A Theatre Kidʼs Application Guide to Tisch Drama

Written by and for those with Broadway dreams—721 Broadway dreams, of course

Tisch drama students performing “La casa de Bernarda Alba.”

So You Want to Apply to Tisch Drama

Awesome, congrats! You’re a star no matter what! The cast albums you memorized, community shows you performed in, and hours you spent reading play after play have led you to this moment. Auditioning for college programs can be scary, of course, but your talent and passion have never failed you. Take a deep breath and get in your places—the show is about to begin.

Students crouching on stage in a Tisch production.

Letʼs Break Down the Basics

How Does the Studio System Work?

Great question. One of the most unique aspects of Tisch Drama is how incredibly unique their studio system is! There are eight studios in total, all ranging across varying schools of thought. Upon your artistic review, you will be placed into the studio that Tisch Drama feels best fits you and your training needs. I know this can seem confusing, but we luckily have tons of resources to further explain the studio placement process. Just remember, no matter where you end up, youʼll be in good hands.

What Do I Need to Do for My Audition?

Have fun! Seriously … the auditors want to see what sparks joy within you. That being said, there are some additional material requirements. For your artistic review, you will need to come prepared with two contrasting contemporary monologues. Additionally, if you are auditioning specifically for musical theatre, you must prepare two contrasting 32-bar cuts; one must be from the published musical theatre canon, the other can be from the canon as well, or you have the option of performing a published contemporary piece (think rock, pop, hip-hop, jazz, gospel, etc). In addition, musical theatre candidates will participate in a dance evaluation.

Regardless of whether you are auditioning for drama or musical theatre, you will also complete an interview with your evaluator after performing your monologues. Donʼt panic—it’s just to get to know you beyond your performance. Personally, this was my favorite part of my artistic review. It was an open, honest conversation about my craft and why I enjoy it so much. It felt real and truthful, and my evaluator was genuine in her interest to discover who I am. Plus, what theatre kid doesnʼt love to talk about theatre?

Tisch drama students dressed in white dancing on stage.

A Word of Advice ...

Be Yourself

Tisch Drama evaluators want to see who you are, not the projected image of what you think they want. Authenticity is key, not only in auditions but also in life. You are incredible, talented, and extraordinarily unique! Don’t be afraid to show who you are.

Pick Materials That Spark Joy

How much fun can you have during your audition if youʼre stressed about the complexities of Stephen Sondheim? Though we’re all fans of his work, donʼt pick it just because itʼs notoriously difficult. Evaluators won’t judge you on how hard your chosen materials are. In fact, they would rather you perform something that makes you feel confident and happy. Real joy stands mountains above stress, so choose something that lifts you up.

Arts Reps Are There to Help You

Luckily, Tisch Drama has a team of students specifically trained to help guide you through your artistic review (hooray!). Remember, we were in your shoes once too, so donʼt be afraid to ask us questions throughout your day. Or, if you just need a second to decompress, we are also great conversationalists.

You Are Amazing

Remember, you’re auditioning for Tisch Drama for a reason. Your talent, drive, and passion for theatre brought you to the front doors of 721 Broadway, so donʼt ever sell yourself or your talent short. No matter what happens during your artistic review, give 100 percent of your authentic, true self because you are a star.

GIF of actor Darren Criss holding a SAG award that reads “Break a leg.”

Take a Deep Breath. You Got This!