screen acting, theatre performance

College of Performing Arts

» BFA in Screen Acting / BFA in Theatre Performance

Due to the selectivity of the BFA Screen Acting & BFA Theatre Performance programs, all prospective applicants are required to submit a pre-screen audition through the Creative Supplement.  All applicants are also required to submit a Common Application and all other corresponding admission documents to be considered for admission to the University. To be offered admission for a BFA program at Chapman, students must be both academically accepted into the University and artistically accepted into the program.

Once the admission committee and theatre faculty have reviewed your application and uploaded pre-screen audition, you may be invited to attend an in-person audition and interview, either on-campus or at one of the regional audition dates in New York or Chicago. Should you be asked to audition in-person, you will be notified via email with a scheduling link.  All prospective applicants will be reviewed by the Admission and Theatre committees prior to admission decisions being released.  Screen Acting applicants are additionally reviewed by Dodge College of Film and Media Arts.  Talent Awards are considered upon review of your Creative Supplement submission and/or audition. No additional paperwork or application is required.

+ - 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. 

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

Late applications are reviewed on a space available basis only. Please refer to the application checklist for more information on specified admission deadline(s).

Common Application, Creative Supplement and Pre-Screen Audition 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, Creative Supplement and Pre-Screen Audition must be submitted online by 11:59pm PST on the appropriate deadline. 

As a reminder: Due to the selectivity of the BFA Screen Acting & BFA Theatre Performance programs, all prospective applicants are required to submit a pre-screen audition through the Creative Supplement. 

+ - Common Application, Creative Supplement and Pre-Screen Requirements

All students applying to BFA Screen Acting and BFA Theatre Performance must submit a Common Application, Creative Supplement, pre-screen audition video and all additional Common Application materials in order to be considered for admission. Please refer to the Admission Office How to Apply 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 Fine Arts in Screen Acting or Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre Performance programs: 

  • 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.
  • Pre-Screen Audition Videos: Once your Creative Supplement has been submitted, you will gain access to your applicant status page where you will be prompted to upload your pre-screen videos. Upload three separate video files in the Video section via the link provided on your status page:
    • Introduction – In 30 seconds or less, state your name, where you're from and a fun fact about yourself. Be sure to use a medium shot (from chest up).
    • First monologue – Monologue should be no longer than 60 seconds using a 3/4 body shot
    • Second monologue - Monologue should be no longer than 60 seconds a 3/4 body shot
  • Monologue Requirements:
    • BFA Screen Acting – Perform two contrasting monologues, one comedic and one dramatic (see “choosing a monologue” below for suggestions)
    • BFA Theatre Performance – Perform two contrasting monologues, one contemporary and realistic, and the other from a work of Shakespeare (see “choosing a monologue” below for suggestions)

+ - 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 predictable acting choices) unless you are able to make it uniquely your own.  Googling “overdone monologues” on the web is recommended!
  • (For Theatre Performance only) Your Shakespearean monologue should be from a play, and not a sonnet.

+ - Upload Instructions

  • Internal editing and zooming in is discouraged, however you may walk into a closer shot as 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.

+ - In-Person Auditions (by invitation only)

If invited to audition in-person, you will have the option to choose an audition date on our main campus or at one of our regional auditions in New York Chicago; New York and Chicago auditions will coincide with the National Unified Auditions. The date, location, times available and expectations will be included with your emailed invitation after review of your audition upload submission. Pre-screen auditions are reviewed on a rolling basis so please be patient in hearing back from both the Department of Theatre and the Office of Admission.

NOTE: If you are invited to audition but are unable to travel to one of our audition sites, you may request that we use your audition upload submission as your audition. If possible, auditioning in-person is highly encouraged.

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Contact Us

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