Admission to the Bachelor of Fine Arts

Michigan State University’s Department of Theatre offers BFA degrees in Acting, Design, Stage Management. On this page you will find information about how to audition/interview for the BFA in Acting, how to audition/interview for the Minor in Musical Theatre Program, and how to interview for the BFA in Design and BFA in Stage Management.

At the auditions and interviews, you will be considered for specific scholarships and entrance to the BFA program. In order to receive a scholarship you must have been accepted to MSU by the date outlined on your scholarship notification.

BFA Acting Audition Procedures

Michigan State University’s Department of Theatre looks for students that display potential for a professional acting career in theatre, film, television, and other media. We seek students that are enterprising, self-driven, innovative, imaginative, and prepared to shape the future of this profession. Our “School of Choice” approach supports actors that possess a versatile skill set by providing multiple pathways to achievement while taking advantage of all that MSU has to offer. For more information about the program, click here: BFA in Acting for Stage Screen and New Media.

Admission to the BFA in Acting for Stage, Screen, and New Media is competitive and by audition only. Auditions for advanced admission to the BFA in Acting for Stage, Screen, and New Media for the 2022-2023 Academic Year have passed. There will be one additional round of auditions for incoming students at the very beginning of fall 2022. In order to attend those auditions, students must be admitted and enrolled at MSU. If you plan to audition at that time, please e-mail Ryan Welsh and Amy Lampe in early August 2022 to schedule an appointment. 

Michigan State University’s Department of Theatre looks for students that display potential for a professional acting career in theatre, film, television, and other media. We seek students that are enterprising, self-driven, innovative, imaginative, and prepared to shape the future of this profession. Our “School of Choice” approach supports actors that possess a versatile skill set by providing multiple pathways to achievement while taking advantage of all that MSU has to offer. For more information about the program, click here: BFA in Acting for Stage Screen and New Media.

Admission to the BFA in Acting for Stage, Screen, and New Media is competitive and by audition only. Auditions options will include in-person, Zoom, and pre-recorded videos. For more information about how to audition for the 2023-2024 Academic Year, please visit this website in October, 2022. 

General Audition Information

  • First, please apply to MSU as soon as possible. Although this is not required in order to schedule your audition, it is highly recommended.
  • We recommend visiting campus so you can see what life as a Spartan is like. Click here to schedule a campus tour. Click here to schedule a tour of our studios and theatre. 
  • We do not pre-screen and we do not charge a fee to audition. 
  • Please note that these auditions are for the BFA in Acting for Stage, Screen, and New Media only! The Musical Theatre Immersion Program requires a separate audition. Information can be found by visiting this link and scrolling down: Musical Theatre Audition Info.
  • For all audition formats, please prepare two contrasting memorized monologues (no longer than 3 minutes combined total). Both must be from a contemporary (post-1960) play. “Contrasting” can mean two distinct styles, such as comedic and dramatic, or two distinct types of characters. We recommend selecting monologues that aren’t too far removed from your age and experience.
  • After performing your monologues, there will be a brief informal interview.
  • You will be asked to provide a photo and résumé.

In-Person Auditions

  • Please return to this website in October 2022 to sign up for an audition for the 2023-2024 academic year.
  • On the day of your audition, we will provide opportunities for warmups, a workshop, tours, a Q&A with students and faculty, and snacks! Please come prepared to move and bring one printed headshot and résumé. Time will be provided to change and warmup prior to your audition.
  • Who should do this? If you’re able to travel to campus for in-person auditions, please do so. 

Zoom Auditions

  • To schedule a Zoom audition, please return to this website in October 2022 to sign up for an audition for the 2023-2024 academic year.
  • Who should do this? If you’re unable to travel to campus for in-person auditions, please sign up for a Zoom audition. 

Pre-Recorded Video Auditions

  • For information about how to submit a pre-recorded video audition, please return to this website in October 2022.
  • Who should do this? In the event that you have an immovable conflict on the day of our live and Zoom auditions, we are happy to accept a pre-recorded video audition. 

A pre-recorded video audition must include:

  • A slate (introduction with your name and location)
  • Two contrasting memorized monologues (no longer than 3 minutes combined total). Both must be from a contemporary (post-1960) play. “Contrasting” can mean two distinct styles, such as comedic and dramatic, or two distinct types of characters. We recommend selecting monologues that aren’t too far removed from your age and experience.
  • Please set up a medium shot, showing from the top of your head to approximately your waist. As much as possible, please make sure that your space has plenty of light and very little ambient noise.
  • Completed Google Form, including photo and résumé: Google Form for Pre-Recorded Video Auditions.
  • Video answers to the following question:
    • Why do you want a BFA in Acting?
    • Why have you chosen this particular program?  

Please contact Ryan Welsh with questions.

BFA Theatre Design Application Procedures

The Department of Theatre design faculty are looking for students who display potential in Theatrical Design.

Applicants for the BFA in Theatre Design will present a portfolio in an interview session. If you have previous theatre design experience, you will want to include sample designs from these projects – sketches, drafting, renderings, light plot/hook-up, and photos of finished scenery, costumes, lighting, makeup, construction, props or scene painting.

Your portfolio may include examples of freehand drawing, sketches of still life objects, the human figure, animals, portraiture, painting, sculpture, architecture, print, poster and sign design, as well as computer graphic work. Class projects and photos of production work are also encouraged for submission.

Feel free to choose a format or a mix of formats that is convenient for you – digital files, photos, sketchbooks, scrapbooks, color photocopies, or slides.

Click here to sign up for your interview for the BFA in Design.

BFA Theatre Stage Management Application Procedures

The Department of Theatre management faculty are looking for students who display potential in Stage Management.

Interviews for the BFA Stage Management program will be held on February 5, 2022 either by zoom or in the Auditorium Building at 542 Auditorium Rd., East Lansing, MI 48823. When registering for your interview, please specify if you would prefer an in-person or virtual interview.

Applicants for the BFA in stage management will need to register for an interview and submit a resume and portfolio at least 24 hours before their interview session using the form below. If you have previous theatre experience, you will want to include information from these projects in any format such as paperwork, sketches, or photos of a production.

Your portfolio may include any information that showcases who you are as a student, person, creative, or manager. This should showcase your interests and can relate to schoolwork, outside activities, work experiences, as related to theatre or not. We want to get to know YOU! Class projects and photos of production work are also encouraged for submission.

Feel free to choose a format or a mix of formats that is convenient for you, such as digital files, photos, sample materials in pdf or PowerPoint format, or a personal website.

If you have any questions regarding the interview requirements or you cannot attend an in-person interview,  please email Tina Newhauser (Head of the BFA in Stage Management Program) at newhause@msu.edu.


Minor in Musical Theatre Program Audition

Students interested in the Musical Theatre Minor program, auditions will be held IN PERSON this year on February 5 and February 26, 2022 at the Michigan Stage University Auditiorium Building 542 Auditorium Road, East Lansing, MI 48823.

Auditions will take place from 10AM to 3PM on both days. If you are also auditioning for the BFA Acting for Stage, Screen, and New Media please indicate this in your audition form (sign up link below). Since ether Musical Theatre and BFA Acting Auditions are happening at the same time, please make sure you do not double book yourself in the same time slot. Give yourself ample time to be present at both auditions.

Any prospective full-time undergraduate student is eligible to audition for the program. This includes incoming 1st year students, interested High School Seniors, Current MSU Students, and Transfer Students.

The audition will consist of:

  1. Two contrasting, 32-bar cuts from musicals that best show off your voice and range.Bring appropriate and marked sheet music in the proper key, with sheet protectors, and in a binder.
  2. A monologue no longer than one minute.

If you cannot make an in-person audition, please email Brad Willcuts at willcuts@msu.edu to discuss sending in a pre-recorded audition.

Sign up for an audition by using the link below.
For more information about the program and its curricular requirements, visit: Minor in Musical Theatre.
If you have questions about the audition for the Minor in Musical Theatre, contact program director Brad Willcuts.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

All incoming, current, and transfer students.   

No. However, there is a fee to apply to Michigan State University. 

No. We believe that everyone that wants to be seen should have that opportunity.

It is highly recommended but not strictly required. Most of our auditioners/interviewees will have already received a determination from the university before they audition.

No. Acceptance into the BFA is contingent upon meeting the university’s admission standards for enrollment.

Applying early to MSU allows you to be considered for the greatest number of scholarships through MSU’s Office of Admissions. The Department of Theatre has a small number of partial scholarships and you will automatically be considered for those at your audition/interview. Click here for more info

With few exceptions, most courses are open to students in the BA, which doesn’t require an audition. Students not selected for the BFA may audition again.

Yes. You can graduate with a BFA and another major. It takes careful planning, but we have many students that take that path.

Please contact the program director, as it may still be possible. (scroll down for Program Director contact information.)

We would love to meet you! Use this link or e-mail the relevant program director: https://theatre.msu.edu/schedule-a-tour/ 

Contact Information

BFA in Acting Program Director: Deric McNish

BFA in Design Program Director: Shannon Schweitzer

Minor in Musical Theatre Director: Brad Willcuts

BFA in Stage Management Program Director: Tina Newhauser

BA in Theatre Program Director: Angie Wendelberger

If you have further questions about our programs, please visit the Department of Theatre website or e-mail: Department of Theatre.