You will set up a table with everything that you will need put out in little piles for easy access. The individual items that are necessary are listed here. Feel free to add interesting items to your table.
In general you can expect that the RLT office manager has put together an audition box with everything that you need already in it and in the quantity that you need. However, always contact them in advance and see if you need to do something to help. Arrive at least one hour before the published audition time in order to be able to set up the table and to tape off the rows where the production staff will be sitting. (It is important to keep people a few rows away from the director so that he or she feels comfortable talking and taking notes on a person.
Get your self a soda and sit back ready to smile.
Audition cards come in pink and blue, for females and males, and should be filled out as neatly as possible. There is an example in the supporting documents section. Make sure that you have plenty of cards. A huge handful is a good idea. If you are dealing with children, ask that an adult fill out the card. Include a basket of pencils for those who need one.
Check with your director in advance and see if he or she intends to create a conflict calendar. If not, create one yourself, (they are SO much easier than simply listing the dates) as per the example in supporting documents. People should cross out every day that he or she will not be able to attend rehearsal. We do not accept performance conflicts.
Fact Sheet on Production
This fact sheet includes all named roles and a brief description of the character. Run off enough to give a copy to everyone who comes in, though not everyone will need this. This sheet is the same sheet that goes out as the audition announcement.
Include all sorts of theatre literature:
Season Brochure Youth Class Schedule Fanfare Capital Campaign Drive Technical Volunteer Card Seasonal information
Smile. Smile. Smile
As people begin arriving you should greet them, direct them to the proper forms that need to be completed and offer any other brochures that you have available. Ask people to submit completed forms to you. Check completed forms to make sure they are actually complete. Then invite people to take a seat in the auditorium (if auditions are open) or in the lobby (if auditions are closed). Maintain an air of calmness and pleasantness, this is a very stressful time for actors.
As audition cards are turned in, write a number in the upper comer so you can keep track of the order in which they were submitted. Check to make sure that the person has completed a conflict sheet and “pencil in” a conflict code on the audition card so you can refer quickly to the anticipated absences. (C=2, means the person has indicated two conflicts with rehearsals.) If the person cannot give you an indication of conflicts at this time, mark their card with C=? and tell them to call the director personally the next day with conflicts. Conflict sheets should be placed in alphabetical order to make it easy to access them. Remember that we do not accept Performance conflicts, direct the actor to the director if they insist on a performance conflict.
If your director has specifically asked for headshots (photos) make sure that you ask for one from every actor. Attach the headshot to the audition card only if the director wants this done. Otherwise, file them alphabetically (make sure their name is clearly on the photo) and be ready to pull the photo when the director wants it. If an actor has not brought a headshot when requested to do so, simply indicate on the audition card that no headshot was produced. This will save you from scrambling and will let the director know that it was not available.
If your director has NOT asked for headshots, but actors have brought them anyway, make a notation on the audition card that a headshot is available and file them alphabetically. Pull the headshot ready to give to the director when the actor auditions.
Resumes should be handled in the same manner as photos. Paper clips are a great way of securing them to an audition card and much better than staples. Remember to treat these as confidential documents.
The Actual Auditions
When it is time for the actual auditions, you become the right and left hand for the director. Ask the director how to proceed. should you call the actors by the number you entered on their card, should you call all of the women first, do you call everyone under age 12 first? Hand the director the audition card for the actor and take notes if asked to. If there is a photo or resume, pull those to make available to the director. If the director doesn’t make notations on the audition card you should indicate either the audition song or the scene number that the actor read. Point out the number of conflicts to the director for each actor. Be sensitive to what your director needs and be flexible when asked for something new.
Open Auditions are when anyone and everyone is allowed to watch (audience style) the audition process. This is the general method for main stage musicals. When the auditions are open you may direct people to seat themselves in the auditorium after they have filled out the audition card.
Closed Auditions are when only the individual person who is currently auditioning is in the room with the director and the director’s staff during auditions. This is a method that is used when a director wants to see the range of choices that actors make without input from other sources. If the auditions are to be closed you will need a holding area for the people waiting to audition. You will probably want to have extra copies of the script and a list of suggested scenes for the auditionee to be studying. Closed auditions make actors more nervous than open auditions, so be prepared to speak softly and soothingly to them.
After the Auditions
At the end of auditions, make notations on people that the director wants to call back. Indicate a callback on the audition card and give a list of callback individuals to the office manager. It is the responsibility of the office manager to “post” the callback list. After the list is up you should call the actors on the callback list to make sure that they know what time and where to report for callbacks. You do not call people who are not on the list and you should not tell people you do call who else is on the list.
Again you should arrive early and set up anything that the director has requested be put out for callbacks. Usually this includes copies of particular scenes that the director will want read during callbacks and copies of the script. Check in people as they arrive and call anyone who has not arrived by five minutes before the callback time. Notify the director who has arrived and who has been called at the callback time.
During callbacks, take notes if necessary, hand the director the audition cards so that the card can be referred to during the scene. If the director does not make notations, you should note on the card the scenes that were read and the character that the actor read during the callback.
Prepare the list of actors that have been cast and submit it to the office manager. It is the responsibility of the office manager to post the cast list. Check with the director to see if the stage manager will call the cast or if you need to do this. If you have been asked to do this, you should call the actors to tell them first rehearsal time, any script deposit that will be due, and any other pertinent information. You should not tell them other cast members as these may change before the first meeting.
You should repack unused supplies into the audition box. Give the director all resumes and headshots. The stage manager should receive the audition cards of the actors who were cast. The office manager should receive the audition cards of those actors not cast. Put away any desk or table that has been set up for this process.
You may have been asked to send letters to those people who have not been cast as a thank you for their efforts. If you are not comfortable doing this, tell your director. Your director may wish to do this personally, in which case there is no need for you to do this. There is a sample letter in the supporting documents section to give you a guideline if you choose to do this task. Letters should be sent within a week of the callbacks.