These guidelines have been developed to assist the Musical Theatre student in the preparation of a properly formatted recital. Please read these guidelines carefully as you plan your recital as there are many details that need to be observed to successfully pass your hearing.

Recital Content

Each recital should contain the following general time limits and proportions, a recital that is not
reasonably within these guidelines will not pass the hearing. We strongly advise that you time your recital
before you come to your hearing to make sure you have the correct amount of content for each section.

Junior Recital 30 minutes total
Senior Recital 60 minutes total

Music 60% (18 minutes Junior, 36 minutes Senior)
Monologues & Scenes 30% (9 minutes Junior, 18 minutes Senior)

Dance 10% (3 minutes Junior, 6 minutes Senior)

Additional Guidelines

  • Must contain at least one song written in or prior to 1960.
  • Must contain monologues or scenes that are published in print form as a play or musical book.
  • Any unpublished or original material must be submitted to the area head at least three weeks prior to the hearing to be considered, material not submitted three weeks in advance will not be considered.
  • Students may ONLY use the approved recital table and three provided chairs for their set, they may not use any other set pieces from the Departments of Music or from private ownership. Students may use any props and costumes that they wish, provided that the student removes all articles from the theatre when the recital is complete.
  • Students may request the use of additional instruments in their recital which do not count as “additional performers,” however all instrumentalists must be present at the hearing, otherwise they will not be approved for the recital. 
  • Any significant alterations between the approved hearing and subsequent recital which have not been seen by MT committee members will be cause for immediate interruption and failure of the recital.
  • Alcoholic beverages are not permitted in the recital nor are they permitted for distribution to the audience. Failure to observe this rule will be cause for immediate interruption and failure of the recital.
Junior Recital
  • May include only one multiple person scene
  • May include only one duet
  • May include one instance of unapproved material that is not supported by the guidelines such as movies, TV, etc, not to exceed more than two minutes of the total recital.
  • May have the maximum of one additional performer
Senior Recital
  • May include up to two multiple person scenes
  • May include up to two duets
  • May include two instances of unapproved material that is not supported by the guidelines such as movies, TV, etc, not to exceed four minutes of the total recital.
  • May have the maximum of two additional performers

Register on Cardinal Station

The student must register for the recital on Cardinal Station before the add/drop period in the semester he/she plans to perform the recital (Juniors -fall semester, DR 399MT; Seniors -spring semester, DR 499MT).  If the student plans to use the CUA staff accompanist for the recital, he/she must register on Cardinal Station for MUPI Recital Coaching in the semester of the recital (MUPI 210).

Recital Hearing


Each recital must pass a Recital Hearing prior to performance. Recital Hearings typically occur two weeks in advance of the recital date. The purpose of the Recital Hearing is twofold. First, the hearing panel wants to ensure that the recital is well prepared to reflect the student's own talents as well as the quality expected by the MT area. Secondly, in giving the student an early target date for performing the Recital Hearing, the student is able to use the subsequent time to hone and fine tune the recital on a deeper level. The panel on the Recital Hearing not only passes or fails the student, but also coaches him/her and offers suggestions to improve the recital. The student then has at least two more weeks to contemplate the suggestions and make decisions and improvements. If the student fails his/her hearing it is the student’s responsibility alone to coordinate a make-up hearing with the faculty.

What to bring to the Hearing
  1. Dramatic Text Sources - Although the student will have already submitted any unpublished monologues to the committee, he/she must also bring one copy of ALL source material to the hearing.
  2. Hearing Program - Three copies of the program with ample space between each song and scene for the panel to write comments
Failure to produce any of these items before the hearing will result in the student being ineligible to pass the hearing

Performing for the Hearing

The recital will be performed in full at the hearing. Every recital hearing must be in a finished and rehearsed state with all costumes, props, and personnel. ALL material (other than instrumental music) in the hearing must be fully memorized including the material presented by the student as well as any guests that the student chooses to include in the hearing. Dances must be finished and ready with the proper shoes, clothing and music (including the means in which to play the music). The lighting and staging must be worked out so that the student is able to make the actual transitions and announce the lighting cues, i.e. "Black out here, Lights up here," etc. Recital clothing should be worn and all costume changes (if any) need to be seen at the hearing. If any elements are missing, the student runs the risk of failing the recital and having to reschedule it for a different date. You must have all personnel who will be seen/heard in your recital at your hearing. A hearing will not be passed as presented if the performing personnel are not present.

Hearing Results

If all aspects of the recital are in order and conform tot he guidelines a student will be passed. If the hearing is generally in an unrehearsed state or does not properly conform to the guidelines then the student will fail and need to be reheard. In the event of a complete rehearing the student will be required to hire the pianist at their hourly rate. In the event that only a small portion needs to be reheard or if a small amount of material needs to be added the student will not have to pay an additional fee to the pianist, but will be responsible to arrange the rehearing with at least one original hearing member.

Assigned Dates for Recital, Hearing, and Dress Rehearsal

When the student signs up on the Production Office website for the recital date, he/she will not be given a date for the hearing and dress rehearsal. These dates will be decided and communicated by the area head and MT pianist. It is the student's responsibility to make sure that all people involved in the recital are available for these dates. These dates cannot be changed due to lack of preparation. If these dates must be changed due to an emergency or illness, the recital date may have to be postponed, and it is the STUDENT'S responsibility to reschedule the hearing.

If you need to postpone your hearing or recital for any reason you must contact the head of the MT area in person or by phone to receive approval.  Only the head of the MT area can provide this approval - failure to receive approval will require the student to pay the accompanist fee to play the hearing/recital at a later date.  The student will also be solely responsible to arrange another hearing or recital date as well as the accompanist and panelists.

Submission of the Program

After the student has passed the recital hearing and the program has been approved by the hearing panel, it is the responsibility of the student to submit the program to the Production Office. It should be emailed to the production office ( with "MT recital program for (your name)" in the subject line.

Ward Building Guidelines for Recital Rehearsals and Performances
  • All rehearsals in the recital hall and JPH must be approved by the Production Office.
  • Ward 210 can be reserved by the Production Office.
  • A portable Sound system will be provided for the recital.
  • After completion of recital, participant is responsible for cleaning up of all personal belongings and restoring stage to a state of neutral for the next student's recital.


  • Tables for lobby receptions are available in Room 210. The student is not to borrow tables from other areas in the building.
  • At the completion of the reception, it is the student’s responsibility to take all garbage to the appropriate garbage bins.
The Musical Theatre Area hopes that these guidelines will help in the planning of the recital and eliminate the stress of last minute performance preparation. If the student prepares well for the recital hearing, the performance of the recital will be much more meaningful to both the student and the audience. The goal is to make the recital a joyous celebration of the student's accomplishments in Musical Theatre.