Performing Arts Applicant Requirements

Musical Theatre BFA Artistic Review Requirements

Learn more about this program.


Applicants to BFA Musical Theatre are required to submit an audition online as a prescreen.

  • If you have not already applied to Emerson and wish to complete the Musical Theatre Prescreen before applying please use the link below.
  • If you have already applied to Musical Theatre using the Common Application, do not use the link below. Instead, using the credentials and link that were emailed to you, log in to our Admission Portal. If you just applied, please be advised that it can take 2-3 business days to receive your log in credentials.

Requirements for Prescreening

Emerson is a participant in the Musical Theater Common Prescreen for the 2019-2020 cycle.

You may choose to upload prescreen videos to our Admission Portal that follow either the Emerson College Musical Theatre Prescreen requirements:

  • One video of yourself performing one 1-3 minute monologue from a contemporary play (1950-present).
  • One video of yourself singing one song, a roughly 1-minute cut, from a Broadway Musical, any era or style (Golden Age, Gospel, Jazz, Pop, etc.).

Or the Musical Theater Common Prescreen requirements:

  • Song option A
  • Monologue option A
  • No Wild Card video
  • No Dance video

You are strongly advised to sing with accompaniment. If live accompaniment is unavailable to you, services like iTunes and sites like YouTube offer inexpensive or free instrumental versions of most songs.

File Sizes and Types

We support media files as large as 5 GB, but please be advised that larger files will take longer to upload from your Internet connection and may stall if you are on a wireless connection or one that cannot sustain a connection for the necessary period of time. We support the following file formats:

  • Video: .avi, .flv, .mlv, .m2v, .m4v, .mkv, .mov, .mpeg, .mpg, .mp4, .webm, .wmv
  • Link: You can also add a link to a website of your work (personal website, YouTube, or Vimeo pages, etc.) 

Prescreen Fee

We charge a $10 non-refundable fee. If you feel that you would be eligible for a fee waiver, please email admission [at] (Undergraduate Admission). Be advised that we will be unable to watch your prescreen until the fee is paid or waived.

Timing & Outcomes

The Musical Theatre Prescreen is designed to be completed before, during, or after submitting an application to Emerson College. You can either submit the prescreen first ($10) and learn the results before continuing with an application ($65) and a potential audition, or apply to the college first ($65), then submit the prescreen ($10), learn the results, and potentially schedule an audition.

Whichever order you choose, you will be notified of the results of your prescreen within three weeks of completion (upload, fee, & confirmation). If you do not receive notification within three weeks, please email us at pa_artisticreview [at]

If you successfully prescreen, you will be given access to the rest of the Admission Portal where you can schedule an in-person audition.

  • Early Action Musical Theatre Applicants: 
    • Prescreen Deadline: 10/11/19*
    • Application Deadline: 11/1/19
    • In-person Auditions, if successfully prescreened: November 2019 in Boston
  • Regular Decision Musical Theatre Applicants:
    • Application Deadline: 1/15/20
    • Prescreen Deadline:1/22/20*
    • In person Auditions, if successfully prescreened: January and February 2019 in Boston, NYC, Chicago, or LA
  • Transfer Musical Theatre Applicants
    • February 2: Transfer applicants to Musical Theatre who complete every component of their application (prescreen, audition, etc.) will receive a decision from Emerson College no later than April 1.
    • Prescreen Deadline for a January-February in-person audition: 1/22/20
    • Prescreen Deadline for the April “transfer only”  audition: 3/6/20

Please be advised that the scheduling of in-person auditions is a first-come, first-served process completed online by you, the applicant, and space is limited, especially for Artistic Reviews outside of Boston. Because it is a first-come, first-served process, even a successful prescreen does not guarantee that you will be able to book an in-person audition at a date/time/location that works in your schedule. Please begin this process as early as possible.

If you are not invited to audition in-person for Musical Theater, you may be invited to audition for Theatre & Performance. If at that time you are interested in other majors at Emerson College, please explore those options here

Applicants who successfully prescreen are required to complete an audition comprised of three separate components: monologue, voice & music, and dance.

  • Monologue: Please prepare two 1-3 minute contrasting monologues from two contemporary plays (1950-present), one of which must be comedic.
  • Voice & Music: Please prepare two roughly 1-minute vocal selections which may include the song from your prescreen. The first must be from a Broadway Musical, pre-1965. The second should be from a Broadway Musical, post-1965. We will provide an accompanist at every audition in every location, so please provide easy-to-read, easy-to-handle sheet music in the proper key. Make sure all markings and navigation of the song on the sheet music are clear for the accompanist. No taped accompaniment or a capella singing will be accepted at the in-person audition. You may be asked to complete a brief musicianship component to evaluate your ability to read music and sight sing a simple melodic line.
  • Dance: For the dance portion of the audition, come prepared to perform in a classroom setting and bring practical clothes, including one of the following types of footwear: jazz shoes, jazz sneakers, character shoes, or any lightweight sneakers suitable for dancing.

All auditions are scheduled through the Admission Portal. 

Although we strongly recommend scheduling a live audition if possible, the Department of Performing Arts does accept video auditions in place of live auditions from successfully prescreened applicants, in particular for those living outside of the contiguous 48 United States.

The Audition Day

Applicants who successfully prescreen will book themselves into a four-hour audition period using the Admission Portal. Please arrive 20–25 minutes prior to the audition start time. You will be directed to the check-in room where audition staff will confirm your arrival and take a photo of you. We will not accept alternative headshot photographs in any form.

Anyone accompanying you to the audition will be directed to the Guest Waiting Room. On most audition days in Boston, an information session for guests will be conducted in the Guest Waiting Room during the audition.

The auditions will begin with a brief question and answer period with the audition’s faculty evaluators, after which applicants will be split up into two groups. One group will complete the dance component of the audition while the other completes the acting and voice & music components. The two groups will then switch and the process will repeat until every applicant has completed every portion of the audition. You will be given ample time to change into appropriate clothes.

For the acting and voice & music components, all applicants will volunteer when ready to be brought into the audition rooms individually. You may be asked to work on your pieces in a manner that is different than how you prepared. Also, the evaluator might take an opportunity to ask you some questions about your understanding or interpretation of the piece, as well as a few questions about you. Our goal is to understand who you are and how you work.

Once your audition is complete, you must check out with the audition staff in the check-in room. After that, you are free to leave. Although you might finish early in the allotted time slot, please be prepared to stay for the full four hours.

Auditions Outside of Boston

We endeavor to run all of our auditions, in or out of Boston, in the same way. But there are a few differences for auditions outside of Boston:

  • Guests and applicants share the same waiting room.
  • Although we are able to start each audition with a question and answer period for the applicants with the audition’s faculty evaluators, we are not able to offer an information session for guests.
  • Generally, Musical Theatre auditions outside of Boston start with the Q & A, then complete the group dance call, and end with the individual monologue and voice & music component, but it is possible that this varies from location to location or day to day. The applicant order of the individual monologue and voice auditions is determined consistently by applicant volunteer.
  • We understand that at the Unified Auditions applicants are often trying to fit as many auditions into their available time as they can. We try to be as flexible as we can on the audition day but the best thing that you can do for yourself is to set aside the full time that you have booked with us.