ALL ABOUT AUDITIONS
This section is all about unified auditions, held on the first Monday of each camp session. Get answers to your audition questions, fill out your audition form, and use our tools & tips to prep for your audition by learning about cutting longer monologues and using the same tools our actors use during table work: scansion, rhetoric, and word-for-word paraphrasing
I felt a lot better about the audition than I was expecting to — I thought I would be terrible, and then I wasn’t! Part of it was probably the collaborative, more personal nature, rather than just “stand in a line, say your piece, and shut up.” – 2016 Camper
All campers must complete the appropriate audition form before arriving for Orientation.
Get a good night’s sleep after arrival and orientation day, because first thing in the morning of your first full day of camp, we have auditions! You will strut your stuff for the audition committee in the morning, and cast lists should be posted before dinner that same day. We will also use the information from these forms and in the audition room to begin making casting decisions for the mid-session Showcase performance.
Not sure where to start? Check out Shakespeare’s Monologues, an excellent resource for finding the perfect Shakespearean monologue for you.
General Audition FAQ
How do the auditions work?
On the first full day of camp, we spend the morning holding unified auditions in order to cast each of the session’s three shows as well as the roles for the mid-session Showcase. Auditions are a combination of traditional monologue performance and collaborative improvisational techniques which simply require a willingness to play and creative choices in the moment. All administrative staff, show directors, RDAs, and production interns are present for these auditions.
When will the cast lists be posted?
Staff sits down to hammer out casting immediately after the auditions end, while campers go to lunch and then take their introductory voice workshop with Allison Glenzer. We do our very best to post cast lists and distribute scripts for the three main shows before dinner that same day, so campers can begin familiarizing themselves with their parts before the readthroughs held that evening. Casting for the mid-session Showcase is contingent on the main show casting, and campers will receive their Showcase roles and scripts in the middle of the first week.
Will I be cast in one show or all three?
Each ASC Theatre Camp participant is cast in only one of the three shows we have slated for each Session. You might receive one role or several depending on the demands of the play. All campers will also be cast in the mid-session Showcase.
What do I have to do in order to prepare for auditions?
All campers must prepare a 10-15 line monologue to perform in auditions. Monologues must be approved by Camp Director Lia Wallace before audition day. To get monologue approval, all campers must fill out the appropriate audition form, which includes a section for entering the texts of their top three monologue choices. Lia will try to give everyone their first choice, but we do not allow multiple campers in a session to use the same monologue and choices are made on a first-come, first-served basis.
I’m not very familiar with Shakespeare… can you help me choose a monologe?
Of course! If you’re not sure where to start, check out Shakespeare’s Monologues, an excellent resource for finding the perfect Shakespearean monologue for you. Or feel free to ask for advice by getting in touch with Lia directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Will I get a chance to show off any other special skills during the auditions?
Absolutely. We’ll have a special skills section of the auditions for all campers to show off any special skills they’d like us to take into consideration during casting. Special skills include (but are by no means limited to) music (vocal or instrumental), dance, accents, juggling, stage combat, acrobatics… whatever you’ve got, we want to see it.
Does that mean I’m allowed to bring musical instruments with me to camp?
Allowed? More like ENTHUSIASTICALLY ENCOURAGED! Bring any and everything you have that may be helpful for mounting a performance.
What else should I know about the auditions?
The auditions contain several sections and multiple chances for campers to display their various skills, including both ensemble work and individual performance. In other words, auditions are a group experience. Some of you may be seasoned auditioning veterans; others may be experiencing them for the first time. Shakespeare wrote his plays for a company of actors, not a single spotlight-stealer. We will be watching not only how you work and perform, but how you work and perform collaboratively with your fellow artists, and you better believe that we take everything into account when making casting decisions.
Does the ASC Theatre Camp have a casting policy?
Indeed we do. We support and follow the rules outlined by the American Shakespeare Center’s general casting policy:
We look for actors of all shapes, sizes, colors, and abilities. We frequently cast women as male characters and sometimes men as female characters. We cast actors of color in any/all roles. We believe that Shakespeare’s plays tell the stories of all of us and we want our casting to reflect that.
Feeling overwhelmed? Keep reading! The Tools & Tips section is coming up next and can help provide some insight into preparing early modern text for performance.
Choosing and Preparing your Monologue – Tools & Tips
The information section will help you prepare your monologue for performance. Familiarize yourself with the basics of Shakespeare’s verse structure, rhetorical figures, and the value of a word-for-word paraphrase. Get some tips about cutting Shakespeare’s text to help you feel confident about making your own cuts in a longer monologue.
Guidelines for choosing your monologue:
Monologues must be from an Early Modern play.
Here, the term “Early Modern” refers to plays written during the period roughly defined as being between 1580-1642. While that period includes Shakespeare and all of his plays, he wasn’t the only playwright of any value producing work during that time. Campers are welcome to choose audition monologues from plays written by any of Shakespeare’s contemporaries, like Christopher Marlowe, Ben Johnson, Thomas Middleton, Francis Beaumont, John Fletcher, Thomas Kyd, and Philip Massinger (just to name a few).
Monologues may be in either verse or prose, and must be between 10-15 lines long.
The line limit is non-negotiable.
Is your verse piece 8 lines long? Find a new one.
Is it 20 lines long? Cut it down, or find a new one.
Having a hard time figuring out if your prose monologue meets the length requirements? Try setting it as “verse” by inserting line breaks every 10 syllables to get a general idea of the length.
Prepare your text.
Use the information in this section to learn more about working with Shakespeare’s verse, identifying and playing rhetorical figures, and how to create a helpful word-for-word paraphrase.