Summer stock theatre dates back to the 18th century. It served as both an affordable entertainment option for vacationing city folk and a training ground for budding actors – it even helped many renowned stage actors begin their careers!
Summer stock auditions should be taken seriously. This is your one chance to showcase yourself before directors and casting personnel.
1. Dress appropriately.
Young actors looking for theatre experience or expanding their resume should consider summer stock theatre as an opportunity. This theatre typically produces plays throughout the summer using stock sets, costumes, and props at reduced production costs to reduce production costs further. Furthermore, summer stock offers professional experiences like acting, dance, and music performances, giving young actors invaluable experience that will help propel them further in their industry careers.
When auditioning for summer stock theatre, prepare two 30 to 45-second musical theatre songs that contrast, as well as a monologue. Also, bring an accompanist who can help adjust pitch and rhythm during your audition process.
At an audition, you must wear clothing that allows for free movement and is both comfortable and suitable for an audition situation. Try not to wear anything too tight or revealing, and ensure your clothes are free from stains or wrinkles.
Respect those auditioning you, too: for example, if auditioning as an edgy rebel, don’t wear a purple Speedo! Furthermore, read all audition instructions thoroughly so you understand precisely what is expected from you.
Dress in colors that will best highlight your skin tone and stand out from the crowd. Additionally, avoid clothes with patterns, logos, or words, as these could prove distracting during filming.
2. Don’t do something with an accent.
Summer stock theatre auditions (vast cattle call auditions ) typically only see performers once, and they don’t want any unpleasant memories about your accent or song choices to be remembered long-term. Furthermore, you usually only get three minutes or so to impress them, and if that fails, it could have devastating repercussions in terms of future summer experiences for both you and the person making decisions about you.
Rehearsing and singing your monologue over and over may only get you so far – when put before those making decisions, all that work may go out the window. What they want is someone who can capture their imagination without needing props like an easel to tell their tale.
Select songs and monologues carefully when auditioning, avoiding selections from shows currently on Broadway – everyone will likely perform them! One college has provided an exhaustive list of overdone songs and monologues used for auditioning purposes that are worth reviewing.
Professional summer stock theatres produce anywhere from three to eight plays across an eight-12-week season, supported by universities with professional actors playing lead roles; others may operate independently with more flexible scheduling; most will provide housing for actors either via dorms or through student houses that the theatre owns.
Alternatively, many companies accept taped auditions. You can send these via email, mail a CD, or download them; just be sure that your dress and audition meet industry standards; additionally, make sure that at the end of your audition, you say thank you properly.
3. Don’t do something with excessive sexual innuendo.
Too much sexual innuendo in your performance can make audiences uneasy and put off directors and producers who are auditioning you, leaving an unpleasant first impression of you that might prevent hiring you for their summer stock show. Also, avoid using profanity during auditions as this makes people uncomfortable and could even suggest that you aren’t mature enough for professional theatrical productions.
Young Frankenstein and other Mel Brooks comedies are filled with adult sexual innuendo and double entendres, as well as explicit sexual situations that are rated PG-13. For this reason alone, anyone sensitive should avoid viewing them; you only have minutes or so to make a first impression with directors and producers who audition you; if something inappropriate happens, they might never want to see you again!
This show requires a dynamic actor with solid skills in singing, dancing, music-playing, and storytelling to perform successfully in this show. There is some mature language present, and at least one scene involves sexual foreplay simulation. The director is committed to identity-conscious casting practices; all gender identities, ages, abilities, and looks are welcome to audition on Saturday, April 30, from 2-5 pm and again on Sunday from 6-8 pm, with callbacks being held Sunday afternoon. Initial auditions will be held Saturday, April 30, from 2-5 pm, with callbacks held Sunday afternoon after initial auditions have closed on April 30.
4. Don’t do something mentally challenged.
Students often make the mistake of selecting material that is too difficult during summer stock auditions, making their experience at auditions look less impressive than they actually are. Although choosing songs and monologues within your range and skill level is crucial, taking on challenging material provides you with an opportunity to showcase your talent while giving judges something to consider when making their decisions.
At New England Theatre Conference (NETC)* and Southeastern Theatre Conference (SETC) cattle calls and auditions held in NYC this summer, directors attending regional repertory companies, stock theaters, single show venues, cruise lines, dinner theatres, and other theaters are actively seeking performers to join them in creating unforgettable experiences for audiences. They want individuals who will help sell tickets and create memorable experiences for their audiences.
Auditions will often involve singing multiple songs and performing a monologue for directors to evaluate your response to their requests, so be prepared and confident when entering. Any nervousness will come across in your performance and could leave an unfavorable impression on them.
Avoid this pitfall by carefully considering your material choices before auditions and being truthful with yourself about any conflicts that may arise. Auditioners will ask for a list of disputes before casting can begin, so take the time to make sure that participation will not be an issue for you.
5. Don’t do something too hard.
Summer stock is not only an invaluable opportunity to expand your resume; it’s also the perfect environment for performers to learn teamwork skills. Cooperating with everyone in the cast is of utmost importance – you never know who might become your boss next year or become a vital contact later. Whining, gossiping, and backstabbing can only lead to unprofessional conduct, which damages reputations further and reduces chances of casting opportunities.
Before attending auditions, it’s advisable to do your research on each theatre company and which ones are likely to hire. Particularly in spring, when regional combined auditions (sometimes called unified) offer multiple theater auditions at once – this increases your chances of booking and landing the job!
Do not exceed your audition time limits. Theatres typically don’t give any leeway when it comes to this issue, as they usually see hundreds of actors and actresses in a short amount of time. Be careful that your audition doesn’t run longer than anticipated, as that would send up red flags for them.
Summer stock can be daunting and daunting at times, but it can also be an invaluable learning experience that propels you further along in your career. Accepting challenging roles with non-equity professional companies may even lead to Broadway auditions! So, if you’re ready to take the leap and give summer stock a go, do some research, prepare well, and go to auditions – good luck, fellow thespians! Gianna is an NYC-based dancer, writer, and teacher. Her passion lies in musical theatre; in her free time, she enjoys spending time with her two dogs.