Setting the stage: Theatre auditions at MSU

The start of the classes at Minnesota State University, Mankato means the start of preparation for shows on campus. The first round of mass auditions for the academic year took place this last Monday, August 21. Students who auditioned could give their best chances for Richard III, High School Musical, and In the Next Room

Matthew Caron, one of the directors for High School Musical explained the experience of first day auditions. “Since we do it on the first day, it makes for a really exciting and high energy first day of school because our students are of course going to school, getting here for classes and everything, but also, they’ve got this looming audition that’s going to happen right away.”

Caron continued,”But what’s really fun is it does create this atmosphere of excitement and anticipation. And then the benefit of course is that right away on Tuesday, the second day of school, we start production. We’re in rehearsals right away. “

Third year MSU student Liza Rotty talked about the auditioning process for her and fellow auditioners. She explained, “It can be rigorous. There’s phases of it.” 

The phases are placed back to back when a student auditions. For Monday’s auditions, Rotty shared what she prepared,“ I first came in with two monologues for the two plays. You have to have very specific to the style of the show monologues prepared for both. And then, if you’re auditioning for High School Musical, it is sixteen bars of a Disney song, and a thirty second comedic contemporary monologue.” 

However, auditioning can be nerve-wracking. If a student is nervous Caron started by explaining, “If it matters to you, you’re probably going to feel nervous. And if it matters, that’s a good thing. You’re doing something that you’d like to do.” 

Caron continued, “But otherwise, it’s just relaxation techniques and learning how to channel that anxiousness into constructive ways. Deep breathing, meditation. Some kind of a pre-audition ritual can oftentimes help focus energy, so we encourage people to do that kind of stuff.” 

When Rotty is preparing, she explained, “I have a playlist. It’s called high energy. I always listen to some songs that put me in the right mood, and then remind myself that it doesn’t matter, and it’s okay. All of these things are to give you experience to look back on to grow and build your knowledge.” 

Auditions are open to both majors and non-major students. For anyone interesting, Sarah Honerman, the director for In the Next Room said, “I think it’s so important that students know they can always reach out if they have questions about auditions. We always love to see new faces — I love working with new people and would encourage everyone who is interested in auditioning to come out and make new friends.” 

The next round of mass auditions is September 26, for A Christmas Carol and Last Summer and Bluefish Cove. There are also auditions on August 30 for the children’s tour, which is open to freshman and transfer students.

For all the students who auditioned, and for all those preparing for more, as they say in theater: break a leg!

Write to Lilly Schimdt at lillian.schmidt@mnsu.edu

Header Photo: Theater auditions started at MSU on Monday. Auditions are open to both majors and non-majors. (Bisrat Tadesse/The Reporter)

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.