George Mason University
George Mason University Mason
George Mason University

School of Theater Admissions

Develop the skills needed to thrive as an actor, director, musical theater performer, designer, playwright, screenwriter, or teacher by earning a degree in theater.

The School of Theater will prepare you for careers on the stage and screen with a wide range of courses, productions in state-of-the-art venues, and exciting summer field experiences. Students select their paths, supported by individualized attention from teachers and mentors who are practicing professionals with industry contacts. You'll participate in a variety of capacities in such productions as contemporary plays, modern musicals, historical dramas, and original student work. From day one, you'll find opportunities to show your talent, leadership, and collaborative abilities.

Audition, Portfolio Requirements

We are looking for:

  • An appropriate level of craft and artistry
  • Commitment to the work as demonstrated by preparation for the interview, audition, and/or portfolio review, or as articulated in a submitted two-page statement
  • Willingness to accept direction, criticism and mentoring
  • Willingness and ability to collaborate with students, faculty, and staff

Audition and Portfolio Review dates

All student applicants interview with a faculty panel in order to become a Theater Major. Auditions, Portfolio Reviews, and Interviews may be conducted either in person by appointment or by online submission at any time.

For a list of audition and portfolio review dates, please visit the School of Theater audition page. Dates include both Theater and Musical Theater auditions, unless otherwise noted. 

To sign up for an appointment, please complete SlideRoom account submission. You will receive an email confirmation of your appointment.

If you have any questions, please email the School of Theater. If necessary, an applicant can request an individual appointment during normal business hours. In-person appointments will take place on the Fairfax Campus, once they resume.

Theater, BA

There are four areas of concentration in the Theater BA, each with its own admissions requirements.

Theater Studies

  • A more flexible and cross-disciplinary approach designed for the Theater Generalist who wants to experience as many aspects of the field as are available. Applicants perform a monologue not to exceed 90 seconds, or submit a dramatic writing sample or portfolio, or respond to the essay prompt “Why do you wish to study Theater at Mason?” The essay should be between 500-750 words. Applicants may choose to present additional examples of their work as appropriate (e.g., a second monologue, writing sample, sketches, research, or other example of theater-related work).

Theater Education for Theater Arts PK-12

  • Applicants for the BA Theater Education concentration audition with one prepared monologue not to exceed 90 seconds, or submit a portfolio for review. Applicants also submit a two-page Teaching Philosophy Statement and a résumé. 

Performance (Acting and Directing) Concentration

  • Applicants provide a résumé and prepare two contrasting monologues, not to exceed 90 seconds each. In-person applicants will be asked by the faculty panel to make adjustments and repeat portions of their work.

Design and Technical Theater Concentration

  • Applicants for the BA Design and Technical Theater Concentration respond to an essay prompt “Why do you wish to study theater at Mason?” or submit a portfolio.  
  • Essay should be between 500-750 words, and explain your interest in the design/tech area
  • OR 
  • Portfolio should showcase your experience with theater/performance/events or visual arts. Portfolio shall contain at least one of these examples: 
    • Production or process photos  
    • Sample production paperwork  
    • Drafting examples 
    • Design renderings/sketches 
    • Calling script excerpt 
    • Sound cue samples 
    • Visual art samples 

Theater, BFA

There are three areas of concentration in the Theater BFA, each with its own admissions requirements:

Performance for Stage and Screen (Acting and Directing) Concentration

  • Applicant provides a résumé and prepare two contrasting monologues, not to exceed 90 seconds each. In-person applicants will be asked by the faculty panel to make adjustments and repeat portions of their work.

Design for Stage and Screen Concentration

  • Applicant for the BFA Design for Stage and Screen Concentration submits a portfolio which includes evidence of relevant work on at least one production.  
  • Portfolio should showcase your experience with theater/performance/events and/or visual arts 
  • Portfolio should contain at least two of these examples:  
    • Production or process photos  
    • Sample production paperwork  
    • Drafting examples 
    • Design renderings/sketches 
    • Calling script excerpt  
    • Sound cue samples 
    • Visual art samples 

Musical Theater Concentration

  • Applicant provides a résumé and prepares two contrasting monologues, not to exceed 90 seconds each. In-person applicants will be asked by the faculty panel to make adjustments and repeat portions of their work.
  • Applicant also presents two prepared songs that demonstrate variety, not to exceed three minutes in total. In-person Actor/Singers will be asked to make adjustments and repeat portions of their work.
  • An accompanist is available for in-person Musical Theater auditions, requiring a $40 cash fee on day of audition. This service includes a brief rehearsal just prior to appointment time. You may provide your own accompanist, or present your two songs a cappella, without accompaniment, if you prefer.

A Note about Virtual Auditions, Portfolio Reviews, and Interviews

Although the in-person experience is preferred, any applicant may choose to submit video auditions or digital materials through SlideRoom. Instructions will be sent upon submission of Admissions application if Theater is indicated as a student’s intended major. A follow-up online interview will be scheduled after receipt of virtual materials.

Notification

Applicants to the Theater Major will be notified of a decision within two weeks of their interview, and are subject to successful admission into the University. Those denied acceptance to the Theater major must wait one year before reapplying.  

Theater, BA/Arts Management, Accelerated MA

Undergraduates in Theater may apply to the Accelerated Master of Arts in Arts Management degree program. If accepted, students will be able to earn a BA in Theater and an MA in Arts Management after satisfactory completion of 150 credits.

Students choosing the accelerated option must fulfill all university requirements for the master’s degree. The regular time-frame design would start in the Fall, with completion in the Summer five years later, but longer time-frames may also be possible.

This accelerated option is offered through joint cooperation between the School of Theater and the Arts Management Program.

For more detailed information, see AP.6.7 Bachelor’s/Accelerated Master’s Degrees. For policies governing all graduate degrees, see the Academic Policies section of the catalog.

To apply to this program, please visit the College of Visual and Performing Arts Accelerated Master's Admissions page.

Minors

Event Technical Production

The Theater minor requires 18-credits of coursework. For more information, go to the Event Technical Production Minor (College of Visual and Performing Arts) page in the university catalog.

Any Mason student may declare an Event Technical Production minor and need not complete an audition, portfolio review, or interview. 

Audio Production

The Theater minor requires 18-credits of course work. For more information, go to the Audio Production minor page in the university catalog.

Any Mason student may declare an Audio Production minor and need not complete an audition, portfolio review, or interview. 

Theater

The Theater minor requires 18 credits of coursework. For more information, go to the Theater Minor page in the university catalog.

Any Mason student may declare a Theater minor and need not complete an audition, portfolio review, or interview.

Theater Performance

Designed for students with a passion for performance. The 18 credit Theater Performance Minor offers students the opportunity to expand their knowledge of performance analysis and basic training of the actor’s instrument.   

Any Mason student may declare a Theater minor and need not complete an audition, portfolio review, or interview. 

Open House

Please see our Undergraduate Open House page for current information on Open House dates.

Contact us

Email the School of Theater.

Our mailing address is:

George Mason University
Mail Stop 3E6
deLaski Performing Arts Building A407
4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030

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