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.
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, abilty, sexual orientation or gender identification. Equal-opportunity casting is encouraged.
Auditioning for multiple shows in 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. 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):
WHEN: October 6 and 7 from 6:30-10:30 p.m., callbacks October 8 and 9 from 6:30-10:30 p.m.
LOCATION: Fine Arts Center, room 204/206
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 On a Hot Tin Roof). 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 and other information is available online by clicking here.
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.
WHEN: January 26 and 27 from 6:30-10:30 p.m., callbacks January 28 and 29 from 6:30-10:30 p.m.
LOCATION: Fine Arts Center, room TBA
WHAT TO PREPARE: General Auditions are open to the public, and anyone wishing to audition should prepare 1 Monologue, sixty seconds or less from any Sarah Ruhl play other than Dead Man's Cell Phone. Callbacks will consist of a Movement and Dance audition, as well as cold readings from the show.
Audition materials are available here:
CHARACTERS: Please Note that our production is very interested in exploring physical movement and heightened language. Actors with strong movement backgrounds, Dancers with acting backgrounds, and students who have taken Milan Dragicevich's Detonated Language & Stage Movement classes are strongly encouraged to audition.
1) a woman, Jean
2) a dead man, Gordon
3) Gordon's mother, Mrs. Gottlieb
4) Gordon's widow, Hermia
5) Gordon's brother, Dwight
6) the Other Woman/also plays the stranger. Has an accent
7) Dance Ensemble
SYNOPSIS: An incessantly ringing cell phone in a quiet café. A stranger at the next table who has had enough. And a dead man —with a lot of loose ends. So begins Dead Man's Cell Phone, a wildly imaginative comedy by Sarah Ruhl. A work about how we memorialize the dead—and how that remembering changes us—it is the odyssey of a woman forced to confront her own assumptions about morality, redemption, and the need to connect in a technologically obsessed world.
We are looking to form an ensemble of actors with diversity in age and ethnicity. We particularly welcome trans actors from the Five College Community to audition.
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. Directing II actors ARE eligible to be in Play Lab.
The UMass New Play Lab is developing the work of two playwrights: Michael Yates Crowley and MJ Kaufmann. The playwrights will be in residence for two weeks while their plays are workshopped in rehearsal and presented in public staged readings as part of UMass’s Mainstage season. Read more about their plays belows
SCRIPTS AVAILABLE TO BORROW IN THE UMASS DEPARTMENTOF THEATER MAIN OFFICE.
WHEN AND WHERE:
March 2 and 3, 6-10 p.m.
Callbacks: March 4, 6-10 p.m.
The Curtain Theater
WHAT TO PREPARE:
Sides from both plays will be provided. You’re free to perform a prepared monologue or song, though there will be cold readings from the script regardless.
Audition information and materials can be accessed here:
Rehearsals run March 8-12 and resume March 22. Staged readings will take place March 25-28 and April 1-4.
THE SABINE PLAY
by Michael Yates Crowley
directed by Christina Pellegrini
(6 to 16 actors, flexible gender casting)
Michael Yates Crowley’s The Sabine Play asks: How far can—and should—our imaginations bend to shape our own narratives of trauma or triumph? When dreamy outcast Grace (“Fat Grace”) Matthias accuses Jeff, the school football hero, of rape, their community wastes no time alternately crucifying and martyrizing her. But Grace has bigger ambitions. Smoldering with irreverent wit and anger, The Sabine Play triangulates past, present, and future to frame a startlingly honest portrait of young people who must decide whether to burn their world in order to remake it in the image of their desires.
Looking to cast
GRACE - 15, a little overweight, calm
MONICA - 15, a cheerleader, a mean girl
GUIDANCE COUNSELOR - talks in a faux-soothing therapist mode
JEFF'S MOM - a respected woman of the town
HERSILIA - wife of ROMULUS and Queen of Rome
JEFF - 16, handsome, sweet, awkward
REMUS - Co-Founder of Rome, awkward
ART TEACHER - male, 40s or older, a high school art teacher
FIREMAN - a young fireman, all abs and attitude
BOBBY - 15, captain of the football team, intense and angry
ROMULUS - Co-Founder of Rome
JEFF'S DAD - Chief Fireman of Springfield, reflective
DR. WHEELER - a male expert on rape, wears a suit
CLERK - 16, emo, all black nail polish and attitude
THE NEWS - always speaks into a microphone, like a newscaster
DOCTOR - a doctor (male), very dry, just the facts
WIKIPEDIA - just so excited to know things!
PRIEST - a priest (male), the worst kind of smarmy evangelical
LAWYER - a lawyer (male), pompous and condescending
POLICEMAN - a policeman
SUBSTITUTE TEACHER - a substitute teacher (male or female)
GRACE'S NEIGHBOR - a nosy nancy (male or female)
DR. CARTER - a male expert on rape, wears a suit
by MJ Kaufman
directed by Jared Culverhouse
A meditation on the natural and cosmic cycles of the world around us, MJ Kaufmann’s Sagittarius Ponderosa tells the story of a family in flux. Archer (still Angela to his family) returns home to Central Oregon to care for his dying father. At night under an old Ponderosa Pine he meets Owen, a graduate student looking back to the past to right the environmental imbalances of the present. In the wake of his father’s death, Archer (like his astrological namesake, Sagittarius) hunts for a way forward amidst the confusion of loss and the inexorable tide of change it brings. Delicately rendered and gently funny, Sagittarius Ponderosa is an honest, distinctive portrait of individual growth and familial renewal.
Looking to Cast
ARCHER – 29. Genderqueer. Archer to himself, Angela to his family.
POPS: 60’s. Archer’s Dad. (Also plays and manipulates PETERSON, a cute pot-bellied puppet.)
GRANDMA: 80’s. She doesn’t hear very well.
OWEN: 29. Semester intern at the nature conservancy.
MOM: 60’s. Archer’s Mom.