Drama School Auditions, 2012

 Are you planning on auditioning for Drama School this year? There’s only a few days to go until applications close!

 Are you planning on auditioning for Drama School this year? We have put together a small ‘information feature’ to make the whole process a lot less daunting. Below, you will find information on some of the major schools in Australia – WAAPA, NIDA, VCA, so you can see your options in one place… Let’s start with one which is close to my heart – my old stomping ground, WAAPA.  

WAAPA – Edith Cowan University, Perth

Hugh Jackman, Lisa Mcune, David Whenam, Ben Lewis (Phantom in Love Never Dies) are all graduates of the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts. I couldn’t recommend this institution highly enough. 

“WAAPA is recognised nationally and internationally for the quality of its graduates. WAAPA provides the most comprehensive range of performing arts training in Australia and students can choose from a range of internationally recognised courses. World-class staff working in state-of-the-art performance and teaching facilities provide rigorous and specialised training of the highest order. These courses offer students the opportunity to realise their artistic ambitions. Entry into the courses is competitive and prospective students undertake an audition and / or interview as part of the application process.” – WAAPA website.

Graduates from the Acting Course will earn an Advanced Diploma of Performing Art (Acting)
Graduates from the Music Theatre Course wil earn a Bachelor of Arts (Music Theatre)

Most WAAPA course applications close on September 30, but it is best to check out the WAAPA website for more information.

Acting applicants will be required to select:

(a) One Classical speech from the audition monologues and 

(b)  One of the other Contemporary speeches from the audition monologues.  

Music Theatre applicants will be required to prepare have to prepare:

1) Singing: Two songs from musicals that  contrast in mood and/or styles (such as ballad and up-tempo). One of the songs should have been written before 1960. Both songs must be memorised and performed with piano accompaniment. The combined length of both songs is not to exceed four minutes. Auditionees may not be necessarily required to perform both songs. If you use the WAAPA accompanist you must provide sheet music in the keys in which the songs are to be performed. If your accompanist is attending they need to be available for the hour. Backing tapes are not permitted;  

2)Acting: Candidates must perform from memory one speech or monologue from the specified monologues. Props and/or movement can be introduced but are not essential;  

In addition: 

3) Dance: The candidate may be asked to return on another day to join a group audition in dance and further singing and acting work. The dance audition will consist of warm-up (stretching exercises, floor work etc) progressions and a short jazz combination. Please wear appropriate dance clothing and footwear 

WAAPA Audition Monologues – Female 
WAAPA Audition Monologues – Male  Other WAAPA courses include: 
Aboriginal TheatreArts ManagementBroadcastingCostumeDanceDesignLightingMusicProps & ScenerySoundStage Management For more information, visit www.waapa.ecu.edu.au  

NIDA – University of New South Wales, Sydney 

Mel Gibson, Robyn Nevin, Cate Blanchett, Philip Quast, Sam Worthington – all notable graduates of the National Institute of Dramatic Art. This school has a great reputation and is continually evolving. Situated in Kensington, Sydney, NIDA students are certainly ‘amongst it’ from the start. 

“NIDA is Australia’s National Institute of Dramatic Art, a centre of excellence in training for theatre, film and television. NIDA’s primary role is to select and train exceptionally gifted young people at a tertiary level, preparing them for careers in theatre, film and television. While best known for its Acting course, NIDA also offers unique and effective courses with great career prospects in design, stage management, event management, lighting, sound, costume making, wardrobe management, scenery construction, properties and special effects” – NIDA website. 

There are two streams in the Acting Course – Acting Stream and Music Theatre Stream. Up to eight places are available in the specialised Music Theatre stream within the Bachelor of Dramatic Art (Acting) course allowing these students to specialise in this area. Successful applicants will be integrated into the three year Acting course and will not be separate fr
om it. Hence, acting is the primary skill required for admission into this specialised stream. 

Graduates from the Acting course Music Theatre stream will receive a Bachelor of Dramatic Art (Acting)
Graduates from the Acting course Acting Stram will receive a Bachelor of Dramatic Art (Acting)

Applications for these courses close on 30 September 2011.

Three monologues (no longer than 2 minutes each)must be prepared to audition for this school.


  • At least one must be selected from the NIDA suggested audition pieces. 
  • At least one must be from a Shakespeare play
  • Your selected monologues should be contrasting pieces, chosen to show different aspects of your abilities


At least one of the monologues you select must come from NIDA’s suggested audition pieces. For all information regarding NIDA’s application and audition process, visit:



VCA – University of Melbourne, Melbourne 

 The Victorian College of the Arts offers specialised courses in Theatre, Dance and Production. I know several people who have come through this school who have loved every moment of it. 

“The VCA is committed to providing a deep and transforming learning experience in pursuit of artistic excellence, innovation and an absorbing education …bringing together an extensive range of creative disciplines including Art, Dance, Theatre, Film and Television, Contemporary Music, Music Theatre, Production, Community Cultural Development and Indigenous Arts Management” – VCA website


Acting and Music Theatre Courses available: 

Bachelor of Fine Arts (Music Theatre)
Bachelor of Fine Arts (Theatre Practice)

For more info, visit the VCA Website


Erin James

Erin James is AussieTheatre.com's former Editor in Chief and a performer on both stage and screen. Credits include My Fair Lady, South Pacific and The King and I (Opera Australia), Love Never Dies and Cats (Really Useful Group), Blood Brothers (Enda Markey Presents), A Place To Call Home (Foxtel/Channel 7) and the feature film The Little Death (written and directed by Josh Lawson).

Erin James

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