Applying to east 15

Preparing for auditions

Preparing For Auditions

What to prepare...

Amid growing concerns surrounding COVID-19, all remaining 2020 auditions will be digital. 

For more information about how to submit an online audition, please see our guide below.

Living History Project
Living History Project
MA Acting
MA Acting

Audition Speeches

Online Auditions

Given the current circumstances surrounding COVID-19, East 15 is currently accepting online auditions only for all applicants.

Your video can be recorded using a smartphone camera (i.e. iPhone, Android etc.), you do not need a professional grade camera for this.

Please note that all applicants will need to submit a direct application form on which you can add a link to your online auditionYou can do this by uploading a video to YouTube, Vimeo or an alternative digital platform.

Applicants submitting an online audition will need to pay a £55 audition fee.

Details regarding our Undergraduate Audition Fee Waiver Scheme can be found here

Please read all of the following information carefully. 

Information for all applicants:

All online audition materials must be performed in English.

At the beginning of your audition video, please take no more than 90 seconds to tell us the following:

  • Your name, age, and where you are from (i.e. I live in Birmingham).
  • Looking directly into the camera, and without referring to any notes or script, tell us about something that has inspired you recently - this can be a performance or a piece of work (in any medium) or an experience that you have had.  The choice is up to you and we cannot provide further advice on this.
  • Tell us information about your audition pieces - the name of the character you are playing, the play from which the speech comes and the author of the play. 

After this you will need to include the following:

  • A speech by Shakespeare or another Elizabethan/Jacobean playwright lasting no more than 90 seconds.
  • A speech from a contemporary (post-1990) stage play lasting no more than 90 seconds.

Further information for undergraduate applicants only:

For certain courses an additional piece is required. These are listed below.

  • BA Acting & Community Theatre - a third speech from a published play or a piece you have devised or written yourself, lasting no more than two minutes. 
  • BA Acting & Contemporary Theatre - a third piece, lasting no more than three minutes, that is something you have created (be it a piece of writing, music, dance, poetry, film or visual art).
  • BA Acting & Stage Combat and BA Physical Theatre - a short physical piece that shows your movement skills. This can be a dance, circus skill, mime, fight scene, martial art, gymnastics or anything else that shows us your skills.
  • BA Acting, BA Acting (International) and Cert HE do not need to provide a 3rd speech as you would if you were auditioning in person.

Tips for self-taping:

  • Your video can be recorded using a smartphone camera (i.e. iPhone, Android etc.), you do not need a professional grade camera.
  • Deliver your speech straight to the camera, addressing the lens as the person you are talking to (or the audience, if it is a soliloquy).
  • Set the camera up so that the image clearly shows your head, shoulders and the top half of your torso. For those required to submit a short physical piece, please adjust this to full length. 
  • Ensure that the main source of light is behind the camera, not behind you.
  • Leave a brief pause between the end of your first speech and the beginning of your second.

We recommend that you upload the video material referred to above to either YouTube, Vimeo or file sharing sites such as Dropbox. You will need to provide the web address (URL) for this material within the online application form so should have this ready before submitting the form. Instructions for uploading your file to a digital platform can be viewed here.

Undergraduate

Due to the current circumstances surrounding COVID-19, please refer to our online audition instructions in the section above. 

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The audition day starts with a general address to all applicants after which you will be allocated to a group and directed to a room for your first audition piece. You will then be asked to perform your audition speeches in front of your group and at least one East 15 tutor. Some students may be re-called after lunch for a further audition, workshop and/or interview if the tutors require more information in order to make their decision.

During your audition, you may receive direction and suggestions on your performance so you should listen closely to what you are being asked to do. Please note that, through our suggestions, we are offering feedback on the work that we have seen. We do not give feedback after the event, but if you listen attentively you will gain insight and feedback during the sessions.

Speeches

Before selecting your pieces for audition, read the whole play and be ready to talk about the characters and the action.

  • You may be asked to improvise or paraphrase the classical text into modern language.
  • We may ask you to approach the play in a variety of new ways.
  • Be wary of selecting roles that are too removed from your playing age - you will want to find a character that you can connect with, relate to and understand. Your focus should be on inhabiting a character and presenting a speech.
  • Be wary of choosing comical speeches that play more like a stand-up act. Comedy is fine, but it should be rooted in character and situation.
  • Be wary of choosing a speech that requires an "accomplished" accent unlike your own - you will want to focus on the actions and thoughts within the speech, not presenting and accent.

Please note that we will not advise you on your choice of character or speech, this selection is a personal decision and is part of the audition process.

Part one of the audition: Applicable to candidates for all acting courses (this does not apply to BA Stage & Production Management or BA Creative Producing) must prepare two contrasting speeches from the following categories (1 speech from each):

  • A play by Shakespeare or another Elizabethan/Jacobean playwright, lasting no more than one and a half minutes.
  • A contemporary (post 1990) play lasting no more than one and a half minutes.

Part two of the audition: You may be called back on the afternoon to provide a further piece or attend an interview/workshop for any of your course choices so you should be prepared for ALL outcomes. Please check the below list and ensure you have prepped for all of your course choices.

Additional requirements:

BA Acting
BA Acting (International)
Certificate of Higher Education in Theatre Arts

Please prepare a third speech from a published play, lasting no more than two minutes, that contrasts well with the contemporary (post 1990) speech. Applicants may also be asked to take part in a group activity.

BA Acting & Community Theatre

Please prepare a third speech from a published play or a piece you have devised or written yourself, lasting no more than two minutes.

BA Acting & Contemporary Theatre

Please prepare a third piece, lasting no more than three minutes, that is something you have created (be it a piece of writing, music, dance, poetry, film or visual art). If you require any AV equipment or props for your piece, you must bring these with you and be able to set it up and dismantle them quickly. Applicants may also be asked to take part in a group activity.

BA Acting & Stage Combat

You may be invited to take part in a physical session, during which we will be able to better assess your physical aptitude as performer. Please ensure you have appropriate clothing and footwear.

BA Physical Theatre 

Please prepare a third piece of self-devised physical theatre, that you feel demonstrates your skills in this area, lasting no more than two minutes. If you require any audio equipment or props for your piece, you must bring these with you and be able to set up and dismantle them quickly. Applicants may also take part in a group physical activity.

BA Stage & Production Management

You will be asked to attend an interview, where we will discuss your interests in the theatre, relevant experience and reasons for applying. You should bring with you (where possible) a portfolio of your work, demonstrating any previous experience in Technical Theatre. You must be successful at interview for your application to be progressed.

Students who are interested in BA Stage and Production Management and would like to find out more information before applying should email for further information regarding Open Day opportunities. 

BA Creative Producing (Theatre & Short Film)

You will be invited to attend an interview where we will ask about your interests in the Creative Industries, relevant experience and reasons for applying. You must be successful at interview to gain entry onto the course.

Postgraduate

Due to the current circumstances surrounding COVID-19, please refer to our online audition instructions in the section above. 
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The only masters courses that do not require an audition are MA and MFA Theatre Directing. All applicants to all other courses are expected to audition in person or, for overseas applicants only, submit online materials.

Audition days and interviews for our Masters courses take place at our Loughton campus between December and May. The audition day starts with a general address to all applicants after which you will be allocated to a group and directed to a room for your first audition piece. You will then be asked to perform your audition speeches in front of your group and at least one East 15 tutor.

During your audition, you may receive direction and suggestions on your performance so you should listen closely to what you are being asked to do. Please note that, through our suggestions, we are offering feedback on the work that we have seen. We do not give feedback after the event, but if you listen attentively you will gain insight and feedback during the sessions.

Our audition process is very thorough, giving you the opportunity to demonstrate your full potential. The audition lasts from four to six hours and includes opportunities to ask questions and engage with staff and current students. Candidates for acting courses must prepare two contrasting speeches from the following categories (1 speech from each):

  • A play by Shakespeare or another Elizabethan/Jacobean playwright, lasting no more than one and a half minutes.
  • A contemporary (post 1990) play lasting no more than one and a half minutes.

Before selecting your pieces for audition, read the whole play and be ready to talk about the characters and the action.

  • You may be asked to improvise or paraphrase the classical text into modern language.
  • We may ask you to approach the play in a variety of new ways.
  • Be wary of selecting roles that are too removed from your playing age - you will want to find a character that you can connect with, relate to and understand. Your focus should be on inhabiting a character and presenting a speech.
  • Be wary of choosing comical speeches that play more like a stand-up act. Comedy is fine, but it should be rooted in character and situation.
  • Be wary of choosing a speech that requires an "accomplished" accent unlike your own - you will want to focus on the actions and thoughts within the speech, not presenting and accent.

Please note that we will not advise you on your choice of character or speech, this selection is a personal decision and is part of the audition process

MA/MFA Theatre Directing

You are assessed on the basis of your written application, although you may also be called for an interview in person, by telephone or Skype.

Overseas

We audition and interview internationally in around 10 countries each year. Our 2020 auditions are now complete, but you can still submit an online audition. 
BA Stage & Production Management
I've had the opportunity to work on over 10 shows a year so there are always new opportunities to learn and improve your skills, and not just stage management skills but we also cover lighting, sound, costume and construction in our show roles which makes us much more rounded and employable in the industry.
Jack Popay BA Stage & Production management graduate