Applying to college is, without a doubt, expensive. Add on the additional requirements of applying, prescreening and auditioning for performing arts programs - and the application process quickly becomes riddled with fees.
However, with a little research, there are so many wonderful free options to take advantage of when planning to apply to a performing arts program. Here are some resources to get you started:
Finding Quality Repertoire
We know: this is one of the trickiest parts of college auditions! Finding quality rep that you love and that will showcase you can feel pretty daunting - not to mention it can get really expensive to blindly order plays to hope there will be a great, age appropriate monologue within one of them. Luckily, there are some free ways to find great material.
For Monologues, Playscripts.com is a great place to get started. You can read most of the plays for free - and if you sign up for their e-news, you will get plays sent directly to your inbox to read for free at your leisure! They have an excellent search engine in which you can narrow down what plays you are looking for to make sure you are finding the right fit based on theme, style and so much more.
For Songs, a great place to start is checking out some of your dream school’s senior showcases. These are all usually available on Youtube or directly on a school’s website. You can simultaneously listen to song selections that the seniors use, plus you get to check out what 4 years of training at a prestigious school will look like! Check out University of Michigan’s MT Showcase here and Boston Conservatory’s MT Showcase here to get you started.
Scholarship Programs for Prep
Even if you can’t readily find the information on a website, many private college consultants and college audition coaches offer scholarships to those in need. If you aren’t sure what opportunities are available, never hesitate to send an email and ask. Independent Educational Consultants can help prepare you for the academic side of the application process while College Audition Coaches can prep you for the prescreen and audition portion.
As an example, My College Audition & Acceptd offer a scholarship program for college audition coaching. If you are in need and meet eligibility requirements, your entire prep with My College Audition + your Prescreen Fees could be covered!
Your Local Library
As you may already have discovered, a library card is a free golden ticket to Knowledge Town. Depending on where you live, your local library arts section may have more theatre resources than you think. Spend some weekend days investing in library floor time (or check out their online resources) and read through plays, musical scores, and books with tips on auditioning and performing. Many students have had success in finding monologues and a song or two this way (especially those pre-1970 numbers). You can use this website to locate local libraries of various sizes near you. You might be surprised by what you find!
Online Dance Tutorials
Whether you are a lifelong dancer or shaking in your street boots at the thought of a dance call, there are a ton of free online dance resources for all levels at your fingertips. If you are auditioning for musical theatre or acting (many BFA Acting programs hold a movement call!), start by checking out this playlist of Broadway dance tutorials on YouTube, and go from there! Especially since the pandemic took many dance teachers and studios online, you can find some awesome guided dance sequences from iconic shows like Chicago, Damn Yankees, and Bye Bye Birdie and from newer shows like Hamilton too. Some folks prefer the true tutorial videos, in which they leave out the music and focus on specificity of steps and counts, or some may learn better with music. Poke around online and see what you find most helpful! No matter which style you prefer, these combinations are not only fun to learn and perfect at home, but they also help to strengthen the mental muscles that help you perceive, process, and retain choreography. The more you practice this very specific skill, the faster and more precisely your body will be able to internalize movement and pick up these audition combos - something you’ll definitely be needing in those dance/movement calls!
There are so many blogs that are committed to providing information on the college audition process! By committing to a couple hours of free reading, you can likely gain a ton of perspective and insight on audition outfits, do’s + dont’s of the process, slating and so much more! Hear it from pros, from your peers and various professionals in the field. Some of our favorite blogs to consider checking out are: My College Audition, Contemporary Musical Theatre and Actor Aesthetic.
There are many more free resources to be found and this is just a starting point! Knowledge is power in this process, so get out there and make the most of the resources to be found around you. You got this!
Written by: Chelsea Diehl & Gigi Watson