Auditions at University Theatre are open to all NC State students. You don’t have to be a theatre major—or even be taking a theatre class—to give it a shot. We’re always looking for enthusiastic new talent for our shows!
Auditions are typically held six to eight weeks in advance of a show’s opening night. Auditions are held in Thompson Hall unless otherwise noted.
We invite and encourage all actors interested in performing to attend auditions regardless of race, ethnicity, identity, or ability. Please contact us if you need accommodations for the auditions.
If you have questions about auditions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
2017-18 University Theatre AUDITIONS
Pride & Prejudice AND The Exonerated Audition Orientation
Tuesday, August 15, 6:30pm, Thompson Hall
Pride & Prejudice AND The Exonerated Auditions
Wednesday and Thursday, August 16-17, 7pm, Thompson Hall
Beowulf, Lord of the Bros Auditions
Wednesday and Thursday, August 30-31, 7pm, Thompson Hall
Hairspray Audition Orientation
Tuesday, November 28, 7pm, Thompson Hall
Wednesday and Thursday, November 29-30, 7pm, Thompson Hall
Harvey Audition Orientation
Tuesday, January 23, 7pm, Thompson Hall
Harvey AND Girl in Space Auditions
Wednesday and Thursday, January 24-25, 7pm, Thompson Hall
- Accept your role and submit your bio for the playbill »
Your stage manager will contact you soon with rehearsal dates and where to pick up your scripts.
A note about stage makeup
For hygienic reasons, all cast members will need to supply their own basic corrective stage makeup, applicators (including makeup sponges, brushes, brush cleanser) and makeup remover/towelettes. Application of said stage makeup will be guided by the makeup designer and/or the makeup crew. Cast members are expected to provide foundation, highlight/shadow, eyeliner, mascara, and blush and lip color.
If students anticipate participating in University Theatre shows or enrolling in the stage makeup class, we recommend purchasing a “Ben Nye Theatrical Creme Kit” in your color palette. If you need help in sourcing makeup or determining your color palette, please contact Laura Parker for assistance.
In instances where specialty makeup or specialty makeup effects are necessary (including, but not limited to, stage blood, scars, false ears/noses, hair whitening, etc.), University Theatre will supply said specialty makeup and/or prosthetics.
If an actor has visible tattoos that need to be covered, said actor will be responsible for effective and appropriate tattoo cover-up makeup. If the actor needs guidance on what products would be effective, please contact Laura Parker.
What to Expect During an Audition
University Theatre student performances usually audition with short scene or monologue readings from the script. These “sides” are provided to the actors at the audition. The “sides” can be found on this audition page a couple of days before the audition so you can familiarize yourself with them. Perusal scripts and audition information are available in the Thompson Hall lobby. Musical auditions are held differently and will most likely have you sing 16 bars of a prepared song, and learn a song and dance from the show. If you are auditioning for TheatreFest, our summer performances, you will be asked to prepare a short monologue, read from sides, and sing and dance if it is a musical. However,every director and play’s audition requirements might be different.
When you arrive at a University Theatre audition, you’ll fill out an audition card. Bring your schedule with you, the director will need to know all conflicts up front. Then, you’ll wait for the director or stage manager to call your name. Most likely, you’ll be partnered with others to read a scene and/or given a monologue. You’ll be given the opportunity to read more than once. It’s not necessary, but you may come to both nights of auditions if you wish.
How to Prepare for an Audition
- Read the whole play.
- Think about the world of the play.
- Consider all possible parts you could play.
- Read your scene or sides out loud at least five times—all the characters.
- Make sure you understand what all the references mean, where the humor is, what the tone is and what happens in the scene.
- Ask yourself two basic acting questions about the scene: “Who am I talking to?” and “What do I want?” (Hint: You don’t need to BE something, you need to DO something.)
- Highlight your lines.
- Get enough sleep.
- Get enough water and healthy food.
- Warm up your body and your voice.
- Memorize your lines.
- Block (add full movement to) the scene.
- Attempt to imitate a famous performance.
- Schedule anything else for the rest of the evening.
- Drink alcohol or extra caffeine.
- Eat garlic or onions.
- Forget to shower.
At the Audition
- Wear good clothes but nothing distracting.
- Wear or bring appropriate shoes.
- Remove your jewelry.
- Bring water in a bottle and some breath mints.
- Bring your script, sides or scene and a pencil.
- Show up early.
- Sign in.
- Read the rehearsal schedule very carefully.
- Fill out the information card legibly and completely.
- Turn off your cell phone in the lobby and keep it off.
- Prepare to stay until you are dismissed.
- Be willing and ready to read for other roles.
- Have a positive, upbeat, courteous and courageous attitude.
- During the scene: stand in 1/4 position, speak clearly, listen closely, breathe fully, make eye contact with your scene partner, allow yourself to be nervous.
- Take direction if it is given.
- Show everyone you are a team player and easy work with.
- Talk, sleep or distract anyone during someone else’s audition.
- Use any media devices of any kind in the audition room.
- Bring food except an energy bar if you need it.
- Chew gum.
- Apologize for your performance.
- Criticize your performance.
- Look at anyone but your scene partner during the scene.
- Ask the director too many questions.
- Be difficult or expect special treatment.
After the Audition
- Thank everyone who facilitated your audition.
- Leave the building.
- Leave anything in the audition room, including trash.
- Hang around in the lobby talking.
- Beat yourself up about your audition.
- Criticize anybody else’s audition.
- Make any assumption about the casting.
- Give it another thought until the cast list is posted.
- Forget that it’s only a play.
From The Audition Process: A Guide for Actors by Bob Funk (Heinemann, 1996):
“The audition begins when you walk in the door of the theatre or into the office of the agency. From the moment you arrive you are being watched.”
Bob Funk, actor and associate professor as the University of Alabama at Birmingham, served as a state adjudicator for the Southeastern Theatre Conference on several occasions. He watched college students audition at the state level for a chance to attend the Southeastern Theatre Conference auditions. Four areas the adjudicators considered were:
- Stage presence
- Communication skills
- Acting ability
This is the same as at any audition. Here are his tips for auditioning:
- Read the play!
- Perusal scripts are available in the Thompson Hall lobby.
- Check the libraries.
- Order from Dramatist Play Service or Samuel French.
- Order from Amazon or Barnes & Noble.
- Ask if there are certain scenes that will be read.
- Practice reading out loud.
- If you have a reading disability, let the director know.
- Know the main characters.
- University Theatre doesn’t need a resume: we use a casting card.
- Choice of roles: Write what you are most interested in, but it is a good idea to say that you will accept any or all roles.
- Attitude and first impression: From the minute you walk in, you are auditioning.
- Be professional.
- Dress appropriately. No T-shirts, flip flops, halter tops or cutoffs.
- Get hair away from face; shave.
- Make the director remember you: Wear a memorable color, scarf, tie, etc.
- Fill out your card correctly and print legibly.
- Be honest, but earnest.
- Come freshly showered with deodorant—easy on the cologne and aftershave.
Reading the scene
- Hold the script with one hand and use the opposite thumb to hold one’s place in the script.
- Hold script away from face.
- Memorize the first line if possible.
- Look up—the director needs to see you face.
- Make sure your partner is ready.
- Take a deep breath, relax.
- Don’t rush!!!
- Look at the first few words, look up and say the line like you meant it.
- Make eye contact with your partner; communicate.
- Listen and react to your partner—half of acting is reacting to what your partner says.
- If you mess up the beginning, don’t worry. Don’t apologize. Don’t go back and correct yourself.
- If you are after several people who have read the same way, read the part differently. Make a BOLD CHOICE.
- If director asks you to do something different in interpretation, go for it. The director is asking to see versatility.
- If director asks you to read a part you don’t want or like, do it anyway. This shows your versatility.
- Pronunciation: If you don’t know the word, hopefully you will see it before you read it and ask. If not, just go for it—don’t stop in the middle of the reading.
- Read differently for different characters.
- Don’t just say lines. Split them up: “He had these (think and remember) funny little legs (visualize) and he used to (reach for the word) splash about in puddle…”
- Projection: Be loud so the director can hear you. Read to the back of the house. If you are asked to be louder, you must do so.
- Diction: Enunciate consonants, no lazy tongues.
- Accents: If not called for, don’t use. If you have one, try to get rid of it.
- Dialects: If the play called for a dialect, don’t do it unless you are very good at one. If the director asks you to do one, try!
- Posture is important—stand up straight.
- Walk tall.
- Control body—don’t sway or use extraneous movement.
- Several steps and a cross here and there, but no wandering around the stage.
- Open your body out to the audience- 1/4 open.