/ Theatre Department

Distinguished Artists Award

The Distinguished Artist Award in Theatre is for high school seniors and transfer students who intend to enroll at Hope College in the fall of 2025.

Renewable for four years, the Distinguished Artist Awards (DAA) provides eligible incoming art, dance, music, theatre or creative writing students with $3,000 each year toward their college costs. Each year, up to 60 Distinguished Artist Award (DAA) scholarships are given to students with strong academic records and outstanding creative abilities in art, dance, music, theatre or creative writing.

Graduating seniors in high school and transfer students who intend to enroll in the fall of 2025 that are considering majoring or minoring in theatre at Hope are encouraged to apply. Theatre DAA recipients must major or minor in theatre.

If you’re interested in design, stage management or technical theatre, the Distinguished Artist Awards are for you, too! Prepare a portfolio of your theatre and related work to present to the department. We are interested in seeing art work, designs, pictures of scenery, costumes or props that you have built or created, production shots showing lighting that you have designed and prompt books. 

DAA Audition & Interview Day

The theatre department holds the majority of DAA auditions and interviews on our annual DAA Day on Friday, February 21, 2025. Students have the opportunity to interact with current students and faculty, attend workshops and see a performance. All candidates will also have an interview with members of the theatre department faculty. See an example itinerary below. A full itinerary will be posted closer to the date.

We highly recommend attending on DAA day; however, if you’re unable to attend, alternate dates and recorded auditions are accepted. Alternative audition dates can be arranged with Michelle Bombe (bombe@hope.edu). All videos must be received or alternative dates must be concluded by February 21, 2024. All candidates must have visited campus prior to or on February 21st to be considered.

Whether attending DAA Audition Day, scheduling an alternate time or sending a recorded audition, you must submit a DAA application. The deadline for submitting the application and resume is February 16 for our DAA day on February 21, 0r a week before an alternate date. The theatre department will contact you with a finalized schedule of the activities before the day of your audition. Please reach out to theatre@hope.edu if you need any special accommodations for your in-person audition or interview.

Example DAA Scholarship Day Itinerary

8:30 a.m. Meet and Greet with current students, faculty and staff in the Lobby of the DeWitt Student & Cultural Center.

9:00 a.m. Performance Auditions in the DeWitt Main Theatre – See Audition Day Guidelines (below) for more audition information. Each audition should be no more than 5 minutes.

10 a.m. Design, Stage Management and Technical Theatre Portfolio Presentations with theatre department faculty.

11 a.m. Individual Interviews with faculty. 

12 p.m. Lunch with families, faculty and current students.

1 p.m. Tours of theatre facilities for families and candidates with current students.

2 p.m. Acting Workshop led by a professor of theatre. 

3 p.m. Improv Workshop led by Hope student improv group, Vanderprov.

4 p.m. Free Time

7:30 p.m. Performance of Passage by Christopher Chen.

This schedule is only for our DAA Day on February 21, 2025.  Alternate dates will consist of audition and interview only and will be videotaped as we are unable to guarantee that all faculty will be available to attend. 
Audition Day Guidelines

The purpose of the DAA audition is to offer you an opportunity to tell us something about yourself as a performer, an artist and a person. An ideal audition will include two contrasting monologues, each one not more than two minutes in length. One of these may be a song, or a song may be done in addition to the two monologues. The song should not be longer than one minute and can be as short as sixteen bars. We will provide an accompanist for those singing if you audition on DAA Day, Februrary 21. If possible, please send a copy of your music in advance. If, for some reason, you are not able to prepare two selections, we will be happy to have you present only one. Those auditioning on an alternate date will need to provide a taped accompaniment.  

  1. The total audition should be no more than five minutes. It may be a good idea to seek the help of a drama coach for guidance in finding appropriate material and preparing the audition. Following is a checklist of some things to keep in mind.
  2. Try to choose selections that are relatively close to your own age and life experience. Generally, characters of old age are not good choices.
  3. Avoid selections that demand extreme use of accents or dialects.
  4. Avoid gimmicky selections that are dependent on tricky staging, props and/or costumes. A simple chair will be provided in the audition space.
  5. Contrasting can mean modern vs. period, comic vs. serious, prosaic vs. poetic, realistic vs. stylized. You can also look to the rhythms of the characters involved to find contrasting qualities.
  6. Don’t explain the selection or “set it up” by giving a background to the scene. Just introduce yourself and tell us what you will be doing. Example: “My name is Meryl Streep. I will do a monologue from The Matchmaker by Thornton Wilder,  a monologue from William Shakespeare’s Hamlet and a song from Paint Your Wagon.” When you are finished, simply smile and say, “Thank you!”
  7. If you plan to sing using recorded accompaniment, do not use one with a vocal track.
  8. Each audition will be recorded.
  9. Please reach out to theatre@hope.edu if you need any special accommodations for your in-person audition or interview.

Take your time, have fun and enjoy yourself!

Video Audition and Interview Guidelines

If you are unable to attend an on-campus DAA audition, you are welcome to send us a recorded audition.

  • Actors: Submit an audition video, following the same guidelines as the live audition (above).
  • Designers/Technicians: Submit a portfolio of at least 3 images showcasing your theatrical or artistic work (eg. scenic painting, costume design or construction, photos from your work on a production, etc).
  • Directors/Stage Managers: Please see "interview video" guidelines for added questions to answer in your filmed interview.

Please answer the following three questions into the camera as if you are speaking to us in person:

  1. Why are you interested in Hope College?
  2. What interests you specifically about the Hope theatre department and, if you decide to enroll at Hope, how do you plan to be involved with our program?  Do you plan to major or minor in theatre?
  3. What are your immediate and long-range academic and professional interests and ambitions?

If you are applying as a designer or a stage manager, please also include answers to the following questions:


Tell us about your interest in directing. Please include any experiences you have had directing and why you think this might be a good fit for your talents.  

Stage Managers:

  1. What do you find exciting or fulfilling about stage management?
  2. How do you collaborate on projects as a stage manager?
  3. Talk about your communication style and how it has helped or hindered your work as a stage manager.

Be sure to observe the following guidelines when taping your audition:

  1. For the introduction of your selections, have the camera in fairly tight for a close-up.
  2. Pull back into a full body shot for the audition itself.
  3. Pull in close again for your responses to the questions.

The taping should be done simply and against a neutral background; we are not interested in fancy camera techniques or special effects. Please do not send videotapes of school performances.

Please input a link to your unlisted audition on a web-based video platform (YouTube is preferred) into your DAA application.

This taped audition and/or interview and responses to the questions (plus a resume), is due no later than February 16, 2025. All candidates must have visited campus prior to February 21st to be considered for the scholarship.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is included in a design, stage management or technical theatre portfolio?

If you’re interested in design, stage management or technical theatre, the Distinguished Artist Awards are for you, too! Prepare a portfolio of your theatre and related work to present to the department. We are interested in seeing: 

  • Visual art work that you have created – these do not have to be theatre related
  • Designs – including drawings, research and finished products
  • Photos of scenery, costumes or props that you have built or created
  • Production shots showing lighting that you have designed 
  • Stage manager prompt books and examples of organization techniques

Do I need to submit professional headshots to be considered?

Headshots need not be professionally taken, but should have good resolution and be of a larger size. Photos taken on a phone camera are acceptable. Photos should show your whole face.

What should be included on a theatrical resume?

  • Any theatrical experience including performances, directing, stage management, technical work and design contributions. Include  name of production, your role or how you participated, dates, directors or instructors.
  • Any classes or workshops you’ve taken. Are you in choir or art classes? 
  • Include special skills such as musical instruments, vocal range, dance experience, etc.
  • List any awards you have received – they don’t need to be theatre related.

Many programs require auditions to get into the program; does Hope Theatre require auditions?   

No, The Distinguished Artist Day auditions are for scholarships only. All accepted students are welcome to enroll in courses and participate in the theatre program at Hope.

Apply for the DAA Scholarship in Theatre