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Sound Equipment


Audition Procedure

All auditions are closed to parents/guardians, family members, or peers. If you leave for non-emergencies during your audition, you may be disqualified. 

All students must complete an audition in person. However, virtual accommodations can be made for exceptional circumstances and should be requested for consideration to the Admissions Office. 

If you have any questions or concerns regarding the above, please contact the Admissions Office at or call (202) 807-0538.



Your TDP audition interview is either on Monday, February 7 OR Tuesday, February 8.  


The time to sign-up and attend depends upon which letter of the alphabet your last name begins with.




If your last name begins with

  • A through J, you come on Monday, February 7

  • K through Z, you come on Tuesday, February 8


By 11:59pm on Tuesday, February 8th you will be notified via Acceptd as to whether you have been selected to return for a virtual TDP callback studio session on Wednesday, February 9th  from 2:35 p.m. to 6:35 p.m. virtual lab sessions on Thursday, February 10th  AND Friday, February 11th  from 4:00 – 5:00 p.m.

2:35 PM
A - J
2:35 PM
K - Z
2:35 - 6:35 PM
4:00 - 5:00 PM
4:00 - 5:00 PM



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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Digital Portfolio: (preferred method)

    • Types of digital portfolios: PowerPoint, Keynote, Adobe Sparks, Illustrator) – upload pictures of YOUR designs, artwork, models, etc. 

    • 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 TDP application: 

  • For your My School DC Lottery application online essay, please be sure to include your interest in any aspect of TDP, 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 TDP 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, or 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.) 

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, and troubleshoot, and a dedicated team player, then the Technical Design and Production (TDP) 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 artists in training. The dual academic and arts programming is demanding, immersive, and rewarding! All students interested in TDP must complete the interview and if selected, participate in the Audition Callback Lab Sessions.

Written Materials Details

All written materials completed by the student must be typed in 12-point Times New Roman font. Materials must be emailed to Applicants are highly encouraged to submit by the My School DC Lottery deadline. 

The subject should reflect the following: 

  • First and Last Name, Incoming Grade, My School DC Application Tracking Number, and ‘Audition Materials 

  • E.g.: John Doe/9th Grade/29382 – Audition Materials 

1 Headshot is required to be attached. Contact if unable to obtain one. 

Upload your three materials (written statement, resume, digital portfolio) 

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 to have the following to show on camera during your audition interview:


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 them. You must also have your portfolio with you during your virtual audition. 


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. Please contact for support obtaining this book. 

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, 

  • Sketchbooks, 

  • 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, and 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 Audition Process

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

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… 

Take the “Production & Design Assessment”. 


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. Students are often asked to lift equipment, climb ladders and should be willing to get dirty and dusty. 

Having a Successful Audition

Arrive early. Late is on time. Punctuality is essential in the arts world. Even virtually!

Be prepared to take a picture if you did not send one.

Pay attention and stay focused in your interview and on your lab session days.

During your interview, feel free to take notes – this will help you be prepared for your lab sessions, and show us that you are serious.

Be prepared to discuss why you are interested in Technical Design and Production.


Accept direction well.


Be a team player.


Eye contact is recommended. 


Dress appropriately – dress your best! Auditioners typically wear business casual clothing. 

  • You are able to wear everyday/multifunctional options such as plain blue jeans and a white/black polo-style shirt (business casual).

Do your research and understand what it means to work in production or be a designer or arts manager (thoroughly watch career resource videos below):

Please note 504 and IEP accommodations are available, please contact us at with any questions or concerns.

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