URTA | Events


New York City
  URTA and Satellite Auditions Jan 19 – Jan 22
  Directing, Stage Mgmt, Arts Leadership Interviews Jan 20 -21
  Design/Tech Interviews Jan 25 – Jan 28
  URTA and Satellite Auditions Jan 29 – Feb 1
  Directing, Stage Mgmt Interviews Jan 27
San Francisco
  URTA Auditions (Satellites combined) Feb 3 – Feb 4

In a single day, present your acting audition or design portfolio to more than a dozen
MFA programs at once–and attend callback interviews that same afternoon.
You can also arrange interviews for MFA programs in directing, stage
management, and arts leadership!


More information our member universities, including MFAs offered, recruiting cycles, financial assistance, and detailed information about their programs.


The Satellite Auditions are a great way for candidates in acting to be seen by even more schools during their trip to the URTAs.


The URTAs are more than just recruiting! Make the most of your trip by registering to attend a workshop or panel.


If you’re a theatre artist in pursuit of graduate training, the URTAs set the stage for you!


2018 Candidate Registration will open September 2017!


URTA member school recruiters please register here.


to all of your most frequently asked questions about the URTAs!


currently scheduled to attend –
Updated as they register!


you need
to know
to prepare for
the URTAs.


Don’t neglect your interview! Great insight on how to prepare from current MFAs.

University of Arizona Chicago Costume, Lighting, Properties, Scenic, Technical Direction
Arizona State University New York, Chicago Acting, Costume, Directing, Lighting, Scenic, Properties, Technical Direction
California Institute of the Arts New York, Chicago, San Francisco Acting, Directing, Scenic, Sound, Stage Management, Producing/Theatre Management, Technical Direction
University of California, Irvine New York, Chicago,
San Francisco
Acting, Costume, Directing, Lighting, Scenic, Sound, Stage Management
University of California, Los Angeles New York, Chicago,
San Francisco
Acting, Costume, Directing, Lighting, Scenic
California State University, Fullerton Chicago Costume, Lighting, Scenic, Sound
Califronia State University, Long Beach New York, Chicago Costume, Lighting, Media, Scenic, Theatre Management
University of Cincinnati, CCM Chicago Costume, Lighting, Properties, Scenic, Sound, Stage Management
University of Connecticut New York, Chicago,
San Francisco
Acting, Costume, Lighting, Scenic, Theatre Management
East 15 Acting School, London New York, Chicago,
San Francisco
Acting, Directing
University of Florida New York, Chicago, San Francisco Acting, Costume, Lighting, Scenic
Florida State University/Asolo Conservatory New York, Chicago,
San Francisco
Acting, Costume, Directing, Stage Management, Technical Direction, Theatre Management
University of Illinois Chicago Costume, Lighting, Media, Properties, Scenic, Sound, Stage Management, Technical Direction
Illinois State University New York, Chicago Directing, Costume, Lighting, Scenic
Indiana University New York, Chicago Acting, Costume, Directing, Scenic, Technical Direction
University of Iowa Chicago Costume, Directing, Lighting, Scenic, Stage Management
Kent State University Chicago Lighting, Media, Scenic
Louisiana State University New York, Chicago Acting
University of Maryland Chicago Costume, Lighting, Media, Scenic
Michigan State University Chicago Costume, Lighting, Media, Properties, Scenic, Sound, Technical Direction
University of Minnesota Chicago Costume, Lighting, Scenic, Sound, Properties
University of Missouri, Kansas City New York, Chicago Costume, Lighting, Media, Stage Management, Scenic, Sound, Technical Direction
University of Nebraska, Lincoln Chicago Lighting
University of Nevada, Las Vegas Chicago Costumes, Lighting, Technical Direction
UNC at Chapel Hill New York, Chicago Acting
Northern Illinois University Chicago Costume, Lighting, Scenic, Technical Direction
Northwestern University Chicago Costume, Lighting, Scenic
Ohio University Chicago Costume, Lighting, Properties, Scenic, Sound, Technical Direction
The Ohio State University Chicago Costume, Lighting, Scenic
Pennsylvania State University Chicago Costume, Scenic
Purdue University Chicago Lighting, Properties, Scenic, Sound
University of South Carolina Chicago Costume, Lighting, Scenic
Southern Methodist University New York, Chicago,
San Francisco
Acting, Costumes, Lighting, Scenic
Temple University Chicago Costumes
University of Tennessee, Knoxville New York, Chicago,
San Francisco
University of Texas at Austin Chicago Costume, Lighting, Media, Scenic, Sound
University of Virginia Chicago Costume, Lighting, other Disciplines TBA
University of Washington New York, Chicago Acting, Costume, Lighting, Scenic
University of Wisconsin, Madison Not recruiting this year
Wayne State University New York, Chicago Acting, Costume, Lighting, Scenic, Stage Management, Theatre Management
West Virginia University (Guest Recruiter) Chicago Costume, Lighting, Scenic, Technical Direction
San Diego State University (Guest Recruiter) Chicago Costume, Lighting, Scenic, Technical Direction
Boston University (Guest Recruiter) Chicago Costume, Lighting, Sound, Scenic, Technical Direction
Brooklyn College (Guest Recruiter) New York City, Chicago Acting, Costume, Directing, Lighting, Theatre Management, Scenic
University of Georgia (Guest Recruiter) Chicago Costume, Lighting, Scenic


New York City Jan 21 – Jan 24  Crown Plaza 1605 Broadway
Chicago Jan 30 – Feb  2 Westin, 909 Michigan Avenue
San Francisco Feb  4 – Feb  5  Academy of Art University, 620 Sutter St.

Expand the scope of your grad school search by attending the URTA Satellite Auditions!

While the URTAs allow you to audition for our many member schools at one time, the Satellite Auditions provide the opportunity to be seen by even more, non-member programs. These are quality, degree-granting institutions that are not currently pursuing membership in URTA, but may offer you promising ways to extend your training. Many highly regarded training programs (including several international schools) have taken part in the Satellite Auditions in previous years.

The Satellite Auditions are open to all acting candidates registered for the URTAs, and operate in much the same way (you can even perform the same audition!). Your Satellite Audition will not be scheduled on the same day as your URTA Audition, to avoid conflicts with any potential callback interviews.

Select the Satellite Auditions when you’re registering for the URTAs, or add them later. A modest additional fee applies.


Academy of Art University MFA New York, Chicago, San Francisco
Accademia dell’Arte (Accredited by Mississippi University for Women) MFA New York, Chicago, San Francisco
California State University, Los Angeles MFA New York, Chicago, San Francisco
Birmingham School of Acting MA New York, Chicago, San Francisco
Case Western Reserve University – Cleveland Play House MFA New York, Chicago
Circle in the Square Theatre School Conservatory New York, Chicago
Columbia College Chicago MFA New York, Chicago
Dell’Arte International MFA San Francisco
University of Houston MFA New York, Chicago
Institute of Contemporary Performance

Conservatory San Francisco
Long Island University-Post MFA New York, Chicago, San Francisco
Mary Baldwin University MFA New York
Naropa University MFA New York, Chicago, San Francisco
National Theatre Institute Conservatory New York
The New School MFA New York, Chicago, San Francisco
Portland Actors Conservatory Conservatory New York, Chicago, San Francisco
Portland Playhouse Conservatory New York
Regent University MFA New York, Chicago, San Francisco
Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance MA New York, Chicago
Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) MFA New York, Chicago, San Francisco
Stella Adler Studio of Acting Conservatory New York, Chicago, San Francisco
Guildford School of Acting (GSA), University of Surrey MA New York, Chicago
University of the Arts MFA New York, Chicago, San Francisco
Western Illinois University MFA Chicago


You’ve carefully selected your monologues and worked tirelessly with your acting coach. Your design portfolio is ready, with attention paid to every last detail. Your prompt book, writing samples, and letters of recommendation are all ready to go.

But once your presentation is done, what happens when you get to the interview? Have you given any thought to that extremely important part of the recruiting process?

Walking into an interview unprepared can be just as detrimental as a poorly prepared audition or design portfolio.

So what should you think about, well ahead of entering the room and sitting down with faculty recruiters? Check out the topics to the right, and video testimonials from current MFAs below, for invaluable inspiration!

Be able to answer for yourself: What do I want from a MFA program? If you’re serious about graduate training, you should have an idea about what it is you’re looking for. Maybe you’re an actor who wants to focus on your vocal production? Are you a costume designer who feels the need to improve your technical skills? Perhaps you’re a stage management candidate looking for as much hands-on production experience as possible. Maybe it’s simply a matter of finding that intense, professional training that you’ve never had.

As an artist, you’re an individual, and you should have a good idea of why you’re pursuing grad school. Once you’ve determined that, you can begin to look for programs that serve your need.

Find out what makes the many different MFA programs unique. Don’t start with a limited list of schools–discover all that’s out there. You may be surprised to find yourself intrigued by a school you never considered, if you take the time to do your research.

URTA’s Directory of Member Programs is a good place to start exploring our schools. Check out the departments’ websites, track down alumni, faculty, and current students. Reach out to them with an email and see what they have to say.

Your research should lead you to a list of questions you’ll have, should you interview with a particular school. What financial assistance is available? What relationships do they maintain with professional theatres? Maybe they offer a unique international component you’d like to hear more about, or a particular instructor whose background interests you?

If you’ve done your homework, you won’t be dumbfounded when the interviewer asks you, “Do you have any questions for us?” and you’ll leave the interview with more information and tools with which to make your decision.

After the interview, it’s not over! If a school took the time to interview you, they’re definitely interested. But they’re only human–recruiters are interviewing many candidates over several weeks. You need to remind them about who you are, and continue to build the relationship. Make sure you leave your interview with proper contact information, so you can follow up with an email. Maybe you have additional questions you forgot–or didn’t have time–to ask. Maybe there’s pertinent materials you still need to send them. Even a simple, ‘thank you’ can go a long way toward building a relationship with potential instructors and mentors.

The URTA Auditions & Interviews are not the same as the “Unified Auditions” for undergraduate programs. Only URTA-member MFA programs and qualified guest institutions take part in the URTAs.

URTA provides a $25 discount on registration to members of the Actors’ Equity Association (AEA) and to national finalists of the Kennedy Center – American College Theatre Festival (KC-ACTF).

In order to qualify for this discount, you must be either member in good standing of AEA, or one of the ACTF national finalists in Acting, Design/Tech, Directing or Stage Management, who were invited to the National Scholarship event in Washington DC (or the scene partner of a national finalist).

Nope! No additional applications or fees are required for you to attend the URTAs. However, many schools may require you to complete their university’s application process before they can formally consider you for their program, or make you an official offer. Each school has a different procedure, and we strongly urge you to check with the schools you are most interested in and see what they require.

In some cases, a school may ask you to submit a formal application during your interview in order to establish your interest. This is not an offer for a place at their school; they may simply need to have your completed application in order to consider you for a spot in their program.

Once you’ve completed the online registration process, you should be directed to a screen to complete payment. If you aren’t, please contact us.

If you need to pay with a money order or cashier’s check, contact the URTA offices to arrange payment.

The auditions will take place in a theater space, or in a large hotel conference room.

Interviews for directors, stage managers, and theatre managers, as well as callback interviews for actors, take place in the recruiter’s rooms in the URTA hotel.

Portfolio reviews for candidates in design and technology are held in a large ballroom or exhibit hall at the URTA hotel.

The Satellite Auditions are an additional audition open to URTA acting candidates for a small fee. These auditions are attended by non-URTA member institutions.

A candidate must be registered for the URTA Auditions to take part in the Satellite Auditions. You can register for the Satellite Auditions on your initial URTA registration, or add them later on. You may also be able to participate as a walk-in, if there are spots available.

Candidates attend their URTA Audition (and any resulting callback interviews) on their assigned day. The Satellite Audition will take place on either the previous day, or the following day. It is not possible to do both auditions on the same day. The audition process is the same, and you may perform the same material, if you like.

The URTAs are open to producing theatres that may wish to recruit for their summer companies, and past guest institutions have included Actors Theatre of Louisville, PCPA Theatrefest, Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival, Blue Man Group, Jacobs Pillow Dance Festival, the Glimmerglass Festival, and others. However, most years our recruiters are made up primarily of MFA programs seeking graduate students.

Scroll up this page to see what institutions are registered to attend for the current year.

Absolutely! While most URTA candidates are just completing their undergraduate degree, all ages are welcome to participate. Most MFA programs seek to recruit graduate students of varied ages and backgrounds to provide a more diverse program for all involved. Training programs are very interested in experienced candidates – people who have spent some time pursuing their craft professionally.

Remember – Members of Actors’ Equity Association are eligible for a discount on registration!

Most candidates pursuing graduate-level training are focused on a particular area of study–acting, design, directing, etc. If you’re unsure where your interests and strengths lie, consider speaking with a trusted professor or mentor to weigh all your options.

If you’re truly serious about multiple fields, you may register in two areas without paying an additional registration fee. Please realize though, that a given graduate program will likely only consider you in a single area.

Candidates in design and technology may select up to three areas of focus on their registration (e.g. costume, scenic, sound, etc.). These areas will be listed alphabetically on the recruiter’s roster.

If you’re a candidate registered for directing, stage management or producing/theatre management, we will provide you a detailed list of the schools who are recruiting for that year, and their requirements for granting an interview. You will prepare a “common packet” for each school and send it to the contact person indicated in the list. These common packets must be sent out before the winter break (see the Candidate Handbook for more information about the common packet).

The “letters of recommendation” required for the common packet are not the official, sealed letters with which you may be familiar. These are simply three letters from persons who know and love your work. Ask them to write a letter on your behalf and include it with your other common packet materials.

Once the school has reviewed your common packet, they’ll let us know (usually in early January) who they would like to interview in each city. If selected, URTA will arrange your half hour interview in the city you have selected. You’ll receive a preliminary schedule 7-10 days before the date of the interview.

If you are a candidate in directing, stage management, or theatre management, you do need letters of recommendation, as part of your “common packet”. Keep in mind, these are not formal, sealed letters that you may have requested for college applications in the past.

Candidates in other areas do not need recommendation letters to register for the URTAs, however you may need formal letters of recommendation later down the line, if you are asked to complete school applications or if you are made a formal offer.

Unfortunately no, you cannot choose your date. If you have a conflict with a specific date, please indicate it in the “Schedule Conflicts” box on your registration, and we will do our best to accommodate you.

Please don’t simply request, “I must audition on Tuesday.”  We need to know what your conflict is, in order to try and accommodate it.

The value of the URTA Auditions & Interviews are that they preclude the need for individual auditions. Some of our members only recruit via the URTAs. However, we always suggest that you be your own best advocate. If you have keen interest in a particular school, you should feel free to send them your headshot/resume, or a link to your design portfolio, along with a note expressing your interest to that particular program. You can do this weeks in advance of the URTAs. If a school knows you are interested, they may seek you out the day of your audition or portfolio review. By reaching out, you’ve indicated that you’re a motivated candidate, who has done their research.

Bottom line: If you have great interest in a certain school, contact them. Nothing can be lost by opening a dialogue.

You should have received two emails: One from URTA, letting you know we received your application, and one from PayPal confirming your payment.

As soon as your information is entered into our system, you will be receive another email from URTA with your assigned day and time, station number, and other important materials and information. This email should come 7-10 days after your payment is processed.

Keep in mind that the later your application is submitted, the longer the processing time.

If you need to update your email address, please notify us right away by emailing auditions@urta.com.

To update any of your other information, please send an email to auditions@urta.com no later than December 31st.

On the day of your URTA Audition, you will need to show up early to check in and attend the orientation at 8:30 am.

Auditions run from 9:00 am to approximately 2:00 pm. A callback interview sheet will be handed out later that same afternoon. Callback interviews, if any, begin immediately that same day, and go into the evening. Depending on where you need to travel back to, you may need to spend another night. Since we don’t know in advance how many callback interviews you will receive, we cannot tell you how long you must to stay.

Acting auditions are two minutes in length. Timing starts when you begin your first piece.

We strongly advise you to choose two contrasting pieces, such as a contemporary piece paired with a Shakespeare monologue, but you aren’t required to. There are some limitations, and these details are covered in the Candidate Handbook, so please give it a read!

This can vary depending on the school. Usually, the recruiter is trying to get a sense of who you are and what you are looking for in a grad program, while at the same time telling you about the program they represent. It is a 15-minute “first date.” Candidates can greatly increase the productivity of this time by doing some advance research. That way, instead of the recruiter talking generally about their school, they can jump right in with details important to you and how you will fit into their program. Scroll up this page for some great information on interview preparation from students who have been through the process.

There may be power available, but it might not be near your station. Power strips and hotel-provided extension cords will be arranged throughout the room.

We have arranged for Wi-Fi it to be included with your sleeping room, if you are staying at the URTA hotel. It is also free in the main lobby of the hotel. But Wi-Fi will probably not be available in the room where the portfolio reviews take place. You should make sure that any digital materials are downloaded and available to be viewed without an internet connection.

We ask you to provide us a link to your online portfolio so we can make it available to recruiters ahead of time. Hopefully, by the time they sit down with you they’ve already become familiar with some of your work online.

First, continue to research programs that you’re interested in, and that expressed interest in you. Follow up with thank you notes or emails.

You may be asked to submit a formal application to the university, along with their application fee. Please note that the fee you paid to URTA was for your attendance at the URTAs – not an application fee for a particular school or schools.

You might be invited to visit the campus for a required callback audition, and sometimes the school will offer to defray your travel costs. It might also be a good idea to contact current students, or alumni of the program, to hear their thoughts.

You should be sure to read the URTA Offer/Acceptance Policy (in the Candidate Handbook) regarding how and when offers might start to come in, but be aware that once the three-week period is over, an offer could come at any time, and an answer could be required fairly quickly. Make sure you know what you want, where you want to go, who you want to study with, and more.

After the URTAs, recruiters may contact candidates. Take such correspondence as an indication of “interest,” but it should not be interpreted as an official offer. When an official offer is made, it will be clearly stated as such, and accompanied by something in writing.

The process is a two-way street. You are free to inquire whether you’re on a recruiter’s “short list,” or not. And later in the spring, if you don’t get into a program, you can always follow up with an email to see if spots have opened up that you would be perfect to fill.

Please note: The artist-teacher who serves as a recruiter normally does not have a great deal of support staff assisting them.  They may not have time to write the “thank you” email to the many candidates they met, and may not have the time to let you know you are NOT in the running for an official offer. This is not an excuse for poor manners, only an explanation of why you might not hear back.

Candidates may cancel attendance at any time simply by emailing URTA, however it is our policy that we cannot offer refunds for registration fees or admission to continuing education events.

Should you encounter a conflict with work, school, or a performance, URTA will change your date and/or site, if possible. Changes are not guaranteed, as space is limited in some areas, and a fee may be charged if URTA is able to accommodate the request. All change requests must be emailed to auditions@urta.com. Include your name, and the site and day/time, that you were assigned.

Attendance Deferral

If severe weather or a significant health issue will prevent you from attending on your scheduled day, the easiest option is to change to another day at the same site. If that’s not possible, moving to another site may be an option. Only if another day or site is impossible will URTA consider an attendance deferral to the following year. Deferrals are only possible for significant weather/health issues, and each case will be considered individually.

If a deferral is requested:

  • Candidate must notify URTA by email as soon as possible, including as much detail as is warranted.
  • Candidate must provide written/printed confirmation of the circumstances, such as a doctor/hospital note, flight cancellation notification, etc.
  • If circumstances are acceptable under the policy, URTA will send a confirmation email to the candidate, including information about how to register for the following year. Please retain a printed copy of this email.

Be sure to read the Candidate Handbook, which is full of useful information about the process. If you still have questions, please send an email to: TheUrtas@urta.com. All emails are replied to in a timely fashion.