Idyllwild Arts Academy

Priority Application Deadline for Fall 2019: January 15, 2019

Push the envelope as you work on productions that you’ll see at no other high school.

Our Theatre Department will thrust you onto the cutting edge of the most daring contemporary and classic dramas, comedies, and musicals. You’ll also master performing arts advanced techniques that will give you the versatility for every kind of theatre.

Come to Idyllwild and work side-by-side with our gifted professional actors, dancers, singers, designers, and technicians. They’ll help you dig deep inside yourself and free your creative passion to take you as far as you want to go.

Bring your love of theatre to a place where that love is intense, and where we embrace the idea of making theatre your life.


Our training will teach you not merely to act a theatrical role, but to live it. Your command of intense emotions like terror, ecstasy, and grief will give you the power to hush a crowded theatre, and your comic skills will fill it with laughter. You’ll learn how to live every kind of role by studying a variety of acting techniques and by acting for the camera, collaborating with our Moving Pictures Department, and taking stage-combat classes. And study of behind-the-scenes skills like set design and lighting will give you the holistic theatrical sense that you need to become a whole performer.

Musical Theatre

If you love singing and dancing as much as you love acting, our Theatre Department encourages you to choose a Musical Theatre emphasis. You’ll add private voice lessons and music theory to the mastery of tap and jazz dancing, and even musical ballet. But you’ll also learn powerful acting methods along with our regular Theatre students, and have the freedom to perform in all of our plays. Join Musical Theatre so that you can sing, dance, and act in order to touch the full range of human emotions.

Design and Production

Get ready to take a leadership role in the theatre world by creating designs to fulfill an artistic idea or by captaining a production crew. Choosing our Design and Production emphasis will make you an expert in the important, nuts-and-bolts skills of carpentry, sewing, painting, figure-drawing, and drafting. You can also enrich your education in these vital behind-the-scenes techniques by adding acting classes, which will give you a deeper understanding of the needs of performers. Focus on Design and Production to take the whole theatrical experience in your hands and make the magic happen.

Audition Requirements

The Theatre major offers concentrated pre-professional training. Training is Stanislavsky based and incorporates self-use techniques to guide students toward greater self-awareness and knowledge of the potentials of their own resources. The program offers disciplined training as exemplified in conservatory theatre training programs on the college level. Students declare an area of concentration in acting, musical theatre or theatrical design/technical theatre at the time of admission (or in their junior year). The curriculum includes classes in acting, mask characterization, Shakespeare, stage combat, stage movement, music fundamentals for musical theatre, acting for the camera, improvisation, scenery and costume design, stage management, musical theatre repertory, voice and diction, lighting and sound fundamentals, class voice and drafting for the theatre.

We strongly recommend that candidates audition during their campus visit. If a live audition is not possible, students must submit an American format DVD or provide an online audition on a site such as YouTube containing the following:

Acting or Musical Theatre: Two prepared monologues from memory of no more than two minutes each. One must be a Shakespearean verse monologue and one must be a monologue from a play written after 1900. Applicants must also sing sixteen bars of a song a capella.

Theatre and Production Design: Applicants must interview with the design faculty and/or submit a portfolio for review.

For Specific questions regarding the Theatre admission process contact:
Andrea Chesley at 951.659.2171 x2344 or

Theatre Faculty
Theatre Chair
Theatre Faculty
Theatre Faculty
Theatre Faculty - Campus Technical Director
Theatre Faculty
Theatre Faculty
Theatre Faculty
Theatre Faculty
Theatre Faculty
Music Faculty / Lower Wayne Dorm Head
Dance Faculty
Theatre Faculty
Dance & Musical Theatre Faculty
Theatre Faculty
Dance & Musical Theatre Faculty
Voice Faculty - Classical Voice
Theatre Faculty
Theatre Faculty
Materials List

Clothing Requirments for Theatre Acting and Musical Theatre

  • Black tights (women and men)
  • Black leotards (women)
  • Black jazz pants or black sweat pants (men and women)
  • Black jazz shoes (men and women)
  • Dance belt (men)
  • White briefs (men)
  • Black character shoes (women) Black hard-soled dress shoes (men)
  • Black socks (men)
  • Black ankle character skirt
  • Bras – regular and strapless (women)
  • White Slip – (women)
  • Panty hose (women)
  • Tap Shoes Taps MUST be attached with screws NOT nailed on. (All Musical Theatre students)

(A great source for dance wear is Discount Dance Supply at or Dancewear Solutions at


  • Dark suit or sport coat (men)
  • Dark dress jacket or sweater (women)
  • White dress shirt/blouse (men and women)
  • Black dress shirt/blouse (men and women)
  • Black t-shirts (long and short sleeves)
  • Black dress pants (men and women)


  • All SENIOR Theatre Acting and Musical Theatre students need to plan to audition for the Opening Concert. The audition will take place during registration. Also, be sure to bring your performance blacks, as you will be wearing them for the concert.

Class Placement: All Students

Design and Technical Production Students:
All Design and Technical Production students will be required to have an interview/ portfolio review with faculty.

Theatre Acting and Musical Theatre Students:
Auditions for class placement will take place on Thursday of the first week.

All Theatre and Musical Theatre students are required to audition for class placement. Prepare and memorize: one two-minute contemporary monologue, and one two-minute Shakespearean verse monologue. You are also required to sing sixteen bars (a capella) of a song from a published Broadway musical.

Musical Theatre students should prepare a song from a Broadway musical. No pop songs! All Junior and Senior musical theatre students are now required to take Private Voice lessons. You will audition for your Private Voice class teacher in the first week. Freshmen and Sophomore may be able to elect lessons based on teacher availability.

Your pieces should be contrasting and show range in comedy and drama. Choose your material from established playwrights and published plays. Please do not do original material, and do not do pieces from monologue books unless you have read the entire play that the piece is from. (If you need ideas, start at the library. Another source for material is Samuel French Plays at or Dramatists Play Service at

Pick pieces that best show “you” and that are written within your age and emotional range. If you have any questions concerning audition material, contact Bonnie Carpenter at