Greater Houston Area Auditions

Rules and Advice

General Rules

  1. Applicants must be high school seniors.
  2. Applicants must have a 2.75 unweighted GPA.
  3. Applicants must intend to major in theatre in college.
  4. Applicants may participate in only one (1) type of audition, but they may indicate interest in many areas of theatre on their résumé form.
  5. Applicants must complete all registration steps by the published deadline:
    1. Complete the registration form.
    2. Obtain a reference from a theatre teacher, or a theatre professional or other school teacher/administrator for schools without a theatre teacher.
    3. Obtain a school counselor form submission of GPA.
    4. Pay $25 registration fee.
  6. Audition group time slots are strictly allocated and cannot be modified. No changes to the audition order are permitted.
  7. Parents and other adults associated with auditioners are not permitted in the audition rooms except to assist design/technical students with transport of display items.

Design/Technical Audition Rules

  1. Design/technical students should bring a portfolio of their work to display.
  2. A standard 6-foot folding table will be provided for your portfolio and table-top display(s). The table will be approximately 30 inches wide.
  3. Additional space for tall floor displays will be provided next to tables upon request and must fit within a floor area of 4 feet by 4 feet. If you use a floor display, leave yourself sufficient time to set it up prior to the start of auditions. Requests for additional floor space for tall displays must be submitted via email at least one week prior to auditions.
  4. Electric power can be provided upon prior request. Requests for electric power must be submitted via email at least one week prior to the auditions.
  5. Students may have help transporting their display items to and from the audition room, but should set up their displays on their own.
  6. Auditions will be done in round-robin format in 3-5 minutes depending on the number of students auditioning. Students should make a brief presentation of their work in 2-3 minutes and then answer questions from college representatives.

Performance Audition Rules

  • The acting and musical theatre auditions take place in a proscenium theatre. College representatives are seated in the audience, and students perform onstage in rapid succession.
  • Acting auditions consist of two monologues in no more than two minutes.
  • Musical theatre auditions consist of one song and one monologue in no more than two minutes.
  • Time will begin at the end of your slate. Time will be called at the two-minute limit.
  • Your slate must consist of the following and only the following:
    • Acting Slate: “I am (your name), number (say your audition number), and I will be (monologue role 1) from (monologue play title 1) by (monologue playwright 1) and (monologue role 2) from (monologue play title 2) by (monologue playwright 2). (State your name again).” Example: I am Jane Smith, number 54, and I will be Laura from The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams and Abigail from The Crucible by Arthur Miller. Jane Smith.
    • Musical Theatre Slate: “I am (your name), number (say your audition number), and I will be singing (song title) from (name of musical) by (name of composer or composer/lyricist), and I will be (monologue role) from (monologue play title) by (monologue play author). (State your name again).” Example: I am John Jones, number 37, and I will be singing “Kansas City” from Oklahoma by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein, and I will be Biff from Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller.
  • Monologues should be from published plays.
  • Songs should be from published (Broadway) musicals.
  • One straight-back chair will be provided. You may position the chair before you begin with no time penalty.
  • No props.
  • No costumes and no clothing that is used as a prop (no coats, hats, scarves, etc.).
  • Students may not remove any clothing during their audition. Students may not unfasten any buttons, zippers, belts, or other clothing fasteners during their audition.
  • For musical theatre auditions:
    • Feel free to move naturally during your song, but do not use dance choreography.
    • Musical auditions will be accompanied by the piano. An accompanist will be provided. Singing a cappella or with a recording is not allowed.
    • You must bring your sheet music in a three-ring binder with cuts clearly marked. No fold-out pages. It is best to copy your music in two-sided format similar to purchased sheet music with the first page on the back of a title page so that the accompanist begins with the first page on the left-hand side and the second page on the right-hand side of your open binder.

General Advice

The following advice is offered for students participating in the Greater Houston Area Auditions:

  • Read and research the play/musical your monologue/song is from.
  • Select age-appropriate material. Avoid doing material clearly beyond your age and life experience.
  • Avoid selections with dialects and accents.
  • Avoid monologues from musicals.
  • Avoid songs and monologues written for the opposite sex.
  • Some colleges recommend not using classical material in verse (Shakespeare, Moliere, etc.) unless you have some training and proficiency with that theatre style.
  • Consider avoiding monologues with overly emotional content and monologues that make liberal use of profanity or physical acting for the purpose of shocking the audience. Here is some advice from a college theatre professor: “Avoid monologues about suicide, rape, mental illness, killing animals, graphic murder depictions, and excessive swearing (if it sounds like a gangster rap song, it is too much). Avoid story monologues. Limit the sex talk: a reference or two is OK, but monologues about losing your virginity, having sex in the backseat of a car, or a detailed account of having sex are not OK.”
  • Consider researching “do not use for auditions” monologue lists from colleges. You can find these on their audition requirements web pages. For example, some colleges recommend avoiding anything by Christopher Durang for college auditions.
  • Dress neatly—you want to make a good impression. Avoid shorts. If you wear denim, make sure your overall appearance is neat and stylish.
  • Don’t wear a jacket.
  • Hair should be pulled back and away from your face.

Advice for Musical Theatre Song Selections

  • Select songs from Broadway musicals. Avoid using songs from shows currently running in New York or on national tours.
  • Select a song that is clearly within your vocal range. Do not attempt songs where you have difficulty in reaching all the notes.
  • Avoid the very difficult piano accompaniments of certain modern Broadway composers such as Jason Robert Brown, Michael John LaChiusa, John Bucchino, and Stephen Sondheim.
  • Consider researching “do not use for auditions” song lists from colleges. You can find these on their audition requirements web pages. For example, some college theatre departments recommend avoiding anything by Andrew Lloyd Weber.

An internet search will reveal many more audition recommendations from colleges. You should definitely read the requirements for all the programs that are attending the Greater Houston Area Auditions.

Here are some examples:

Monologue advice from Marymount Manhattan University

Audition Advice from Missouri State University

Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music Do’s and Don’ts for Auditions

There are many more web pages from universities available with advice. Do your research!

The book, I Got In: The Ultimate College Audition Guide For Acting And Musical Theatre by Mary Anna Dennard succinctly describes all aspects of the college audition process.


If you have any questions or need further information, send us an email.