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How To: Preparing for a Festival

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Children's Shakespeare Festival

An audition is a tryout for a role in a film, TV show, or stage play.  Usually auditions involve a prepared monologue and reading from the script, but improvisation can also be a component.


It is a good idea to hold auditions to cast your production.  Here are some tips:


1.  Decide how you would like to handle the audition process
     a. Do you want the students to prepare a brief monologue?
         You can select a piece of text and give them a night to memorize
     b. Do you want them to read from the script?
         Pick a scene with several characters.
     c. Do you want them to do an improv?


2. Explain the audition process to the students


3. Establish rules of behavior

    a. No talking while class members are auditioning.
    b. No laughing/making fun of others.
    c. Let your students know that they are part of a company of actors.  This makes them feel a part of something special, which they are!


4. Avoid preconceived notions about students and their abilities. 
    a. It often happens that students whom you imagined as the stars of the play are   quiet and shy at auditions and onstage
    b. Children who are not the best students or are reserved in class come alive and blossom in a performance situation. 


5. Make this a fun experience to develop community and teamwork, NOT a competition.


6. Explain the plot of the story to your students if they do not already know it. Give a brief description of the characters. 


7. If the students are reading from the play, pair students up and have them read
the scene in front of you.


8. Take notes about students, indicating:

    a. Energy/stage presence
    b. Volume
    c. Diction
    d. Possible characters they can play (major, supporting, minor, chorus)


    See printable Auditions Notes form in the sidebar.


9. Assign the larger roles to students who are not only your best performers, but are also reliable and excited about the show. You should also keep in mind that even if a particular student is a wonderful actor, if s/he is frequently absent, s/he is probably not the best choice!


10. Assign supporting roles to students with energy who may have issues with diction, volume or memorization. Assign smaller and choral roles to remaining students as appropriate.

  How To

Audition Notes (PDF)

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