theatre studies, college of performing arts

College of Performing Arts

» BA in Theatre, Theatre Studies

Learn from a core education of acting, directing, technical theatre, history and literature while personalizing your education with a focus in theatre studies.

This will take you through the application process for an undergraduate BA in Theatre, Theatre Studies degree and make sure you know how it works from start to finish. Be sure to visit all five sections below for pertinent application information.

+ - Deadlines

First Year students can apply Early Decision (binding) or Early Action (non-binding) by Nov. 1, or Regular Decision by Jan. 15. Transfer students can apply Regular Decision by Feb. 15. A final admission decision will not be made until all appropriate materials have been submitted and reviewed by the admission and theatre committees. Late applications are reviewed on a space available basis only. Please refer to the application checklist for more information on specified Admission deadline(s). 

*First year or transfer applicants applying to a spring term must obtain approval form the department prior to submitting a Creative Supplement or scheduling an interview.  

NOTE: The Early Decision and Early Action deadlines are considered priority deadlines. We recommend that students with a strong interest in BA Theatre Studies submit their Common Application and Creative Supplement prior to Nov. 1. Students who consider Chapman University their first-choice school should apply Early Decision. 

Common Application and Creative Supplement Deadlines: 

  • FIRST YEAR Early Decision (binding): Wednesday, November 1, 2017
  • FIRST YEAR Early Action (non-binding): Wednesday, November 1, 2017 
  • FIRST YEAR Regular Decision: Monday, January 15, 2018 
  • TRANSFER Regular Decision: Thursday, February 15, 2018

*The Common Application and Creative Supplement must be submitted online by 11:59pm PST on the appropriate deadline. 

+ - Common Application and Creative Supplement Requirements

All students applying to BA Theatre Studies must submit a Common Application, Creative Supplement, upload portfolio materials and all additional Common Application materials in order to be considered for admission. Please refer to our Common Application checklist page for additional information. Incomplete applications will not be considered for admission. 

Creative Supplement Instructions

The following items must be submitted through the Creative Supplement to be considered for admission to the Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Studies:

  • Letter of Recommendation: The letter should come from your most recent theatre instructor or a professional with whom you have worked. Once your Creative Supplement is submitted, you will be prompted to your applicant status page where you can enter your recommender's information. Your recommender will receive an email prompting him or her to upload their recommendation into the Creative Supplement. Please keep in mind this letter of recommendation is specific to the Department of Theatre. This is a separate recommendation from those required by the Office of Admission. 
  • Theatre Resume: This should include your training, teachers, performance and technical experience. Include the names of theatres and directors you have worked with, as well as any media work you have done. You may want to include awards and any summer scholarships you have received. 
  • Goal Statement: Please submit a goal statement addressing the following questions: 
    • How do you envision yourself contributing to theatre and to society as a student and artist? 
    • How will studying theatre at Chapman University prepare you for a life in theatre? 
  • Photograph: Please upload a photo of yourself so we can identify you - professional headshots are not required. 



+ - In-Person Portfolio Requirements

This is only for students who plan on presenting and interviewing in person. 

Portfolio (in-person presentation and interview): 

Once your Creative Supplement has been submitted, you will gain access to your applicant status page where you will be prompted to upload your portfolio/media pieces and register for an in-person interview. In order to be reviewed for admission, your Common Application and Creative Supplement must be submitted prior to the respective deadlines. 

    • Theatrical Portfolio: Create a theatrical portfolio of three to eight pieces that documents and demonstrates your experience in areas of interest to you, as well as your range of skills in theatre. Your portfolio should include 3-5 projects that involve but are not limited to: acting, directing, stage management, technical work, playwriting, dramaturgy, and/or producing projects. Examples may consist of notated scripts, original essays or scripts you have written, production videos, digital films, programs from shows you have worked on, and/or photographs. 
      • If using digital media, please bring your own laptop/device. 
      • We will not keep your portfolio
  • Monologue (Optional): You have the option to perform a 60-second acting monologue during your interview. This is not required but offered for those who are interested. 
  • Schedule your in-person presentation and interview: Your presentation and interview will consist of an explanation and showcase of your theatrical portfolio, and an opportunity to connect and converse with the theatre faculty. 
    • Early Decision / Early Action interview date - Sunday, November 12th 
    • Regular Decision interview dates - Saturday, January 13th and Saturday, March 3rd 

+ - Upload Portfolio Requirements

If you are unable to present your portfolio and interview in-person, please submit these materials via Portfolio upload. Additionally, you may be contacted by a member of the theatre faculty for a phone or Skype interview. The information below describes the process if you are unable to present in-person. 

  • Portfolio (Upload): Once your Creative Supplement has been submitted, you will gain access to your applicant status page where you will be prompted to upload your portfolio/media pieces. 
    • Theatrical Portfolio: Create a theatrical portfolio of three to eight pieces that documents and demonstrates your experience in areas of interest to you, as well as your range of skills in theatre. Your portfolio should include 3-5 projects that involve but are not limited to: acting, directing, stage management, technical work, playwriting, dramaturgy, and/or producing projects. Examples may consist of notated scripts, original essays or scripts you have written, production videos, digital films, programs from shows you have worked on, and/or photographs. 
      • PowerPoint format is not an accepted format. 
    • Monologue (Optional): You have the option to perform a 60-second acting monologue via upload. This is not required but offered to those who are interested. 

Recording your Monologue (Portfolio Upload applicants only) 

  • Internal editing and zooming is discouraged, however you may walk into a closer shot if desired. 
  • Use a neutral background with suitable lighting and sound equipment; we need to see and hear you clearly. 
  • Please no costumes, makeup or extraneous sound effects.
  • Label your monologues once they've been uploaded using the "edit details" tab. 
  • Do not submit videos of actual performances. They will not be viewed. 

+ - Suggestions for Choosing a Monologue

  • Choose a piece from a published play (film & television monologues are discouraged). 
  • Do not select a stand-alone monologue. Instead, choose a monologue from a play, which provides a context and character motivation. 
  • Choose a monologue that is a character close in age to you, and one in which you would be cast today. 
  • Choose a monologue that is active: know whom you are talking to and what you want from them. 
  • Choose a monologue that you care about. Your engagement and interest is likely to translate into your performance. 
  • Avoid dialects, excessive prop use, cartoon or two dimensional characters and exaggerated characterizations. 
  • Avoid overdone monologues (they often lead to predicable acting choices) unless you are able to make it uniquely your own. Googling "overdone monologues" on the web is recommended! 
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Contact Us

John Benitz
Chair, Department of Theatre
(714) 744-7055
benitz@chapman.edu