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Audition Information

Applications for the 2024-25 school year are now available! View our audition information slideshow here.

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Current 8th Grade Students: Transportation for auditioning 8th graders will be provided from home schools to the School of the Arts for the February auditions only. For current 8th graders to be included in the February 2024 auditions, applications must be received by February 2, 2024 (new deadline!). Those students will be contacted via email shortly after that due date. 

New to York County: Auditions for students new to York County School Division can be scheduled at the time of enrollment. Please submit an application.

All Other Applicants: Other applications will be processed as they are received and scheduled to audition at a later date. Applications for all grade levels are accepted throughout the year. Interviews and auditions take place during the spring and summer. Applicants will be contacted when the application has been received. 

Click here to view the presentation given to eligible 8th graders in YCSD.

Students seeking admission to the School of the Arts must complete this application and notify their guidance counselor that they are submitting an application for SOA. 

Teacher Recommendation Form

  1.  Apply online using this link: SOA Application or download a hard copy here.  
  2. Send this *Teacher Recommendation Form to three of your current teachers (Or download a hard copy here. The teachers will mail or email the form directly to SOA after completion.)  
    1. At least one recommendation must be from a current core teacher – students who apply to Literary Arts should have at least one English teacher recommendation. 
    2. Recommendations from private instructors are accepted.  
    3. Current mSAM students may not submit a recommendation from an mSAM teacher. 
    4. Contact lmaney@ycsd.york.va.us with questions. 
  3. Check your email for further instructions. Current 8th grade students who apply by January 19, 2024 will receive emailed instructions shortly after that date. All others will receive emailed instructions shortly after their application is submitted.

Preparing Your Audition 

For SOA auditions, all students will take a reading comprehension test and interview with an instructor for your specific discipline(s). In addition to these, each discipline also has the following individual requirements:

ADVANCED TECHNICAL THEATRE
Students should submit samples of visual art or photographs of costumes, props, and/or scenery you have created, although this is not a required component for acceptance. See examples.

DANCE ARTS
Students will be taught and asked to perform a portion of a ballet and modern class, a contemporary combination, and a short group improvisation. The improvisation portion should be a time where the student gets to show off his or her personal talents or strong suits within any genre of dance. Ballet shoes or bare feet are preferred; any other dance shoes could be brought and worn if needed for a specific skill set the student wants to perform during the improvisation. Please wear as professional a dance attire as you are able (ex. leotard); fitted athletic clothes are preferred otherwise.

LITERARY ARTS
Students will complete a timed-writing assignment and submit a typed 300 to 500-word autobiography written from a third-person point of view.

THEATRE ARTS
Students will prepare and perform a memorized monologue from the selections provided and perform a short improvisation.

IMPROVISATION COMEDY/SKETCH COMEDY *NEW
No audition required. A grade of "C" or above in current English class is recommended. If space is available, non-SOA students from any YCSD high school may enroll.  

Structure/Schedule

Students attend SOA for their SOA class(es) only; other courses are taken at the students’ home schools. Students entering SOA for the first time generally take one of the courses listed below. Auditioning students may be placed in a higher-level course, if appropriate. Summaries for entry-level courses are below. For complete course offerings and full course descriptions, please refer to the Program of Studies, Secondary Registration and Information Guide.

Advanced Literary Arts 9 These interdisciplinary courses are explorations of the basic elements of the fine and literary arts with an emphasis on the relationship among the arts and the development of standards to differentiate between the meaningful and the mundane in the arts. They also include an analysis of 19th–21st century literature with emphasis on literary devices and techniques and the elements of character, setting, and theme. Literary Arts students attend SOA one block every day and receive one weighted English credit and one weighted fine arts credit.

Advanced Theatre Arts I This introductory course emphasizes the interdisciplinary nature of the fine arts. Students study theatre as a reflection of social, political, and economic conditions; play analysis for interpretation; character development; and production values. Working toward practical application of techniques for the stage, students gain experience with acting theory, as well as vocal, physical, and improvisational skills. Theatre Arts students attend SOA one block on alternating days and receive one weighted fine arts credit.

Advanced Technical Theatre I Through this first-year course that emphasizes safety and procedures, students interested in backstage work focus on the basic elements of design and the technical elements of theatre production. Students gain practical experience for working as technicians in a lab theatre on set construction, scenery painting, and lighting. After-school supervised hours are required. Technical Theatre students attend SOA one block on alternating days and receive one weighted fine arts credit. 

Dance Arts I This dance course focuses on techniques and skills necessary to attain performance level, with emphasis on interpreting dance in an emotional context. The interdisciplinary focus includes a survey of dance classics that allows for study of visual arts and music related to the time-period of the dance(s) being studied. The course requires reading and written work as well as practical dance effort. Dance Arts students attend SOA one block on alternating days and receive one fine arts or one PE credit.

Improvisation Comedy/Sketch Comedy This course is an introduction to improvisational performance and sketch comedy writing. The first semester is focused on the building blocks of scenic improvisation, improvising scenes, character work, improvisation, and improvisation in performance. The second semester uses scenic improvisation to develop written sketch comedy. Students will learn basic scene structure, character development, establish action, and learn the styles and genres of comedy. Weekly writing assignments and in-class exercises generate material and establish a regular writing schedule. Each semester culminates in performance. Improv students attend SOA one block on alternating days and receive one fine arts credit.   No audition necessary. A "C" or better in current Englich class is recommended. If space is available, non-SOA students from any YCSD high school may enroll.