- Fall 2021 Performance Troupes:
- Also watch this page for upcoming information about auditions for the 2021-2022 season shows!
Scheduling of coming shows and auditions take precautions during the ongoing pandemic into account.
Below are hints and general information that might help you to understand the audition process for any show. Refer mainly to requirements for auditions for specific shows when they arise. Those requirements will be linked above this paragraph, under “Coming Up.”
Auditions for plays and musicals in the Spotlight season are open to young performers up to the age of 19, depending on which show it is. Some shows may require limited age ranges depending on the material. The requirements to audition are posted for each separate show.
Head Shots and Résumés
Prepare a head shot and a résumé for season play auditions. Believe it or not, this can be a worry free process.
The directing team needs to remember who is who during casting. No one judges whether the photo came from a studio. A color printout is just fine. To get the best head shot, follow these hints: An average shot is often better than your favorite shot. A zoomed-in or cropped view showing all of the head and shoulders is better than a photo taken very close to you (like a selfie). A relaxed smile or straight face beats your biggest smile for this purpose. To look three-dimensional, it’s better to turn head and shoulders a few degrees to the side, with only your eyes aimed at the camera, instead of facing perfectly straight as if in a police mug shot. Have fun, but don’t stress over it.
An actor’s résumé does not need to be long. A single page is best. First-timers and child actors often have limited info to include anyway. It is helpful to include specifics that matter for casting parts such as age and height, experience with performing arts, team activities, awards, etc. Mention special skills we might miss during auditions (juggling, acrobatics, guitar, celebrity impressions, etc.) that may come in handy while planning fun scenes.
It is crucial to have contact information such as phone number and valid email address typed at the top of the résumé. Although older teens often manage their own schedules and provide contact information, adult (parent or guardian) contact information is needed for children’s résumés.
Check Schedule Conflicts
Prior to auditions, check your calendar for any and all schedule conflicts between the audition date(s) and the scheduled dates of the show. We understand that everyone has possible conflicts with certain rehearsal dates. This is normal. The directors must know all of the excused absences that will be required prior to casting the show and scheduling the rehearsals, with no surprises saved for later. Normally, it is impossible to cast a performer if there are conflicts with the final rehearsals or public performance dates.
Plan for Style and Content
Some plays require auditioning with a prepared monologue, and some don’t. If you know a specific character you want to play in the show, your 1-2 minute monologue (memorized is better than written) should resemble the style of that character. Don’t use a monologue from the show for which you are auditioning.
Most musicals require singing a short section of a song. Your choice of audition song matters. The directors want to hear if your voice and style will fit the show. Don’t choose a song from the show, but do choose a song that fits the show. In other words, don’t sing a nursery song to audition for a rock opera. Don’t sing a current pop song to audition for an old classic musical.
Also, if you are aiming to play a specific character in the show, select a song that sounds the most like that character: a funny song for a comic role, or a love ballad for a romantic lead.
At some level, auditions are scary for even the most practiced and experienced performers. At Spotlight, we hope that auditions are a fun and educational process. Not everyone can get into every season play. That fact is hard for directors and cast members alike.
Remember that it’s normal for good performers not to make it into some shows. Usually, it’s just math — like when 60 performers audition for a cast of 20. Some shows call for particular mixes of ages, genders, vocal ranges, and so on. We prefer all the diversity we can get, and often make non-conforming casting decisions. Sometimes two excellent but similar performers are the top choices for one good role, after all others are cast. Often at Spotlight, there are wonderful actors, even those who have won awards for playing leads in other shows, who don’t make it into a particular cast.
Many performers build experience with other opportunities such as theatre camps, performance troupes, or vocal or dance lessons in order to win more parts with the skill and confidence that come from that experience. Some shows are geared especially to include opportunities for all skill levels, while others are highly competitive and may require more advanced skills to make it past the first audition.
Even if you’re new to this and perhaps go in expecting only to gain the experience of auditioning, it is worth it to learn from the examples of others, meet new people, and learn something about the theatre.
Our directors are always looking for new performers to join the Spotlight family and can’t wait for you to succeed!