Roles for all Skidmore Theatre productions are cast during the general auditions which are held at the beginning of each semester. These auditions are open to all Skidmore students as well as interested members of the Skidmore and Saratoga communities. Although auditions are open to majors and non-majors alike, the educational and training needs of theatre students is taken into consideration when casting. Occasionally, professional guest artists are invited to perform with students since we feel this greatly enhances the learning process in performance.
All productions for a given semester are cast during the general auditions during the first week. These include the seminar production (Thrust Stage), the studio production (Black Box), and all workshop productions. Whenever possible, scripts are made available for all productions in the Theatre Office.
Auditions are observed by all of the directors involved in the upcoming semester and other members of the faculty. All of the production stage managers participate in the administrative tasks involved in the auditions with the seminar stage manager taking a leadership role.
Students are expected to prepare a one to two minute monologue for auditions. Unless otherwise requested, this should be a contemporary, rather than a classical monologue. Appropriate audition material will be provided for people who do not have a prepared monologue. Actors may be asked to sing a short song without accompaniment. Only when singing auditions are specifically announced should actors prepare a ballad and an upbeat song with music provided for an accompanist. Occasionally, when we do a Shakespearean play, we ask that a short Shakespearean monologue be prepared.
After the initial Theater Department Meeting (generally held on the evening of the first day of classes each semester) a casting notice and sign-up sheets are posted on the second floor call board in the JKB Theater. The casting notice offers descriptive information for each production. Whenever possible, scripts will be made available in the Theater Department Office for review prior to auditions. All students wishing to audition must select a time period during one of the two audition sessions. Students should arrive early for their appointments. At this time they will be asked to fill out an audition form covering information on training, vocal and physical abilities, physical description, etc. Students are asked to sign-up for a given day based upon their class year (Juniors and Seniors on the first day and First Year Students and Sophomores on the second day). Headshots and resumes are not at all necessary and are not expected, but will be accepted if available.
When called, the actor enters the room (nearly always the Black Box Theater) from the Green Room and introduces herself or himself. The name of the play and playwright should be given as well as the name of the character being portrayed. At the completion of the monologue the actor indicates the that the scene is over (perhaps by saying "scene" or with a simple head gesture). After completing the monologue a very short (about 8 bars) piece of music should be sung (without accompaniment). The actor then exits to the lobby. The entire process should take about two to three minutes. Questions should only be asked of the stage managers outside the audition space.
Beginning on the day following the last auditions, two days of call-backs are typically held for the studio and seminar productions. A list of call backs will be posted on the grey doors near the elevators late after the completion of the auditions (usually about 11:00pm). Each director will ask to see specific actors, alone or in combination with other actors. Often scripts are provided for these readings. Occasionally, directors will ask to see groups of actors. Actors may also be asked to perform a number of improvisational exercises. Directors will often ask actors to make adjustments in their readings. Every effort will be made to allow actors to attend all call-backs with adequate rest and preparation time between sessions.
Following the final call-back session, the directors meet to determine the cast lists. This involves a process of negotiation based upon the casting needs of all productions and the educational and training needs of the actors. A cast list is generally posted on the grey doors in the lobby in the evening following the last call-backs (usually about 7:00pm).
The following day or two, the workshop directors hold call-backs for the workshop productions and a cast list for them is posted as soon as possible.
The list of students who audition each semester is used as a resource for finding actors for directing and playwriting scenes throughout the semester. These are excellent opportunities for being seen by faculty and students who will be casting future productions!
Whenever possible, the department will schedule an audition workshop early in the year. This will be an opportunity for students to update audition material, attempt new material, practice the audition process, and receive helpful tips and criticism. Each spring, an advanced audition workshop is held for graduating seniors.
Some Internet Monologue Sources
Here are a few resources for finding monologues online. Be selective. Your goal is to find a contemporary one you like that is in your age range and is 1-2 minutes long.