First of all, I should say that we usually have a very large turn-out for our auditions, so we have to consider the available time. While we hear every student sing, we do not hear every student read. Once we have heard the students sing, we confer with our music director, who alerts us as to which students could actually sing which principal roles. There is no point in reading students for speaking parts if the music director already knows that they can't sing those roles, whether it be a matter of vocal range, timbre, or sheer stamina. (When we staged 1776, she told us quite flatly that there was only one boy in the whole group who would be able to sing all of John Adams' music.)We usually do cold readings in pairs or small groups. (If the groups get too big, it's hard to assess individuals fairly, especially in short scenes.) We want to see them interacting with partners, which is harder to assess in monologues. But our readings aren't really completely "cold"; we give them sides and partners, and send them out in the hall to read over them a few times together before we call them in to read. If they seem really off in their readings, we will even re-direct them and give them a chance to try again.We do select a variety of scenes, partly because our attention would flag watching just one scene over and over, and partly because we try to have students read for roles that they could reasonably play in the show, and that would obviously be different for one student than for another. We select balanced scenes where every reader gets a chance to show us something, and we also select scenes where the characters are actively pursuing clear objectives.We ask students on our audition form if there are any particular roles that they are interested in, and if there are any roles that they would refuse if offered. We try to let students read at least once from at least one role that he or she finds especially interesting, unless their choices are pipe-dream fantasies. However, we explain to the students that we can't possibly read every student for every role for which he or she may be suited, so they need to understand that no matter what role(s) we have them read, we're considering them for all parts other than ones they tell us they would refuse. Often a student will read for a role, and will prove to be wrong for that part, but will, at the same time, show a quality that would be perfect for another role, so we can cast the student in that part without even reading him or her for it. We often cast students in very small roles without having them read at all, based on what they show us in their singing auditions.