Apply

Apply to Emerson College using the Common Application or the Emerson Application. Select BFA Musical Theatre as your major.

Once your application to Emerson College has been received, the Office of Undergraduate Admission will email you an Emerson Admission ID Number. Although transcripts and recommendations are a required part of the application due at the application deadline, they are not a requirement for receiving an Emerson Admission ID Number.

Your Emerson Admission ID Number will arrive in an email with the subject line "Thank you for applying to Emerson College!" along with your Username and PIN for the Emerson Application Portal. You may need to scroll down in the email to retrieve your Emerson Admission ID Number.

As soon as you have your Emerson Admission ID Number, you are ready to begin your Artistic Application on Acceptd.

Prescreen

Submit an Artistic Application

  1. Submit an Artistic Application to BFA Musical Theatre on Acceptd by completing the form and uploading the following:
    • Resume & Headshot: a 1-page theatrical resume and headshot/selfie.
    • Musical Theater Common Prescreen (MTCP): 2 songs (Option A), 1 monologue (Option A), and 1 dance video (No Additional Ballet or Wild Card). The MTCP Requirements are explained below and on the MTCP website along with tips and resources.
  2. Pay the non-refundable Artistic Application fee of $30

Prescreen Decisions

You will be notified of the results of your prescreen within two weeks of submission through the Acceptd messaging system. If you do not receive notification within two weeks, please let us know at pa_artisticreview [at] emerson.edu (pa_artisticreview[at]emerson[dot]edu).

If you are not invited to audition for Musical Theatre, you may be invited to audition for BFA Theatre & Performance. If that happens you will be sent instructions for changing your applications and will not need to pay another Artistic Application fee.

Musical Theater Common Prescreen

Emerson is a participant in the Musical Theater Common Prescreen (MTCP) for the 2024-2025 cycle (Songs, Monologue, and Dance. No Wild Card.)

General Information and Tips

  • Each piece should be filmed/uploaded as a separate piece of media. No continuous videos.
  • Students are encouraged to use standard technology/recording devices available to them (i.e. smartphones, tablets, etc.)
  • Solid-colored walls are ideal, but any background that does not steal the focus from your performance is desired.
  • Take care that your space allows for adequate lighting. Having a lamp or window directly behind you will cast a shadow over your face. Keep the lighting source behind your recording device or to the side of you so that your face is lit.
  • When using pre-recorded music, place the music source (the speaker) closer to you than it is to the device on which you are recording. By having the accompaniment near you, your voice and music will reach the microphone on your device in a more balanced manner.
  • Before filming, do a trial run to test both your audio & visual presentation. Watch your video back to ensure everything looks AND sounds okay.
  • Ensure the camera portion of your device is at eye level (see example). You can use a tripod built for a smartphone or tablet. If you do not have a tripod, consider using a stack of books on a desk or box. Filming in “landscape” (horizontally) is recommended.

Prescreen Introduction "SLATE" Video

  • Record one introduction "slate" video stating your name. If you would like to include your pronouns, state them as well. Please speak loudly (project your voice) and clearly (articulate) directly at the camera.
    • This is an opportunity for the auditors to get a sense of your personality and to learn the pronunciation of your name.
  • There is no need to slate your individual performance videos & pieces. Instead, clearly label each video with your name and the title of the piece you are performing (see more details below).

Labeling Guidelines for All Videos

Label each video file with the piece you are performing, the show or playwright, and your first & last name.

  • Title of Song – Musical/Show – Your First & Last Name
  • Title of Play – Playwright – Your First & Last Name

Examples:

  • Slate – James Smith
  • Your Daddy’s Son – Ragtime – Minnie Mouse
  • Much Ado About Nothing – William Shakespeare – Luke Skywalker

Time Guidelines for All Performance Videos

All song, monologue, dance, ballet, and wild card videos are recommended to be between 60-90 seconds each.

Framing for Slates, Songs, and Monologues

Camera framing is simply the placement and position of the actor in the shot. We recommend a waist up frame so we can see your face and hear you clearly.

Framing for Dance and Ballet

We recommend a setup that allows us to see the top of your head to the floor. This allows us to see how you inhabit space.

Framing for Dance and Ballet Tip:

If it is helpful for you to see yourself, place a full-length mirror behind the filming device and remember that the camera is your audience.

Song Requirements (Emerson College requires MTCP Option A)

  • One song written before 1970 (musical theater, Golden Age, pop, hip-hop, folk, rock, rap, soul, country, punk, etc.).
  • One song written after 1970 (musical theater, pop, hip-hop, folk, rock, rap, soul, country, punk, etc.). This song should contrast the style of the first selection.

Song Tips

  • Some examples of contrasting songs are fast tempo vs slow tempo, sustained melodic singing vs speech-like singing, dramatic vs comedic, belt vs head/falsetto mix.
  • Many accompaniment tracks are available on YouTube and other websites. If you do not have a way to work with a live accompanist or don’t have access to a recorded track of your music, consider using an app that will play the piano part for you. Harmony Helper is one such app that allows you to take photos of your sheet music, upload them to the app and then generate a piano track that you can use.

Monologue Requirements (Emerson College requires MTCP Option A)

  • One monologue from a published play or written by a professional writer.
  • A professional writer is someone whose plays have been produced, but may not have been professionally published.

Monologue Tips

  • It is recommended to choose monologues that are age-appropriate (generally within 5-10 years of your actual age) and that feel authentic to your culture, background, and lived experience.
  • Active monologues are often better for auditions; an active monologue takes place in real time and focuses on what you want and puts you in direct communication with an imaginary scene partner. This is often more successful in an audition situation than pieces that are a story or remembrance. Additionally, it can be helpful to avoid monologues that rely on extreme emotions as it can be hard to believably justify those responses in a short piece.

Dance Requirements (Emerson College requires MTCP Option A)

  • Show us your best version of dancing or moving. Please include at least one turn, one jump and one kick (or other suitable rotation, elevation, and extension that works for your body).

Dance Tips

  • Make sure you can execute all the choreography well. It is to your advantage to choose steps and movement that highlight your strengths instead of your weaknesses.
  • You may use recent videos of you from a show or concert, but it must just be you in the frame.
  • Dance sample should be in whatever dance discipline you feel most confident. This may include, but is not limited to jazz, ballet, tap, modern, hip hop, lyrical, contemporary, or dance styles beyond American and Euro-western styles.
  • Dance media can be “self-choreographed”, but it must be a solo video of you. This can include a show, competition, or other performance so long as you are clearly featured on your own.
  • Please use steps, movement, and physical vocabulary that you are familiar with and can execute well. Fully move your body to the best of your ability.
  • To assist applicants with the dance prescreen, several institutions provided the following resource videos for applicants who do not have access to a choreographed combo for the prescreen process. You may submit this choreography (or a combination of it) to any of the schools you are applying to that ask for a dance prescreen. This list will be updated as more institutions share resources, so be sure to check back.
     
  • Abilene Christian University Dance Combo Resource
  • Emerson College Dance Combo Resource
  • Nazareth University Dance Combo Resource
  • Texas State University Dance Combo Resource

Audition

  • Applicants who successfully prescreen are required to schedule themselves into an audition through Acceptd. Monologue: Please prepare two 1-3 minute contrasting monologues from two contemporary plays (1950-present), one of which must be comedic.
  • Voice: Please prepare two roughly 1-minute  contrasting vocal selections from published musicals, one pre-1970, the second post-1970.
  • Music: At the audition you will be asked to complete a brief musicianship exercise designed to evaluate your ability to match pitch, remember a short musical phrase, and sight-sing a simple melodic line.
  • Dance: A dance call will be included as a part of every in-person audition. For virtual auditions we will use your prescreen dance videos.

You may use your prescreen monologue and songs at the audition if they meet the audition requirements above.

The Audition Day

For this admission cycle we will be offering three different types of auditions:

  • In-person auditions in Boston scheduled in a four-hour block which includes an information session, dance call, and a flexible “volunteering’ system to determine the audition order. 
  • In-person auditions outside of Boston that begins with a brief information session/Q & A with Performing Arts Faculty before a group dance call followed by individually scheduled audition time slots.
  • Virtual auditions conducted through Acceptd’s AuditionRoom platform which begin with a brief information session/Q & A with Performing Arts Faculty and Staff before individually scheduled audition time slots. For virtual auditions we will use your prescreen dance video.

Please be advised that not all audition types are available during every part of the admission cycle.

While these three types of auditions offer different timings, the modality and location of the audition that you schedule for yourself will have no bearing whatsoever on your admission decision.

You can read more about BFA Musical Theatre here.