Theater Auditions

Auditions for the semester's productions are held on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday evenings of the first week of classes. All UP students are invited to audition, and anyone wishing to be in a play that semester must audition Tuesday evening.

General Information:

Tuesday night will be "general auditions." We'll start with a quick meeting at 6:45 p.m. The meeting will go over the audition process and casting guidelines. If you can get there starting at 6:30 to fill out forms and get an audition slot (and warm yourself up), that will help us get going. (Unless you have class of course: if so come when you're done, and the stage managers will work you in.) Starting at 7:00 p.m., we will begin general auditions, which, for most, will consist of a 3-minute individual audition (see What You Need to DO below). If your time is later in the evening, you can go away and come back. When you're done with your scheduled audition, you're done for Tuesday night.

Everyone auditioning for a show that semester must audition Tuesday night (if you have an unavoidable conflict, like a class, please email me and we can try to make arrangements). When you come on Tuesday you will be able to sign up for a time so you won't have to wait around all night. Wednesday and Thursday will be "callbacks" for all shows, and those schedules will be posted after the general auditions.

What You Need to Do:

  • If you are a theater major with a performance emphasis you need prepare a 3 minute acting audition. This is usually a monologue or two contrasting monologues. However, if it is your first semester (i.e., you are a fall semester, first-year student, or you are a transfer student), you do not have to prepare an audition.
  • If you are a non-major, a theater minor (or major not focusing in performance), or it is your first semester at UP, you do not have to prepare an audition. If you wish, we will set you up with a scene to read with someone. Certainly though, anyone may do a prepared audition if they wish.
  • If we're doing a musical this semester, you also need to prepare 32 bars from 1 song (and NOT from the musical we're doing) to be considered for casting in the musical.
  • Please bring your calendars and syllabi to auditions so you can accurately fill out the conflict 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. You need to bring piano sheet music with you for the accompanist (please photocopy your sheet music, one side per page, and tape the pages together in one big sheet to make your accompanist's life easier). An accompanist will be provided.

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 on stage acting and we want to see that (and most of the characters in the musical have lines). If you do not wish to prepare monologues, we will 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 doing something we just hand to you. If you have questions about preparing an acting audition, please contact Andrew Golla or 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 don't wish to be considered for the musical, you don't have to do a music audition, but then you've just reduced your chances of being cast in a show that semester. Let us decide if you can do the show. If you're not comfortable singing a solo in the show, let us know, and we won't do that do you. There are often roles that require less singing and no solos (that is, some characters only sing when everyone else is singing).

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) of around 1 minute in length each. Basically, contrasting just means the pieces are different from each other (so we see different things from you). 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 (and perhaps additional graduate directing students). 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 of what it's from and the author, although the name of the character you're doing is fine too. You don't need to "set it up" for us. We're just interested in seeing some basic acting skills at a general audition.
  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 since you want to be taken seriously. The most important thing is avoid wearing anything that is going to 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 scene to read with another person. 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 me or 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 that 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.

Why are first year students not allowed to be cast in the first show in the fall?
Our policy is not to cast first-year students in any show performing before fall break. We want to make sure you have some time to get acclimated before you have a full rehearsal schedule. First-year students should absolutely audition though! We generally do 3-4 productions in the fall and first-year students are eligible to be cast in at least 2 of them.

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 that you only be cast in roles that will require 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 two evenings each show will audition actors separately. Each director will post a list of actors they are "calling back" to audition (and will post a list for each evening), 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.

How do I find out information about the shows being done that semester?
The first week the director's will all post information about their shows (descriptions, character lists, a very basic rehearsal schedule, and perhaps other information) in the Mago Hunt lobby.

When will I know if I'm cast?
Cast lists will be posted the Friday of the first week of the semester. The day after auditions end.

What if I have more questions?
If you have any questions, comments, or complaints, please feel free to contact Andrew Golla.

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