Audition Handbook

Juried Audition Rating Criteria

The following is a key to the criteria used for the numerical ratings on the response forms (each bulleted item is rated on a scale of 0 - 5):

Audition Skills

  • Selection of Material
    • Appropriateness to age, type, and level of abilities
    • Effectiveness for demonstrating actual extent of range by contrasts in genre, tone, character qualities, and /or style
  • Presentation
    • Appropriateness and effectiveness of wardrobe, hair and makeup
    • Entrance, introduction, transitions, thank-you, and exit

Performance Skills

  • Voice
    • Breath support, openness of channel (release of tension in vocal tract), fullness of tone/resonance, specificity and variety of melody, tempo/rhythm, quality, etc. in response to the text and given circumstances
  • Speech
    • Diction, phrasing, relative emphasis of operative words, tone color (use of individual speech sounds), use of figurative language and rhetorical structure, overall effectiveness of denotative and connotative expression. Sense of voice and speech that is organic to character supported by imaginative and analytical justification of vocal choices
  • Movement: Choices
    • Use of space, character center (part of body character meets the world with), tempo/rhythm, quality, specific gesture, creation of place through use of props/chair/space/focus
  • Movement: Support
    • Alignment, balance, grace, strength, release of tension inappropriate to character and given circumstances
    • Sense of movement that is organic to character supported by imaginative and analytical justification of movement choices
  • Acting: Objective Technique
    • Comprehensible storytelling in which the character clearly takes action toward a specific goal, encounters obstacles, responds with adjustments/shifts of action until he/she achieves some sort of resolution. In other words, the actor (in the guise of the character) takes a complete journey with a clear beginning, middle and end
  • Acting: Truth Within Circumstances
    • The actor accomplishes the journey of the character with a sense of genuinely living in the world-of-the-play, deeply and personally invested in the wants of the character, playing for high stakes, and creating a sense of spontaneous interaction with the imagined other character in the scene. In other words, acting that creates an "illusion of the first time"

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Portfolio Review/Interview Rating Criteria

Response Sheet Criteria

Students are judged in a variety of categories with attention given to whether are a first time presenter, at the intermediate level, or advanced students. The criteria used is similar to that used a CETA, URTA, ACTF, SETC and other unified auditions. Students then have a better idea of where they need to improve their skills. The faculty and staff use a 1-5 ranking system for responses, 1 being poor and 5 being excellent.


General Appearance

  • deportment
  • attitude
  • appropriate attire

Spoken Presentation

  • Introduction
  • Body of Presentation
  • Conclusion
  • Overall: materials, details, support, handling, organization


  • appearance
  • accuracy
  • proofreading
  • appropriateness

Visual Presentation not expected from all first time presenters

  • Quality and choice of materials (aesthetics/artistry/ability)
  • Neatness: paperwork, plots, drawings, organization
  • Graphics and layout: presentation format, titles, labels, etc.
  • Overall success of visual presentation

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Actor Toolkit

  • Objective
  • Given Circumstances
  • Tranits And Touching Points
  • Unspoken Truth
  • Invisible Envelope
  • Public Solitude
  • Listening With Objective
  • Tactics
  • Personalization/Endowments
  • As If
  • Physical Task/Ancillary Action
  • Physical Destination
  • Conscious/Subconscious
  • Upgrades
  • Justifications/Character Advocacy
  • Discoveries
  • Polar Attitudes/Polarities
  • Transitions/Shifts
  • Builds
  • Transferences
  • Expectations
  • Assumptions
  • Give/Take
  • Want To Do/Have To Do

"To be is to do" - Plato
"To do is to be" - Socrates
"First say to yourself what you would be; Then do what you have to do" - Epictetus
"As we are so we do" - Emerson
"Do Be Do Be Do"-- Sinatra

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A Few Thoughts on Auditioning

Life is unfair.
The theatre is less fair than life.
Acting is the least fair part of the theatre.
An actor will never be asked to do anything less fair in his or her life than audition.

And the worst part of it is that an actor is never NOT auditioning. If you truly want to be an actor, these are the given circumstances of your condition with which you must make peace.

It's good to keep a few things in mind:

  • Whenever you audition for a director, you are auditioning for every show he or she will direct for the rest of both your lives, not just the one coming up next. Whenever you are in a show, you are auditioning for the future projects of every director and producer who see it, as well as the director you're working with.
  • Directors will forget your name the minute you walk out the door, but if you behave unprofessionally before, during, or after the audition, they will remember your face forever.
  • If you are a delight in the audition, prove yourself talented and skilled, read beautifully and bring everyone in the room to tears and/or gales of laughter, you may still not get the part, but the director will remember your face, and maybe even your name, forever.
  • Directors have a lot on their minds during auditions and are trying to balance a host of issues having to do with the complex nature of a production; whether or not you would be good in a given part, even the best, is often not the most relevant consideration. For your own mental health, try not to take it personally.
  • An audition is essentially a business interview. Whether or not there is actual monetary pay involved is irrelevant. You must present and behave yourself professionally. Don't lie on your resume and be honest about what you are and are not willing to do. People are taking a lot of time and working very hard to make very difficult decisions for the good of a project that is larger than you.
  • The dynamics of a company ensemble begin to take shape immediately after the cast list goes up. The news of your attitude, good or bad, travels fast and has a lasting influence on the how you, as a colleague, are regarded in the future. If you are angry or miffed, save its expression for the privacy of your home.
  • You can't know what is in a director's mind. You can't know why you didn't get the part. If you truly want to be an actor, the only thing you can DO that is worth your time and energy is get ready for the next audition and do your very best again.

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