Application process - Department of Theatre and Dance

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2024-25 Audition and Interview Dates

Fall 2024:
November 22

Spring 2025:

  •  For any questions regarding the audition process or to schedule an individual campus audition, please send an email to or call 717-796-5045.

Apply to Messiah University.

Auditions may be scheduled by sending an email to or calling 717-796-5045.

All applicants seeking admission to the Department of Theatre and Dance must audition for and interview with the department’s faculty. Acceptance by the University does not guarantee acceptance into the Department. We welcome applicants with several years of experience as well as those who have recently discovered the theatre and dance.

*Please submit all of your documents as PDFs or JPG files if you are submitting them via email.

All applicants must submit an artist’s statement, photo, and resume. These materials are due 10 business days before your audition or portfolio presentation date. 

(1) Artist’s Statement: Please submit a 350-word statement that introduces you as a theatre artist.
Include details such as:

  • Describe your work ethic.
  • What are your unique qualities as an artist?
  • What inspires you to create?
  • Why do you want to study theatre or dance?  
  • As part of the artist statement, indicate what emphasis or major you are interested in pursuing. (dance, acting, directing, or tech and design)

(2) Photo:  Please submit a recent photo. A professional headshot is not required. For prospective dance majors, submit a full body shot along with your headshot.

(3) Resume: Your resume should include your work in theatre or dance.

Application Requirements may be submitted to:

Deb Hawkins
Administrative Assistant, The Arts at Messiah
Messiah University
1 University Avenue Dept of Theatre and Dance
Mechanicsburg, PA 17055

**Please submit all of your documents as PDFs or JPG files if you are submitting them via email.

Audition/Portfolio Requirements

Please select one of the following areas of theatre or dance to showcase in your audition/interview.

B.A. Theatre

  • Emphasis in Acting: Prepare two contrasting monologues, one from a contemporary play (1950-present) and the second from the Elizabethan era. Each monologue should be no longer than 90 seconds, offer as much contrast as possible, and be from a published play. Select roles you feel you are particularly suited for and that demonstrate your strengths. Monologues must be memorized. Alternately you may substitute 16-32 bars of a musical theatre song for one of your monologues. Please bring recorded accompaniment.

  • Emphasis in Design and Technology: Be prepared to present a portfolio of previous work including technical drawings, production photos, and/or renderings as well as other artistic work. You may supplement your portfolio with slides, prints, or a digital portfolio of your work. Be prepared to leave a copy of your portfolio.

  • Emphasis in Directing: Prepare one monologue from a contemporary play. The monologue should be no longer than 90 seconds. In addition, directors must prepare one of the two options listed below. The statements must be submitted to the faculty 10 business days before the scheduled portfolio review:

                  1.  Write a 500-word director’s concept statement for a realized or unrealized production of a play.

                  2.  Write a 500-word response to the director’s choices in a production you recently attended.

B.A. Dance

The dance audition consists of two parts:

  • Group session: the group session will be used as a warm-up and a chance for the instructors to meet the prospective students prior to the individual audition and interview.

  • Individual audition interview: prepare a two to three-minute variation or dance style of your choice. If you have music that accompanies your dance, please bring the electronic recording of your music (Phone, CD, etc.) with you.  Please let us know which option you will be using before arriving on campus.

If you are auditioning by video link, please be sure to include the following:

  1. Brief and informal introduction of yourself with a brief explanation of how and why you chose the dances being performed on the video.
  2. Two dance videos of varying styles, no more than five minutes in length each. Please cite the choreographer.

  3. Perform a turned-out single or double pirouette to the right and the left.

BFA Musical Theatre

  • Group dance session: the group session will be used as a warm-up and a chance for the dance instructors to meet and audition the prospective students prior to the individual audition and interview.

  • Prepare two musical theatre songs, 32 bar cuts, with contrasting styles. You may bring along an accompanist, or you may request a pianist, or you may use recorded music on a device. Sheet music must be submitted two weeks prior to the audition date. If attendance at a formal audition day is not possible, please bring recorded music.

  • Prepare one-60 second monologue. Select a role you feel particularly suited for and that demonstrates your strengths. Monologues must be memorized.

Digital Recording Information

Due to extenuating circumstances (traveling distance, hardship, etc.), you may submit a video link for your audition. Please contact Deb Hawkins at to notify the department of your intentions. Along with the link, please send your artist’s statement, resume, and photos to the e-mail address above. Following receipt of your application materials, you will be contacted to schedule a phone or Zoom interview (depending on your technology capabilities) with the faculty members involved in the audition process. 

For additional information, please call the Arts at Messiah at 717-796-5045.

Students accepted to the University will be invited to attend the “Accepted Student Preview Day. " Prospective students are invited to attend special workshops or classes and visit with faculty members. For further information about the Accepted Student Preview Day, please contact the Admissions Office.

Applicants unable to attend either of the audition dates may make alternate arrangements by contacting Deb Hawkins at

All auditions may be scheduled by calling Deb Hawkins at: 717-796-5045 or e-mail:
It is preferable that the audition take place on campus