Frequently Asked Questions
We admit actors with a strong sense of individuality and real potential for a lifetime of work in the theater, who possess instruments that are expressive and trainable, who are at home with themselves, who have access to their imaginations and emotional lives and who love playing with others.
In order to be considered for admission in the fall of 2023, you must submit your application no later than 11:59PM (US Eastern Standard Time) on Monday, January 2, 2023. Applications and inquiries received after that time will not be considered.
No. Because of advance COVID-19 requirements, Yale will not be able to offer walk-in auditions this year.
We want to know who you are! We suggest you choose material you feel strongly about, material that reveals something personal about you and where something important is at stake for the character. We want to see your idea of what acting is, what your sense of purpose in acting is — not someone else’s. Your heart and your individuality are what’s important to us.
Please prepare two contrasting pieces to share at your initial audition. Your pieces can be drawn from any period and any genre of theatrical literature. If requested, you should be ready to present a third and even a fourth piece. All material must be fully memorized and in English. While there is no strict time limit for the audition, we strongly recommend that your pieces not exceed 3 minutes in length. 2 – 2 ½ minutes per piece is a useful target to aim for.
Your pieces can be from any source. We have found over time that material written for the stage tends to better serve actors in our audition process. However, you should present the kind of material that speaks to you.
If you have an undergraduate degree from an accredited institution where English was the primary language of instruction, you do not need to take the TOEFL. Otherwise — yes, you are required to take the TOEFL. For those matriculating during the 2023-2024 academic year, the TOEFL must be taken by the January 15, 2023 test completion deadline. In addition, the application materials you submit must be in English, and you must demonstrate a fluent command of English during your audition and interview.
No. The pre-screening is optional. The reason we offer the assessment of the Optional Pre-Screening for Non-Native Speakers of English is to prevent international applicants from spending a lot of money and time traveling to a US audition site, when we can reasonably predict they will not be admitted. We assume that people who take the time to send us a video care what we think and welcome our prediction as a thoughtful way of protecting them from disappointment. If in our judgement you do not yet possess a command of spoken English that we believe is necessary for an actor to be able to take full advantage of our training, we will recommend that you do not audition. However, you have the option of not following our recommendation — that is, we will not prevent you from auditioning in the U.S. The deadline to submit the optional pre-screening is December 1 in order for the Admissions Committee to review your pre-screening before you submit your application by the January 2, 2023 deadline.
No. You must audition in person for the Admissions Committee. We regret that this requirement presents financial and/or logistical hardships for many applicants. However, there is vital information that the Admissions Committee can gain only by being in the actual physical presence of the actor. It is therefore necessary for us to see each candidate up close in an environment unmediated by technology.
Yes, we will send you an invitation letter to show your local U.S. Embassy/Consulate after you have officially submitted your application and self-scheduled your audition timeslot. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you self-scheduled your audition timeslot but did not receive an invitation letter.
International applicants are encouraged to plan their tourist visit to the United States in advance. The wait time for a tourist visa application interview can vary, so early application is strongly encouraged. It is important to apply for a tourist visa well in advance of the travel departure date.
David Geffen School of Drama is located in New Haven, Connecticut. During your visit to Yale, we suggest that you may wish to explore nearby cities and visit their tourist attractions. New Haven is two-and-a-half-hours south of Boston and almost two hours north of New York City. Both cities are accessible by car, train, bus, and airplane. We also suggest that you may wish to explore tourist attractions at Chicago, Illinois or San Francisco, California during your visit for your audition at those cities.
Many productions at the School, Yale Rep, and Yale Cabaret are open to the public. In addition, the School schedules Visitor Days each fall. This is the only practical and equitable way to respond to the requests of hundreds of applicants and prospective applicants for interaction with current faculty and students, and we encourage you to sign up for this opportunity on a first-come, first-served basis. Please register for the Visitor Days online. Applicants invited to final callback auditions in New Haven will have an opportunity to ask questions in depth and admitted students may also have chances to attend some classes at the School.
The Audition Process: Auditions are scheduled on-the-hour in the morning at 9, 10 and 11 a.m., and in the afternoon at 2, 3, 4, and 5 p.m. Approximately twelve applicants are scheduled to audition each hour. Applicants complete their initial auditions and return to the reception area. If an auditor wishes to see any applicants from that hour’s group again, the Admissions Committee will post a list of names for a brief End-of-Hour Callback. If your name is not posted at this time, you will not be asked to repeat your audition for the Committee and you are free to leave.
At the end of the morning audition session - around 12:00 p.m. - applicants who had an End-of-Hour Callback may be invited to End-of-Morning Callbacks, and their names will be posted. End-of-Morning Callbacks run from approximately 12:15 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. provided the Committee is on schedule.
This same hourly process repeats itself for each hour of auditions scheduled in the afternoon. Any applicant seen in an End-of-Hour Callback should return to the reception area at approximately 6:00 p.m. to see if their name is posted for the End-of-Afternoon Callbacks, which will run from approximately 6:15 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
The End-of-Morning and End-of-Afternoon Callback sessions allow the Committee to learn more about you and your presented work. During this callback session, you will likely participate in a physical and vocal warm-up, be asked to sing a song a capella, and work with members of the Committee on your prepared monologues. An interview may also take place during this callback.
You may download a free copy of the David Geffen School of Drama at Yale Bulletin in HTML and PDF formats at http://bulletin.yale.edu/. The Bulletin includes official details on programs of study, course descriptions, degree and major requirements, and additional regulations. Under “Acting (M.F.A. and Certificate)” you will find a year by year description of the acting curriculum.