Auditioning for a part is scary! Whether it’s a part in a play, a choir or an orchestra, there’s a huge fear of failure. Interestingly enough though, it’s just as scary for the director. Can he get a strong cast? Is there anybody out there who plays the oboe? Is there anyone who doesn’t sing soprano?
Auditions for Sun Lakes Theatre Company’s fall play, Dearly Departed, were held on April 16 in Cottonwood’s Phoenix Room with Director Howard Hummel. People who had checked out scripts came with them in hand, others came to “cold” read; that is, read for something they had not looked at previously. About 25 hopefuls showed up for the 1:30 p.m. audition. No one was more nervous than the director.
“Getting a good cast is close to half the way to a good show,” Hummel said. “I don’t pre-cast, but I do have a certain idea of what I’m looking for in each character in the play.”
Standard operating procedure for auditions requires filling out an audition form. Potential players are asked which parts they would consider, what other duties they are interested in performing and any conflicts they might have with the rehearsal schedule. The director then calls individuals up to read for each part they’re interested in, usually with other people.
“Sometimes I need to see people together to see if they look right,” Hummel commented. “For example, in a comedy I would happily cast a six foot woman across from a five foot man. In a romantic scene I’d probably want them closer together in height. I also need to see if they can take direction, to make an effort to give me what I’m asking for.”
The auditions lasted for about three hours. Before it was over, Hummel asked if anyone would like to read for anything else and a few raised their hands. More lines were read.
At the end of the day, the play was cast; 15 people received phone calls that they had been cast and several people received calls asking them to serve in other capacities. Now the work will begin: learning lines, planning costumes, working with the sound, lights and the other technical aspects of the production.
Dearly Departed will open in November. Watch for ticket prices and other info in the Splash and be sure to check the webpage at slctinfo.com for updates.