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The Time To Act

Auditions are fast approaching for our 2018 season--just nine days away!--and we're here to give you the inside scoop.

Auditions will take place on three separate dates, so you can choose whatever is most convenient for you. We have two Saturday audition dates, January 13 and 20, with available times from 9 AM-4 PM. We also have an audition evening on Thursday, January 18, with available times from 7 PM-10 PM. All auditions are held at our home in the Ed Schaughency Theater and you can sign up for an audition slot here.

Our only audition requirement is a one to two minute memorized monologue from a play or literary work. We will have forms for you to fill out at auditions and there will also be cold readings from the scripts. There are 12 male roles and 11 female roles this season, which is significantly down from last year. For that reason, we will be looking at creative ways to use those who are not cast this season in upcoming projects.

So what are our directors looking for? Well, we figured the best way to find out would be to go directly to the source! Here's what they had to say:

Casey: So what are you looking for with auditions this season?

Keith Zagorski: I'm looking for actors who can do British accents well for Leslie Sands' Something to Hide.

Rosh Raines: I am looking for confidence and how well someone becomes the character of their monologue. I always enjoy a bold choice--and Marcia Kash and Douglas E. Hughes' Too Many Cooks is definitely bold!

Joshua Antoon: I'm looking for actors that are filled with pep and vigor! Seriously, bringing energy to an audition goes a long way. I'm also looking for actors to really delve into the more dramatic aspect of theatre. Michael Healy'sThe Drawer Boy has some heavy moments and the actors really need to open up to a different audition/rehearsal/theatrical experience. In terms of accents, I really need the actors to prepare a Canadian accent. Specifically a north-western rural Ontario accent (with a smack of North American Iowa).

Shelly Cary: Specifically, I am looking for 2 males and 5 females for Noel Coward's Blithe Spirit. Age ranges are 40s to 50s for the males and one of the females, one female a little older (50s- 60s), And 3 females a little younger (20s - 40s). I am slightly flexible with this, however, and specific age ranges of the characters will depend on other cast members. And I need British accents!

Casey: Do you have any advice on picking material for auditions?

Keith: Use a piece you enjoy or something from a show you like; comedy always works. I won’t necessarily cast a role from a monologue, but I want to see that the actor can memorize and present a speech.

Shelly: Nothing too bizarre, and please make it appropriate for you (for example: don’t read a teenager monologue if you are in your 50's!).

Rosh: Pick what suits you the best and [make sure] that you understand what it is saying. I can tell if you [are] right for a comedy or drama based on whether or not you understand the monologue you are saying. It doesn't matter [to me] if it is either [a] comedy or dramatic monologue--just as long as you understand it.

Joshua: Picking a monologue is probably one of the toughest parts of an audition! You want to pick a piece that showcases your strengths. Learn the monologue. Really spend time with the piece and try different acting decisions. This will let the actor become comfortable with the piece and could lead to some amazing acting discoveries! Also, if possible, run the monologue with a family or friend. Comfort with the piece is key. That comfort will translate during the audition itself.

Casey: What is your biggest pet peeve with auditions?

Joshua: My biggest pet peeve is when an actor is ill-prepared, especially if the monologue is not memorized. Forgetting lines or starting over is NOT a pet peeve. We've all been in audition and forgotten a line or flubbed a monologue. Relax and start over--the directors totally understand!

Keith: I second an actor not memorizing a monologue. Secondly, an actor only auditioning for a single role and not being open to other possibilities--especially someone I’ve never seen perform. This limits their options in being cast in other roles for which they may be perfectly suited.

Shelly: Mine is two-fold as well: people who are no call/no shows and people who do not at least try and become familiar with the play(s) for which they are auditioning.

Rosh: Letting your nerves get the better of you! I am your biggest fan. I want every person who walks in that room to be my next lead. So don't be scared; in the room, I am rooting for you.

Casey: What is the hardest part about casting?

Shelly: Trying to match age ranges for the entire cast. And making sure that the people that you want to cast are believable in those roles--meaning that I can’t necessarily give the role of a 60 year old maid to an 18 year old!

Keith: Mixing and matching actors from different audition dates who may not have auditioned together.

Joshua: The hardest part about casting really is making the final decision. Often times, there are numerous actors that fit a role. As a director, you have to consider all actors and chemistry from the audition.

Rosh: Really, when I have more than one person who can do a role, it makes it difficult because I know that someone who would be great in the role won't be in it, because someone else just fit a little bit better. There is always more than one way to cast and I always feel bad for those that don't get in. And also, finding men!

Casey: What makes a great audition standout from the rest?

Rosh: Fully immersing yourself in your character!

Keith: An actor who nails their monologue and cold readings for several shows. The actor shows variety and nuance with limited knowledge of the script. A great audition usually leads to several directors fighting to use that actor in their show.

Shelly: Someone who is personable but professional, and who has clearly prepared for the audition!

Joshua: Someone who really listens to direction from the directors. Even if the acting choice doesn't make sense or isn't the perfect choice, it shows the directors that the actor is willing to make choices and think on their feet. Personally, an actor who brings energy and chemistry to the stage is someone who stands out for me. That energy can translate into a lot of great actor qualities for a director. Also, the actors that have the most fun during auditions stand out!

And there you have it! Each of our directors has given you a sneak peak into what they're wanting from our auditions. There's still time to prepare, but don't forget to sign up today! We can't wait to see you there.

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