Auditioning for the Young Company is easy and fun! For most productions and programs, nothing is required to audition. Each Director has his or her own method for auditioning a show but must stay within the guidelines of the Young Company's standard operating procedures.
How does it work?
For a musical production auditionees will be asked to come prepared with 16 bars (a verse and/or chorus usually) of a song of their choice to present. Students should bring their own sheet music and the pianist is provided. It is a good idea to prepare a song from a stage musical as opposed to pop music or movie sound tracks. The Old Town Playhouse has a limited library of sheet music and can be used as a resource. If the student has no music, they will be asked to sing something with which they are familiar so the team can get an idea of the student's ability. It is never a good idea to sing a capella (without music) - the team needs to hear the student with accompaniment. The student will then learn a short dance sequence and will present it in small groups. When time permits, readings will be conducted from the script. In musical auditions, however, the readings are usually held at a call-back audition.
For a non-musical production auditionees will be asked to read from the playscript. The Director will not ask the student to read a scene without giving ample time for the student to read through the scene with his or her scene partners in order to become familiar with the dialogue. "Cold" readings -where an auditionee is asked to jump up and read a scene without benefit of any time to review and read the scene before presenting it - are not a good indication of talent and are therefore discouraged. In a play that contains sword-play or other specialty movement, auditionees may be asked to learn a short stage combat sequence as part of the audition process.
Once the auditions have been held, a call-back may be necessary. Not all actors being considered for casting need be called back. A call-back is simply a way to see certain actors and certain roles again before making any final casting decisions. Most non-musical plays do not have call-backs.
The Director posts the cast list on the website as soon as possible but always by noon on the Friday following the auditions. Generally, rehearsals begin the following Monday.
Do students need to pre-register or sign-up for auditions?
Not usually. If a Director expects a huge turn-out they may ask for auditionees to sign up for one of the two days to avoid an uneven distribution. If this is the case, the need to sign up will be posted with the audition information in the brochure and on the website. Normally, the student need not sign-up for auditions. They are generally held on Mondays and Tuesdays from 4 to 6. The student only needs to come one of the two days but will need to be at the audition for the entire two hours.
Can anyone audition for Young Company Shows?
No. In general, students must be at least 9 years old to audition for a Young Company show. For some programs - The Repertory Company, The Advanced Musical Theatre Workshop - students must be at least 13 years old. Be sure to check age requirements before auditioning.
Who determines the cast of a show?
The Director of the play or musical is the person who decides the casting, with input from the Musical Director, Choreographer, Assistant Director and Producer. Young Company guidelines dictate that the Director must take into consideration a student's history with the Young Company program. Has the student auditioned before and not been cast? Has the student taken any classes or camps with the Young Company? Is the student responsible and pleasant to work with?
Can someone brand new to the Young Company get cast in a leading role?
Absolutely! The Director will cast the best actor in the role and sometimes that actor is new to the Young Company or to the theatre. We typically have 25% - 40% "newbies" in our shows. Every student has to have a first time!
Do I have to memorize a speech for an audition?
Only for the Repertory Company. That program requires a memorized monologue from a Shakespeare play. It is an elite touring group that performs Shakespeare and therefore has the monologue as an audition requirement.
Are any roles pre-cast?
No. While a Director may have certain actors in mind for a particular role or roles, the Young Company does not allow a Director to pre-arrange for a role to be given to anyone prior to auditions. This allows new people to be seen with those returning to our stage and everyone has an equal chance at being cast. If there is a role that needs to be predetermined for any valid reason, the casting of that role would be announced prior to auditions.