Overview

A gateway interview or audition is required for admission to the Theatre Major in the School of Theatre and Dance.  To do so, students must apply to both JMU and the School of Theatre and Dance separately and register for an on-campus interview or audition.  Students who have auditioned for JMU at the Virginia Theatre Association Conference are still required to apply and audition in the same way as any other applicants. Please see our Gateway Requirements to prepare your Theatre Major application.

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What to Expect
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So, what is the goal of our gateway process? Demonstrated ability within a particular area of theatre such as acting, design, or playwriting is wonderful, but we are just as interested in getting to know you as a person.

Each student will begin by sharing material, such as auditioning with a monologue, presenting a visual portfolio, or discussing writing samples.  Of course, we also know that prospective students have had varying access to theatrical training and opportunities. So, don’t worry, we are looking for potential, not perfection.

Next, you will join us for a short interview.  Be prepared to discuss your experience in theatre and the arts.  For us, your interview is just as important as what you present. We are seeking applicants with a variety of skills and interests both in and outside of the arts.  

Click here to review the Gateway Requirements!

How to Apply

1. Submit your Undergraduate Admissions Application via the JMU Admissions Office.

2. Review the Gateway Requirements.

3. Register for a gateway interview or audition. Applicants are strongly encouraged to interview or audition on campus. If you are unable to do so, please contact Theatre Coordinator Ben Lambert to make other arrangements. If you are auditioning for both Theatre and Musical Theatre majors you must register for each audition separately.

4. Submit your School of Theatre and Dance Application on Slideroom at least two weeks prior to your on-campus audition/interview. If you are auditioning for both Theatre and Musical Theatre majors you may submit one Slideroom application.

5. Contact Theatre Area Coordinator, Ben Lambert with any questions.

Scholarships

The following is a general guide to scholarship programs specific to JMU Theatre and Dance.  Prospective students who audition for the JMU Theatre, Musical Theatre, and Dance concentrations are offered scholarships in the Spring.  Continuing students make application early in the spring semester for the following academic year.

For information on more general financial aid and scholarship information, try the following two resources:

For Incoming Freshman Applicants
  • Excellence in the Arts Scholarships include:
    • Two-year On-Campus Housing Awards (valued at approximately $4700 per year)
    • Full tuition one-year awards (in-state tuition, valued at approximately $10,000) and/or half in-state tuition four-year awards (approximately $5000 per year)
    • Book awards (valued at up to $1200 per year)
  • Wayland Guarantee Awards – guaranteed acceptance into the Arts Learning Community in the recently-renovated Wayland Hall:

Criteria and Procedures

Criteria for determining scholarship recipients include the following: 

  1. Talent and Ability, based on audition, portfolio review, and interview
  2. Academic promise, based on high-school transcript, GPA (minimum equivalent of 3.0 in a 4-point scale), and standardized test scores
  3. Interview
  4. Application Essay (A program-admission essay also serves scholarship application purposes.)
  5. Letter of recommendation (A program-admission recommendation also serves scholarship application purposes.)

Audition Dates and Information:

Dance Auditions

Theatre Auditions

Musical Theatre Auditions

For Continuing Dance Students

TAD Majors with a Dance Concentration become eligible to apply for the following scholarships in the Spring of their first year at JMU.  Application forms, criteria and deadlines are posted on the dance contact board near the studios in March of the academic year.

PARTIAL TUITION SCHOLARSHIPS

These scholarships are based on a dance concentrator's academic and artistic achievement within the program, as well as positive contributions to dance program activities both on and off campus.  A minimum GPA of 3.0 is required. Scholarship amounts vary each year and must be applied to JMU tuition payment.

PARTIAL SUMMER STUDY TUITION GRANTS

These scholarships are based on a dance concentrator's academic and artistic achievement within the program, as well as positive contributions to dance program activities both on and off campus.  A minimum GPA of 2.75 is required. Scholarship amounts vary each year and must be used towards tuition to a specific summer dance study program.

For Continuing Theatre and Musical Theatre Students

THE HORACE BURR SCHOLARSHIP

Named for a former JMU theatre professor, this scholarship is for a student majoring in theatre who has demonstrated excellence in academic and practical theatre work.

THE STRATFORD PLAYERS SCHOLARSHIP

For a Stratford Players member who has demonstrated excellence in academic and practical theatre work. 

THE MARY LATIMER CORDNER SCHOLARSHIP

Named for a former JMU theatre professor, the scholarship is for a rising junior or senior majoring in theatre who has demonstrated excellence in academic and practical theatre work. 

THE STEVEN SNYDER MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP

Named in memory of a JMU alumnus, this scholarship is to recognize creative work in theatre.

THE TOM KING SCHOLARSHIP

Recognizes outstanding academic achievement by a theatre major. 

THE TOM ARTHUR THEATRE SCHOLARSHIP

The purpose of the Tom Arthur Scholarship Endowment for Theatre is to provide a need-based scholarship for outstanding JMU undergraduate student scholars who have limited means of support. 

Other Awards Which Require Nomination and May Include Graduating Seniors

THE STEVEN SNYDER CREATIVE ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

The Steven Snyder Award is presented annually to recognize creative achievement in theatre, particularly The Experimental Theatre, during the current academic year.  To be considered for the Snyder Award, individuals must be nominated by a faculty member or by Stratford Players. 

PHILLIP S. GRAYSON AWARD FOR ACHIEVEMENT IN TECHNICAL THEATRE

The Phyllip S. Grayson Award is presented annually to recognize excellence in technical theatre.  To be considered for The Phyllip S. Grayson Award, individuals must be nominated by a faculty member or by Stratford Players. 

Award amounts vary and depend on interest from endowed funds and other factors.

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