• Want to know more about the audition process for NYU Tisch Drama's musical theater program?
  • Understanding the studio and what the training entails
  • Audition advice and expectations
  • The right mindset when it comes to auditioning

I remember the night I submitted my Common App for NYU Early Decision I back in 2020. Just seeing the digital confetti on my computer screen made me feel one step closer to attending my dream school. The only thing standing between me and my NYU admission was…the Tisch School of the Arts Drama Artistic review (cue the Jaws theme).

Now I am an absolute musical theatre fanatic! So, when I got the email from NYU to schedule my Zoom audition, I was practically jumping with excitement to show Tisch Drama what I could contribute to their creative community. 

The author standing in their living room, facing the Zoom screen during their New Studio on Broadway musical theatre audition.
Auditioning from my living room back in 2020.

Not only did I audition for Tisch Drama but, more specifically, the New Studio on Broadway (NSB). NSB is one of the eight studios within the drama department. But it is the only studio that centers its curriculum on musical theatre. So, whether you consider yourself a Broadway baby, a Hamilton hero, or a Funny Girl fanatic or are simply huge about Moulin Rouge, let’s dissect every aspect of the NYU Tisch NSB audition!

Understanding the Studio

The New Studio on Broadway is all about versatility. Unlike traditional conservatories that focus solely on musical theatre or acting, NSB has students master both. The curriculum is designed to offer training in classical, contemporary, and musical theatre styles. The aim? To mold you into a triple threat—actor, singer, and dancer—ready for the dynamic landscape of Broadway today. 

The author’s musical theatre dance group all smiling and posing together for a mirror selfie after a long studio day.
One of the highlights of NSB is all the amazing friends I’ve made!
One of NYU Tisch’s production studios.
On set for a short film project directed by one of my friends!

A common misconception of NSB is that you’re only studying musical theatre. This couldn’t be further from the truth. I’ve studied scenes from contemporary plays, Shakespearean texts, and famous poems. I’ve sung as many rock, country, and pop songs as I have from the musical theatre golden age. Moreover, on top of ballet, tap, and jazz, we’re all required to take classes such as tango, hip-hop, and contemporary. The point is, NSB is so much more than just musical theatre. That’s why it’s such a popular studio for students who love Broadway and students who want to pursue other creative paths. 

Another great component of Tisch Drama is that you have the luxury of choosing to audition either from the comfort of your own home or on campus in New York City!

The Audition (!!!!)

For your audition, come prepared with:


  • Two contemporary, contrasting monologues (no longer than 90 seconds each).
  • Two contrasting 32-bar songs: a ballad and an uptempo piece. Choose numbers that showcase your vocal range and acting ability. Remember to bring sheet music in your key.
  • A dance component: depending on the season and location, this could be a dance call in a group or a solo you’ve prepared. Wear appropriate attire—something you can move in comfortably.
The author and their friends in the studio.
A hard day’s work never stops us from smiling!

When it comes to how far in advance you should start picking your songs and monologues, it depends on the individual. I know some classmates who began working on their audition material three months before their audition. Me? I probably spent two weeks preparing my material. And I worked with my singing and drama teachers on what I planned to present to NYU. Unfortunately, due to the nature of the school year in Australia, I was in the middle of my final exams when I auditioned for NYU. So it would have been difficult to give myself any more time to prepare. 

When you audition for the New Studio on Broadway, you have two options: “All Studios” or “NSB Only.” Essentially, you are telling NYU Tisch Drama whether or not you are interested in being considered for another studio if the faculty feel it would be a better fit for your first two years of primary training. Even if you’re an NSB ride or die, I encourage all applicants to put themselves out there and select “All Studios.” There are so many other Tisch Drama studios that are just as amazing as NSB!

A group of NSB students performing in Washington Square Park.
A group photo after performing a classmate’s original work in Washington Square Park.

The Right Mindset

It’s easy to be overwhelmed. But, remember, the audition is a chance for you to get to know NYU as much as it’s a chance for NYU to get to know you. The faculty wants to see your passion, authenticity, and potential. Embrace the opportunity and enjoy the experience. I especially remember how welcoming and generous the evaluators and audition facilitators were to me! 

Make sure to drink a lot of water, go to bed early the night before (because falling asleep will seem impossible), and take care of yourself!

—Ben Bonnici

Due to time zone differences, I auditioned from my home in Australia at 5:30 am, so my warm-up before the audition was important. Make sure to drink a lot of water, go to bed early the night before (because falling asleep will seem impossible), and take care of yourself! The morning of my audition, I made sure to pamper myself with a large amount of time to get into the zone, double-check I had all the necessary Zoom links and audition information, and take some deep breaths. At its core, this audition is simply about you being you. So if you leave the audition feeling like you’ve achieved that, then you have so much to be proud of!

The author and a castmate in a scene from “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”
My castmate, Darrow, and me in a scene from A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Final Thoughts

Auditioning for the New Studio on Broadway is a thrilling step toward your Broadway dream. Remember, this journey is as much about growth and learning as it is about that final bow on stage. Breathe, prepare, and let your talent shine through. Break a leg!

Hi there! My name is Ben and I’m originally from Melbourne, Australia. I’m a Junior at NYU majoring in Drama and minoring in Business of Entertainment, Media & Technology (BEMT). On campus, you can find me either rehearsing for a show at the Tisch School of the Arts, working as an Admissions Ambassador, getting involved with the student-led theatre company Tisch New Theatre or contributing to student magazines such as Embodied and Baedeker. In my free time, I’m usually exploring the city, seeing a theatre production, or frequenting a local gallery. I’m extremely passionate about all things encompassing the entertainment industry, and I hope to pursue a career as an actor both in film/television and on stage, as well as in leadership and management roles for production companies. My purpose revolves around storytelling and I hope to apply this to his career. I have a million and one hobbies, so feel free to ask me about anything NYU or Australia-related that you’d like!