No roles in Story Theater Company shows are pre-cast. Casting a show is like putting together a wonderful puzzle. You might be a terrific puzzle piece, but not for the puzzle we’re putting together at this time. Or you may be just the exact piece we need. Auditions are the only way to find out!
How do I prepare for my audition?
First, find out what is required for the audition. Generally, for an STC production, an actor is asked to prepare a one-minute monologue (memorized) or sing a song for a musical. Attend a pre-audition meeting or workshop if it is offered. This workshop will often be scheduled one or two weeks prior to the actual audition.
Practice at home. The better you know your piece, the more confident you will be during the audition. The day of the audition, the best thing you can do is stay relaxed. Concentrate on the fun of performing, not the idea of “getting in the play.” Afterward, stay positive! Even if you feel you may not have done your best, remember that it can be difficult to perform in an audition situation. Don’t beat yourself up over mistakes you might think you have made.
What are callbacks?
A callback means that the director would like to see an actor again, perhaps to hear them read from the script or see them next to another actor. A callback does not guarantee you a part in the show, nor does it mean you won’t be cast. Sometimes a role is cast from the initial audition. If you need to prepare anything for a callback, the director or stage manager of the show you’re auditioning for will let you know.
How will I know if I’m cast?
About one day after callbacks, the director will call to offer roles to selected actors. Once each role has been accepted and the cast list is finalized, an e-mail announcement will be made to everyone who auditioned. It may take several days before the cast has been solidified, so it is important to be patient during this time.
I wasn’t offered a role, or I didn’t get the part I wanted. Now what?
Finding out you weren’t cast is one of the most difficult parts of the show process. It happens to actors of every experience level, and it’s important to remember that not being cast does not mean you aren’t talented. It just means there wasn’t a perfect part for you in this particular play. We encourage you to audition again in the future—you might be an exact fit for the next play! Remember also that auditioning is a skill, and, like any skill, takes practice.
But why didn’t I get the part?
Here are the most common reasons, some of which you have little or no control over.
Conflicts: If two actors had great auditions, but if one actor’s schedule conflicts with rehearsals or performance dates, the part goes to the actor without conflicts.
Behavior: The audition process begins the moment you enter the door, and continues until you leave. Sometimes an actor has a great audition for the director, but does not follow instructions during group activities, or does not demonstrate good courteous behavior while waiting with the other actors. The STC staff might take this as a sign that the student will be difficult to work with. And if you do get cast in a play, remember that your behavior during rehearsals is also important. Directors talk to each other, and you are always auditioning for your next role!
Volume: If a director strains to hear or understand the actor at auditions, they can’t get a true sense of the actor’s abilities. In addition, the director may wonder how hard she’ll have to work at rehearsal to get the actor to project. The director will always select the actor she can actually hear and understand.
Someone else was better prepared at auditions: The actor giving the more polished performance has an advantage. A well-prepared actor shows that he or she is enthusiastic about the show and is serious about wanting the part and working hard at it. A director can’t help but be impressed by someone who’s put in so much work before they’ve even gotten the part. On the other hand, nothing turns off a director more quickly than an actor who shows up for the audition completely unprepared. Pay attention to the audition requirements. If you have been asked to prepare a monologue or song, do so.
Another actor was physically better suited for the part: Some of the physical requirements for a part may be age, height, weight, coloring, hair length or style, or a variety of other things. Without the ability to make oneself taller/shorter or older/younger, there’s not much the actor can do about this one but wait for the role he or she is perfectly suited for.
The director wanted a certain (fill in the blank): Directors are human beings with personal tastes and, most importantly, a vision for the production. An actor may have an excellent audition, but if he or she doesn’t fit the director’s vision, it is an obstacle that is often difficult to overcome. The actor may be absolutely perfect for the next show.
Why does STC charge a participation fee?
Like many nonprofit theater companies, we are not able to cover all of our production expenses with ticket sales. The participation fee is used to offset the cost of renting rehearsal and performance space, director/stage manager/and designer honorariums, costumes, sets and other expenses. The additional money from participation fees allows STC to put on fully produced shows in a major theater venue and provide our young actors the opportunity to learn theater arts from outstanding Iowa State University performing arts students and theater professionals.
Is there scholarship aid?
Story Theater Company is committed to making its programs accessible to all. If your child is cast and needs financial aid, please ask the producer for a scholarship application. Typically, STC offers a partial reduction in the participation fee, although scholarship funds are limited. Please don’t let the participation fee prevent your child from auditioning.