Theatre Audition Procedures
The following are adapted from the Southeastern Theatre Conference’s “Audition Guidelines and Suggestions” originally written by George Black and Joe Conger, adapted in 1999 by the SETC Professional Division and Auditions Committee.
As you are preparing your audition for a Missouri Western Theatre production, you have a fantastic opportunity. You are also building an audition that can be utilized at many large-format, “cattle-call” style auditions across the county. MWSU’s auditions have been devised to replicate the format followed by many professional auditions settings (i.e., Southeastern Theatre Conference, Midwest Theatre Auditions, Unified Professional Theatre Auditions [UPTAs], Equitycasting calls, etc.) and use the same “rules” to help Casting Directors and Producers see as many actors as they possibly can in the few days they have scheduled. These Casting Directors and Producers, as well as the Actors, travel for thousands of miles to take advantage of these auditions.
The format of the MWSU Theatre auditions will allow you to have an audition “package” already prepared for these professional auditions and continue to rehearse it (or make minor changes and re-rehearse it, based on the feedback from your professors) to get it ready for these audition sequences which typically happen in the early Spring.
These guidelines and suggestions will help you with monologue and song selection as well as putting your entire package together before you present it to your professors and several theatres full of professionals who are eager to hire you and utilize your talents!
The effective professional audition consists of the best presentation of a particular product for a particular market. For the actor, this translates into awareness of one’s own qualities, capabilities, and potentialities in a very real and tough-minded sense, and the ability to project oneself into the place of the casting director; to change your mindset from one of “actor” to one of “director/casting director”. This will help not only with the selection and preparation of your audition material, but also with the thought processes after the auditions are over and the callback and casts lists have gone up.
The actor who is going to present an effective audition in the open call must be aware that the dynamics of the situation make it very unlikely that a low key or eccentric audition is going to meet with much success. Any deficiency or unusable peculiarity in an actor in the open call will almost always prompt “disqualification” from call-backs for most companies. In general, the companies are looking for: 1) the actor’s performance personality and, 2) the actor’s technical proficiency.