Theater BFA and Dance BA/BFA Audition Information

Students must audition to be accepted into the Theater BFA, Dance BA, or Dance BFA programs. Auditions are not required for the Theater BA program.

Theater BFA auditions are usually scheduled in May and September.

Prospective and incoming freshman are not eligible to audition for the Theater BFA program. All non-transfer Theater majors will participate in the Theater BA program for the first year. Non-transfer students can audition for the Theater BFA program at the end of freshman year. Non-transfer students begin the Theater BFA program sophomore year and study for 3 years. For example, a freshman that starts Fall 2021, will audition Spring 2022, and begin the program Fall 2022.

Prospective and incoming transfer students are eligible to audition for the Theater BFA program prior to the first year of study. Transfer students can attend the May and/or September audition preceding their expected start quarter. For example, a transfer student expecting to start Fall 2021 would attend the May or September 2021 audition. The Theater BFA program requires 3 years of study; transfer students should plan accordingly. The September audition is scheduled a few days before classes begin. Students who audition in September should be prepared to adjust their Fall schedule. Acceptance to the major is dependent upon acceptance to the university.

Dance BA auditions are usually held in January, February and September.

Prospective and continuing students interested in the Dance program must audition the January, February or September prior to their expected first year in the program. For example, a student that plans to attend in Fall 2019, would audition January, February or September 2019.  To be considered for admission into the dance program, students must have the major listed in their UC application (either as the first choice major or alternate major) and intend to fully participate for at least one year on campus. To change your major in your UC applications, please email the Office of Admissions at Please include your full name and either your UC application ID number or UCSB perm number.   

Students are strongly advised to attend the January or February audition to determine qualification for the major and reserve a place in the program - only a limited number of students can be accommodated each year. The September audition is held for students unable to attend earlier auditions; September auditions are only open to continuing students or students that have been accepted to the University. The September audition is scheduled a few days before classes begin. Students who audition in September should be prepared to adjust their Fall schedule.

The audition is similar to that of a technique class in modern and ballet.

Non-transfer students can audition for acceptance to the Dance BFA program in the sophomore year. Transfer students can audition for acceptance to the Dance BFA program in their first year.

These programs are highly structured and have been carefully organized to offer the serious acting and dance student the opportunity to receive quality training. Delays in audition can affect graduation plans.

Audition Schedule

Dance Audition Dates for admittance to the major during the 2021-2022 Academic Year:

Due to the COVID 19 pandemic, all auditions for the 2021-22 academic year will be done via video submission.  The submission deadline is Friday, January 22nd. Registration for the video audition can be found here.


THEATER BFA Audition Dates for the 2021-2022 Academic Year:

Theater BFA auditions will be held ONLINE on Saturday, May 1st.  This audition will be held remotely in a Zoom meeting format.  All registered students will be sent an email with a link to join in.  You will check-in online at 9:45am.  The program will begin at 10am with introductions and general information given.  After introductions, while still connected to the online meeting, students will then be moved into a "waiting room" and will be invited back to perform their monologues. Please be prepared to stay until 5pm, though auditions may finish earlier.  Students must pre-register to guarantee an auditon slot.  To register for an audition, please click HERE.

Please note: All acting students are required to write a 200 word statement as to why they want to be part of the UCSB Theater and Dance Department BFA in Acting program.  Please submit this to no later than Thursday, April 22nd.

For further details please, email Sean O'Shea, Academic Advisor, at  


The Theater Audition

Auditions for acceptance into B.F.A. Theater Program for Fall Quarter will take place during late Spring Quarter and again just before the beginning of classes in Fall Quarter.

For all students, please prepare two contrasting contemporary monologues totaling no more than three minutes. Please bring a resume of past theatrical experience including acting, voice, movement classes, and performance experience (indicate when and where).  Transfer students, in addition to this, please bring two letters of recommendation.,

All students must register for the audition and review the Theater BFA Handbook. The program is highly structured and has been carefully organized to offer the serious acting student the opportunity to recieve quality training. 

Transfer students should be aware that auditions for the Theater program and applying to the University are seperate processes. Students should contact the Office of Admissions for more information about University application materials and deadlines. Acceptance by audition to the Theater program does not guarentee acceptance to the University. Students must meet the Office of Admissions requirements for University acceptance consideration.

The Dance Audition

Video submissions must be posted online (e.g. YouTube, Vimeo, or similar site). Email a link to your video submission to Vice Chair of Theater and Dance, Christina McCarthy at Submissions are being accespted from October 29 , 2020 - January 22, 2021 for consideration. 

UC Santa Barbara's dance program currently focuses primarily in ballet and contemporary dance training, however, this fall we have reimagined our curriculum and in the next five years, we will be working towards including a wider range of dance forms to choose from in our technique classes. We are most interested in dance artists who are passionate about developing their voice as a choreographer and creator. You have an opportunity to tell us about your ideas AND to show us your creative side. In your video we would like to see elements of your daily training, elements that will reflect your strengths as a dancer and a mini dance solo that will show your creativity as a choreographer. In the choreographic offering, please focus on making a dance piece that has a clear seed of inspiration (music, movement, story, energy, etc), an arc with a climax, a shift that takes us somewhere by the end of the piece and a nuanced exploration of a focused and specific movement vocabulary. You can create your piece from any dance technique lens, hip hop, jazz, ballet, contemporary, authtentic and self generated movement concepts, whatever you feel best expresses the choreography you would like to make. Is this your first time choreographing? Wonderful! We know you will make something great. 

For your video: 

Section 1: Interview: (3-4 minutes max) We are excited to meet you! Please start your video with a short verbal presentation. State your name and you may also offer your preferred pronouns. Please answer the following questions.
What makes you most excited about being a dance artist and/or scholar?
What areas, both academic and creative, would you like to develop more during your time at UCSB?
What do you want to tell us about yourself?

Section 2: Embodied Practice Part 1: (5-7 minutes if you are showing one technique practice and 8-10 minutes if you are showing two technique practices)  Please show us regular dance exercises from your training regime. Please show material that illustrates the foundational aspects of your current training. This could be any form of dance practice. Please specify what you will be doing with text in your video, (e.g. ballet, modern, jazz, contemporary, hip hop, etc). You can show us both ballet and another technique or just one of those two. Access to a dance studio space is preferred for your filming, but not requried. 

If you are choosing ballet, please show the following. 
At the barre
tendu from fifth position, fondu relevé and adagio with developé - show on one side only. 
In the center
pirouette, petite allegro and grand allegro steps (as best you can with limitations of personal space during this time) 
Please show a short variation en pointe if you wish to be considered for our pointe focused classes in the department. 

If you are choosing other dance forms, please show the following
1 warm-up sequences - meant to start activation in the smaller muscles of the body
1 medium energy sequences - that focus on larger range of motion that might travel down and up from the floor, might include more complex rhythmic structures, might include more elongated lines created with the limbs of the body
1 sequence of movement that is focused on fast twitch muscle use, this could be percussive, fast, aerobic, athletic, complex in choreographic structure
1 sequence of movement that has momentum and very large range of motion (as best you can with limitations of personal space during this time)
Please show us anything else you feel would help us understand you as a mover. 

Section 3: Embodied Practice Part 2: (1-3 mintues) Please present a solo of your own creation. Choose to show your artistic soul in this piece using the form of dance you are most comfortable in and with embodied expression that feels authentic and compelling to you. If you feel comfortable doing so, please talk for approximately 1 minute about why you wanted to offer this piece for the audition and why it resonates with you as an artist. This discussion can come before or after the piece. The dance portion of this should be 1-2 minutes. We are looking at your skills as a dance creator. 

We do not encourage submitting dance performances. If that is the only material available, we will try to evaluate it. 

If any further questions arise, please visit our website or email the Theater and Dance Academic Advisor, Sean O'Shea at