Is it necessary to have theatre experience before I begin auditioning at KCT?
You needn’t have experience in order to audition, although it’s extremely helpful. Participating in school plays, church plays, and taking advantage of any opportunities to speak or sing in public can all increase your confidence. Creative Dramatics classes, such as those provided five times annually at KCT, will help you gain knowledge and ability, as well as boosting your confidence. Always list any relevant experience on your audition form.
Is there a cost to audition or to appear in a play at KCT?
KCT does not charge actors who are cast in its plays. Each auditioner is given equal and free access to the audition process. When you are cast in a show you must attend the show that is running during the rehearsal period (at a cost of $10). As a cast member, you will receive more than 60 hours of hands-on, practical theatre training in a professional, educational environment–all at no charge. The theatre relies on donations for 25% of its annual revenue, and actors and their parents are encouraged to donate to our non-profit organization.
I am auditioning at KCT for the first time. Should I expect to be cast?
Every actor who auditions should “expect” to be cast; you should certainly have your schedule as clear as possible during the rehearsal evenings. Over the last 20 plays, an average of 20% to 25% of each cast has been made up of actors making their KCT debut. The practical truth is, however, that it often takes three to four auditions before we find the right part for you. Most of the veteran actors at Knoxville Children’s Theatre auditioned two to four times before receiving their first part. In fact, your chance of being cast improves with each successive audition. The process for becoming a regular performer at KCT is to audition consecutive times until you are cast in a supporting role. If you fulfill your duties with this role, you are more likely to receive a larger or more intensive role.
Are there any ways I can improve my chances of receiving a role before the audition?
Yes, there are several. Perform anywhere you can, as often as possible. Memorize your audition piece thoroughly, using a loud, clear voice. (An auditioner’s nerves can cause memorization issues without thorough preparation.) Attend acting classes in school, at private lessons, at our theatre, or anywhere you find them to increase your knowledge and get critical feedback. One of the easiest ways to improve your chances of receiving a part is to attend as many KCT shows as possible. This small time-commitment of two hours a month is very meaningful. Seeing as many plays as possible helps you (1) to understand the level of professionalism required to perform at KCT; (2) to develop a critical eye for evaluation of overall theatre concepts, and (3) to compare and contrast a variety of acting styles in order to evaluate their merits. Attending shows is also the only way you have right now to support the company and its efforts. Attending only auditions, and never attending productions, doesn’t show support for a company in which you are hoping to participate.
Are there any ways I can improve my chances of receiving a role during the audition?
Yes, there are several. Know the lines of your audition monologue. Speak in a voice that can be heard 35 feet away (the distance between the back of our stage and the back row of the theatre). Be emotionally expressive, not only in tone of voice but also in body posture, hand gestures, and facial expression. Show the director that you are “directable.” (For example, the director may ask you to repeat your monologue, but expressing it this time as “angry” or “very sad” or “excitedly happy.” When you can switch emotional expression, you show the director that you can instantly and innately respond to direction.) Ask questions. Have a parent accompany you to the audition, in case the director has questions. Write legibly on the audition form. Answer truthfully on the audition form about any conflicts you may have for the rehearsal period. (Arriving at the first rehearsal with a handful of additional conflicts will result in removal from the production.)
How and when will I be notified if I have been cast? Will I be notified if I am not cast?
The general accepted practice in professional theatres is to notify only those who are cast. KCT, however, notifies all auditioners of the complete cast list. The process of being cast goes like this: you will receive an e-mail at the address provided on the audition form, informing you of the role and how to proceed. This is known as an “offer letter.” You will have 24 hours to accept your role. If, for any reason, you cannot accept your role, an offer letter is sent to another actor for that role. And that actor has 24 hours to accept the role. After all roles have been accepted, the complete cast list is e-mailed to every auditioner. Be prepared to begin rehearsing within five days of being cast. Occasionally, we receive an inquiry about not receiving the complete cast list. Ninety-nine percent of the time, this is due to the e-mail address on the audition form being illegible.
Got a question, and can’t find the answer here?
E-mail the Producing Director at firstname.lastname@example.org. Good luck!