Theatre auditions: A rundown

POV: you’re walking around the interest fair, quite overwhelmed by all of the faces before you. However, even though you might be nervous, you crave to find a niche, a passion, or even a family.

The next thing you know, you are staring at a theatre auditions poster. Maybe you did theatre in high school and want to continue, or maybe you want to pick it up for the first time. Either way, you walk up to the people at the theatre table and say, “Hello!”

After you leave the table, you are overcome by the information that they gave you: 

There’s an open house and auditions coming up super fast… but don’t fret just yet because if you’re a freshman or non-major, you do not have to have anything prepared! Just bring yourself! That’s how chill and relaxed the audition process is. 

If you missed auditions and the open house this year but are still interested, I am here to provide you with some helpful information below. 

The Open House 

Here are some things that you need to know if you missed the theatre open house: 

  • First, Richard Perez opened the floor to introduce all of the faculty:
    • Michelle Bombe: Professor of Theatre and Department Chair – Costume Design
    • Daina Robins: Professor of Theatre- Acting, Direction, and Theatre History (the director of “Eurydice” this semester!)
    • Richard Perez: Assistant Professor of Theatre and Director of Theatre – Acting, Direction, and Theatre History (the director of “The Wolves” this semester!) 
    • Eric Van Tassell: Assistant Professor of Theatre – Lighting and Sound Design
    • Erik Alberg: Technical Director of the Performing Arts – Lighting Design
    • Ken Chamberlain: Assistant Technical Director of the Performing Arts – Lighting and Sound Design
    • Reagan Chesnut: Office Manager and Stage Management Lecturer – Stage Management Supervisor
    • Darlene Veenstra: Costume Shop Manager
    • Stephen Krebs: Technical Director  
    • Lisa Borton: Guest Scenic Designer and Stage Production Lecturer
  • By the way: some wings are hiring! Contact any of the above people and they will direct you to the right place.
  • Next, the two upcoming shows for the semester were introduced. Here are some short descriptions: 
    • “The Wolves” by Sarah DeLappe directed by Richard Perez: “Left quad. Right quad. Lunge. A girls indoor soccer team warms up. From the safety of their suburban stretch circle, the team navigates big questions and wage tiny battles with all the vim and vigor of a pack of adolescent warriors. A portrait of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for nine American girls who just want to score some goals.” 
    • “Eurydice” by Sarah Ruhl and directed by Diana Robins: “In Eurydice, Sarah Ruhl reimagines the classic myth of Orpheus through the eyes of its heroine. Dying too young on her wedding day, Eurydice must journey to the underworld, where she reunites with her father and struggles to remember her lost love. With contemporary characters, ingenious plot twists and breathtaking visual effects, the play is a fresh look at a timeless love story.”


So, now that you’ve gone to the open house and have decided that you want to give theatre a go, you have auditions to get through. 

At auditions, you sign up for a 15-minute time slot where you perform two monologues for the directors. Do not be intimidated by this, though, because they allow freshmen and non-majors to do cold readings. Cold readings are where you are given a monologue to read and are not expected to have it memorized. For majors, two contrasting monologues are expected to be ready to go. 

The atmosphere at auditions is a mix of anxious energy and determination. The majority of people are nervous. I know that for me, it does not matter how many auditions I have done, the process never gets better. This is especially true if you want a certain part or have a really strong passion for the show that you are auditioning for. 

When I first walked into the audition room, the first thing I saw was the stage in all of its astonishing glory. It was an intimidating mountain that I knew I would have to climb. On top of that, the directors were waiting in anticipation for the next group of auditionees — their notepads and pens were primed, ready and waiting. 

Then, they called everyone in my audition group up one by one. When I got onto the stage, the first thing that I did was introduce my pieces — you have to tell the directors where your monologue came from and who wrote it. Then, I performed my heart out (and made sure to say “thank you” when I was done).

After the two days of auditions were done, the callbacks list came out. This is nerve-wracking because it means that you have to come in for a second audition and that they are considering you for a role. In callbacks, instead of performing monologues, you read actual scenes from the play you have gotten called back for. 

Callbacks are normally super fun and relaxed, but they can also be stressful if you are anything like me. When I am at callbacks, I tend to compare myself to other actors, and I start guessing who I think will get what role. This is extremely toxic, I know. Sometimes it is important to remember that you are your own worst critic and the only person that you should be competing against is yourself. Auditions are like a mental battleground; you learn so many new things about yourself as a person and an actor.

Even if you are your own worst critic, all that matters in an audition is that you are doing your absolute best. Hard work always matters more than pure talent. Becoming good at something takes doing and redoing. I could tell through my time in auditions this year that everyone had put in the effort to be on top of that mountain that is the stage. Putting yourself on a stage is a big challenge alone, and it is even harder to be yourself while doing it. 

The Outcome

The beauty that came with this year, as does every year, is the introduction of new faces into the department. There were many freshmen that tried out this year as well as transfers and upperclassmen who had never auditioned before. What is even better is that many of these new faces made the cast list!

Here are the casts for the two main-stage productions this semester: 

The Wolves: 

#11: Lisbeth Franzon

#25: Danai Mandebvu

#14: Selena Capman

#00: Abigail Doonan

#13: Katy Smith

#8: Alegria Guzman

#7: Sara Verduzco

#2: Belle Blaney

#46: Tia Hockenhull

A guest appearance by Michelle Bombe as Soccer Mom


Eurydice: Annika Dekker

Eurydice’s Father: Sam Joachim

Orpheus: Grant McKenzie

Nasty Interesting Man/Lord of the Underworld: Zach Pickle 

Little Stone: Brianna Tomczak

Big Stone: Adam Chamness

Loud Stone: Eden Comer

Recognize any of these names? Or maybe you don’t? Either way, make sure to come support these lovely casts in their upcoming productions. They will be working very hard to make them awesome for your viewing pleasure.

Even if you were not cast or just did not audition, there are so many opportunities to get involved! There will be auditions for the directing class’ ten-minute plays, or you could audition for Vanderprov, register for a theatre class, or even audition next semester if you are feeling overwhelmed by your courses or other extracurriculars. If you are interested and would like more information, make sure to email Reagan Chesnut to sign up for the Newsletter.

“The Wolves” will be held on October 8, 9, 13, 14, and 15 at 7:30 p.m. as well as October 10 at 2 p.m. 

“Eurydice” will be held on November 12, 13, 18, 19, and 20 at 7:30 p.m., as well as November 14 at 2 p.m.

Abby Doonan ('24) is the Arts Editor for The Anchor and was previously a staff writer. She is a theatre and communication double major from Kalamazoo, Michigan. Abby loves acting, any music that makes her dance or sing, hula hooping, romcom movies, and all things Marvel. She is passionate about arts journalism and strives to publish content that keeps you updated on all the artsy things!

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