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Auditions, Portfolios, and Interviews
Department Auditions and Portfolio Reviews
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.
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:
- two contrasting monologues, or
- one monologue and one contrasting song, or
- two contrasting monologues plus your best sixteen bars of a song
The maximum time for any of these options is 3 minutes. You will be timed and stopped if you exceed the three–minute time limit.
Accompaniment is provided. If you plan to sing, bring sheet music in your key, clearly marked. No taped accompaniment and no a capella, please.
Musical Theatre majors are required to audition with either package B or C.
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:
Sunday -- 6:00 – 10:00 pm -- Returning THEA and MUTH majors only
Monday -- 6:00 – 8:00 pm -- THEA and MUTH Freshman & Transfers
Monday -- 8:00 – 10:00 pm -- THEA and MUTH minors / All other CSU, Chico students / Any interested community members
Tuesday -- 8:00 – 10:00 and Wednesday/Thursday 7:00 – 10:00 as called by the individual directors with requirements posted by the directors.
Cast lists for semester posted by 5:00 pm, Friday.
Students should prepare a 3–5 minute presentation of their work in the appropriate categories and be prepared to answer questions from the collected faculty and staff. A critique form will be available approximately two weeks after the review/interviews with additional comments and suggestions. Be prepared to leave your visual presentation materials for about a week, if requested.
Everyone participating in the review and interviews should prepare a theatre Résumé and bring 10 copies to distribute (standard white paper is fine).
In addition, your presentation should include
- An introduction of yourself and background information on what you have done in the department, (production crews, designs, employment, etc.)
- An explanation of your long–term career goals and graduation plans
- A mention of what you would like to do during the next season
Depending on your experience and coursework you should prepare the following
- Stage Managers: Prompt books from productions and related materials
- Designers: Drawings, rendering, sketches, and other samples from classes
- Drawings, renderings, sketches, and photos from shows in which you have designed or assisted a designer.
- Technicians: Examples of classwork, finished work, and photographs of shows, or production elements in which you have played an important role.
Eligibility for Design Assignments
- A GPA of at least 2.0 cumulative and previous semester (anticipated to rise)
- Successful completion of the appropriate design courses and their prerequisites
- Service as an assistant/assistant to a designer or related production responsibility
- gram. 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, gDemonstrated competence in the related shop by employment or 163/173 hours.
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.