What types of scholarships are available?
UCM offers a number of scholarships. Details and application deadlines are available on our Scholarship Finder. The priority deadline is February 1st each year. In addition to University scholarships, students who are pursuing studies in theatre may qualify for Theatre & Dance scholarships. These scholarships are based on talent and/or academic standing and are awarded after your audition or interview. UCM students must apply for scholarships each year. While we attempt to award scholarships to students all four years of their time with us, they are not guaranteed as we evaluate the student’s level of involvement, financial need, GPA, and essay each year. Scholarship students are expected to be active in the production program, be role models, and strong representatives and advocates of our program.
If a student receives a scholarship, is the scholarship lost if the student doesn't commit to UCM by the deadlines given?
As is the case with many universities, UCM Theatre & Dance reserves the right to pull a scholarship if a student hasn’t accepted the offer by a set and given timeline. Scholarship offers may be rescinded after the official acceptance deadline.
What is the difference between a BA and a BFA degree?
A (BA) degree focuses on the art of theatre in the context of a broad program of general studies whereas the BFA degree is a professional degree focused on intensive work in the theatre arts supported by a program of general studies. We view the BFA degree as conservatory-based training within a liberal arts education.
Are students able to major in musical theatre and minor in something else, business, for example?
A double major is a good option for the BA Theatre degree. It is possible for the BFA/BSE majors, but only encouraged for students with exceptional academic skills, time management abilities and discipline. Other issues are time and expense. Adding a double major or minor, such as business, may require an additional semester and/or overload fees to complete. Those students interested in a double major, would be encouraged to pursue a BA Theatre degree as it allows more flexibility to pursue an additional major.
Where are UCM Theatre & Dance Alumni working after graduation?
UCM Alumni are working in many different venues: professionally on Off-Broadway, Broadway, on international and national tours, in regional theater companies, theme parks, improv troupes, dinner theaters, cruise lines, TV and film. We are proud to have alumni working in every major theatre in Kansas City, with some even starting their own theatre companies. Our alums also pursue graduate school, teach at the college level, or they perform and teach with children's theatre companies or work in arts administration and management for professional and non-profit theaters. Check out our Hear Our Stories tab on our website to read both what our alums and their employers are saying about UCM Theatre & Dance!
Is UCM Theatre & Dance nationally recognized?
Yes, UCM Theatre & Dance received accreditation by the National Association of Schools of Theatre in 2013. All Divisions within the School of Visual & Performing Arts (Music, Art & Design, Theatre & Dance) at UCM are accredited by their respective accrediting body.
What does your production season entail? When are auditions for your shows? When are rehearsals?
Each UCM Theatre & Dance Mainstage Season typically includes five shows: two plays, two musicals, and a dance concert. The genres of these shows rotate year-to-year to encompass our curricular goals for our students. Auditions for Mainstages and Studio One-Acts occur the first week of classes for the shows produced in the given semester. Studio One-Acts and Mainstages rehearse 6:30-10pm Monday-Friday with Studios running for 3 weeks and Mainstages running for 6 weeks. Other than one 8 out of 10 Tech Saturday or Sunday call per Mainstage show, we do not rehearse on weekends (Guest Artist rehearsals are an exception). Students also have the opportunity to audition for a numerous amount of Black Box shows each semester. Those auditions are scheduled by the individual student director and the audition calls are emailed out or posted on the callboard. These shows have a much shorter rehearsal process ranging from 1-2 weeks to one day. Throughout the semester, there are also a number of calls posted from Digital Media production seeking students to act in films and individual student projects.
At UCM, you can audition and be involved in production as a freshman regardless of your major! This means you have multiple opportunities to gain performance and production experience each semester and you will leave UCM with a full resume of work upon graduation!
Does UCM require an audition or interview for your program?
Yes. All of the BFA programs in the Division of Theatre and Dance require an audition or interview for acceptance. Our BA in Theatre does not require an audition or interview.
Do I have to apply to UCM before I can schedule an audition or interview?
Yes. All students applying for any of our BFA programs in the Division of Theatre and Dance must first apply to and be accepted by the UCM Office of Admissions prior to beginning the audition/interview process. It is free to apply to UCM! Apply here
Who do I contact with questions about my audition or interview?
How do I schedule an audition or interview?
Those seeking auditions for our BFA programs should fill out the UCM Theatre & Dance Admission Form on the UCM Theatre & Dance website and then contact the appropriate faculty member for their area to discuss scheduling their audition or interview.
When should I audition or interview?
We hold auditions and interviews on campus on President’s Day every February. These auditions typically begin around 8:30 am and conclude around 4pm with an invitation to stay into the evening to view either a rehearsal or dress rehearsal of an upcoming show. The other parts of the day consist of a visit from UCM Admissions, a campus tour, observing or participating in two classes, a Q&A with current students and faculty, and an audition/interview. If you miss this day, please contact the respective faculty member of your chosen area to make other accommodations. Depending on the situation, a separate audition/interview day may be able to be scheduled or we may allow an audition video submission or a Zoom interview. UCM’s Theatre and Dance faculty feel that in-person auditions position a student best for scholarship and admissions consideration, and thus are strongly encouraged and preferred. However, if you are unable to audition in person, please reach out to us. Our auditions and interviews fill quickly so it is highly recommended you apply early to secure an audition/interview appointment.
Are auditions/interviews held anywhere else than at UCM?
UCM periodically attends high school senior showcases or in and out-of-state college audition events. Each of these auditions have their own set of criteria and do not always require the same audition elements that we require for our program. In these instances, we may invite students to attend a campus audition or invite them to send a video submission demonstrating what we did not see at the initial audition. For information regarding our attendance at these events, please contact Chair of Theatre & Dance, Ashley Miller-Scully, firstname.lastname@example.org
Why are your live audition song selections limited to 60 seconds or 32 bars?
We are listening for the qualities of your singing voice, rather than to the song. These short selections give our faculty ample time to evaluate your singing potential as well as your ability to act the song. Also, 30-60 seconds (16-32 bars) is the basic guideline for professional auditions. We recommend being prepared to sing the entire song if asked. We also recommend having alternate selections in your book. You may also be asked to vocalize with our musical director should we need to hear more from your voice than your initial selections offer.
Where can I find titles of musicals and when they were written?
Musicals101 is a comprehensive resource for musicals. Select the Production Chronology link. There you can see what musicals opened in what year. Click on a decade either prior or post 1960 and you'll find lists of musicals that were written in that era. Other resources include the Internet Broadway Database and Playbill Vault. Once you find show titles you are familiar with, you can then start looking for songs. Pandora Radio, Spotify, Youtube, and Amazon.com are all good resources for finding audition songs. You will find many Broadway cast recordings on these sites. Sheet Music Direct and Music Notes are both excellent resources for purchasing audition sheet music.
What are the qualities of a good monologue?
Choose a monologue from a full length published play. Read the whole play so that you know the context of the monologue and the character's set of given circumstances. The character you select should be close to your age, and the monologue should be performed without a dialect or accent. We want to hear your natural speaking voice. Choose a monologue where the character you are playing has to use tactics to affect another character, i.e. make them feel something, get them to tell you something you're wanting to know (a secret maybe or gossip). Imagine the character to whom you are speaking is actively listening to what you are saying. Monologues that detail events that have already happened, story monologues, dreams, speaking to the audience, telephone calls, self-reflection, etc... do not make successful audition monologues . Do not choose monologues that are cited as "original" or written by "anonymous." Monologues from films, TV shows, and musicals are also not appropriate for our auditions. Your monologue should not exceed 45 seconds for an audition for our Musical Theatre program or 60 seconds for our Acting program.
Where can I find monologues?
Read plays. Avoid the monologues published in the many audition monologue books or on-line databases because those monologues are overdone. You might use those books or websites as reference material to find interesting characters perhaps, but always find and read the full play and then choose a monologue that is not in the published monologue book or on the website. Also, do not choose monologues that are solo interpretive pieces that are not part of a complete play. These types of monologues may be appropriate for speech team competitions, but they are inappropriate for audition monologues. Please refer to our audition guidelines for more details on monologues.
Why are we asked to avoid regional dialects in our monologue choices?
We are interested in hearing and evaluating your natural speaking voice. In addition, some dialects are very tricky and can upstage an actor and their ability to be authentic in the moment, pulling the viewer out of the world the actor has been trying to establish. In other words, dialects have the ability to negatively impact the quality of the work. If you feel a monologue requires a dialect, we recommend finding a different monologue.
What happens if I am not accepted into the program of my choice?
Sometimes students are admissible to UCM academically, but the faculty decline to admit them to their individual program. In this case, the student may be admitted as a BA Theatre major, and then re-audition for the BFA program or submit a new portfolio the following year. Other times, the faculty believe the student’s unique talents are better suited for another arts program at UCM. In that case, your decision letter will explain that to you.
Are there opportunities to study abroad or travel within the program?
Yes, if you’re interested in Study Abroad, please visit the UCM Study Abroad Office. It is rare for many study abroad programs to offer Theatre courses so we highly advise students to first consider University of Roehampton in London as they provide the best option in transferring in Theatre specific credits to UCM. If students have interest in studying abroad elsewhere, we would advise them to take courses abroad that fulfill General Education requirements in order not to delay their graduation timeline.
UCM Theatre & Dance partners with Chair/Professor Emeritus of Theatre & Dance, Dr. Richard Herman and his newly formed Curtains Up Tours, to provide Winter Break and Spring Break tours to New York City for UCM students. Students pay a flat rate that includes airfare, hotel, bus transportation, city passes and tickets to Broadway shows. The rate also includes any backstage tours of Broadway theaters, Saturday Night Live and Radio City Music Hall that we are able to schedule. Students also have the opportunity to participate in talkbacks with Broadway casts and in master acting/dance classes at Open Jar Studios and Broadway Dance Center throughout their visit. We also host a social and networking time for students to meet with UCM Alumni who are currently living and working in NYC. In the future, we are looking to expand these tours to the summer months which might include the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and the West End in London.
Are there student worker positions available in the Division of Theatre and Dance?
Yes, there are many student worker positions available within our scene, costume, lighting/sound shops and in our Theatre & Dance Office. All on-campus jobs across the school and university are posted here. To be hired as a shop or office worker, students must submit an application to the Design/Technology faculty, take a skills test, and be hired through the university. The Office job also requires an interview. Click here to see if you qualify for Federal Work Study.
I have questions about auditioning for the UCM BFA Theatre program. Where do I find more information?
Please see the Acceptance Information tab on the ucmo.edu/theatre homepage or reach out to the faculty contact listed on the degree page.
Can I participate in the Theatre & Dance production season even though I'm not a Theatre major?
Yes! Any UCM student can audition for any UCM Theatre & Dance show as early as their freshman year! Students can also work backstage, or assist on the design and creative side of production. Auditions are typically held the first week of classes every semester, but sometimes vary. An audition information packet is shared prior to auditions to guide students through the process. The Richard Herman Black Box Season has on-going auditions throughout the semester that are posted on the Theatre & Dance call board outside of Martin 113. Please contact the Chair of Theatre & Dance, Ashley Miller-Scully, for more information about the audition process.
Does UCM bring in any guest artists for the students to work with during their training?
Yes, each year the Division of Theatre & Dance invites a variety of artists to visit campus to offer special master classes or to act, design, direct, or choreograph a Mainstage production. These artists are provided through grant funding or our annual Meridith Harmon Sauer Guest Artist Series. Our former guest artists have included: Tituss Burgess, Paula Vogel, Steve Barth, Paul Meier, Dueling Arts International, and numerous UCM Theatre & Dance Alumni to name a few. Many touring artists and companies who perform on campus as a part of our UCM Ovation Series also offer master classes for our students throughout the year as well. Check out this year's Guest Art Series line-up on our Theatre & Dance homepage!
If you have questions regarding the audition/interview requirements and/or process, please contact Chair of Theatre & Dance, Ashley Miller-Scully at email@example.com or 660-543-8798.