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Pittsburgh Unified Auditions FAQ Updated for 2024

About Pittsburgh Unified Auditions


Why should I attend Pittsburgh Unifieds?


Pittsburgh Unifieds Auditions (PUA) was founded by a number of caring musical theatre parents who wanted to help future musical theatre students and their families by simplifying and demystifying the audition process. There are a number of advantages to participating in PUA, including:


·     A supportive environment – The founders of PUA are dedicated to offering a safe and supportive atmosphere to help you do your best work. BTDT (been there/done that) parents are available to answer your questions, PUA alumni return to escort you to your audition room, and audition coaches help you prepare in the green room before your audition.


·     Early feedback – Since PUA takes place in October – very early in the audition season – the response you receive from college programs can help you prepare for the rest of the process. Whether you gain confidence from multiple callbacks or a desire to make adjustments for better results moving forward, this early feedback sets you up for success.


·     Introductions to emerging programs – Many of our attendees report that they learned about a program they hadn’t previously considered, and based on their connection with the faculty members at PUA, that program ultimately became their perfect fit.


·     Prescreen passes – Many of the schools participating in PUA treat our auditions as live prescreens. Rather than submitting individual prescreens (and prescreen fees) to each of these schools, you’ll submit your prescreen videos to PUA and then perform live for the schools in a consortium setting. You’ll save time, money, and effort, while giving the schools a chance to see your recordings and your live performance.


·     Early offers – Some of the schools participating in PUA treat our auditions as final offers, which means you could start the audition season with a solid offer (or more than one offer) in hand.


·     Application waivers – Nearly all PUA schools offer participants an application waiver, eliminating or reducing the cost of your application to those schools. In addition, if you learn at PUA that a particular school is not a good fit for you, there is no need to spend money on an application to that school, further reducing your total audition expense. The waiver is their "ticket" to participate or they must provide a scholarship for an attendee.


·     Master classes – You’ll have the chance to attend master classes with faculty members from many PUA schools, giving you insight into their teaching style – and a chance to show them what you can do, outside of the audition room.


·     Connections and community – You’ll meet other students embarking on the same audition journey that you’re preparing to take, and your family members will meet other PUA families. After bonding at PUA, you’ll be able to encourage each other throughout the season and take comfort when you see friendly faces at an on-campus or Unifieds audition.


Do I need to be a senior to attend PUA?


Do I need to be a senior to attend PUA?
No! PUA also offers an exciting Junior Experience. To find out more about the Junior Experience, see below.


What is the Junior Experience at PUA?
The Junior Experience package is the perfect way to feel more prepared and relaxed when it’s your turn to audition for college as a high school senior. In the Junior Experience, you will walk the same footsteps as the seniors, so you will know what to expect the following year. Not to mention the extra benefit of having the opportunity to make friends super-early in the process, so you can go through it together! There will also be masterclasses geared specifically to the juniors and mock auditions with some of the PUA colleges and universities. Both the master classes and mock auditions will offer juniors meaningful feedback and valuable practice for next year’s audition process.


Is PUA associated with New York, Chicago, or Los Angeles Unifieds?


PUA is not associated with National Unified Auditions, which refers to a group of college theatre programs that conduct auditions and interviews in New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles in late January and early February. The term “Unifieds” refers to the fact that PUA conducts consortium-style auditions, in which students have the opportunity to audition for many colleges at once.


Where and when does PUA take place?


The in-person auditions for PUA 2024 are scheduled for Friday, October 4, to Monday, October 7, at Pittsburgh CLO Academy of Musical Theatre, 130 CLO Academy Way in Pittsburgh. Audition slots begin at 9 am on Friday, October 4. There is a welcome pizza party for students at the Even Hotel on Friday evening. Auditions are all day Saturday (along with masterclasses), Dance call is Saturday evening and In Person One on One Callbacks are on Sunday/Monday.     On Sunday we have Junior Mock Auditions and Junior Specific MasterClasses.   Virtual auditions take place on Saturday, October 19, and callbacks Sunday, October 20. You will recieve the Dance Choreography and have the weekend to self tape and send in through the portal.


Where should I stay while attending Pittsburgh Unifieds?


PUA reserves a block of rooms at the Even Hotel, 425 Forbes Avenue in Pittsburgh. If you would like to stay at the Even, we recommend booking early, since the block will most likely sell out.   Use the link on this website to get the Block room rates.  You are also welcome to choose your own hotel in the vicinity of the Pittsburgh CLO Academy. A list of other hotel options is listed here:


What does “Hybrid,” “Live Prescreen” and “Final Audition” mean next to each school’s name?
These terms represent how each school participating in PUA treats your audition. Each school participating has their own audition and acceptance procedures.

Live Prescreen: Refers to you performing your prescreen materials live, on stage, to the schools in attendance at PUA. Rather than submitting individual prescreen videos (and individual prescreen fees) to each of these schools, you will perform your materials live, on a stage, where you are most comfortable and at home, to the schools in a consortium setting. You will save time, money, and effort, while giving the schools a chance to see your live performance versus a video recording.   For the Virtual event, your audition is performed LIVE, in real time, from where you are at and watched in real time from where the faculty is at.

Final Audition: The schools that indicate “Final Audition” will treat your performance as your final audition for that school. A final audition could still result in an on campus callback or a virtual callback after PUA if the faculty needs to see more.  The final audition could result in an offer from that school in the room, at the callback or at a later time.

Hybrid: Schools that indicate “Hybrid” treat your audition at PUA as a combination of the above two terms, depending on the student and the audition.  They might treat your audition as a final audition, which could result in a callback at PUA and a possible offer. However, they could also treat is as a live prescreen and call you back after PUA has concluded. If a hybrid school makes it a live prescreen, it means they think you might be a good fit. It does not mean they passed on making it a final audition because they don’t like you. There are several reasons they could go this route, some of which could be they want to invite you to campus for a visit to see if it is a mutual fit, they want other faculty to review your audition, or they might ask for a virtual or live (on campus or at a national unified event) callback at a later date to see progression of talent.  The faculty reserves the right to treat each candidate differently in the decision making process.


Before Pittsburgh Unifieds Auditions


How do we register for Pittsburgh Unifieds?


The first step to registering is to purchase a registration in the “Check Out” section of our website: . Once you have checked out and paid, you will receive an email with a code to access the PUA Get Acceptd page and submit your prescreen materials.



What is Get Acceptd?


Get Acceptd (usually shortened to Acceptd in conversation) is a platform that will allow you to submit materials to PUA, and eventually, to the programs you are interested in attending. A majority of college programs use Acceptd to review your prescreens, so submitting your PUA prescreens through Acceptd is a great opportunity to become familiar with the platform.



What does Pittsburgh Unifieds do with the prescreens? Is there a chance that I won’t be accepted to attend PUA?


PUA reviews your prescreens to make sure that you can be seen and heard by the college faculty members who will review your videos. If there is a major issue that we recommend you correct before we make the prescreen available to PUA schools, we will contact you. We review the prescreens not to prevent you from attending, but to set you up for success.



Should I submit applications to the schools attending Pittsburgh Unifieds?


We would recommend you follow the recommendations of each program which is outlined in the Pre-Program materials.  Overall we recommend waiting until you receive your PUA callbacks before applying to the PUA schools you are interested in attending. If you receive a callback, you may also receive an application waiver, which will reduce or eliminate your application fee. If you do not receive a callback, there is no need to apply to that school, and you can eliminate unnecessary time, effort, and expense by skipping that application.



Should I submit prescreen videos to the schools attending Pittsburgh Unifieds?


If a PUA school is on the list of schools you are interested in attending, there is no need to submit a separate prescreen to that school. The school will count your PUA prescreen and/or live audition as the school’s prescreen.



How do I schedule my audition at Pittsburgh Unifieds?


Once we review your prescreen, we will send you an email with instructions to schedule your PUA audition time. The available audition times will be shown on the “Schedule” tab on your Acceptd page.



During Pittsburgh Unifieds


When does Pittsburgh Unifieds begin?

Auditions begin at 9am on Friday for In Person.  (Sat the 19th for Virtual).

The first non-audition event of the weekend is a pizza party for students, which takes place at the Even Hotel from 7:15 to 9:30 pm. The pizza party is optional, and it is open to students only. Parents are welcome to mingle in the Even lobby during that time. On Saturday, PUA events begin at 8:00 am, but you have the option to schedule them at times that are convenient to you through Acceptd. The earlier the materials are submitted and pass the panel screen, you will be invited to schedule your audition.  Remember its a suduko puzzle to schedule auditions, but we will do our best to accomodate everyones travel plans.  Please don't wait until the last minute to submit!



Will I audition for each school individually?


You will audition for all PUA schools at one time. If you receive callbacks from any of the schools, you will have an opportunity to meet with those schools individually.



Can my parents watch my audition or master classes?

Parents are not permitted to watch any of the auditions. Master classes are considered part of the audition process, and as a result, parents are not permitted to watch. However, there will be some information sessions scheduled especially for parents that they are more than encouraged to attend.



What do I need to prepare for my audition?

You will be asked to perform two contrasting songs (32 bars each) and one monologue. You can perform the same material from your prescreen, or you can use different material. If you sign up to audition for both musical theatre and acting programs, you will most likely be asked for the monologue. We also recommend bringing your rep book, in case you are asked to sing an additional song at a callback.


Do I need to bring recorded tracks, or will there be an accompanist?

There will be an accompanist for the senior auditions, and you will have an opportunity to work with the accompanist for tempo, etc. prior to your audition. You should also bring a recorded track for use in master classes.



What else should I bring to PUA?


We recommend bringing the following items with you:

-          Two audition outfits

-          Dance clothing and shoes for dance call

-          Sheet music, with cuts properly marked, for accompanist

-          Downloaded tracks of audition songs

-          Wireless speaker with cords and charger

-          Head shots with resumes stapled to the back (we recommend about 15)

-          Water, tea, and lozenges

-          A personal steamer



How does the dance call work?


The dance call is an industry standard, in which you will learn a dance combination and then perform it in small groups. We will offer a few different dance call times, and you will have the opportunity to schedule your dance call prior to PUA. The dance call will take place in a dance studio, so jazz shoes or character shoes are fine to wear. Be sure to wear dance clothing that allows the faculty members to see and appreciate your movement.   Virtual candidates will get the recording of the dance call, as well as the music track.  We will send the materials out via GETACCEPTD and you will have 48 hour to return your self tape back.  You will download it to the portal like your other media.  Successful candidates have recorded it in their living rooms, to dance studios, to outside in the driveway!  Don't stress!   The instructors are looking for ability to pick up choreography and dance fit for their program.



What is a callback?


A callback is an opportunity for you and a PUA school to learn more about each other. It’s a sign that the school representative(s) liked what he/she saw in your audition and want to see more from you. You may be asked to sing an additional song, have the opportunity to tell the school representative about yourself, or ask questions about the program. For some schools, receiving a callback is sign that you are receiving a prescreen pass. For others, it is a sign that you will receive an offer. When the list of PUA schools is finalized, we will indicate whether the school is treating PUA as a live prescreen or a final audition.



When will I know if I have received callbacks?


You will receive a notification late Saturday night, telling you that you have received at least one callback. You will then be able to schedule your callbacks with each school.  Instructions will be at the event.



What types of master class opportunities are available?


Faculty members from participating schools teach a variety of master classes on topics ranging from vocal health to dancing with confidence. The master classes give you an opportunity to experience a variety of teaching styles, to learn skills that will help you throughout the audition process, and to show faculty members what you can do in a safe and positive atmosphere.



Are meals provided throughout the weekend?


Aside from the pizza party, PUA does not provide meals throughout the weekend for the students.  The faculty will be fed and watered all weekend!  There is a bistro in the lobby of the Even Hotel, and there are a variety of restaurants close to the hotel and the Pittsburgh CLO Academy. Students are free to leave the Pittsburgh CLO Academy between master classes on Saturday and between callbacks on Sunday to grab a meal or snack.



What time do the events end on Monday?


Callbacks start at 8am.  Callbacks will be finished by 2:00pm Monday. We wrap up the weekend with a session led by audition coaches to help you reflect on the weekend and prepare for the months ahead.   If you are flying out or have more than a 7 hour drive, we will give you priority spots when we schedule your callbacks.



How do virtual auditions work?


Virtual auditions take place during the day on Saturday, October 19, and Sunday, October 20. You will receive an email with links and instructions to connect and join the Virtual Lobby before beginning your audition experience.    Click here to Go to GET ACCEPTD AUDITION ROOM GUIDE to familiarize yourself with how the Virtual auditions will work!


How much of my body should be visible during the virtual audition?


A ¾ shot (from the knees to the top of the head) works well for your virtual audition.


How does the Junior Experience differ from the audition experience that seniors have over the weekend?


Juniors have the opportunity to take master classes with the seniors on Saturday and to do mock auditions with a group of PUA schools on Sunday. The number of schools watching the mock auditions is smaller than the number that watch the senior auditions, but the smaller audience gives juniors the chance to experience a consortium audition without the pressure of a full room.



After Pittsburgh Unifieds Auditions


What should I do after PUA? Should I follow up with the schools?


If you received a callback from a particular program, you will receive instructions on how to proceed for that school. You may be asked during your callback to submit your application to the school, or you may receive an email a few days later with instructions on scheduling your final audition. The next steps will vary from school to school, as will the speed of each school’s communication with you. The organizers of PUA try to keep you informed as much as possible. If a program contacts us with information on their progress and next steps for students, we will be sure to pass that information to you right away. While you are waiting, you are more than welcome to send a thank you note that expresses appreciation for the faculty member’s time and comments on a specific moment from your audition, callback, or master class.

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