Lesson 1: Auditions

Length: 75 min.

Lesson Objective:Students will demonstrate an understanding of theatrical auditions by applying learned information to the preparing of a good and bad audition.

Levels of Understanding: interpret, perspective, explain

National Standards:

TH:Re9.1.8. a. Respond to a drama/ theatre work using supporting evidence, personal aesthetics, and artistic criteria.

Materials Needed:

Auditioning Tips handouts

Means to play YouTube clip

Hook:As the students come in, have​ playing. Ask them what they think we’ll be learning about today. Auditions! Not the musical theatre type, but the straight play type. 🙂

  1. Ask the students why these auditions are bad auditions. Help them understand that auditioning involves a lot more than talent– it also involves some know-how into the process. TV shows like American Idol, X Factor, Britain’s Got Talent are actually bad examples of the auditioning process overall!
  2. Survey the students’ previous experience with auditioning. Have them come up to the board. On one half, they will write elements of a good audition. The other half, elements of a bad audition. Review what they’ve written. Tell the students you’ll give both a good and bad audition in this lesson.
  3. Giving each student an audition tips handout, go over how auditions work (etiquette, signing up for a time, who runs the audition, who is at the casting table, bringing an 8 by 10″ color headshot and resume, how to prepare for MDT audition vs. straight play, callbacks etc.). Help the students understand what it’s like to be on the director’s side of the table– directors want actor success!
  4. Now that students have been taught about theatrical auditions, have the students get into groups of four and create skits for a good audition and a bad audition for a well-known play likeRomeo and Juliet— the bad one could be subtle or outrageous! Have the groups model each, but don’t reveal which is which. Ask for their opinions on which is which, why, and what you could improve on.
  5. Tell the students the end of this unit they will get to be casting directors for a fictional summer stock (explaining lingo), and audition for each other in proper dress, etc. They need to prepare 2 one-minute contrasting monologues.
  6. Go over how to choose good monologues. Ask: in your audition model, did you have good monologues? Why or why not? Their monologues need to be memorized when they come back from spring break.
  7. Let the students have until 15 minutes until to select monologues from the plays in the class library or on their phones.

​8. Play improv games the last 15 min. of class to let out some steam. Kids who want to keep selecting monologues may do so.