Open Forum

Audition change up

  • 1.  Audition change up

    Posted 01-15-2019 10:15
    I'm looking for a new idea for auditions, for a non-musical. I could do cold readings of scenes or prepared monologues but I'm looking for something else to see how they interpret characters, make strong choices on stage and are comfortable with movement. I'd like to shake things up with a new style of audition. Anyone have anything that has been a good experience?

    Aileen Zeigler
    Theatre Arts Director
    Omaha NE

  • 2.  RE: Audition change up

    Posted 01-16-2019 08:38
    Consider an improv game of some kind.

    What I often do is a simple exercise I call a "one line scene."

    Its purpose is for two actors to demonstrate committed physical choices.

    Here's how it works:
    The actors must create a scene for two characters who are somewhere, doing something.
    Keep it school appropriate.
    Something happens, which makes it necessary for one character to say to the other... the line.
    There's a nonverbal reaction to the line, and then the scene is over.
    I give them two minutes to pair up and plan.

    There are a few ground rules:
    1. You cannot add any words to the scene, and you cannot leave any out.
    2. You may not injure yourself or your partner.
    3. You may not pretend to be talking, but we just can't hear you.
    4. It works better when it's normal that the activity is done without talking until the line is said.

    Hundreds of lines work well for this exercise.

    Usually, lines include a relative pronoun. Punctuation is completely up to the actors. They may divide the lines, but I don't offer that.

    "Here take this"
    "Now what do we do?"
    "Sorry about that"

    Have fun! Actors generally embrace the game and forget they are auditioning. It's very helpful.

    Nathan Rosen
    Baltimore MD

  • 3.  RE: Audition change up

    Posted 01-16-2019 23:12
    I love having the actors create a backstory based on the script for any character in the play, share the written story with me and other adults who make up the Casting Panel. The actor slates with neural stance and voice, then they have 20 seconds to physically create the character. The Casting Panel asks questions based on the backstory.
    With Advanced students, I might have two actors meet as characters from the play in a guided Improv. It is challenging for them when they discover, they are meeting themselves.

    Gai Laing Jones