BFA Acting


Program Admission Contact:
Kim Whittam, 973-655-7201
  University Admission Contact:
Zachary Brower, 973-655-7703
BFA Acting Coordinator:
Professor Heather Benton, 973-655-3085

Major-specific Guidelines –

To be considered for admission to the BFA Acting program, students must first submit an online application to Montclair State University, then follow the guidelines below:

    • Applicant should be an incoming freshman or sophomore. Sophmores, please note that the sequence of acting courses in the program requires a minimum of seven (7) semesters of work.
    • Upon completion and review of the submitted university application, applicants may be emailed an invitation to attend an interview/audition with the Department of Theatre & Dance. Please schedule your appointment online in accordance with sent instructions.
    • Invited applicants should submit the following written materials and audition fee at no later than two weeks prior to the scheduled appointment:

      • A completed BFA Acting Application Form: note: this is separate from the online university application and is provided when you are invited to audition.
      • Letter of Intent: a personal statement explaining why you are interested in attending an acting training program, specifically the B.F.A. Acting Program at Montclair State university.  The Letter of Intent should also highlight past experience in the theatre and include plans for future development.
      • Resume of experience
      • Photocopy of your high school or college transcript

      • Small recent school photo or headshot
      • Letter of recommendation from a teacher, director and/or other theater professional familiar with your work and academic potential. Letter should evaluate your self-discipline, attitude, motivation, creativity and potential for success in the performing arts. They may be copies of letters provided to the Admissions office.
      • $50 Audition fee (non-refundable) payable by check or money order to MSU

        Send materials and fee to:

        Kim Whittam
        Department of Theatre and Dance
        Program Admission Coordinator
        055A Life Hall
        Montclair State University
        Montclair, New Jersey 07043
 Applicants should arrive early on the day of their scheduled appointment.

Unified Auditions - While applicants are strongly advised to visit the department, far-away applicants to the BFA in Acting or Musical Theatre programs may choose to participate in one of the “National Unified Auditions” as an alternative to coming to campus. 

  • Prospective students must first complete and submit an application to Montclair State University before scheduling a Unified Audition appointment.
  • Students should prepare for an individual audition as per the guidelines below.  Please note that there will be no group movement session at Unifieds. 
  • Unified Audition dates and locations are displayed on the Appointment Calendar page.
Prospective students are permitted to audition for more than one program. You must attend each audition separately, but you are able to register to audition/interview for more than one program on the same day. You must also provided separate copies of the requested documents for each program.

Back to top ]

Audition Preparation –

The Audition Process will consist of two segments: Participation in a MOVEMENT SESSION and an INDIVIDUAL AUDITION.


  • Come dressed in clothing that allows for movement.  Be prepared to work barefoot. 
  • Applicants will work in small groups of 8 to 10 people.
  • The Group Movement Session wil be structured like a mini class.
  • Applicants will be guided through excercises that will include movement, improvisational, and ensemble work.


  • Prepare two contrasting monologues (one contemporary, one classical) of not more than two minutes each.
  • Monologues must be fully memorized and rehearsed.
  • One of the monologues must be from a contemporary realistic play.
  • The second monologue must be from a classical play and may or may not be in verse (i.e. Shakespeare, Greek Tragedy, Resotration Comedy, etc.).
  • Choose roles in which you could be cast professionally at this point in your career and which show you off to your best advantage.  Do not attempt roles outside of your current age range.

At the conclusion of the INDIVIDUAL AUDITION you may be interviewed by the screening committee.

Back to top ]

Acceptance Criteria –

The Acting audition is judged in terms of the following:

    • Presence, as evidenced by the clarity of concentration and focus, grounding relaxation and use of breath during performance
    • Awareness, as evidenced by the demonstration of impulsive, reponsive interaction with others
    • Internal Techniqe, as evidenced by the ability to work with honesty, empathy and emotional availability within each character performed
    • Versatility, as evidenced in the level of contrast in roles perfomed
    • Vocal Quality, as evidenced in vocal tone and support; projection and range; clarity of thought; ability to communitate; the demonstration of good stage speech, free of regional dialects
    • Physicality, as evidenced in the ease and freedom of movement and the expressivity of the body

Once enrolled in the program, all BFA Acting majors are required to audition for all Department productions. Continuation in the program is determined by an annual jury and review process.

Note: no applications are accepted for Spring enrollment. The BFA Acting program can only be applied to for the Fall semester of each year.

Back to top ]

Appointment Dates –

Refer to Department Admission - Appointments Calendar

Appointment Cancellations-

Please give as much advance notice as possible if an appointment must be cancelled.  If a cancellation is necessary, you must send notice and confirm that the department acknowledges receipt of cancellation. A last-minute cancellation or failure to attend an appointment may make you ineligible to schedule a later audition.

Back to top ]