Staging Shakespearean Theatre: The Essential Guide to Selecting, Interpreting, Producing and Directing Shakespeare

By Elaine Adams Novak | Go to book overview

Part Three
From Auditions Through
Performances
Part Three is concerned with auditioning actors for your Shakespearean production plus other performers you might need: singers, dancers, swordsmen and musicians. After that, we shall take up casting the play, rehearsals (orientation, reading, blocking, developing, polishing, technical and dress) and performances.
Auditions
About two weeks before auditions, the director or publicity manager should write an announcement about auditions that will motivate prospective performers to come to tryouts. This notice may be sent to school or local newspapers and radio and television stations or used as posters or handouts in classes. It should state the title and author of the play; the name of the producing organization; dates, times and places of tryouts; and dates of performances. Also, you may want to publicize descriptions of the characters. If any of these must sing, dance, fight or play a musical instrument, this should be mentioned. Ask singers to come with their own music and be prepared to sing one minute of a song of their choice. Dancers should wear or bring dancing clothes and shoes to auditions. Musicians should furnish their own instruments (see Figure 3-1).Because of the difficulties in reading Shakespeare’s lines without advance preparation, it might be wise to prepare copies of the excerpts from the play that you plan to have actors read at auditions. You can make these available to anyone who wants to study them before tryouts.
Audition Information Form
The director should prepare an information form for candidates to complete at the time of auditions. Before you do this, you will need to plan a tentative rehearsal schedule, since you will want to indicate on the form the days of the week and the hours that you intend to rehearse (see Figure 3-2).The audition information form may include the following:
Name to be used on the program and in publicity.
Address (with zip code).
Telephones (with area code).
Social security number or student number.
Class or grade (if in a school situation).
Hometown (if needed for publicity).
Height (without shoes).
Weight.
Age.
Color of hair.
Training and experience in acting.
(If singing, dancing, swordfighting or playing a musical instrument is important to your production, ask about their training and experience in these.)
Commitments that will interfere with rehearsals. (State when rehearsals will be held so that they can

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Staging Shakespearean Theatre: The Essential Guide to Selecting, Interpreting, Producing and Directing Shakespeare
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • About the Author v
  • Table of Contents vi
  • Preface viii
  • Part One - Introduction 1
  • Part Two - Preparing to Direct a Shakespearean Play 9
  • Part Three - From Auditions through Performances 31
  • Part Four - Preparing and Directing Romeo and Juliet 54
  • Appendix - Other Important Plays by Shakespeare 161
  • Suggested Readings 179
  • Index 182
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