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Technical Design & Production

2022 Applied Practicum Interview (API) Procedures – Technical Design and Production


All students must complete an audition profile on our virtual audition platform, Acceptd ( The portal to create your Virtual Audition Profile will open in December 2021. Students will have until February 1, 2022, to upload all their audition materials. Auditions begin in early February and are scheduled by art department and the first letter of your last name. Please be sure to review all requirements outlined below. Once you create a profile, and upload all your materials, you will log-in the day of your audition and join us virtually!

In addition to the suggestions below on creating a studio in your own home, please note that you should be in a quiet and well-lit space, be sure that your computer or phone are fully charged and functioning properly. While we understand that many of you may be uncomfortable on camera, that is a requirement for all auditions. All virtual auditions just like in-person auditions are closed to parents/guardians, family members or peers. If there is anyone else in the room with you during your audition, you may be disqualified. If you leave during your audition, you may also be disqualified.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding the above, please contact the Admissions Office at or call 202-631-3129.

NOTE: Technical Design & Production will now only have virtual auditions.

What We Are Looking For:

Students come to Ellington for pre-professional training and the opportunity of learning to express themselves in their artistic discipline, through a challenging and rigorous curriculum that lays a strong foundation, expanding their knowledge in the classroom and reinforcing it through a hands-on experience. If you are a creative thinker, self-starter, willing to work hard, troubleshoot and a dedicated team player, then the Technical Design & Production Department is right for you! As one of the nation’s premier college preparatory arts institutions, we recruit the best and maintain a high standard of achievement for our young artist in training. The dual academic and arts programing is demanding, immersive and rewarding!  All students interested in Technical Design and Production must complete the interview and if selected, participate in the Audition Callback Lab Sessions.

What to Upload/How to Prepare:

In addition to the MySchoolDC online application deadline of 11:59pm, Tuesday, February 1, 2022, there are additional materials described below that must be submitted through the Acceptd Audition Portal by 11:59pm on Tuesday, February 1, 2022 (see “Written Materials Submission Details” below). All additional materials must be submitted by this deadline so that our staff will have adequate time to review them in advance.

The following additional materials must be submitted to the Acceptd Audition Portal by 11:59pm on Tuesday, February 1, 2022.

  1. Written Statement: A typed paragraph defining what Design and Production, or Arts Management means to you and what your contribution to the department and Ellington would be.
  2. A resume (optional – only if you have the experience) of any experience you have in design, production, management (i.e., set design/construction, lighting, audio, video production, costume design/construction, stage or production management, woodwork or crafts.
  3. Digital Portfolio (preferred method)
    1. Types of digital portfolios: PowerPoint, Keynote, Adobe Sparks, Illustrator) – upload pictures of YOUR designs, artwork, models, etc.
    2. Audio samples of YOUR music, soundscapes, or podcasts recorded, mixed or produced. Submitted as .wav @ CD quality (44.1k, 16 bit) or .mp3 @ 128k or higher.

NOTES – Two notes on a key part of the Technical Design & Production application:

  • For your MySchoolDC application online essay, please be sure to include your interest in any aspect of technical design and production, for example, lights, costume, sound, set, stage management. Also, please explain what you plan to do with the training you will receive from Ellington’s Technical Design and Production Department.
  • If possible, please include an “Art/Other” recommendation as one of your three in the MSDC Application.  This could be a letter from a Director, Production Manager, Stage Manager, Designer from a production that you worked on – who can speak to your experience. (Note: Your application will NOT be penalized if you cannot provide this additional letter.)

Written Materials Submission Details

All written materials completed by the student must be typed in 12-point Times New Roman font.  Materials must be received by the deadline and must be uploaded to the Acceptd Audition Platform by Monday, February 1, 2022.

  1. Create a profile on the Acceptd Audition Platform (link will be open in December 2021)
  2. Upload your 3 materials (written statement, resume, digital portfolio)

About the Audition Interview

For the interview, you will meet with the TDP Staff and take a “Production & Design Assessment” that tells us the level of your technical and design knowledge. You must also prepare the following to show on camera during your audition interview:

  1. An original portfolio/artifact of your work that highlights your production or design interests and skills. How should applicants present their professional portfolio? We prefer this to be uploaded, so please do your best to capture clear images and upload. You must also have your portfolio with you during your virtual audition.
    1. Source: Williams, A.G., & Hall, K. J. (2001). Creating your career portfolio: At a glance guide for students. (2nd ed.). New Jersey: Prentice-Hall Inc.
  2. Examples of work the portfolio might contain are:
    • Drawings or paintings from arts classes (not necessarily related to technical design),
    • Three-dimensional work, models, sculpture, collages, designs,
    • Sketch books,
    • Visual examples showing your training, graphic abilities and artistic vision,
    • Items from a production you have worked on, including:
      • Photographs or playbills from the production with your name and position.
      • Run sheets, order of services (church), playbooks.
      • Production drafting, scenic, costume or lighting examples, (plots), renderings and sketches, sound/video recording samples.  Other examples of previous experiences are welcomed.
      • Sketchbooks, preliminary sketches (so we can get a sense of your process).
      • Prompt books (including the following): Rehearsal/Performance Reports, Cue Sheets, Blocking notations.
      • Audio samples of music, soundscapes, or podcasts recorded, mixed or produced. Submitted as .wav @ CD quality (44.1k, 16 bit) or .mp3 @ 128k or higher.

The Virtual Audition Interview Process Itself:

The interview for the TDP department is done in three phases:

  1. Participate in their audition interview with staff, bringing portfolio, paperwork and/or audio samples with them and having submitted the other required materials in advance..
    • Students who have a successful interview then…
  2. Take the “Production & Design Assessment”
  3. Invited to participate in a Callback Lab Session (may be in-person or virtual). Virtually participate in lab sessions where they will work with current TDP students in a class setting that simulates these experiences. The Virtual Lab Sessions gives the student a chance to see what is truly involved in TDP and gives us a chance to see how well the student works with others, stays focused, and accepts direction. This is a very physically active and hands-on department. You must be able to lift equipment, climb ladders and be willing to get dirty and dusty.

Have a successful audition


  • All departments offer Virtual & In-person Audition Workshops in December and January to help students prepare for their official audition. Students who participate will be able to learn what to bring, review the audition procedures, learn how to build a portfolio, present their work with confidence, and prepare their work for the audition. Visit for more information and how to sign up – workshops cost $10. This fee can be waived for special circumstances, please email if you would like to request one.
  • Auditions begin the first week of February 2022 – immediately after the application deadline! Make sure to visit our website to review the audition schedule. Auditions are scheduled through the Acceptd Virtual Audition platform, for all students who successfully apply via MySchoolDC. You must view your audition date and time based on your art department and the first letter of your last name.
  • Please note that callbacks, shadow visits and family interviews may all be held in person if it’s possible to do so safely.