Who needs to audition?

Prospective first-year and transfer students who wish to pursue the bachelor of arts in theatre arts are encouraged to schedule an audition/interview with the department either before or during their first semester at the university. Students who wish to pursue the bachelor of arts in music must audition and interview for the department prior to declaring music as their major. Admission into any of the competitive bachelor of fine arts (BFA) tracks (Acting/Directing, Design/Tech, Musical Theatre Performance, Dance, and Theatre Management) is by audition/interview only. An audition is also required for any student who wishes to be considered for a Performing Arts Scholarship (Musical Theatre, Music, or Theatre).

When do I audition?

Students may audition at one of the scheduled audition dates or may submit a DVD or YouTube audition link, although scholarship preference is given to those who audition in person.

2019-2020 Performing Arts audition dates:

  • Saturday, Oct. 5, 2019. Audition and attend our main stage performance of Neil Simon’s, The Good Doctor, based on the work of Anton Chekhov.
  • Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019. Audition and attend a performance of The Laramie Project, directed by senior BFA Acting/Directing major, Ben Greiner.
  • Saturday, Feb. 1, 2020. Audition and attend our Casual Cabaret. If you plan to attend the Chicago Unified Auditions (Feb. 3-6) and can arrive a couple days early, we will pick you up in Chicago, bring you to Rockford for our audition on Feb. 1, and take you back to Chicago.
  • Saturday, Feb. 29, 2020. Audition and attend our main stage performance of the musical, Triumph of Love.

Typical Audition Day Schedule

Meet in the lobby of Clark Arts Center for all audition activities, unless otherwise noted.

11:00 // Tour of Clark Arts Center and Rockford University campus (choose between this tour or one at 4:00)

12:00 // Lunch with Faculty, staff, current students, and a Financial Aid representative

1:15-4:00 // AUDITIONS – Specific audition times will be set the week before the audition.

3:00 // Dance audition for BFA Musical Theatre Performance candidates

4:00 // Tour of Clark Arts Center and Rockford University

7:30 // Performance (on most audition weekends)

Please contact Faith Haley via e-mail or by phone:, 815-226-3382, for additional information.

Video recorded auditions may be mailed to:

Rockford University Performing Arts
5050 E. State St.
Rockford , IL 61108

(DVDs will not be returned.)


How do I schedule an audition/interview?

You may schedule your audition by contacting Faith Haley, Admission and Recruitment Coordinator, via e-mail or at (815) 226-3382. The audition/interview process begins with a general introductory session of prospective students, their parents and faculty members. The audition begins at 1:00 pm in the lobby of the Clark Arts Center.


What do I prepare for the audition/interview?

BA in Theatre and BFA in Theatre Management:
Students will interview with faculty members from the performing arts department. Be prepared to discuss your background in theater, your desire to pursue theater as a major, and your career goals and aspirations. Students with a primary interest in acting should also prepare two contrasting monologues. Combined monologues should not exceed 2 ½ minutes. One of the monologues should come from plays of American realism and the second monologue must be classical, i.e. Shakespeare, Moliere. Students with a primary interest in technical theatre or design should bring a portfolio or evidence of their previous work.

BA in General Music:
Please prepare two contrasting selections on your primary instrument and be ready to discuss your desire to study music at Rockford University.

BFA in Musical Theatre Performance:
Please prepare two contrasting song selections, no more than 32 bars each, and two contrasting monologues. Combined monologues should not exceed 2 ½ minutes. Please bring sheet music in your key with cuts marked. An accompanist will be provided. A CD or MP3 player will be provided for accompaniment tracks. A cappella singing is not allowed. You will be taught a dance combination, so bring (or wear) clothes that you can move in.

BFA in Acting/Directing:
Please prepare three contrasting monologues not to exceed four minutes in length collectively. Time will be strictly monitored.
One monologue should be contemporary/modern
One should be classical – Shakespeare or Jacobean (not Greek)

BFA in Design/Technical Theatre:
Please bring your portfolio or evidence of previous work. Be prepared to discuss your prior experience, your desire and skills to pursue a career in theater, and your aspirations for the future.

All those auditioning are required to bring a resume and letter of recommendation.


Who is eligible for a Performing Arts Scholarship?

The Performing Arts Department recommends awards based on talent and potential. Awards are computed as a part of the student’s overall aid package. Prospective students must apply to the university before September 1, 2019, and audition on or before February 23, 2019, to be considered for a Performing Arts Scholarship.