition materials.

Once your pre-screen audition and application have been reviewed by both the Department of Dance and Office of Admission, you may be invited to an in-person audition and interview, either on Chapman’s campus or at one of the regional audition dates in New York or Chicago. A final admission decision is agreed upon by the Department of Dance and the Office of Admission based on academic and artistic preparedness. All applicants are encouraged to apply as early as possible.

Should you be asked to audition in-person, you will be notified via email with a link to schedule the audition.

Any departmental scholarship is determined by that department during review of the Creative Supplement and/or audition. No additional paperwork or scholarship application is required.

+ - Deadlines

Please visit the University’s How to Apply page for undergraduate application deadlines.

+ - Common Application, Creative Supplement and Pre-Screen Requirements

The following items must be submitted to be considered for admission to the Bachelor of Fine Arts in Screen Acting or Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre Performance programs:

  • Creative Supplement: This is your artistic portfolio reviewed by the faculty based on artistic talent and program readiness. Please be prepared to answer a few short answer questions.
  • Theatre Resume: This should include your training, teachers, performance and technical experience.  Include the names of theatres and directors you have worked with, as well as any media work you have done.  You may want to include awards and any summer scholarships you have received.
  • Goal Statement: Please submit a goal statement addressing the following questions:
    • How do you envision yourself contributing to theatre and to society as a student and artist?
    • How will studying theatre at Chapman University prepare you for a life in theatre?
  • Photograph: Please upload a photo of yourself so we can identify you - professional headshots are not required.
  • Letter of Recommendation: The letter should come from your most recent theatre instructor or a professional with whom you have studied. You can request this recommendation through your applicant status page once you have submitted your Common Application. Your recommender will receive an email prompting him or her to submit a recommendation on your behalf. Keep in mind this letter of recommendation is specific to the Department of Theatre and is separate from the letter(s) required by the Office of Admission.
  • Pre-Screen Audition Videos: Once your Common Application has been submitted, you will gain access to your applicant status page where you will be prompted to upload your pre-screen videos. Upload three separate video files in the Video section via the link provided on your status page:
    • Introduction – In 30 seconds or less, state your name, where you're from and a fun fact about yourself. Be sure to use a medium shot (from chest up).
    • First monologue – Monologue should be no longer than 60 seconds using a 3/4 body shot
    • Second monologue - Monologue should be no longer than 60 seconds using a 3/4 body shot
  • Monologue Requirements:
    • BFA Screen Acting – Perform two contrasting monologues, one comedic and one dramatic (see “Suggestions for Choosing a Monologue” below for suggestions)
    • BFA Theatre Performance – Perform two contrasting monologues, one that is contemporary and realistic, and another from a work of Shakespeare (see “Suggestions for Choosing a Monologue” below for suggestions)

+ - Suggestions for Choosing a Monologue

  • Choose a piece from a published play (film & television monologues are discouraged).
  • Do not select a stand-alone monologue. Instead, choose a monologue from a play that provides context and character motivation.
  • Choose a monologue with a character that is close to your age, and for whom you would be cast today.  
  • Choose a monologue that is active. Know whom you are talking to and what you want from them.
  • Choose a monologue that you care about.  Your engagement and interest is likely to translate into your performance.
  • Avoid dialects, excessive prop use, cartoon or two-dimensional characters and exaggerated characterizations.
  • Avoid overdone monologues (they often lead to predictable acting choices) unless you are able to make it uniquely your own.  Googling “overdone monologues” is recommended!
  • For Theatre Performance only: Your Shakespearean monologue should be from a play, not a sonnet.

+ - Upload Instructions

  • Internal editing and zooming in is discouraged, however you may walk into a closer shot as desired.
  • Use a neutral background with suitable lighting and sound equipment. We need to see and hear you clearly.
  • Please no costumes, stage makeup or extraneous sound effects.
  • Label your monologues once they’ve been uploaded using the "edit details" tab.
  • Do not submit videos of actual performances. They will not be viewed.

+ - In-Person Auditions (by invitation only)

If invited to audition in-person, you will have the option to choose an audition date on our campus or at one of our regional auditions in New York or Chicago. Dates in New York and Chicago will coincide with the National Unified Auditions.

The date, location, times available, and expectations will be included with your emailed invitation after review of your audition upload submission. Pre-screen auditions are reviewed on a rolling basis, so please be patient in hearing back from both the Department of Theatre and the Office of Admission.

NOTE: If you are invited to audition but are unable to travel to one of our audition sites, you may request that we use your audition upload submission as your audition. If possible, auditioning in-person is highly encouraged.

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Contact Us

John Benitz
Chair, Department of Theatre
(714) 744-7055
benitz@chapman.edu