Theatre and Dance

Frequently Asked Questions

What does "contrasting" mean?

Whatever is going to show you off to your best advantage. Thus, contrasting songs may mean:

  • a belt song and a musical theatre classical song
  • a ballad and an up-tempo song
  • a contemporary Broadway song and a "Golden Age" Broadway song

It means you have an opportunity to demonstrate lots of what you're good at.

Similarly, contrasting monologues may mean:

  • a serious monologue and a comic monologue
  • a contemporary monologue and a classic monologue

Again: "contrasting" means whatever you need it to mean in order to show us your best work.

When will I know the results of the audition?

As soon as possible — in most cases, by the end of March.

Applicants accepted into the program are notified by phone and/or email, followed by an official letter. Applicants not accepted into the program also receive an official letter outlining their options.

May I bring my own accompanist?

By all means, as long as it's a real person and not a recording.

What if I've had no formal dance training (or acting classes or voice lessons)?

Come and give us your best. Our job is to diagnose talent and potential as well as training.

Why don't you offer big monetary scholarships as they do at Millikin, Webster, Roosevelt, Illinois Wesleyan, or Northwestern (private schools in the region with BFA programs in Musical Theatre)?

The highly successful WIU program, launched in 2003, doesn't yet benefit from the scholarship endowments of wealthy alumni. However, the difference in cost tells the rest of the story: tuition and fees at WIU cost $15,000-27,000 less per year than tuition and fees at these other schools. Room and board are also significantly less expensive at WIU.

So, why Western?

The WIU program offers personalized instruction, a low student-to-teacher ratio, and a hand-picked expert faculty. At the center of the WIU program are team-taught musical theatre performance classes at all levels, where students learn to combine their singing, acting, and movement skills into synergized top-level performance work. The WIU Musical Theatre faculty are seasoned professionals, both as artists and as gifted and caring teachers.