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Interview and Portfolio Requirements

Interview Requirements

On the day of your interview, please bring the following:

  1. A portfolio of your work (See requirements below).       
  2. A photograph of yourself (formal or candid).
  3. A résumé of your educational background and any experience in professional and nonprofessional  theatre/film.
  4. A copy of your personal statement (two pages maximum, typed) outlining your career goals in professional theatre or film. Explain why you chose this profession, why you are interested in graduate school, and why specifically NYU. Briefly outline your theatre and film-going experience (i.e., how often do you see live theatre and/or films).
  5. Four or five 8 1/2" x 11" color photocopied examples (clearly labeled) of your work that we may retain for our records.

Prior to your 20 to 30 minute interview, you will receive a short tour of the department during which time your portfolio will be viewed by the interviewers. Make sure your work is properly labeled. Keep the presentation simple and clear. Do not mat your work.

Interviews with international applicants for whom English is a second language will be conditional upon receipt of official results of the TOEFL and a score of at least 625 (paper-based test) or 260 (computer-based test) or 105 (Internet iBT test). If you feel you are eligible for a waiver of the TOEFL, please learn more at the Tisch Office of Graduate Admissions.

Portfolio Requirements

Portfolios should contain the following:

1. Examples of work in theatre and/or film such as sketches, models, photographs of models, production photographs, rough sketches, light plots, copies of drafting, etc. (no slides or CDs, please). These do not have to be from realized production work.

  • Applicants in the area of scenic design and production design must include at least one three dimensional scale model with figures for one scene of a script (or photos of models), a scale ground plan for same model, and five examples of architectural sketches (furniture, architectural details, interior details, etc).
  • Applicants in the area of costume design must include sketches (15 minimum) for at least one script, including research, fabric swatches, and detail drawings, as well as five examples of figure drawing.
  • Applicants in the area of lighting design must include light plot and full paperwork for two to three projects (one project from work outside of school, preferred), a one-page statement about your ideas of light for the projects and how you executed them, photographs of these productions, and hand drafting, if possible.

2. Samples of your art work, such as drawings, paintings, models, sculptures, etc., or photographs of such art work (no slides or CDs, please).

Your portfolio should be as broad-based as possible, preferably containing materials displaying skills in areas beyond your immediate specialty. We are primarily interested in how you work and think as a designer and particularly interested in examples of visual ability—i.e., drawings, paintings, sculpture, architecture—over technical skills. We would like to see examples of your work which show the process, not just the finished product. Bring rough sketches and be prepared to talk about your work. Examples of your visual ability are also helpful.