The University of Massachusetts Amherst
HFA - College of Humanities & Fine Arts view HFA submenu
Performances

Auditions

UMass Theater welcomes community members and non-major/minor Five College students to audition.

Please note that UMass Theater follows UMass COVID policy and in case of inclement weather or emergency, rehearsals and performances follow UMass closing status.


Audition Workshop

Professor Milan Dragicevich will lead an audition workshop in the Curtain Theater on Sept. 9 at 6:30 p.m., following our semester meet-n-greet event. Per Milan, participants will get the most out of the workshop if they prepare a brief 90 second monologue (either contemporary or "classical"). That would allow them to fully participate in the session, as he will cover the strategies of an effective presentation of Self and Monologue. Open to anyone considering auditioning for our productions.

AUDITIONS for Fall 2022

CALL FOR PARTICIPANTS: FLAMINGO MURMURATIONS

Sign Up Now for Your Flamingo! Theater Department’s outdoor on-campus performance piece is on Saturday, September 17, 2022. Email Anya Klepikov at aklepikov@umass.edu to reserve your flamingo float for this kick-off event for the 2022-2023 season.
Interested in being a group leader for the performance?
Open Call for the “Alpha Flamingos” (the AFs)
Would commit to going to a 90 minute workshop on Saturday September 10th and serve as group leaders at the performance on Saturday, September 17th (in the event of rain the performance will be rescheduled to September 24th or October 1st). Be willing to participate in Flamingo Foto-ops throughout the week that will be scheduled at that first workshop based on performer availability. Email Rudy Ramirez at arramirez@umass.edu to sign up.

AUDITIONS: BLACK PLAYWRIGHTS: 50TH ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL EVENT
Directed by Behnam Alibakhshi, Curated by Dr. Priscilla María Page  
Rehearsals start Sept. 19, performances run Oct. 27 & 28 in the Curtain Theater
The Celebration of Black Playwrights is an evening-length piece that brings together extraordinary works by Black theater artists that have been presented on our stages in the past fifty years. These plays vary widely in content and form as they demonstrate the vast creativity inherent in Black expression.  

Black Playwright Sign-Up Genius link: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/5080B4AA5A92AABFE3-black

When & Where
Audition: Sept. 13 & 14 (Tuesday & Wednesday) 6-10 p.m.
Callbacks: Sept. 15 (Thursday) 6-10 p.m.
Bromery Center for the Arts, Curtain Theater 

How to Prepare
We are seeking Black actors and a multiracial/multicultural ensemble for this piece that will be a collage of scenes and monologues from the Black Theater canon. The text will be supported with movement, music, and song. Members of this ensemble will have skills in the following areas:  improvisation, physical theater, music, movement/dance, and singing. An understanding of devised theater and an openness to collaborative process are welcome. It is also important for actors in this piece to have a serious interest in Black theater, history, and culture. 
Please come prepared with a 1 or 2-minute monologue, poem, and/or song that comes from the Black Theater canon. Examples can be found in the writings of Lorraine Hansberry, James Baldwin, Aishah Rahman, Ntozake Shange, August Wilson, Suzan-Lori Parks, Lynn Nottage, Brandon Jacobs-Jenkins, and Michael R. Jackson. Actors will also work with sides in pairs or trios during the audition.  

AUDITIONS: ORLANDO
Directed by Iris Sowlat
Rehearsals start Sept. 19, performances run Nov. 11-19 in the Rand Theater

Orlando Sign-Up Genius link: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/5080B4AA5A92AABFE3-orlando

When & Where
Audition: Sept. 12 & 13 (Monday & Tuesday) 6-10 p.m.
Callbacks: Sept. 14 & 15 (Wednesday & Thursday) 6-10 p.m.
Fine Arts Center, Rand Theater

Synopsis
Orlando is the story of a charismatic genderfluid English noble and poet who journeys from
Queen Elizabeth I’s court to Shakespeare’s London, from Constantinople to Victorian England, and finally to the bustle of the 20th century. As they fall in and out of love, create poetry, and explore their gender, their world expands and time leaps forward. Orlando is a joyous romp through the universal quest to discover one's true self, one's place in the world, and one’s happiness. 
Content advisory: Discussions of death 

Audition Info
For general auditions
, please prepare a 1-2- minute classical or contemporary monologue with heightened language. Actors will do a brief group exercise offered at 6:00pm and 8:00pm each night (please sign up for one of these time slots) and then individually present monologues. 

Callbacks will involve more group activities and sides from the play.

Note about gender and casting
We want to celebrate the resonances this play has with contemporary queer and trans identities and invite performers of any gender to audition for any roles they feel comfortable playing.  

Note about onstage intimacy
Most lead characters engage in some level of simulated intimacy. Orlando has a moment of implied nudity, where the actor will not actually be nude. This production has a qualified intimacy choreographer who will choreograph these moments. I am open to making adjustments or scaling back on intimacy, based on actors’ boundaries. 

Characters

  • Orlando: (initially he/him, then she/her) Orlando begins as a young Elizabethan noble, and experiences life across five centuries. As time moves forward, Orlando feels overwhelmed and has trouble keeping up. Orlando is inherently curious, receptive, and optimistic. Orlando loves deeply, with their whole self. Orlando's gender identity and presentation are very fluid throughout the play, and changes to both are magical in nature and are never quite explained.  
  • Sasha: (she/her) A Russian Princess, Orlando’s first “love.”  Sasha is magnetic, playful, mysterious, adventurous, and intense. 
  • The Chorus: A versatile ensemble of 10 actors who play a wide range of supporting characters, including Marmaduke, the Archduke/Archduchess, Queen Elizabeth, love interests, court members, a ship’s captain, Shakespeare, and others. They are present on stage most of the time, quickly shifting roles as characters or as Orlando’s thoughts. All Chorus actors will have at least one significant spoken “breakout” supporting character.

The following roles are three of the most prominent supporting roles that will be played by members of the Chorus. 

  • Marmaduke: (he/him)  Orlando’s “truest” love. He is a sailor who meets Orlando, shares a romance, and marries them. Compared to Orlando’s other loves, Marmaduke and Orlando come the closest to fully understanding, and emotionally holding each other. He has an ease, confidence, and warmth about him. 
  • Archduke / Archduchess: (she/her and later he/him) This character appears twice, as the same person, with different genders. They are head-over-heels for Orlando, and pursue Orlando with verve, though Orlando is never attracted to them. 
  • Queen Elizabeth I: (she/her) She initiates a relationship with Orlando. She exudes power and enthusiasm. 

General Casting Policies

The Department of Theater is committed to racial, cultural and individual diversity.
Casting for all department-sponsored productions is open to any student, staff, or faculty member of the Five College Consortium, any member of the community, or any invited guest artist regardless of race, ethnic origin, ability, sexual orientation or gender identification.
Equal-opportunity casting is encouraged.

All Theater majors are welcomed and strongly encouraged to audition. The Department chooses plays each year with the intention of offering roles to as many majors as possible, but casting of any individual theater major student is not guaranteed.
Most casting will be determined by open auditions.
You are expected to sign up for a given audition appointment, and to arrive at the audition site well ahead of the scheduled time. Performers who arrive after their scheduled time may not be allowed to audition.
After open auditions have been completed, the director will post call back announcements. If you are called back, you are expected to initial next to your name to acknowledge the call back.


Auditioning for multiple shows

Our experience has shown that having cast members in shows with overlapping rehearsal and/or performance schedules is complicated and disruptive to both shows. 
Cast members are still welcome to be in multiple shows whose rehearsal schedules do not overlap; please check with stage managers or production staff if you have questions about scheduling.
Please note: This does NOT mean that actors cannot audition for all the shows — just that they will have to consider their options and limitations wisely. Casting decisions will result in the production's exclusive service of the actor when rehearsal/performance periods overlap.

Thank you and break a leg!