Auditions take place in the evenings over the first few days of each Fall and Spring semester. Ideally, all shows for the semester will be cast and crewed at the same time.
In some instances, a show may be cast at the end of the semester so that rehearsals can begin immediately when classes start. The audition process consists of a General Audition, one or two rounds of Callbacks, and Casting.
Departmental auditions are open to anyone, regardless of major. Though it may not be advertised, community members are welcome to audition for all shows. Theatre majors are required to audition for all departmental shows. Student designers and stage managers who are already assigned to a show in that semester and BFA Design & Technology majors are welcome (but not required) to audition.
Students who are currently on Academic Probation must still audition for the experience, but cannot be called back or cast. There is also a GPA minimum requirement that must be met in order to be eligible for casting. If you are on Academic Probation (or near to it), consult your advisor or student handbook to see if you are able to be cast.
The first night of auditions is a large General Audition. Stage managers assigned to the shows will post a sign-up sheet a couple days before so that auditioners can pick a time that works for them. The Jones Theater Green Room is used as a holding area. Auditioners arrive about 15 minutes early for their time slot and present their audition forms (with attached resumes and headshots) to the stage manager on duty. The stage managers running auditions will direct auditioners one by one to the on deck position and then onto the stage. Each auditioner should slate, perform their audition, then exit quietly back through the Green Room.
The only people allowed to watch the General Audition are the directors, stage managers, musical director, choreographer, faculty, and members of the production teams.
Bring all materials as instructed by the stage managers or faculty, including completed audition forms, headshots, and sheet music. Audition forms are usually drafted by a stage manager assigned to an upcoming production, then approved by the directors and faculty at least one week prior to auditions. Forms ask for the auditioner’s name, number of credits they are currently taking, information about audition pieces (character, play, playwright), theatrical experience, and class schedule. For musicals, they also ask about vocal range and ability to read music.
Auditioners need to bring one completed audition form for each show—this is so that each director can have a copy of the information while the audition is taking place.
Guidelines for audition pieces are chosen by the directors. For straight plays, they typically include a 1-minute monologue from the same genre. For musicals, auditioners also sing 32 bars (one verse) of a song within the guidelines provided by the Musical Director. All theatre majors auditioning must perform a song regardless of musical ability.
It is best to look professional and well-groomed for the General audition. In 2007, recruiters from the Southeastern Theatre Conference (SETC) were surveyed to compile a list of auditioning tips, which are available in the appendix.
Tips For Stage Managers
- You will need one person in the green room to check everyone in and organize audition forms, and another to ferry auditioners to the ‘on deck position’, then to the stage. A third stage manager should sit with the directors to time the auditions and/or help distribute the audition forms.
- Provide each Director with their own copy of the audition forms. To keep from having to run back and forth to the copier, you can ask auditioners to bring a completed audition form for each show being cast.