Preparations for the 2019-20 theatre season begin

As the school year draws closer to an end, Seawolves begin to plan for what they want to do next semester. For students looking to meet new people and express themselves artistically, auditions for Sonoma State University’s theatre productions that will be taking place within the first two weeks of next semester for “Candide,” a Leonard Bernstein musical, and for “All’s Well That Ends Well,” a Shakespearean comedy. 

The audition process takes place in two main stages with the first being the general auditions that are open to everyone and the second being closed callbacks.

“Multiple directors will be there,” explained Assistant Professor of Theatre Arts and Dance Alexis Macnab. “We have the first round of general auditions all together. It happens in Person Theater and you’ll get an email sent out about it in the beginning of the semester.”

Cast members [left to right] Hailey Patrick, Anna Leach, Noah Evans, Brandon Matel, Matthew Adiao and Emily Rice sing their hearts out in 2018’s production of “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown.” (COURTESY // James Wirth)

Cast members [left to right] Hailey Patrick, Anna Leach, Noah Evans, Brandon Matel, Matthew Adiao and Emily Rice sing their hearts out in 2018’s production of “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown.” (COURTESY // James Wirth)

To audition, fill out an audition form, choose a time slot and come prepared with two monologues and a song in order to be considered for the play, two songs and a monologue to be considered for the musical, or two songs and two monologues to be considered for both. As intimidating as this may sound, it isn’t as much memorization as one might think. Both the songs and the monologues are kept short.

“With that said, they should not be very long. Each monologue should be about a minute and the information about music will be on the website but it’s usually only around eight to ten bars,” said Macnab.

If singing is a strong suit and there’s fear about the monologue or vice versa, don’t fret. These are just for the directors to gage certain skill levels.

“I encourage people to show up with courage, even if you feel like you aren’t a singer it’s fine,” said Macnab. “You can sing “Happy Birthday” or the “ABC’s”. Really we just want to hear what your voice sounds like in a singing space. If you are a singer and worried about acting just write a letter or find a speech from a movie you love. It doesn’t have to be anything in particular.”

The next phase of the auditions are the callbacks for the individual shows, where selected students will audition again with the directors of their show. Each director handles their callbacks differently so callbacks for “All’s Well That Ends Well” may look different than the callbacks for  “Candide.”

General auditions are open to all Sonoma State students, regardless of whether they are theatre majors or not, as well as members of the community. For those who are new to Sonoma State’s theatre productions, last year there was an “audition info hour,” where students could meet with the directors and walk through the audition process which will hopefully be brought back next semester. This can help give those who haven’t done theatre at Sonoma State a chance to understand the process better and not go into their auditions totally blind.

As nerve wracking as auditions may be, Theatre majors advise that you go in with a cool head, and just do your best.

“I think the best thing you can do is just try and relax,” said Theatre major Avery Wilson. “Just do your best and have fun. Nobody is there to tear you down.”

“Enjoy yourself and know that we are really excited to see everybody,” said Macnab. “We’re so excited just to get to know who’s here and who’s interested in plays. It’s fun for us to see all the people who come in and audition. You should feel free to have fun.”

More information about these shows will be posted later in the summer on Sonoma State’s Theatre Arts and Dance webpage.