Theatre Auditions | Trinity University

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Theatre Auditions

How auditions at Trinity work

Trinity produces four faculty-directed main stage productions a year, as well as a number of smaller “lab” productions—directed, designed, and managed by students. Auditions for main stage and lab shows happen separately. Lab productions hold separate auditions at various times during the year; these are announced on the Stieren lobby callboard and through email. Make sure you get on the Trinity University Theatre mailing list (email Dr. Stith to be added nstith [at] and follow us on social media (Facebook: Trinity Theatre, Instagram: @TUmainstage, Twitter: @TUmainstage) so that you can be aware of all audition announcements and other theatre events.

For main stage productions, we welcome all Trinity students, First-Years through Seniors, regardless of major. Don’t be intimidated if you’re a First-Year; new students get cast regularly, in all kinds of roles! Because we audition students for two mainstage productions at a time, auditions for our main stage shows happen twice a year: in August, just as classes are beginning, and early in December, just as classes are winding down. Auditions for our Spring 2020 shows will be held in early December. Follow our social media or join our list-serv for more information. You need only sign up for one audition slot on one of those days. At the close of auditions, the directors will post (via email) the names of those actors they wish to see for call backs. Times will be announced via email as well. During call back auditions, actors will be asked to read from the text of the shows they are called back for and participate in other kinds of audition activities (movement, improvisation, theater games, etc.), depending on the demands of a given production. Call back may take place in two separate spaces, the Stieren Theater and/or the Attic Theater, our "black box" space. Both locations are within the Ruth Taylor Theatre Building.

Trinity’s Audition Workshop

In the fall, Trinity Theatre holds an audition workshop so students can learn more about the audition process. This year’s workshop will be held on August 19th. The time and place of this workshop will be posted on the Stieren Theater bulletin board and via Trinity Theatre’s social media (@tumainstage). The workshop is normally led by two faculty members and a few Trinity theatre students. In this workshop, you’ll learn about Trinity’s audition process and meet returning students who’ll be available to coach you on your monologue auditions and/or help you select audition material. Attendance at this workshop is not required—you’re welcome to audition for our productions regardless—we simply offer this workshop to get new students acquainted with our process and with more seasoned students who can offer guidance.

Selecting an Audition Piece 

To select an audition piece, look for a short speech (a monologue) in a play script said by one character. Do not include dialogue said by other characters. Avoid stringing together little bits of dialogue from one character; instead choose a whole—or part of a whole—speech that a character says, alone or to another character.

Choose an audition piece that is one minute or less and that is from a play—not from a film script or non-dramatic literature. For our auditions we ask that you avoid choosing material from the shows you’re auditioning for; using material from other shows by the same playwrights, however, is perfectly acceptable.

We highly suggest reading the entire play your monologue is taken from; you’ll have a much clearer understanding of your piece’s context and how to approach the character.

This Fall we will be holding auditions for a play (Doctor Faustus Lights the Lights] by Gertrude Stein) and a musical (The Mystery of Edwin Drood book and music by Rupert Holmes). If you are interested in being considered for both productions you will need to perform a monologue and song at your first audition. Choose a brief song (apporx. 32 bars) from a musical (not a pop or rock song) which shows off your voice and acting abilities. Bring the sheet music in the proper key (don’t sing a capella). An accompanist will be provided at auditions.

Make sure your pieces are well memorized and rehearsed. Performing your monologue or song several times for friends or more experienced drama students can be a good way to practice for your audition. If you’re able to attend our audition workshop in the fall, take advantage of that opportunity!

For Fall 2019:

IF YOU’RE A FIRST-TIME AUDITIONEE, you will be asked to present only one 1-minute monologue OR if interested in being cast in the musical you will be asked to present a 1-minute monologue and 1 short song.

Returning auditionees will be required to present two 1-minute monologues OR if interested in being cast in the musical you will be asked to present one 1-minute monologue and one short song.

The Audition Process, step-by-step

To audition, visit the Stieren Theater lobby and sign up for a single five-minute audition slot on the posted sign-up sheet. The audition sign-up sheets are posted on the Stieren Theater lobby bulletin board at the beginning of the school year and mid-November. Check our social media for updates on when these sheets are posted! On the evening of your audition, please arrive in the Stieren Theater lobby 5-10 minutes ahead of your audition time so that a stage manager can take your picture and you can fill out a card with your contact information and any schedule conflicts you might have during the rehearsal process. Fill out your card completely and be aware—check your calendar before you come in—of any dates coming up (weddings, religious holidays, class field trips, evening classes, athletic tournaments, Trinity choir concerts or tours, etc.) that you’re committed to. Directors can often work around conflicts for school-related activities or important family events, but they must know about those dates in advance.

During your five-minute audition slot, you’ll be walked into the theatre by a stage manager and introduced to the directors (there will be two or three directors present). The directors will look over your information card while you are being led to the stage. Once the directors tell you they are ready, you’ll present your audition piece(s). Following your monologue(s) the directors may ask you a few questions—about your conflicts, experience, or your audition material—before you leave.

Don’t “costume” yourself for the roles you’re playing. Do wear clothes that are comfortable, allow you to move, and look good on you. Please avoid clothing or jewelry that is overly distracting. Examples of this include (but are not limited to) hats, noisy or distracting jewelry, high-heeled shoes and flip-flops. If you have questions about what to wear don’t be afraid to reach out to directors or fellow Trinity Theatre students. Also, you do not need to bring props for your audition.

Before you present your piece, simply state your name, the character’s name, and the play. For example, “I’m Mary Smith and I’ll be performing Laura from The Glass Menagerie.” No need to explain the scene. At the end of your monologue, pause after your last line for a couple of seconds; then say “Thank you,” and you’re done!

You may present your monologue standing or sitting—whatever you think is appropriate to the monologue’s dramatic context. A chair will be provided for your use. If you present two pieces, however, don’t do both of them sitting. The directors will want to see how you look when you’re standing and moving.

When presenting, make sure your placement and focus is out front—directly in front of you, toward the auditorium—not to the side. A presentation out to the auditorium will allow you to be seen and heard by the directors. Another tip: When you’re introducing yourself and your monologue, make eye contact with the persons watching you. When you’re actually presenting the monologue, you do not have to look directly at the people in the audience.

Remember that the directors are rooting for you—they want to see what kind of person you are and how much you enjoy acting. We want you to participate in our program and have a good experience!

Most important, have fun—it’s your time to introduce yourself and show what you can do.

Break a leg!