Open theater auditions to begin Friday

Draven Jackson

Arts & Entertainment Editor

The Troy University Department of Theatre and Dance will be opening its auditions for the 2017-2018 theater season on Friday, Aug. 18, at 6 p.m. in the Trojan Center Theatre.

The auditions are open to the entirety of Troy’s campus regardless of major. Many of this year’s shows will be cast during these auditions, although the schedule has not been released at this time.

Quinton Cockrell, associate professor of performance, said that each director at the auditions will have individual reasons for choosing certain students for casts, but there are some qualities that all of the directors will be looking for.

“Confidence is important,” Cockrell said. “I am looking for someone who is confident about their material and about themselves.”

Noah Williams, a senior theatre major from Huntsville, said that he is excited about the upcoming auditions and he likes to “get hyped up” to prepare for them.

“Confidence is a big selling point and so, for me, if I listen to hard-core rap music to get hyped up or do a bunch of jumping jacks or whatever, then it gets me in the right head set to go ‘I can do this and I am going to show them I can do this,’ ” Williams said.

Cockrell stated that one of the key factors in deciding who is cast is simply appearance.

“Appearance is always a consideration, and sometimes that’s the first consideration,” Cockrell said. “Does that person look right for the parts that I am trying to cast?”

Starting Wednesday, Aug. 16, students interested in auditioning will be able to get a registration form from the main office in Malone Hall. After registering, students will get a number to use during the auditions.

For students who are singing, there is a 90-second time frame during which they will need to prepare both a musical number and a monologue.

Cockrell said that starting this year, those who are singing will not be allowed to perform a cappella. They must either bring sheet music for a prepared piece or, if they don’t have sheet music, they will be allowed to sing ‘Happy Birthday’ with accompaniment.

For those who are not singing, there is a 60-second time limit, during which students can either bring one or two contrasting monologues.

“Contrast is really important because I like to see as many different aspects of a person as possible during that audition process,” Cockrell said. “There are all types of degrees of emotions and actions that can be explored in a monologue.”

Registration will start at 5 p.m. on Friday. There will then be an hour that students may use to rehearse their music with the accompanist, John Jinright, associate professor of music, before auditions begin at 6 p.m.

Tyler McClellan, a freshman theater major from Alabaster, said he is both excited and nervous for his first fall audition.

“I am just going to do the best that I can, lay everything out on the table, and leave without any regrets,” McClellan said. “It makes it a lot easier talking to people who have done it before, and they can tell you what to do and how to prepare.”

Kezia Moore, a senior theatre major from Montgomery, said her advice for students auditioning for the first time is to not overthink it.

“This is a very welcoming community and the most chill theater department that I have worked with,” Moore said. “It’s your first time, nerves are going to kick in, so just do the best that you can do.

“It’s not as bad as people make it seem. . . ”

Callbacks will be posted Friday night after the auditions and will begin on Saturday, Aug. 19.

The 2017/2018 schedule will be announced soon and will be made available on the theater and dance website:

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