Students will demonstrate their ability to find and select appropriate auditions by selecting a faux audition opportunity.
Faux Audition Postings, Show Descriptions, Internet Access, Projector, Computer, Audition Evaluation Form, BYU Career Services Guidelines for an Actor’s Resume
Prior to this lesson, students will each have handed in a list of five shows they would ideally like to be in. The teacher will have selected shows from these lists and added a few of their own, if desired. The teacher will have taken the selected shows and created audition advertisements (see example in lesson supplements). The advertisements will be displayed somewhere in the room. As the students come into class, the teacher will inform them that today, they will be choosing shows to audition for. The teacher instructs students to go and write down all the auditions they are interested in before taking their seats.
Discussion—The teacher asks the students to shout out some of the opportunities they were interested in. They then ask if there were any the students were not interested in. They explain that just like there were auditioning opportunities posted in the class, there are auditioning opportunities for theatrical performances available in the real world, some desirable and appropriate, some not. The teacher asks the students how they think they might find opportunities and how they have found opportunities in the past.
Directions—The teacher explains that in this unit, students will choose a faux audition opportunity, select a piece to use for that audition, practice their piece, and then audition in front of the class and a casting panel of people who are experienced in theatre in the outside world.
Instruction—The teacher then instructs on some ways to find opportunities. The first step to knowing these opportunities is to know what theatrical venues exist in the area. These can be found through a Google search, area tourism websites under performing arts listings, asking around, and observation. Once the venues are located, students can find auditions by visiting venue Facebook pages and websites or visiting/calling venues directly to make inquiries. If the second option is taken, students should do so respectfully and professionally in the appropriate way. The teacher asks the class what way this might be, then clarifies understanding. Some opportunities will only present themselves if students have an agent. However, it is not usually necessary to have one when starting out. The teacher may explain the differences between valid agents and scams, verbally listing off examples of each.
Guided Practice—The teacher says, “But you’ve already found some auditions! So how do you know which ones to go for?” The teacher states the need to research a show to see if it is right for the actor. They pull up for the class to see websites such as mtishows.com, rnh.com, and samuelfrench.com. They show students how to find show information on the websites. They ask students to shout out a show they chose, they pull it up (for example, the show Ragtime). If students did not wish to sing, would this be a good show to audition for? In a school setting, students could play any character regardless of age, but what roles could they play in an outside-world performance? Would they go after the role of Booker T. Washington if they were Caucasian or Latino?
Individual Practice—The teacher will have printed off prior to class, show info for the faux audition opportunities they have posted. They will let the students use this info to finalize what show they would like to audition for. Students may switch from their original selections. They will inform students they will need to check off their final selection with the teacher before the end of class.
Before the end of class, they must check off their single final selection with the teacher and discuss why they chose what they did and what role(s) they hope to go for. Upon completion, student receives Audition Evaluation Form and the BYU Career Services Guidelines for an Actor’s Resume to start reading. The teacher informs the students that later in the unit, there will be a quiz on material from the Guidelines.
Students check off with the teacher what show they are auditioning for and why for 10 points.
LESSON 1 SUPPLEMENTS
Faux Audition Posting
BYU Career Services Guidelines for an Actor’s Resume
Available as PDF at https://ucs.byu.edu/sites/ucs.byu.edu/files/handouts/ActorResume.pdf
Show Info Lost in Yonkers Neil Simon
Full Length Play Dramatic Comedy
120 minutes (2 hours)
1940s / WWII
Settings Of Play
Yonkers, New York. August 1942. The apartment just about “Kurnitz’s Kandy Store.”
High School/Secondary, College Theatre / Student, Community Theatre, Dinner Theatre, Professional Theatre, Senior Theatre, Reader’s Theatre, Shoestring Budget, Large Stage
RECOGNITION / AWARDS
Tony, Pulitzer, From Broadway Winner! 1991 Pulitzer Prize for Drama Winner! Best Play – 1991 Tony® Award By America’s great comic playwright, this memory play is set in a Yonkers in 1942. The hit Broadway production featured Irene Worth, Mercedes Ruehl and Kevin Spacey in award-winning performances. Bella is 35-years-old, mentally challenged and living at home with her mother, stern Grandma Kurnitz . As the play opens, ne’r do-well son Eddie deposits his two young sons on the old lady’s doorstep. He is financially strapped and taking to the road as a salesman. The boys are left to contend with Grandma, with Bella and her secret romance, and with Louie, her brother, a small-time hoodlum in a strange new world called Yonkers. “The best play Simon ever wrote.” – New York Post “Broadway desperately needs a comedy, a drama, and a hit. With Lost in Yonkers, Mr. Simon has given us all three.” – Wall Street Journal”One of Simon’s most impressive and funniest plays.” – New York Daily News”Laughter and tears have come together in a new emotional truth. There are moments in this play when you experience a new kind of laughter for Simon, a silent laughter that doesn’t explode into a yuk but implodes straight into your heart.” -Newsweek Lost in Yonkers was first presented by Emanuel Azenberg at The Center for the Performing Arts in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, on December 31, 1990. This production subsequently moved to Broadway, opening at the Richard Rogers Theater in New York Characters
4m, 3f CASTING ATTRIBUTES Features Teens, Roles for Children, Strong Role for Leading Woman (Star Vehicle) CHORUS SIZE N/A (Not a musical) JAY – 16 ARTY – 13 1/2 EDDIE – their father, 41 BELLA – mid-thirties, neat and sweet and pretty GRANDMA KURNITZ – Eddie and Bella’s mother, a big woman, buxom, with a strong and erect body, 70 odd years of age LOUIE – her other son, 36, doesn’t look like he’d be the hugging type AUNT GERT – mid-to-late thirties, another of Grandma Kurnitz’s children