UMass Theater productions are cast throughout the year; check here for audition information.
Time and place maybe subject to change; updates will be posted as they become available.
Sign up sheets for auditions are posted on the Department of Theater Call Board outside Fine Arts Center Room 112 about a week before auditions. Copies of the scripts may be signed out from Room 112 for two hours at any time. Call (413) 545-3490 if you have further questions.
Casting policy about auditioning for multiple shows for 2014-2015
Our experience has shown that having cast members in shows with overlapping rehearsal and/or performance schedules is complicated and disruptive to both shows. Therefore, we have placed certain limits on the shows which individuals can be in as actors over the course of the following season.
They are as follows: Cast members of The Merchant of Venice CANNOT be in A New Brain. Cast members of A New Brain CANNOT be in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. Cast members of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof CANNOT be in Play Lab. And cast members of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and Play Lab CANNOT be in Dead Man's Cell Phone.
Cast Members are still welcome to be in multiple shows whose rehearsal schedules do not
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 when deciding which show, if any, to list as a preference. In the case that a preference is not expressed, students will accept the role they are offered. Casting decisions will result in the production's exclusive service of the actor when rehearsal/performance periods overlap.
Thank you for your cooperation!
Fall Audition Workshop
With Professor Gina Kaufmann, Professor Julie Nelson, and Directing graduate student Jared Culverhouse
Sept. 6, 2-4 p.m., Curtain Theater
Recommended for anyone thinking about auditioning for department shows.
2014-2015 Fall Auditions for The Merchant of Venice, A New Brain and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
The Merchant of Venice
WHEN: September 8 and 9 from 6:30-10:30 p.m. with callbacks September 10 and 11 from 6:30-10:30 p.m.
LOCATION: Fine Arts Center, Rand Theater
WHAT TO PREPARE: Actors auditioning for Merchant should be familiar with play and characters. They should prepare two contrasting classic pieces, no more than 3 minutes total. They should also be prepared to share musical/vocal talent if they have these skills.
Actors may not be asked for all pieces.
A New Brain
WHEN: September 15 and 16 from 6:30-10:30 p.m. with callbacks September 17 and 18 from 6:30-10:30 p.m.
LOCATION: Fine Arts Center, Curtain Theater
WHAT TO PREPARE: A New Brain is a show about making the most out of life in the face of tragedy. When a neurotic, frustrated composer is confronted with a terminal illness, he finds comfort in the healing power of art. The show is in fact the William Finn’s autobiographical account of his own battle for life when he was afflicted with a seemingly terminal illness. As the central character, Gordon Michael Schwinn struggles to survive; he finds salvation in the healing power of art.
Auditioners will be taught a song from A New Brain that showcases their vocal range and therefore should sign up for an audition slot according to their voice part. Groups of eight will be brought in to perform their solo, then will stay after to work as an ensemble a selected piece from the show to be determined by the Director and Musical Director.
We are looking for singers/actors/dancers, as dance will be an important element in the show. We are seeking performers who are fully committed at every rehearsal and performance. This show demands authentic urgency and energy; these are real people, dealing with real situations, with real hopes and ambitions. This show combines contemporary musical theatre with realism and moments of surrealism as an effective vehicle for an emotional story based on real events. This show demands the full emotional commitment and spiritual insight from the performers that it seeks to provoke in the audience.
LINK FOR PERUSAL SCRIPTS AND OTHER AUDITION MATERIALS (ITEMS WILL BE ADDED AS AUDITIONS APPROACH. SOME ITEMS ARE READ-ONLY):
CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF
WHEN: October 6 and 7 from 6:30-10:30 p.m. with callbacks as early as October 7 and continuing October 8 and 9 from 6:30-10:30 p.m.
LOCATION: Fine Arts Center, room TBA
WHAT TO PREPARE: The initial round of auditions will be monologues. Please prepare a 60-second monologue from a classic American text (e.g., Eugene O’Neill, Clifford Odets, Arthur Miller, any Williams other than Cat). Material for this period is plentiful; ask director Jared Culverhouse, dramaturg Amy Brooks, or any faculty member if you need a recommendation. The full script is available in the office of the theater department and there are multiple copies at the Umass library.
AVAILABLE ROLES: Please note that the roles of Big Daddy and Big Momma are already cast:
Maggie — The play's “cat”, sexy and tough, a survivor type. Maggie's loneliness and Brick's rejection have made her hard and nervous. She is desperately lonely.
Brick — The favorite son and Maggie’s neglectful husband, a heavy drinker who is mourning things that can’t be said aloud. Has “the charm of the defeated”.
Gooper — A successful corporate lawyer. Gooper is Daddy's eldest and least favored son. He deeply resents his parents' love for Brick, viciously relishes in Daddy's illness, and rather ruthlessly plots to secure control of the estate.
Mae — A mean, agitated "monster of fertility" who schemes with her husband Gooper to secure Big Daddy's estate. Loves good gossip.
Reverend Tooker — A tactless, opportunistic, and hypocritical guest at Big Daddy's birthday party. As Williams indicates, his role is to embody the lie of conventional morality.
Doctor Baugh — The sober Baugh is Daddy's physician. He delivers Daddy's diagnosis to Big Mama and leaves her with a prescription of morphine.
Children — Mae and Gooper's children. They appear here as grotesque, demonic "no- necked monsters" who intermittently interrupt the action onstage. Under Mae's direction, they offer up a burlesque image of familial love and devotion.
Sookey — An African-American servant. We are seeking a performer with singing/musical instrument skills.
A NOTE ON RACE AND CASTING: The mid-century Southern context of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof is racially neglectful and oppressive. The UMass production process for Cat will not be. Our mission is to keep race and its related language & indicia an active topic of discussion within our creative team & audiences; to welcome actors of color to a safe, respectful rehearsal space; and to proceed mindfully in our exploration of an era when overt racism was a feature of the cultural landscape.
A NOTE ON DIALECTS: Cat on a Hot Tin Roof calls for a Mississippi delta dialect; we will not require one at the initial round of auditions, but we will want to hear you try the dialect at callbacks. A dialect coach will be provided during rehearsals. Below is a link to a vocal sample. The male voice is the closest regionally, but both would be good jumping-off points.
TBA, please check back later in the semester for details.