Three times a year, at the start of each semester, auditions are held for the Young Actors Ensemble. This fall, we welcomed more than 30 students ranging in age from 12 to 17 to our September 14th auditions. We spoke with Young Actors’ faculty members about the auditions:
Not at all! We are able to have two to three groups of 12 students (max) in our Young Actors Ensemble each semester. This allows us to serve students who have great instincts and natural ability but no prior experience as well as students who have already had more formal training or performance background. The purpose of our auditions is to place each student in a group where they can feel confident, learn, and grow.
Students do not need to prepare any material for the auditions. The students audition in small groups of six to eight; this makes the students feel safer than the more traditional solo audition. One teacher leads the group in a series of acting exercises while the other teachers observe the students. These exercises are similar to ones that we use in class, and this helps us assess specific skills, such as concentration, focus, imagination, sense memory, and a willingness to play. We want this audition to be as free of stress as an audition can be; we want them to be able to focus on being open and ready to create, rather than on being nervous.
So many things! It is always a pleasure to see returning students; they are often wonderful models for the new students. And, I think we are always excited to meet new students. But, I think the best part is just seeing them relax and be willing to play—once they realize that we are there to support them and that we want them to be successful.