Auditions, Portfolios and Interviews

General Auditions

Twice yearly general auditions serve two functions for the department: 1) to cast most of the mainstage productions of the season and 2) to provide a yearly opportunity (during the January call) for the faculty to assess and comment on the growth and development of performance and audition skills of theatre arts and musical theatre.

At the January juried auditions, three members of the faculty respond on paper to the audition of each theatre arts and musical theatre major. Each response includes a set of numerical ratings as well as written comments. These responses are simply a snapshot of impressions of your craft skills and overall accomplishment as an actor as demonstrated during the three minutes of your audition. These responses are by no means a definitive assessment of your talent and abilities; the faculty adjudicators observe, rate, and comment on your auditions as if they were seeing you for the first time. The standards by which your auditions are evaluated are high, essentially, we look for the same qualities that are expected of young actors who are ready for graduate school or entry–level professional work. In other words, an average rating in the 4 to 5 range (with 5 being the highest possible score) indicates a level of accomplishment that would probably result in a call back at a grad school or summer stock level; an average rating below 4 probably would not. Don't look at these as grades, but as information to help you continue to work toward your goals. We encourage you to make appointments with the adjudicators for additional feedback.

For each of the fall and spring auditions, please prepare one of the following standard, memorized audition packages:

  1. two contrasting monologues, or
  2. one monologue and one contrasting song, or
  3. two contrasting monologues plus your best sixteen bars of a song

The maximum time for any of these options is 2 minutes. You will be timed and stopped if you exceed the two–minute time limit.

An accompaniment is provided. If you plan to sing, bring sheet music in your key, clearly marked. No taped accompaniment and no a capella, please.

Sign up sheets for specific audition appointments are posted in the Greenroom in the PAC approximately five days prior to auditions, which normally begin the Sunday prior to the first day of the semester's classes.

A typical audition week schedule:

Fall 2017 Production Auditions:


Sign-up sheets will be posted on the Department Notice Board by Performing Arts Center Room 106 the week before classes begin.

  • Sunday, August 20  - 6:00-10:00pm: Auditions for Musical Theatre and Theatre Majors 
  • Monday, August 21  - 6:00- 7:30pm: Auditions for Musical Theatre and Theatre Minors
  • Monday, August 21  - 7:30-10:00pm: Auditions for Non Major and community members

Callbacks - (Specifics for each show will be posted when callback lists are posted)

  • Monday, August 21:        7:30pm - 10:00pm 
  • Tuesday, August 22:       6:00pm - 10:00pm
  • Wednesday, August 23:  6:00pm - 10:00pm
  • Thursday, August 24:      6:00pm - 10:00pm

Accompaniment is provided. Bring sheet music in your key, clearly marked.

Contact Matty Miller for more information (PAC 205/ / 530-898-5493).

Audition Information

For the dance auditions:

  • Remember to:
  1. wear clothes you can move in (layers are good)
  2. bring dance sneakers or jazz shoes and tap shoes (if you own some)
  3. leave the jewelry at home
  4. wear hair up and out of your face
  • Warm-up for all dance auditioners will begin at 7pm on the Harlen Adams stage.
  • Auditioners will learn 3 phrases in 3 styles(tap, modern/character, and jazz) taught by 3 different choreographers in rotating spaces from 7:30-9:00pm.
  • From 9:00-10:00pm, auditioners will perform the 3 phrases for the faculty in PAC 134 in groups of 4. Each group will perform all 3 styles, then be excused.

Other Audition Information:

The gathering place to receive instructions from the stage managers is in the Green Room. Please show up well in advance of your group's call time so you can complete the audition paperwork. Callbacks for these shows are posted in the mornings for that evening. Cast lists are posted by the end of the first week of school. 

Make sure you read the casting policy before you audition.

Please remember, if you want to be considered for the musical, you need to participate in the Dance Auditions and include a short song in your acting audition.

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The Portfolio Review Information

Students interested in designing, assistant designing, stage managing, or other upper division practicum MUST submit a portfolio for consideration in the spring.

ALL students must fill out and turn in a hard copy of the Portfolio Submission Form to the Music and Theatre office, PAC 106, to be included in the portfolio reviews.

Criteria and Format

  • Freshman & Sophomores – Portfolio Submission
    • Submit to the theatre office the following materials.
      • Introduction Letter & Resume
      • Traditional Paper or Digital portfolio (.PDF format only for digital submissions!!)
        • This should include classroom and practical work. Students should consider a Power Point or Keynote presentation format. Both of which can easily be converted into PDF.
        • ** All digital portfolios must be a self contained, SINGLE DOCUMENT burned to a CD, DVD, or placed on clean flash drive properly labeled for submission.
      • Faculty will have (2) weeks to review these materials. Comments sheets will be available in the office at the end of this period.
  • Juniors & Seniors – Interview & Portfolio Presentation
    • In-­‐person interview and portfolio presentation
      • Students will be able to set up in the space beginning at 1pm.
      • Each student have available to them a 3’x6’ table with a back board for pinning up materials.
      • Students will provide (10) copies of their resume and introduction letter at their station.
      • If students have developed a web site or other digital presentation, they are encouraged to bring their laptops and have it available for reviewers. Power will be provided.
      • The students will attend these stations for a (3) hour period during which the faculty may review their materials, give comment, and ask questions. This time period will also be open to other students to view their work.
      • Faculty will fill out a critique sheet which will be given back to the student after the event.

Portfolio Materials Information

  • The Introduction Letter should describe your current involvement in the department and state what you would like to do in the future.
  • All Resumes will contain the following information and be contained on one page:
    • Name
    • Current contact information
    • List of all production experiences (CSU & outside venues).
      • Please list all production experience in reverse chronological order.
    • Other applicable skills
      • Software proficiencies, workshops, CPR certifications, equipment proficiencies, etc.
    • Awards / Scholarships / Achievements
    • Related Organizational and volunteer affliations
    • Three references
    • *** The resume format may differ from one student to another, but all must be clear, organized, and include the information above.
  • Portfolios should include all relevant classroom and practical production work. Everything needs to be cleanly presented and labeled clearly. This presentation is as much about you as the materials, so the protfolio should reflect your attitude and interests/ Your portfolio may be in one of the following formats:
    • Traditional hardcopy portfolio
      • Designers should include pictures of classroom and realized projects as well as cleanly formatted preliminary sketches and research.
      • State Managers may prepare a sample production book for their portfolio.
      • Dramaturges should present writing and research samples.
    • Web Based Portfolio; (Must be compatible to both Mac & PC)
    • PDF Portfolio (COnvert all PowerPoint, Keynote, or similar presentations into this form).
  • The goal of the yearly submissions is to give students feedback on their materials, identify strengths and weaknesses, and allow the faculty to place them in future production positions.
  • If you have any questions, please contact Daniel Schindler:, PAC 248, (530) 898-4053

Policy On Casting, Designing and Crew Assignments

The department is committed to providing the best educational experience possible for students involved in the production program. To this end, we give first consideration for roles and design and crew assignments to theatre majors followed by other students who audition or present a portfolio. On occasion, we will cast guest artists, faculty members and/or community members to provide additional educational experiences to our students. The department believes that the practice of color-blind, gender-blind, and/or age-blind casting is appropriate in certain circumstances, and such casting will occur when suitable to the production. Students who audition or show a portfolio may express a preference as to which roles or design/crew assignments they wish to be considered. 

To avoid obvious scheduling conflicts, students must bring complete semester calendars of their commitments to auditions or interviews. Once cast in a role or given a design/crew assignment, a student has the option of accepting or rejecting the role or assignment. This is accomplished by notifying the director and/or supervisor before rehearsals or assignments begin. Initialing a cast list and/or attending a rehearsal or production meeting also indicate that a student has accepted a role or assignment. Any student who accepts a role or assignment and later wishes to be released from a production must present serious and compelling reasons to the director and/or supervisor and the Chair of the department to avoid sanctions. Students leaving a show without the permission of both the director/supervisor and Chair will be barred from participating in any departmental production during the semester in which the violation occurs and the following semester.

To be eligible for participation in department productions in any capacity, students must maintain a Grade Point Average of 2.0 or higher during any semester in which they participate. If a student is placed on academic probation by the university (which happens whenever the CSU, Chico G.P.A. or the cumulative G.P.A. drops below 2.0) or if the student fails to achieve at least a 2.0 G.P.A. in the preceding semester, the student will be required to drop any role or design/crew assignment that he or she may be presently engaged in and will be ineligible for any subsequent casting or assignment until he or she regains clear academic standing. 

Students on academic probation or whose previous semester’s G.P.A. has fallen below a 2.0 may continue to participate on a production run crew only if participation is a specific, curricular requirement of a course the student is enrolled in. Students who are on Work Study must maintain a G.P.A. of at least 2.0. Students whose semester G.P.A. falls below a 2.0 must resolve prior to the first day of classes of the following semester any issues concerning incompletes and change-of-grades that might raise their semester G.P.A. above a 2.0.

For Scholarship Audition/Portfolio information, please go here.

Auditions and Interviews remain the primary avenue of access to employment and educational opportunities in the performing arts. To aid our own production and program and to help our students acquire the poised, presentational skills necessary for job hunting in the profession, we have designed an annual system of auditions, portfolio review/interviews and evaluations.

Special Theatre Major Requirements

All musical theatre majors are required to audition at the beginning of each semester.

All theatre arts majors are required either to a) audition at the beginning of each semester, or b) present a portfolio of technical, design, or stage management experience every spring semester.

Any student with an interest in technical production, design, or stage management as well as performance may choose to participate in both portfolio reviews and auditions.

Any major may choose not to participate in a department production during any given semester, by notifying the faculty ahead of auditions or interviews, however, she or he must still participate in the audition or interview process.

Any theatre scholarship student, in addition to the basic audition/portfolio requirements, must participate as cast or crew in at least one department production each semester he or she receives an award from the Theatre Department.

Please refer to the Casting/Crewing policy for more information.