How to Prepare for a Theater Audition

Choose Two Monologues

For most high school theater or drama auditions, you will be asked to prepare two, one-two minute monologues. The two monologues should differ in style, for example, one comic and one dramatic. Also the monologue characters should be age-appropriate.

Select only monologues from published plays. Monologues you have written, or downloaded from the internet, are not appropriate. Also, classical theater or verse, such as Shakespeare, is generally discouraged unless you can show real ease with the complex language.

Where to Find Monologues

The following books are good sources for published monologues:

You can order these books online or check them out from the library. You can also visit the Drama Bookshop, one of the best sources for theatrical material in New York City.

Ask a Teacher for Help

If you have an in-school theater teacher, ask them for coaching on dramatic understanding, characterization, diction, and clarity.  Your English teacher may also be able to help.

Tips for Performing Your Monologue

  • Be sure to state your name, monologue selection, and the playwright. For example, say: "My name is _____. I will be performing one of Anne's monologues from 'The Diary of Anne Frank' by Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett.”
  • Do not wear a costume or use props. The teacher judging your performance wants to get a feel for your talent, interest, and energy. Costumes and props are a distraction.
  • Be prepared to answer questions about why you want to be in a theater program and why the particular program for which you are auditioning. The teacher judging the performance will want to know that you are committed to the school and the demands of a theater program.

Participate in Games and Improvisations

You may be asked as part of the audition to participate in theater games or improvisations. This is so judges can see your ability to collaborate with others and to be spontaneously creative.

Audition Again

A teacher may call you back for another audition and ask you to perform your monologue (or monologues) again. Typically, no additional preparation is required for this.

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