Over the years I have heard the following statements said in a variety of ways:
1) There’s nothing for me in that show.
2) That’s a show for boys.
3) That’s a girls’ show.
4) That’s a children’s show.
The translation, to me, is you don’t know the story or DreamWrights or both.
One of the first things you learn in college is to read the script, if you can, before you go to an audition. That is not always possible, but if it is an adaptation you can always read the story. Our next two shows are classics so they should be easy to find.The Best Christmas Pageant Ever is written by Barbara Robinson. It’s a wonderful book and the script is very close to the original. The Secret Garden, by Francis Hodgson Burnett is another easy to find story. Our script was adapted for the stage by Paige Hoke. I wrote Young King Arthur from a myriad of Arthurian legends so there is no one story to access, but scripts will be available to check out two weeks prior to auditions.
You may not know that DreamWrights has a play reading committee that works hard each year reading many scripts in the search of plays that best suit our theatre. Isn’t our theatre like all others? Not at all! First we are a Youth & Family Theatre. Children’s Theatre is theatre for children performed by adults. Youth theatre is theatre for all ages performed by young people. A youth & family theatre is for all ages performed by all ages.
Being a multigenerational theatre means we are always looking for shows that have legitimate parts for children, teens and adults. (A legitimate part means that each character has a name/lines/and is needed. Not just onstage to decorate the set.) Plus, we need large casts. Trust me, there are not that many good published scripts that fit into either, let alone both categories. So the committee has a daunting task! In addition, they are always striving for a balanced season, which is yet another challenge. Is there something to interest everyone both artists and audience? Is there variety in time periods, topics, genres, etc.?
Dreamwrights’ four main shows are different in yet another way. We double cast! Why? The reasons are many, but the main one is we always audition over one hundred and fifty hopefuls per show. A good audition in ‘regular’ (whatever that is) community based theatre is between thirty to fifty.
Now onto this boy girl thing. We would never select a script that didn’t have a fairly equal number of all ages and genders. You can not go by a title. Please see the breakdown below of our next three shows as a perfect example of what we always hope for.
Yes, there are always some characters that have more lines than others. But we are an ensemble (Webster: A group of complementary parts contributing to a single piece.) theatre. We work together to tell the story. And it’s not about the lines! It’s about the character, and how you bring it to life.
Now about this, ‘there’s no part for me’ business. You are doing two things wrong here with this line of thinking. First, you are limiting yourself incredibly. Second, you are doing the director’s job. If you can’t trust the director to cast you … don’t audition for them.
Best Christmas Secret Garden Young King Arthur
Women 6 4 7
Men 5 4 7
Teen W 0 6 6
Teen M 4 6 7
Girls 7 6 6
Boys 7 5 5
Total 39 31 (Playing 47) 38