Theater Auditions | University of Portland

Theater Auditions


Auditions for Spring 2024:

  • These Shining Lives, by Melanie Marnich
    • Directed by Lezlie Cross
    • Performances are February 21-25
  • The Prom, Book & Lyrics by Chad Beguelin, Book by Bob Martin, Music by Matthew Sklar
    • Directed by Andy Christensen
    • Performances are April 11-14 and 17-21.

Read about the shows and sign up for an audition slot here.

Please reach out to Andy Christensen or Lezlie Cross with any questions.


General Information

The first night is general auditions, which consists of a 3-minute individual audition (see below for info). You can sign up for a time at this link. The second and optional third nights are callbacks. Look for an email from the stage manager to learn if you have been called back and for the callback schedule. 

Everyone auditioning for a show must audition on the first night. If you have an unavoidable conflict, like a class, please email the director or stage manager and we will try to make arrangements. 

What You Need to Do

  • If you are a theater major with a performance emphasis you need to prepare a 3 minute acting audition. This is usually a slate with two contrasting monologues.
  • If you are a non-major, a minor (or major not focusing in performance), or it is your first semester at UP, you do not have to prepare an audition. Reach out to the Stage Manager for a monologue chosen by the director. 
  • If we're doing a musical, you also need to prepare 32 bars from one song (NOT from the musical we're doing) to be considered for casting in the musical.
  • Please reference your calendars and syllabi so you can accurately fill out the conflicts section of the audition form. It's important we know if you have conflicts that would prevent you from being in a particular production.

Audition FAQs

What is the musical audition?
You will prepare 32 bars from 1 song (do not prepare a song from the musical we're producing) to sing at your audition. An accompanist will be provided. Bring piano sheet music (please photocopy one side per page, and tape the pages together in one big sheet to make your accompanist's life easier). 

Do I have to do the acting audition even if I just want to be in the musical?
Yes. Even if you're primarily auditioning for the musical, you will be onstage acting (and most characters in the musical have lines). If you do not wish to prepare monologues, we have short scenes from some plays available for you to come in and read, but really, your audition will be stronger doing a speech you're familiar with, rather than something we just hand you. If you have questions about preparing an acting audition, please contact Mindi Logan.

Do I have to do the music audition?
If you wish to be considered for the musical, you do. Keep in mind that not all parts require solo singing, or a lot of singing, but we want to hear your voice before we do any casting. If you're not comfortable singing a solo, let us know, and we won't do that to you. If you don't wish to be considered for the musical, you don't have to do a music audition, but you've reduced your chances of being cast in a show that semester. 

What's the prepared audition?
You have 3 minutes to deliver one or two monologues. Generally you want to do two contrasting monologues (comic/dramatic, contemporary/classic, physical/not so physical, whatever) around 1 minute each. If you only want to do one monologue, that's fine (but don't do one 3-minute monologue...that's way too long). You will be auditioning in the theater with only the directors of the plays watching. At 3 minutes you will be asked to stop. Don't do material from any of the plays we're casting; there will be time for that later. The most important thing: do pieces you feel confident about. Pieces you like to do.

How do I do a prepared audition?
  1. Walk into the room.
  2. Introduce yourself ("Hello/Good Evening/etc. My name is...")
  3. Introduce your piece or pieces ("...and I'll be doing...").
    -All you really need is the title and the author, although the name of the character is fine too. You don't need to "set it up" for us. We're just interested in seeing some basic acting skills.
  4. Do your piece or pieces (if you do two, take a few seconds break between them, don't straight from one into the other).
  5. Say "Thank you" and walk out the door.

What should I wear?
Dress nicely; you want to be taken seriously. Avoid wearing anything that will take attention away from what you are doing. If I'm looking at your shiny shoes or your big necklace, I'm not watching your audition. Generally speaking, you want to wear a nice shirt and pants or a skirt. Keep the colors pretty basic.

If I don't have a prepared audition, may I still audition?
As long as you're not a theater major with an emphasis in performance (unless it's your first semester), absolutely. In that case you'll be given a monologue. If you can do a prepared audition you really should, because your audition will be stronger doing a speech you're familiar with, rather than doing something we just hand to you. If you have questions about preparing an acting audition, please contact acting Professor Mindi Logan.

Do non-majors have a good chance of being cast?
Very much so. We cannot do our mainstage season without casting non-majors. The only time theater majors are given preference in casting is if they are a senior doing their capstone in performance. In that case, we do need to make sure they get cast in at least one role that year.

On the audition form it asks if I want to be cast in a "substantial" role. What does that mean?
A "substantial" role is simply a role that would require the student to be present at all, or almost all, rehearsals. In some cases all roles in a production may be substantial. It is not a comment on the "quality" or "importance" of the role, but is instead intended to give you an opportunity to request a lesser time commitment. However, all actors should be prepared to be at all rehearsals as performances get closer.

What are callbacks?
Callback auditions take place on the Wednesday and Thursday of audition week. On those evenings each show will audition actors separately. Each director will post a list of actors they are "calling back," including the time and the location. Often you will be called back for more than one show, and the stage managers will assist you in being seen by all directors who wish to see you.

What happens at callbacks?
It depends on the director and the show, but generally you will be doing scenes and/or monologues from the play they're directing. Although, depending on the project, callbacks could involve movement (such as dancing), improvisation, singing, etc. The callback lists (and often the show information sheets) will usually tell you if you'll be expected to do anything beyond reading from the play.

When will I know if I'm cast?
Casting offers will be made the Friday after auditions end. Once everyone has accepted their role, the cast will be announced via our mailing list. To be added to the mailing list, please contact the PFA Office Manager, Emily Hogan: 

What if I have more questions?
Please contact the program director, Gregory Pulver: