FOR COMEDIES OR DRAMAS
Choose a one to two-minute monologue in the style of the play, and make certain it has a story arc (beginning, middle and ending) so you can show your range.
Note: Never memorize a monologue from the play being produced unless a director asks and avoid monologues requiring accents.
Next: Practice, practice, practice... and then follow the format below.
On Audition Day: Arrive ten-minutes before your appointed time, sign in and fill out an audition form. When it's your turn, a staff member will call you into the audition room.
Upon Entering, smile and make eye contact with theatre staff. Be confident. Assume they like you already, and they do - hey, you showed up! Greet them and let them know your name and then tell them what you're about to present, i.e. "Hello, my name is Douglas Drama /Theta Thespian, and I'd like to present so-and-so's monologue from An Incredibly Great Play."
To Present: Step back and take a couple seconds to center yourself. Raise your eyes and focus on a space about 2 feet above the staffs' heads, and then begin. If the monologue is to one person, imagine that person floating two feet about the staff. If it's a crowd, imagine them standing behind the staff, and address your crowd, back and forth, above the staff.
DO NOT make eye contact with staff members during your monologue/s.
Why? Because they don't want to be in the scene with you; they want to take notes!
When Done: Lower your head, take a moment to come out of character, look up at the staff, smile and say, "Thank you." In professional theatre, they're likely to simply say "Thank you", and that's your cue to exit.
But in community theatre, they may talk to you and ask a couple questions before saying goodbye. In either case, they may ask you to do a cold reading from the script. At which point it's perfectly acceptable (and expected) to ask them for a moment to look over the reading before you begin.
Present a monologue as described above and then a song. Piano accompaniment will be provided, so BRING YOUR SHEET MUSIC. Specific shows will have specific audition requirements (i.e., 16 bars, a certain range, etc.), so check audition requirements on the website as you make your audition appointment.
The audition may or may not require a monologue. For an opera audition, Piano accompaniment is provided and as a courtesy fee is required to pay the pianist for those services (this amount is usually noted in the audition notice). BRING SHEET MUSIC. In opera, entire songs are presented during the audition period and are interrupted only if time does not permit. Usually the director/s will warn you they may need to interrupt your piece.
AT EVERY AUDITION
Assume the staff will like you. You're a living, breathing, and willing theatre participant, and, for all they know (and hope), a star in the making. Learn to enjoy the audition process as a challenge, an education, an opportunity. Why? Because, even if THIS show isn't a perfect fit for you, the next one might be, and directors never forget talent, a friendly face and a positive attitude.
These tips are provided by Meredith Bean McMath, Managing Director of Run Rabbit Run Productions, Inc., Loudoun County, Virginia. They are culled from professional actors, and the classes McMath taught through a professional acting program.