Updated: Apr 10, 2021
So, there is this thing called Unifieds. I decided to learn more so I visited the website: http://www.unifiedauditions.com/. Since I had more questions, I phoned a friend in the college musical theatre world and asked them for the low down. He graciously shared what it was all about. National Unified Auditions are attended by numerous theatre schools in one of 3 cities, NYC, Chicago and L.A.
We thought it was a great idea to book a family trip to NYC over Unifieds weekend back in November so we could hit several schools over one weekend without making the trek to their campuses. Side note: We followed Mary Ann Dennard's advice in her book, "I Got In!", which suggested that we not visit the schools until accepted. Only one glitch to the brilliant Unifieds idea: even though we met all of the enrollment and pre-screen deadlines, by the time we received the invites to schedule our live audition, all of the NYC slots were taken.
So, the way Unifieds works is, the colleges rent studio space at one of the NYC studios such as Pearl, NOLA, Ripley Greer, etc. Then, their audition team reviews auditions in NYC. A friend and fellow auditionee was able to secure 2-3 auditions each day, but they submitted all of their materials and/or prescreens long before the deadlines. We only ended-up doing 2 auditions that weekend, though 5 of her schools were there. We also learned about walk-in possibilities (gleaned from former students who had been through the process), so if you have the time and are open to the schools that are offering them, walk-ins are a great idea.
One aspect about the NYC auditions is that they take place in studios where they will audition or showcase in once they are ready for the regional or professional scene. Once again, a lot of waiting, not enough room for both parents and students, the orientation session about the amazing program you yearn for into which roughly 1.5 of the people in the room will be accepted.