Surviving Your Tisch Drama Artistic Review

Your step-by-step guide on how to make it through your Tisch Drama artistic review

The exterior of the Tisch School of the Arts.

Step One:

Complete Your Common App

GIF of Kermit the Frog typing.
Courtesy of Giphy

In order to sign up for the artistic review portion of your Tisch Drama application, you must complete the Common Application! The Common Application, or Common App, is NYU’s main application no matter what school or major you are applying for. See here for application guidelines.

Pro tip: Artistic review dates are reserved on a first-come-first-serve basis. Submit your application early in order to get your preferred date and time slot! 

A couple of days after your application submission, you will receive an email with a personalized link to the Tisch Drama Artistic Review Portal. There, you can sign up for any of your artistic review dates. NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts offers artistic reviews in New York City, Miami, Los Angeles, and Chicago. If you are not able to make to one of the in-person sessions, digital submissions are also accepted! Click here to see a list of dates and locations.

Step Two:

Get Familiar with the Studio System

Students dancing.
Courtesy of NYU

The Tisch School of the Arts is unique in that it works through a studio system. The Tisch Drama program is made up of eight different studios. These studios are the Stella Adler Studio of Acting, the Atlantic Acting School, the Experimental Theatre Wing, The Meisner Studio, the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute, Playwrights Horizons Theater School, the New Studio on Broadway, and the Production and Design Studio. Each studio specializes in a specific technique or type of training. For example, the New Studio on Broadway specializes in musical theatre performance and the Production and Design Studio centers on technical theatre.

For the first two years of training, each drama student will train within one of these eight studios. There, they will build a foundation for performance and gain a knowledge of techniques specific to their studio.

 

 

Step Three:

Prepare for Your Artistic Review

GIF from
Courtesy of Giphy

When preparing for your artistic review, you want to look very carefully at your guidelines. There are four different disciplines one can choose from, and you should pick the discipline closest to what you want to train in during your time here at NYU. The four disciplines are: acting, directing, musical theatre, and production and design.

Acting

If you chose the acting discipline, that means that you mainly want to focus on acting. Though most studios do have an area of voice and movement training, the nonmusical theatre studios are going to have more of a focus on other aspects of performance than a musical theatre studio would.

The acting studios include: the Stella Adler Studio of Acting, the Atlantic Acting School, the Experimental Theatre Wing, The Meisner Studio, the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute, and the Playwrights Horizons Theater School.

For your artistic review, you need to prepare two 90-second contrasting, contemporary monologues. Tisch Drama defines contemporary as anything written from 1900 through the present, so you have a ton of plays to choose from. Choose something from a play that you love or a character that you can relate to! For a closer look at your guidelines, click here.

Directing

The directing track here at Tisch Drama is located within the Playwrights Horizons Theater School.

For your artistic review, you need to prepare one 90-second contemporary monologue from a published play. Once again, you have a ton of works to choose from, so choose something you love and can relate to! Along with your acting component, you also have a special directing portfolio component. For a more in-depth look at your artistic review guidelines, click here.

Musical Theatre

Musical theatre training here at Tisch Drama is located within the New Studio on Broadway. As a musical theatre applicant, you have the choice to be considered for all studios or just the musical theatre studio. If you choose all studios and the drama department believes you be a stronger fit within another studio, you simply will be placed there. If you choose musical theatre only and you are not selected for the New Studio on Broadway, you will not be admitted into Tisch Drama. This choice is completely up to you and does not affect how your application is viewed, so really only choose what you would be most happy with.

For your artistic review, you will need to prepare two 90-second contrasting, contemporary monologues and two contrasting 32-bar cuts of a song. You will also be asked to participate in a dance component where you will learn a brief combination from one of our NYU Drama faculty members. For a more in-depth look at your guidelines, click here.

Production and Design

The production and design artistic review discipline feeds directly into the Production and Design Studio.

For your artistic review, you will need to prepare a statement of purpose and a portfolio of three to five of your recent projects. Your portfolio can include anything from photographs, drawings, sketches, research, sound cues, draftings, and the like that demonstrates your experiences with production. Show something you are proud of and feel showcases your talents. If you have any other kind of work to showcase that does not relate directly to the theatre, you are encouraged to bring it in. Your portfolio should be a show of artistic work that you have completed so far. For a more in-depth look at your guidelines, click here.

Artistic Review Tips from a Current Drama Student

  • Be game. Be ready to workshop some of your material and play around with things. Be open to experiencing your work in a different way.
  • Choose the material you love doing. Sharing pieces of theatre that you enjoy and are excited to do makes all the difference. Your joy and excitement about the material will be infectious.
  • Take a deep breath. Before you walk into any of the rooms, take a moment to center yourself and calm your nerves. There is no rush, and we want you to feel comfortable and ready.
  • Wear clothes you feel comfortable in. Looking presentable for your audition is encouraged, but if you can, find clothes that you feel grounded in and represents you as a person.
  • Encourage your fellow artistic review friends. There is nothing more calming than being in a warm and welcoming environment. Be nice and respectful to the other students who are doing their artistic reviews alongside you, and who knows, you might run into each other on campus!
  • Just be yourself. The Tisch Drama program is not looking for perfection. The best applicants are passionate and eager to learn. There is no formula to getting accepted into the Tisch School of the Arts, but at the end of the day, all the faculty wants to see is your unique self.

I wish you all the best of luck on your college application process. Go out and break those legs!