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BFA Design & Technology: Apply

Application to Degree Program

Candidates for all degrees in Theatre, including the B.F.A. degree Design/Technology, must complete an audition, portfolio review and/or interview to be considered for admission into the Department of Theatre and Dance. Auditions and interviews take place between December and March, and offers of admission are made by April 1. Students who do not audition or interview on or before March 15 usually must defer consideration of admission to the following year.

The first step is to apply for admission to Otterbein University.  Once you have applied for admission, you may arrange for a portfolio review.  Do not wait to be accepted by the University!   Interviews for the B.F.A. Design/Tech degree will be held on campus in December, February and March.  Interviews will also be held at the Unified Auditions in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles in February.  To arrange for a portfolio review, send an e-mail to Matt Wolfe, or call 614-823-1657. We will respond to your request with a written confirmation of your appointment and more detailed information about the interview.


Prepare a portfolio of work that contains evidence of artistic achievement and creativity in the field or fields that are of interest to you, including scenic, lighting, costume, and sound design and technology, technical direction and/or stage management.  Items may include drawings, <img src="/Images/Academics/Departments/theatre/photos/2013DT_2.jpg" style="width: 250px; height: 167px; float: left;" alt="Photo Credit: Afton Welch" />paintings, slides, photos, renderings, light plots, concepts, prompt scripts and play programs highlighting your production involvement. A theatre resume, a photo, and two letters of recommendation from a theatre or art teacher who know your work ethic and abilities are required at the interview. 

Highly suggested items for the portfolio would include:

  • Photographs of anything the student has worked on in any production aspect of theatre (sets, lights, props, costumes, special effects). The majority of photographs should show specific work done by the student, but a generic production shot can be included for things like sound design or stage management to give the faculty an idea of the scope and budget of the production.
  • Artwork (drawings, paintings, craft projects, models, etc.) done by the student. These can be theatre-related or can be artwork done as a hobby, or from a fine arts class, for example. Any kind of artwork is acceptable.
  • Draftings (hand draftings and/or CAD draftings are encouraged if you have learned those skills). Production paperwork created by the student (stage managers, sound and lighting technicians, etc. may want to show plots, prompt scripts, cue sheets, reports, etc. that the student has generated and used). Items that show your process and your organizational abilities are very helpful.
  • Samples of sound work recorded onto a CD, if sound is your primary interest.
  • Samples of sewing projects if you have any and if your primary interest is in costume construction.
  • A small prop that you may have constructed or designed.
  • Computer graphics or animation on a CD that is able to play on a laptop computer.
  • Anything else you think shows a specific skill that you feel is important for the faculty to know about.

Things that the faculty would rather you NOT include:

  • Show programs (unless you have designed the program or did artwork for the program).
  • Very dark photographs that don't show your work clearly enough to evaluate.
  • Photographs of friends in the theatre, cast parties, etc. that don't show your work or your craft.
  • Volume instead of quality (while it would be fine to show an example or two of your early work to show progression, it is advisable to cull out less successful work and have the portfolio contain the work you feel is your best).

Talent Awards and Acceptance Dates

Most students accepted into one of our degree programs are also offered a talent award, ranging from $500 to $4000 annually. Grants are made on the basis of the audition, portfolio review, and interview. Notification of acceptance and talent awards begins in mid-March. Some students may be placed on a waiting list. Final offers will be made by May 1.

Admission is selective and we admit a freshman class of 32 to 34: 8 BFA Acting; 4 BFA Musical Theatre and 4 Musical Theatre/Dance; 8-10 in the BFA in Design/Technology; and 8-10 in the BA degree. Even though you audition for one degree program, the faculty may offer you admission to another degree program if they believe your talent, goals and current strengths are better suited to that program.

Transfer Students

The Department of Theatre and Dance accepts transfer students in two degree programs: the BA Theatre, and the BFA in Design/Technology. Requirements vary by degree program.

Potential transfer students should consult Elizabeth Doyle, Admission Counselor for the Arts, in the Admission Office before applying.

Related Links

/ Department of Theatre and Dance

Department Office
M-F: 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
p/ 614.823.1657

Box Office
M-F: 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
p/ 614.823.1109
e/ boxoffice@otterbein.edu

For general questions about admission and financial aid:
Elizabeth Doyle
Admission Counselor
p/ 614.823.1500
e/ edoyle@otterbein.edu

For questions about BFA Acting and Musical Theatre auditions:
Harriet Hill, Audition Coordinator
p/ 614.823.1210
e/ hhill@otterbein.edu

For questions about BA, Design/Tech, and Dance admission:
Matt Wolfe, Administrative Assistant
p/ 614.823.1657
e/ mtwolfe@otterbein.edu

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