Each school will give you a chair to use, but if you've ever asked yourself "Should I use the chair?", the following guidance might bring some clarity.
Please use your common sense in this case. If you have a strong intuition about whether or not to use a chair in your audition, then you don't need to read the rest of this post.
For those of you that still have questions, let's dive in!
There is no definitive "yes" or "no" to whether or not you should use a chair in your audition for drama school. Ultimately, it's your decision but there are some important things to remember...
Many actors use chairs because it allows them to feel comfortable, which is a trap.
Being super comfortable is not particularly useful in this case. When you're auditioning for world-class actor training programs, it's important you put yourself on display, and chairs tend to suck the energy from you. So in that regard, my instinct was always not to use chairs so I could stand and really be seen.
It obviously worked for me, but a couple Juilliard classmates of mine did use a chair, so again, go with your intuition.
It's about having the most vibrant, authentic, and specific emotional life
When you're standing, there's more energy and potential for movement (even if you don't move at all), so it's typically more engaging to watch someone perform a monologue standing rather than sitting.
When you're sitting, it's easier to make less interesting choices, become stiff or emotionally blocked, and you don't want any of that.
Now, if the piece requires you to do it from the chair, then do. But my advice would be to rehearse the piece standing up. That way, you're creating the piece with as much energy as possible. Move a lot. Get it in your body. And be able to work with a coach on both a standing and seated version. That way, when you do sit, your whole instrument (physical and emotional) is fully engaged.
It's also nice because if you've worked on it standing and seated, you will be prepared to do it either way if the schools ask you to make an adjustment and do it standing up. You'll be able to make the adjustment and roll with it like a champ instead of the other people are saying, "Well, the piece requires me to be sitting."
All in all, I say do NOT use a chair if you can help it. If there's a specific line in the monologue about the chair, see if you can cut it and still make the monologue work. Stand. STAND UP AND ACT!