Theatre Admission FAQs


My strength is in classical work. Can I perform classical monologues instead of contemporary monologues?

No. However, the faculty might allow you to perform a classical work in addition to the two contemporary monologues. It's fine to mention to the faculty that your strength is in classical, and that information would be of interest to the faculty as they interview you, but it doesn’t guarantee that you would be asked to perform a short classical monologue. It doesn’t hurt to have one at the ready, but whether or not you are asked to perform it is up to faculty discretion.

For our monologues, should we stick strictly to our gender and age? Or can we branch out a bit?

It’s best to stick to a character who is approximately your age. It’s okay to branch out a bit if it feels genuine to you, but beware, don’t branch out too far and go for a 70-year-old character or a character whose culture or life experiences you know little about, etc. Be sure you can embody the character.

For the singing part of the audition, do I need to provide accompaniment?

No. The song should be sung a cappella: without musical accompaniment.

For the singing part of the audition, what kind of songs are you looking for?

The kind you are most confident in and can convey well. We hear all kinds of genres during auditions. Figure out what song you can best convey as an actor, and go for it. 16 bars are all that are needed.

But I’m not a good singer! What advice do you have for me to do well during the 16-bar a cappella part?

Don’t worry, we’re not looking for the next Beyoncé. We’re looking at breath control, projection and the way you convey the song. Pick a song that feels right for you, and go for it.

How can we show our interest in producing, directing or playwriting during an audition?

Three ways:

  1. On your Meadows Theatre application, indicate Theatre Studies as your preferred theatre specialization.
  2. Upload a portfolio or supplemental materials to your Meadows Theatre Application, in the “Media/Portfolio” section; this option is encouraged but not required for those interested in the Theatre Studies track.
  3. When you introduce yourself at the beginning of the audition, let the faculty know you are primarily interested in producing, directing, or playwrighting, then go on to give a great audition. After you’ve done your two contemporary monologues and sung 16 bars a cappella, faculty will interview you and more than likely will ask you about your ambitions to direct/produce/write plays.

What is the biggest mistake someone can make in an audition?

  1. Arriving late to the audition. Give yourself ample time to find the audition.
  2. Resisting faculty’s direction to try the monologue again with a different approach.

Can first year students audition for mainstage shows their first semester?

Not the first semester – the fall performances are cast at the end of the previous spring semester, before the first-years arrive on campus. First-years will also be busy with their crew assignments in costume, lighting, or scenery on top of acclimating themselves to college life that first semester. Second semester first-years can, and are expected to, audition.


Can you explain the thing about submitting both your SMU application and your Meadows application & audition in one semester please?

Sure! The Theatre degree has a “dual admission” process, and it takes time to complete the process:

  • After submitting the completed Meadows Theatre Application, applicants will register for an audition.
  • About two weeks after the audition, Meadows will email its admission decision to the applicant and will also let the SMU Office of Undergraduate Admission know what the decision is.
  • Then, SMU will send its admission decision to the applicant.
  • If you send in your completed applications and do your audition within the same semester, your admission decisions —one from Meadows, the other from SMU -- will arrive about two weeks apart.

However, if, for example, a Theatre applicant applies to SMU Early Action or Early Decision I in the fall semester but doesn’t audition for Meadows until the spring semester, the admission decisions from Meadows and from SMU will arrive later in the spring semester, causing the applicant to wait until mid-spring to find out whether they have been admitted to Meadows and/or to SMU.

When will I hear if I am accepted to the Theatre program or not?

Whether you audition either in person (on campus, Unifieds, or Theatre conferences) or via Zoom, you will receive your Meadows admission decision about two weeks after the audition. Note that your SMU admission decision will follow about two weeks after your Meadows decision.

If I want to apply to SMU early, should I apply Early Action or Early Decision I?

For Theatre applicants, Early Action. Here’s why: Early Decision is a binding agreement to attend SMU if you are accepted to the university, even if you are not also accepted to the Meadows Theatre Division. For those who wish to apply by the November 1 “Early” deadline, we recommend that Theatre applicants select “Early Action” instead of “Early Decision.” By applying Early Action, Theatre applicants can keep their options open while expressing strong interest in SMU.

If I apply Regular Decision or Early Decision II, will that hurt my chances of being accepted to the Theatre program?

Not at all! Know that Meadows considers all of the auditions, whether you audition in the fall or spring semester. We want you to apply and audition when you think you will be at your best. Regular and Early Decision II applications to SMU are due Jan. 15.

What if I am admitted to SMU but not to the Theatre program?

That does sometimes happen, and is the main reason why we encourage early applicants to apply to SMU as Early Action and not Early Decision. If you are accepted to SMU but not to the Theatre program, you and your family will need to decide whether you go to SMU and pursue a major other than Theatre, or select a different university.

Okay, but what if I am admitted to Theatre but not to SMU?

In order to attend SMU and pursue the BFA in Theatre, applicants must apply to and be admitted to both SMU and to Meadows School of the Arts Division of Theatre. If you are admitted to Theatre but not to SMU, you’ll need to select a different university.

Any tips on increasing my chances of being admitted to SMU?

High grades, activity in your school, community, place of worship, etc. Keep in touch with your SMU admission counselor; attend some SMU and/or Meadows events (keep checking your email for event announcements and registrations) and show your active interest in SMU.

Tell Me More...

Is there a minor in Theatre?

No, a minor in Theatre is not offered, but there are approximately 85 minor degrees offered at SMU, including the arts entrepreneurship minor and the arts management minor.

I’m a transfer student who wants to start SMU in the fall and major in Theatre, but I missed all the auditions. If I audition in the upcoming fall and am accepted, can I start my classes in the spring, or must I wait until the following fall?

All new Theatre undergraduate students must begin their Theatre studies in the fall semester. If you enter SMU in the spring, you can start taking the SMU Common Curriculum courses, then begin your Theatre studies the following fall. Theatre transfer students are usually enrolled for 3 full years as they complete the degree.

Do you integrate with the arts community in Dallas?

Yes yes yes! We enjoy a long-running relationship with the Tony award-winning Best Regional Theatre, Dallas Theater Center. Our students and faculty work with them every year. Our students also often audition for productions at Theatre Three, Kitchen Dog Theatre (founded by Meadows Theatre alums), Prism Co (also founded by Meadows Theatre alums), Lyric Stage (professional musical theatre company), Second Thought Theatre and more. 

Visit Meadows in-person or virtually via Zoom: Ready to learn more about Meadows School of the Arts? Get your questions answered and see where you will study, research, rehearse, perform, and collaborate as a Meadows student! Register here; when you get to the page, you’ll see that you can register for SMU info sessions and tours, as well as for the Meadows School of the Arts info sessions and tours.

Wait! I have more questions.

Contact us! We have more answers and we’re always happy to talk about Meadows School of the Arts.  /  214-768-3217

The Meadows Office of Admission and Financial Aid is open Monday through Friday, 9am to 5pm Central Time (Dallas time). If you get our voicemail, please leave your phone number, name, and how we can help you.