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Auditions

SCT strongly encourages open casting calls. You are encouraged to contact actors with whom you have worked in the past or whose work you have admired in other productions, however it is recommended that you express this as an invitation to audition. Closed casting or pre-casting is not forbidden, but is discouraged, as it sends the wrong message to the acting community and after a time they just quit coming around to auditions. In addition, you are cutting yourself off to the new talent coming into our area.

Scheduling

  • Auditions are typically held at the theater, but you may use another space if the lobby/stage are not conducive to your audition format.
  • It is ultimately up to you as director to decide how long your cast needs to prepare for your show.
    • Most non-musicals audition 6-8 weeks before the show opens
    • Most musicals audition 10-12 weeks before the show opens

Audition Promotion

SCT will start promoting your auditions as soon as our season is announced on our website. Audition dates will also appear on our Season Poster. We’ll also advise the “casting call” websites such as Clam City to post your audition dates. As your auditions get closer, SCT will step up its efforts on social media. In addition, you should already be reaching out to actors and potential crew to advise them you are helming a production and encouraging them to participate.

Logistics/Suggestions

  • You may conduct your auditions in any manner that best suits you, or one with which you are familiar.
    • Examples are:
      • Individual who is auditioning is in one room, the rest separated into a different room.
      • Everyone in the same room.
      • Have actors bring a prepared monologue or have them read parts of the play.
  • Have a sign-in sheet to keep track of everyone who is reading. It should include their name, phone number and email address in case you need to contact them during the casting process.
  • If you are having cold readings from the script, number your scripts and note the script number on the sign in sheet. This way, if an actor inadvertently walks off with the script, you can give them a call and get it back.
  • Many directors like to have photos taken of the auditionees while holding a paper or whiteboard of their name to aid in the casting process.
  • Make use of your AD and/or Stage Manager to help coordinate the process. This way someone can be at the door to welcome participants, record their information on the sign-in sheet, give them their sides or a copy of the script, hand them paperwork (more on that later) and direct them to where they should wait & prepare for the audition. Also, an AD or SM can stand-in and read with an actor if necessary.

Audition Applications

  • SCT does not require pictures & resumes. After all, SCT is a volunteer community theater and requiring these items is a barrier to being open to all who wish to participate.
  • In addition to the sign-in sheet, you will want to prepare an “application” form. While some actors will show up with a prepared picture & resume, most will not. If the actor does provide P&R, attach it to the application and have them fill out the form as well.
  • The following must be included on the application (you’d be surprised at how many actors and crew think they are applying for a paid gig):
    • “Stage Coach Theatre is a volunteer community theater company. Actors, directors, and crew are not compensated for their time and talent.”
  • At minimum, the application should include name, address, phone number, email address, recent credits whether at SCT or any other theater experiences, which role for which they are reading (if known) or if they will accept any role offered, any conflicts with the rehearsal schedule or performance dates (again, you’d be surprised) and leave room for the actor to communicate those conflicts with you on the application.
  • Ask if they are not cast in the production will they accept positions on the crew or become volunteers at the theater. Don’t get personal in your questions. It is inappropriate to identify body data, race, religion, citizenship, nationality, etc. at this point in the process.
  • All applications, whether or not the person is ultimately in the cast or on the crew, must be turned-in to the Executive Committee at the completion of the production. This will allow us to build a contact list for future auditions.

Casting

  • Once you have cast your show, call the actors and offer them the role. Also, plan on calling or emailing the actors who were not cast, thanking them for their participation and inviting them to read again at SCT. This is not the time to launch into a critique of their acting skills but to be gracious and encouraging.
  • Sometimes the turnout for auditions is less than expected. If you cannot cast the show as written, explore the possibility that some roles can be played cross-gender or multiple roles can be played by the same actor. Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and call an actor whether you know them or not. Most importantly, let SCT management know you’re coming up short and explore if an additional audition weekend could be arranged.
  • Sometimes, an actor will fall out and leave the cast. Remember how you called those actors who weren’t cast and were gracious and encouraging? It’s going to make it so much easier to call them now and offer them the part.
  • Email the Executive Committee and Content Marketer to announce your cast. SCT will prepare an announcement for social media and our website.