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Audition / Portfolio Requirements

All applicants must satisfy the following audition requirements according to his/her arts discipline. We highly encourage all students and their families to schedule an on-site visit after the application is submitted to become familiar with our campus and participate in a live audition/interview. If you have any questions, please feel free to email

Creative Writing

The Creative Writing major encourages the creative powers of young writers, teaches skills and techniques, introduces the discipline of close reading and practical criticism, and prepares students for college and the many paths a professional writing life may take. Creative Writing majors study literary history, learn to think critically, and experience literary creation and revision firsthand. Candidates must submit a portfolio that includes several representative writing samples. The portfolio must include some poetry and fiction, but may also include work from other genres such as nonfiction and dramatic writing. The submission should be 10-20 pages total. Applicants are evaluated on overall academic achievement as well as writing skills and experience. Due to the large amount of reading required, applicants should have a high level of reading comprehension. For specific questions regarding the Creative Writing Admission Process, please contact: Christy Wilke at 951.468.7223 or


The Dance major is designed to provide students with the technical and artistic versatility required to advance in the professional dance world. Ballet plays a crucial role in the education a Dance major receives with a focus on classical technique emphasizing healthy movement habits. Dancers are also required to take modern and jazz dance each year they are enrolled in the program. The Dance Department puts on two main stage productions as well as studio works throughout the year, including student choreography. Candidates for the Dance major are encouraged to audition on campus or during an audition tour. If a live audition is not possible, candidates must submit an American format DVD or provide an online audition on a site such as YouTube containing the following: Ballet – 4 minutes maximum Combinations should be shown on 1 side only Barre work: plies, tendu in 5th, ronds de jambe a terre and en l’air, Grande Battement. Center work: Adagio with développé, en dehor and en dedan pirouette, sauté in first position, grande allegro Pointe work (if applicable:) Relevé in 5th position, Echappé, Retiré, Bourrée Contemporary – 1 minute of contemporary classwork or a contemporary solo Optional – Classical Ballet variation Students should include a 5 x 7 photo taken in first arabesque. For Specific questions regarding the Dance admission process contact: Megan Berg at 951.659.2171 x2344 or

Fashion Design

Your examples of artwork must include:

  • Creative personal artwork in any artform, although Visual Art is preferred.
  • Three to five design sketches.
  • At least one original design. This could be a garment you have made or something you have designed that someone else made for you. Examples could include street wear and/or any design of yours that has ever been on stage: costuming, fashion, school mascot, something for an event, etc.

For Specific questions regarding the Fashion Design admission process contact: Will Yarbrough at 951.659.2171 x2355 or

Film & Digital Media

The Idyllwild Arts Film & Digital Media Department’s conviction that visual storytelling  is crucial to successful filmmaking determines our requirements for application materials.* Therefore all Film & Digital Media applicants must submit:

  • A Creative writing sample that you have produced. The writing sample may be in any format, including screenplay, play, short story, poem, or even stream of consciousness. 
  • Showcase your visual artistry by submitting a sample visual art work. The visual art work may be in any medium, including film, video, photography, performance piece, painting, sculpture, collage, a creative website, a creative Instagram account or collection of pictures. Anything that helps us know more about you as an artist and potential visual thinker. Submit as many samples as you like.
  • A short 3 to 5 minute creative video in the form of a monologue, narrative, or documentary, introducing yourself, and responding to the following:
    • Why do you want to be a filmmaker?  Tell us in a creative, unique way why you are motivated to be a filmmaker. 
    • Tell us who you are! 
    • Tell us a story about something that happened to you or something you witnessed that had a profound impact on your life.

*The Film & Digital Media Department cannot accept beginning English speakers. 

For specific questions regarding the Film & Digital Media admission process, please contact: Christy Wilke at 951-659-2171 Ext.2223 or


1) Please tell us which Pathway you would like to follow: Fashion Design, Design, Storytelling, Performance Practice OR Digital Communication. 2) Essay: Why InterArts? Please use these questions to structure your essay (3 paragraphs)

  • What attracts you to the InterArts Department?
  • Which Pathway would you like to follow and why?
  • Which Art forms do you find most interesting?
  • What experience do you have in those Art forms?
  • Explain your point of view as an artist, (Fashion Designer / Designer / Storyteller / Performer / Digital Communicator) along with your main artistic influences.
  • The InterArts Department  grows and changes depending on the strengths and interests of its students: what do you think YOU would like to contribute to the department?

3) Submit 5 – 10 examples of work in at least 2 different art forms. This work should reflect your chosen pathway as much as possible. No matter what, you should always submit your best work. All work must be original. For Specific questions regarding the InterArts admission process contact: Will Yarbrough at 951.659.2171 x2355 or


We encourage candidates for the Music major to send an online submission containing the specific requirements below. YouTube links are highly preferable whenever able. Live, on-campus auditions are possible, subject to departmental availability.

Classical Piano:

Three prepared pieces representing contrasting styles from the standard repertoire.

Classical Instruments:

2-3 prepared pieces representing contrasting styles. For auditions on campus, you may choose to bring your own pianist, but it is not required. Please note a pianist will not be provided for auditions.


2-3 original songs with words in English and 1 cover song (performed instrumentally and sung to show arranging/interpreting skills). Lyrics should be included with audition submissions.

Jazz Instruments:

For auditions we are interested in seeing the applicant’s level of accomplishment and musical knowledge. We require three prepared pieces. Backing track or rhythm section welcome, but not required: 

  • Blues
  • Jazz Standard
  • Great American Songbook Standard

Also, applicants are asked to demonstrate knowledge of scales, inversions, and chords, and invited to demonstrate their current improvisational ability. Live auditions possible with departmental availability, though a backing track/rhythm section will not be provided. Please direct any questions about repertoire to Admissions


Prepare two selections. The first must be one art song or aria from the Classical repertoire list below, illustrating the student’s range:

  • A selection from the book “24 Italian Songs and Arias”
  • A selection from the “First Book of Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Baritone/Bass”
  • Händel
  • Mozart
  • Schubert

The second selection may be your choice of repertoire from Classical, Jazz, Musical Theatre, or Traditional Folk Song. We prefer a piece that is not in the contemporary popular genre. The audition video must include the piano part, and/or a backing track. Students wishing to audition on campus may bring their own pianist and/or backing track. We do not provide pianists for live auditions.

For specific questions regarding Music please contact:
Christy Wilke
at 951.659.2171 x2223


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: Megan Berg at 951.659.2171 x2344 or

Visual Arts

Applicants to the Visual Arts Department must submit at least 15 pieces that give a clear picture of who they are as an artist. All submissions must be the applicant’s original work.

Images of artwork should be submitted as part of the student’s online application. In addition to the 2D requirements listed below, applicants may include painting, sculpture, ceramics, photography, animation, architecture, printmaking, mural work, graphic art, creative technology, and video art.

Your portfolio must include:

  1. Two (2) direct observation drawings of objects or buildings (not from photographs) using pencil, charcoal, or pen.
  2. Self-portrait from observation, any non-digital medium.
  3. Two-Four (2-4) quick sketches or drawings from a sketchbook.
  4. Four (4) other works, in any medium.
  5. The following question is for 11th, 12th, and PG applicants only: Select one piece and write about your process, ideas, and challenges, etc.

*Please do not submit physical artwork.

**Each portfolio piece must include a title and/or a description of the type of project, materials used, and the size and date.

Brief responses to each of the following:

  1. What do you think your role as an artist is in today’s world?
  2.    What do you want to achieve both artistically and personally at Idyllwild Arts Academy?                                                                                                                                                     
  3. What motivates or inspires you artistically?

Helpful tips for a successful portfolio:

  • Images of pieces must be lit adequately and evenly.
  • Images of pieces must be photographed “straight on.”
  • Drawings must be flat and clean, and the page must fill the whole screen (no torn edges)
  • Images must be clear and in focus
  • Suggested format: in a Word document, PowerPoint, or similar format, include one image per page with the information beneath each image.

For Specific questions regarding the Visual Arts admission process contact: Christy Wilke at 951-468-7223 or

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