The CWRU/CPH MFA Acting Program accepts a new class every other year. Our next intake is 2021. Audition/application information coming in summer 2020. For further information, contact Donald Carrier.
The CWRU/CPH MFA Acting Program sees candidates through the University/Resident Theatre Association’s (URTA) National Unified Auditions as well as by appointment.
For information about URTA’s National Unified Auditions and Interviews (NUAI), please go to urta.com.
For actors who are NOT participating in the URTA auditions, you can make an independent appointment to audition for the CWRU/CPH MFA Acting Program in Cleveland, New York or Chicago. (See information steps below) Our independent audition dates are during the time period in which URTA auditions are taking place, so there are ample opportunities to be seen if you are NOT auditioning through URTA.
If you are participating in the URTA National Unified Auditions, we will NOT be able to schedule you a private audition until after we have seen your work during the URTA process. We will schedule callbacks with selected URTA candidates after the URTA preliminary auditions.
All candidates must possess a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university.
The uploaded material should include:
A completed audition application
The Letters of Recommendation are not part of the uploaded audition appointment material. They must be sent separately.
Each candidate must present two contrasting memorized audition pieces - one contemporary, one Shakespearean verse — not to exceed a total of four minutes. The candidate should be prepared to present additional audition pieces if requested — both contemporary and classical. The candidate may be asked to sing a short unaccompanied song. For audition requirements for URTA, please visit their website at urta.com.
What kind of actor is the CWRU/CPH MFA Acting Program looking for?
We are looking for committed young artists who possess a vivid imagination, a love of language, an empathy for the human experience, the firm belief in the collaborative process and the desire to develop the necessary physical and vocal skills for a successful and sustained career in the ever evolving performing arts scene. We want people who are committed to change and growth and who understand the rigor required to excel in a professional acting training program.
When can I send in my application material?
The material can be uploaded starting September 1, 2020.
Do I have to use the uploading process? Can I send in my material in hard copy form by post?
We prefer the material be uploaded, however, you may also send it in hard copy form to:
Donald Carrier, Interim Director
CWRU/CPH MFA Acting Program
1901 E 13th St, Suite 200
Cleveland, OH 44114
When is the final date that material can be submitted?
The deadline for submission is midnight, January 11, 2019. Late submissions are accepted based on audition appointment availability.
Is there flexibility with audition scheduling?
As we audition over a number of days, we try to honor a candidate’s specific request of city, day and time.
Am I able to change my appointment time once I have scheduled it?
If you need to alter or cancel an appointment, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. We do our best to work with your schedule.
How soon will I be contacted about my audition request?
We respond with audition information within a week of receiving the material.
What do I have to prepare for the audition?
Each candidate must present two contrasting memorized audition pieces - one contemporary, one Shakespearean verse — not to exceed a total of four minutes. The candidate should be prepared to present additional audition pieces if requested. The candidate may also be asked to sing a short unaccompanied song.
I am NOT planning to audition through the University/Resident Theatre Association (URTA). Can I book a private audition?
Yes you are able to book a private audition. If requesting a private audition, you must send in the materials requested above. You are only permitted to schedule a private audition in advance if you are NOT auditioning through URTA.
I will be auditioning at the University/Resident Theatre Association’s (URTA) National Unified Auditions. Can I schedule a private audition at one of your sites?
No, not before the preliminary URTA auditions. If you are already scheduled to audition through URTA, we are unable to grant you a private audition in advance. However, we welcome hearing from you and your interest so that we can be aware of you at URTA’s National Unified Auditions. After seeing the URTA National Unified Auditions, we will call back actors the same day for a more extensive session.
Preliminary URTA auditions are very short - two minutes. If I get a callback with CWRU/CPH, will I be permitted to do longer pieces?
Yes. You will be asked to present two contrasting memorized audition pieces - one contemporary, one Shakespearean verse — not to exceed a total of four minutes. You should be prepared to present additional audition pieces if requested — both contemporary and classical. You may be asked to sing a short unaccompanied song.
Do you have advice on the type of pieces I should present?
Ideally the audition process should be helping us get to know you, and who you are as an artist. Choose material that is active with high stakes for the character, that shows your strengths and passions. Finding material that you have a personal connection with is always preferable. Avoid pieces that are passive or story telling that lack strong dramatic intention. It’s important that we see YOU through the work - what you feel good acting is and what kind of work excites you. Always choose material that you really love to do. Choose two pieces that are contrasting so we can see your range. For example, one piece that is serious and the other more dramatic. Strength, vulnerability or humor are always useful traits to display. Your unique voice is important to us.
Am I obliged to take my contemporary piece from a play? Can I use material from film or TV?
The monologue tends to be more common and organic in work written specifically for the stage. However, there is strong material in film and TV that might be appropriate. Ultimately, you should choose something you connect with and serves you as an artist, regardless of the medium from which it comes.
What do you consider “contemporary” in terms of material?
This has a flexible definition but we encourage people to do material written after 1990. Ideally, you need to choose material that gives us a clear idea of your strengths and who you are as an artist.
Can I present a classical piece besides Shakespeare?
Your official classical piece must be Shakespearean verse but if further audition material is requested, you may draw from other classical dramatists.
What do you consider classical if I do an additional piece that is not Shakespeare?
The definition is flexible, but you should consider anything written before 1800 as classical material.
How long should the song be if I am asked to perform one?
It should not exceed 16 bars of music. There will be no live or recorded accompaniment. It can be something as simple as a children’s song. It is an opportunity for the candidate to show another aspect of his or her personality or skill set. A song is another opportunity for us to get to know you.
Do I need to send in my transcripts with my material?
No. Official transcripts are only required after a candidate is made an offer to join the program.
If I have auditioned for the program in the past, can I be seen again this cycle?
Yes. However, applicants who have auditioned twice for the CWRU/CPH MFA Acting Program without being offered admission, are discouraged from re-applying to the program.
Who should I get letters of recommendation from and what should they include?
The two letters of recommendation should ideally be from a theatre professional (director, artistic director) and an instructor who are familiar with your work. A letter of recommendation should include your recommender’s title, contact phone number as well as their institutional or corporate email address. The content should speak to your ability as an artist and your work ethic. All recommenders are contacted when a candidate is being seriously considered for acceptance to the Program.
Should the recommender send in the letters of recommendation?
The letters may be sent/emailed by the candidate or the recommender. We contact the recommender directly if we are seriously considering a candidate.
Can I provide more than two letters of recommendation?
Yes, but we only need two.
Can I upload the letters of recommendation as part of the submission package?
No. Letters of recommendation must be sent separately. They can be scanned and emailed to Donald Carrier or by mail to:
Donald Carrier, Interim Director
CWRU/CPH MFA Acting Program
1901 E 13th St, Suite 200
Cleveland, OH 44114
We will accept your letters of recommendation up to the date of your audition. You should submit all other material through the uploading process and we will add the letters of recommendation to your file when we receive them.
What should the Letter of Intent contain?
A letter of intent is an opportunity for the audition panel to get to know you a little better. It should detail why you are pursuing graduate training and specifically why you want to study with the CWRU/CPH MFA Acting Program. It is also useful to know what your interests and hobbies are and what drew you to the performing arts in the first place. We truly want to know who you are through this letter and what the life of an artist means to you. These letters are read by only the audition panel and as such, the material is confidential.
How long should the Letter of Intent be?
It should be a maximum of two pages – typed and double-spaced.
Should I fill in my audition request form under my legal name?
Yes. Please avoid using nicknames or stage names on the audition request form.
Are there audition fees?
No. There are no fees to audition for the CWRU/CPH MFA Program. If you are auditioning for multiple schools through URTA, there is a fee listed in their website: urta.com
Does my undergraduate degree need to be in theatre?
No. You can have an undergraduate degree in any discipline in order to apply to the program.
Do you accept walk-in auditions?
Yes. We welcome walk-in applicants at all of our venues based on availability of appointments.
Are there callbacks for the program?
There are no official callbacks for the program, however, we sometimes ask candidates to return to the audition space for more intense work.
How long does the audition last?
This depends on the candidate but on average, it lasts about 15 minutes. Although we do our best to adhere to the schedule, candidates should be prepared to wait up to 30 minutes in case appointments have fallen behind.
You audition in three cities: Cleveland, New York and Chicago. Is there any advantage to auditioning in a specific locale?
No. We audition in multiple cities in order to see as many candidates as possible.
Is there an age limit for candidates?
There is no age limit for candidates to apply. All applicants must possess a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. The program is rigorous and therefore all applicants need to have sufficient physical stamina.
Can I submit a video-taped audition?
While we do accept video auditions, they are not encouraged. Only applicants for whom travel to one of the audition sites is impossible should submit a video. You may upload an audition on YouTube, Vimeo or other on-line methods. The video should include a brief introduction, two contrasting memorized audition pieces - one contemporary, one Shakespearean verse - not to exceed a total of four minutes, and a short unaccompanied song. If you cannot access an online video uploading site, you may submit a DVD, (which must be playable on an American system, Region 1 NTSC). The deadline for video submissions is January 15, 2021.
Do you provide travel stipends to International students who wish to audition for the program?
Are students required to take the GRE?
No. We do not require students to take the GRE.
May I audition if English is not my first language?
Yes. However, all candidates must demonstrate a complete fluency in the English language.
Do you accept international students?
Yes. International students who have an undergraduate degree from an accredited institution are eligible. We are only involved in the student visa process if the candidate is accepted into the program.
When will I know whether I have been accepted to the program?
Candidates who are selected to join the program will be notified by phone in February or March, 2021. All applicants are notified of their status by mid-April, 2021 by email.
How many people do you accept?
We accept eight students every other year. Our next class intake will be fall of 2021. Auditions will be held in January and February of 2021.
Is there financial aid
The CWRU/CPH MFA Acting Program provides completely tuition-free training. There is also a generous yearly living stipend as well as health insurance provided. All students receive the same financial package.
How long is the program?
The MFA Program runs three consecutive years.
Are classes held on the CWRU campus?
No. Classes are held at Cleveland Play House, which is not on the campus of CWRU.
Do you provide housing
No. There is a living stipend to help defray living expenses. Cleveland has plentiful and affordable housing options.
Can I visit the CWRU/CPH MFA facilities?
Yes. We will be holding an Open House Information session in Fall 2020 in Cleveland. Prospective students are also able to schedule individual visits to learn more about the program and view the facilities. For appointments or information on the Open House, please contact email@example.com.
Do I need to apply to the University at this point?
No. Only candidates that are accepted into the program make an official application to Case Western Reserve University.
Can I get feedback for my audition?
Due to the number of candidates, it is unfortunately not possible to provide individual feedback.
For any further questions and information please contact Donald Carrier or call 216.400.7019.
The Allen, Helen and Outcalt theatres are located at Playhouse Square
1407 Euclid Avenue Cleveland, OH 44115
Administrative Offices and Education Center
1901 E. 13th Street, Suite 200 Cleveland, OH 44114 (216) 400-7000
7401 Detour Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44103