FAQ: Theatre Auditions PDF Print E-mail

Facts about Theatre Audition

How do I prepare for my audition?
Choose two monologues that show a good contrast. Contrast can be shown by two very different character types such as urban vs. rural; comedy vs. serious; classic vs. contemporary; and so on. Determine the major objective the character is trying to achieve with the monologue and always keep that at the front of your brain. For example, a character may be trying to make another character run away with him/her, or trying to make another character love him/her). In most instances, the objective your character is trying to achieve has to do with another character whom you must imagine is there with you. Place that imaginary character in front of you (not to the side) and focus all your energy on getting him/her to do what you want them to do! Rehearse the pieces out loud to help with memorization. Remember we need to hear you, so be sure to articulate. You may sit in a chair if you wish, but do not sit unless you feel the character absolutely must! Do NOT sit down for both monologues! We need to see you move, so a little bit of purposeful movement is good – too much is distracting! (By “purposeful,” we mean movement that is character motivated—not aimless pacing or shifting of weight). Remember to arrive several minutes early so you can warm up your voice and stretch out your muscles. Wear comfortable clothes that are not so baggy that we can’t see your body. Do not wear high heel shoes or shoes with open backs—you need to be able to move easily.


What do I look for in a monologue?


The ideal monologue is a character close to your “type,” (age, gender, body size). Race is not a factor unless the part specifically calls for a particular race. You will seldom be cast to play a character other than your type! Why would a director cast a fourteen-year-old female to play a ninety-year-old male? A character close to your type is also going to have life experiences that may be closer to your own. (For example, a fourteen year old generally has no concept of what it means to be married and celebrating a tenth wedding anniversary). It is vitally important that you choose a monologue that you “connect to” on some level--one that gives you a “gut” feeling. If you choose a monologue that means nothing to you, how do expect to make an audience understand your emotions? Try to find a monologue that makes you say, “Wow! I’ve felt like that before.”


Where do I find monologues?


The best way to find monologues is to read plays! Most libraries have a theater section and you might want to spend an hour or so sitting on the floor thumbing through some plays. Larger bookstores usually have a drama section as well. The easiest way to find a monologue is in a book that contains a collection of monologues. These are available in libraries and bookstores, BUT BEWARE! Directors want to see that you understand the character that you are playing—you can’t do that if you don’t read the whole play to sense of who that character is. So, if you choose a monologue from a monologue book, be sure to find and read the play from which it is taken. Many monologues are published on the Internet and you may find them by typing in “monologues male” or “monologues female” (or other suitable search words/phrases). Again, be careful! Some works found on the Internet may not be suitable for you at your age. Talk to your parents before you go to the Internet. You should also be aware that anyone can publish their work on the Internet and there are an awful lot of really awful monologues out there! The other problem with monologues on the web is that they are most often not from a play—they are just a monologue. A director has no way of knowing how well you interpret a role if the piece is not from a play.


May I do a monologue I wrote?


Generally speaking, you should not do an original monologue. Why? Because an original monologue may be brilliant, but it does not allow the director to see you create a role based on a playwright’s character. One of the things a director looks for is an actor’s ability to create a role—to bring a playwright’s words to life--not just perform one he has written himself. If you are presenting more than one monologue, and if your original piece is FANTASTIC, you may prepare it as your second piece.


May I do a monologue from a movie?


Movies are different than plays. The acting style is different. Screenplays are written for actors to perform in front of a camera. Most of the actors are only seen from the waist up and quite often in close up. Plays often use more stylized movement or symbolism than screenplays. We see your whole body on the stage, and you communicate with your entire body! Plays are written with that in mind. Also, if you present a monologue from a movie you have seen, you are more likely to try to imitate the actor who played that role in the film. We want to see you be creative and interpret the work on your own, not imitate someone else.


Can you recommend some plays that have good monologues?


One of the things we are looking for is a student who takes initiative and finds interesting monologues on their own. We know it’s difficult to find good pieces, but that’s part of what we’re looking for—someone who can meet that challenge! However! You have shown initiative by visiting this web site and reading through these tips, so here’s your reward: (Please note that some of these plays have mature language and themes)

Female Serious
Play Title    Playwright    Character
A…My Name is Alice    Silver and Boyd    Various
Agnes of God    John Peilmeier    Agnes
Antigone    Sophocles (Translated by
Jean Anoulih)    Ismene/Antigone
The Ash Girl    Timberlake Wertenbaker    Cinderella
Brighton Beach Memoirs    Neil Simon    Nora
Buried Child    Sam Shepard    Shelly
Collected Stories    David Marguilles    Lisa
The Colored Museum    George C. Wolfe    Various
The Crucible    Arthur Miller    Abigail
Danny and the Deep
Blue Sea    John Patrick Shanley    Roberta
Dark at the Top of the Stairs    William Inge    Flirt
Dark of the Moon    Richardson & Berney    Barbara Allen
The Debutante Ball    Beth Henley    Teddy
Eating Chicken Feet    Kitty Chen    Betty
The Effect of Gama Rays on Man in the Moon Marigolds    Paul Zindel    Tillie, Ruth
Fires in the Mirror    Anna Deavere Smith    Various
For Colored Girls Who
Have Considered
Suicide When the
Rainbow in Enuf    Ntozake Shange    Various
Heathen Valley    Romulus Linney    Cora
In the Boom Boom Room    David Rabe    Chrissy
Ivanov    Anton Chekhov    Sasha
The Laramie Project    Moises Kaufman    Various
The Little Foxes    Lillian Hellman    Alexandra
The Madwoman of Chaillot    Jean Giradoux    Irma
Member of the Wedding    Carson McCullers    Frankie
Metamorphoses     Mary Zimmerman    Various
Miss Julie    August Strindberg    Julie
Mourning Becomes Electra    Eugene O’Neill    Lavinia
This Property is Condemned    Tennessee Williams    Willie
A Raisin in the Sun    Lorraine Hansbury    
Three Tall Women    Edward Albee    Young Woman
Two Trains Running    August Wilson    Risa
Female Light
Play Title    Playwright    Character
A My Name is Alice    Silver and Boyd    Various
A Woman, a Bathroom and a Dream    D. Rodriquez    Lydia
Abundance    Beth Henley    Macon
All Men are Dogs    B. Antonio    Jeannie
Arms and the Man    George Bernard Shaw    Louka
Assassins    Stephen Sondheim    Squeaky
Bad Habits    Terence McNally    Dolly
Bus Stop    William Inge    Cherie
Chocolate Cake    Mary Gallagher    Anne Marie
Crimes of the Heart    Beth Henley    Chick
Cripple of Innishmann    Martin McDonagh    Helen
Cyrano De Bergerac    Edmond Rostand    Roxane
Fifth of July    Lanford Wilson    Shirley
Greater Tuna     Sears, Howard    Various
Hold Me    Jules Feiffer    Various
I Oughta Be in Pictures    Neil Simon    Libby
Laughing Wild    Christopher Durang    
Lives of Great Waitresses    Nina Shingold    Tammy
Love Always    Renee Taylor & J. Bologna    Barbara
Ludlow Fair    Lanford Wilson    Rachel
Marco Polo Sings a Solo    John Guare    Diane
Miss California    Doris Baizley    Various
Nature and Purpose of the Universe    Christopher Durang    Census Lady
Male Serious
Play Title    Playwright    Character
Amadeus     Peter Shafer    Mozart
Animal Farm    Kurt Vonnegut    Various
Antigone    Sophocles    Haimen
Buried Child    Sam Shepard    Vince
Cowboys #2    Sam Shepard    Chet/Stu
Curse of the Starving Class    Sam Shepard    Weston
Dark of the Moon    Richardson & Berney    John
Dracula    Stephen Dietz    Johnathan, Reinfield
Equus    Peter Shafer    Alan
Fences    August Wilson    Lyons, Gabriel, Troy
Ghosts    Henrik Ibsen    Oswald
Heathen Valley    Romulus Linney    Harlan
Hello Out There    William Saroyan    Photo
Juno and the Paycock    Sean O’Casey    Johnny
Look Homeward Angel    Ketti Frings    Eugene
Philadelphia, Here I Come!    Brian Friel    Gar
Shakespeare’s R & J    Joe Clarco    Student 1, 2, 3, 4
Tea and Sympathy    Robert Anderson    
Translations    Brian Friel    Owen
The Zoo Story     Edward Albee    Jerry
Male Light
Play Title    Playwright    Character
An Actor’s Nightmare    Christopher Durang    
Beauty Queen of Leenane    Martin McDonagh    Ray
Biloxi Blues    Neil Simon    Eugene
Brighton Beach Memoirs    Neil Simon    Eugene
Charley’s Aunt    Brandon Thomas    Charley
Cripple of Innishmann    Martin McDonagh    Billy
Cyrano De Bergerac    Edmond Rostand    Cyrano
Greater Tuna    Sears, Howard    Various
Hayfever    Noel Coward    Simon
Lieutenant of Innishmore    Martin McDonagh    Padriac
A Life in the Theatre    David Mamet    John
Marriage of Bette ‘n Boo    Christopher Durang    Matt
Rosencrantz and Guilden-stern are Dead    Tom Stoppard    Rosencrantz/
Scooter Thomas Makes it to The Top of the World    Peter Parnell    Dennis
Waiting for Godot    Samuel Beckett    Vladimir/Estrago

 

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