Undergraduates can take their first step toward superstardom at auditions for the Department of Theatre’s fall productions this week.
The Department of Theatre is holding open auditions for its autumn semester stage productions Thursday and Friday at the Drake Performance Center’s Roy Bowen Theatre. This semester’s major productions include “Romeo and Juliet: The School Tour,” “Bonnets: (How Ladies of Good Breeding Are Induced to Murder)” and “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”
Directors for all three shows will be on the audition panel, and students will perform one monologue to contend for placement in the productions, Sherée Greco, production manager for the department, said. Students interested in being cast in “Bonnets” will also have to sing 16 bars of rock, pop or folk music.
Greco explained what she thinks is the best approach for students auditioning for three shows at once: “Sometimes it’s best to go with what they’re comfortable with — what is the monologue that best shows off their skills,” Greco said. “Pick something that you’re comfortable with, that you know well and that you think you do a really good job with.”
Students interested in auditioning must sign up at the check-in table outside of the theater starting at 5 p.m. on the night of their desired audition, according to the Department of Theatre’s website. Audition check-ins are cut off at 8 p.m.
Friday night after auditions, Greco sends out a callback list to all students who auditioned. Callbacks are done individually for each production and are conducted by their respective director, she said.
“A Midsummer Night’s Dream” will be open to the Master of Fine Arts acting cohort, as well as undergrad students, Greco said. The other two shows will be exclusively cast with undergrads. Greco said she thinks all students, even those who are not ultimately cast, have something to gain from the audition process.
“[Students can] meet the directors, meet students that are running the auditions,” Greco said. “So it’s really just a chance to kind of see who’s who and start to connect with other folks in the department.”
Olivia Sawatzki, a fourth-year in theater, also said the connections made at auditions are an important part of the process.
“That’s some of the best resources because even if you don’t get cast, to meet the other people who are interested in what you’re interested in, that’s a great way to get involved,” she said. “Getting cast is not the end all be all of being involved in theater here.”
Sawatzki is preparing for her seventh audition this week, and has been cast in three shows before. She said she was nervous and unprepared for her first audition, but she encourages underclassmen to “just do it.”
Greco stressed the inclusivity of the auditioning process. She said she has seen no preference based on year or major, and every year, students outside of the department are cast in shows.
“Our goal and mission is that anyone can be involved in the Department of Theatre,” Greco said. “We are very hands-on in our training, and I think we provide a very supportive environment to learn and make mistakes and still have a great product on stage.”