Coming out for student theatre can be scary, especially when you don’t know what to expect! This page is dedicated to answering your questions about auditions and tech interviews.
If you have any other questions, please feel free to email Front Row Board at ftc-board at googlegroups dot com, or message us on Facebook!
Q: When and where are your next auditions?
A: Good question! We’ll let you know here and on Facebook when we have exact details. Auditions typically happen at the beginning of the year for our fall show, late in the fall term for our winter show, and in early spring term for our spring show!
Q: Do I have to prepare anything for auditions?
A: No, unless you are auditioning for a musical. If you are auditioning for a musical, you should come prepared to sing approximately 32 bars of music in order to demonstrate your singing voice. You won’t be expected to know the show or the characters (though if it makes you feel more comfortable, Wikipedia is a great source for that information!), and you’ll be provided the sides upon arrival.
Q: Do I have to be at auditions for the whole time?
A: Nope. You have better things to do with your time! Auditions will be open for several hours, but you only need to show up for a few minutes.
Q: Do I have to be at auditions on both days?
A: Nope. We usually have two audition days so you have more flexibility about when you want to audition. You only need to come once!
Q: Can I audition for multiple TAC-e shows?
A: Please! The Theatre Arts Council (TAC-e) is a very tight-knit community, and we want you to be a part of it. All the TAC-e groups coordinate audition times and casting meetings to make it easier for you to audition for as many as shows as you’d like!
Q: How long do auditions take?
A: Usually between 5-10 minutes. If there’s a line you may have to wait a little, but the audition itself will be pretty short.
Q: When are callbacks?
A: Callbacks are usually scheduled 1-2 days after the final day of general auditions. An email will be sent out very late on the last night of general auditions with a callback schedule. If you don’t get a callback, you may still be cast!
Q: How does casting work?
A: After callbacks are complete, all the TAC-e groups meet to cast the shows. This meeting usually starts at night and can go very late. If you are offered a part, the director will call you and ask if you’d like to accept the role. If you are offered roles in multiple shows, the TAC-e chair will call you and explain your options. You absolutely MUST answer your phone, or call back within the next ten minutes, otherwise the director will be forced to offer the part to someone else. Keep your phone on loud ALL NIGHT.
Q: What kind of time commitment do I have to make if I am cast?
A: It depends. Rehearsals are usually from 6:30-10:30pm Sunday through Thursday, but you may be called for less time based on the size of your role. Make sure to write down all potential conflicts (such as night classes and other activities) on your audition form, and ask the director if you’re concerned about what the time commitment will be.
Q: When are tech interviews?
A: Tech interviews are usually held the week after auditions!
Q: Do I need any tech experience?
A: Not at all! A lot of our most talented techies started out their freshman year with no experience to speak of. Being on a tech crew is a great place to learn the ropes – or if you want to tackle a bigger position (such as a designer), we’ll get you a mentor to guide you through the process. Tech is a really great way to get involved with the theatre community here at Penn.
Q: Do I need to come for both days of tech interviews?
A: Nope. We usually have two interview days so you can have more flexibility. You only need to come to one!
Q: Do I need to be at tech interviews for the whole time?
A: Nope. Tech interviews usually take about 10 minutes, so show up whenever you’re available!
Q: How will I hear about tech positions?
A: After tech interviews are complete, all the TAC-e groups meet and discuss tech positions. You’ll receive a phone call that night with your position offer, so make sure to have your phone on loud all night!
Q: What kind of time commitment do I have to make if I get a position?
A: It depends. Some positions (like set crew) require you to put in several hours every week, where other positions (like lights crew) only require a few days of dedicated work at the end of the process. Make sure to ask the tech director about this during your tech interview, and to discuss any potential conflicts (such as night classes and other activities) you may have!