So You Want To Tread The Boards by Jennifer Reischel

Professional Auditions

Where can they be found?

The large majority (about 90%) including major productions will go through agents only. The rest are advertised in PCR, open calls are noted in The Stage newspaper (also on the website, see recruitment section) and websites like casnet, castweb, etc, as well as websites of actual theatres like the Manchester Royal Exchange, Birmingham Rep etc.

For a full list of theatre companies publishing audition information see 'So you want to tread the boards'.


What happens at a professional audition?

For musicals, castings usually consist of several rounds. You will be asked to

- sing songs of your choice, as well as from the show
(sent to you be the casting team)

- learn a dance routine quickly in a group and perform it to the panel

- and read a scene from the show/perform a monologue of your choice

There are many variations to this process and you may not be required to do all of the above depending on the show/part you are being seen for. For screen auditions you may be interviewed as part of your casting to see how you come across on camera.

For plays you may be asked to learn certain extracts from the piece, learn them by heart and perform them to the casting panel with other prospective cast members.

Some tips:

  1. Turn up early and make sure you have warmed up your voice, body, etc before you get there.

  2. Be prepared for anything, make definite choices with your pieces in terms of character and journey but prepared to alter and play around with the material in case the panel want to see how you can take direction.

  3. Don't come in costume. A hint at your character/the production is sufficient (e.g. long skirt for a period drama, leather jacket if your character is a rock singer, etc.)

You can also read about Jennifer’s audition tips in The Stage Dear John column here: (insert link) and for open calls here (insert link)

Complete information including pantomime castings, commercials, films, open calls, how to prepare and behave at professional auditions, etc can be found in 'So you want to tread the boards'





So You Want To Tread The Boards

Table of Contents
Foreword by Leslie Bricusse

Samples to read

Take the Musical Theatre Test
Recommended Musical Theatre Auditions Songs
Overdone Audition Songs
Accreditted Acting & Musical Theatre Courses
Drama School Survival Guide
How to Find an Agent
Professional Auditions
Acting for Kids and Teens
Audition Monologues
Backing Tracks
Audition Coach and Singing Teachers
Performing Arts Books
Performing Arts Summer Courses









Review Corner

“…there is certainly enough solid and useful material here to merit the book becoming an essential read for beginners for many years to come.” - The Stage

“Jennifer has penned a "must read" for anyone wanting act professionally, and a "must buy" for anyone seeking a gift for the stage-struck this season.”
- www.theatremonkey.com