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Wednesday’s Wisdom from EDTA Emeritus

  • 1.  Wednesday’s Wisdom from EDTA Emeritus

    Posted 5 days ago

    One of the practices that made the most impact in my career was one I learned at ITS on handling auditions and cast lists. So, I didn’t create this, but I used it religiously and successfully!

    I would have a small panel of audition adjudicators (me, a teacher, a senior student director, others for a musical) with a feedback sheet for each auditioner. I would include categories like voice (projection, articulation), physicality, stage presence, suitability for role, etc., with an easy to circle evaluation (like excellent, average, needs improvement), for each. There was also a COMMENTS section, where I would request 2 positive comments and 1 improvement comment for each student. Adjudicators knew that parents, friends, admins may be reading the sheets, and I would look them over before the students received them.

    Adjudicators would also take their own notes to help in the decision making.

    After the long evening of deciding the cast list (and dinner!), we would fill in the letter that each student would receive with their evaluation sheets. It would thank them for auditioning and state what role(s) in which they were cast or that we were unable to cast them at this time.

    All adjudicators names were at the bottom. Each adjudicator’s evaluation was placed behind the letter - folded in thirds and stapled.

    Each student - in person (or a parent) - could pick up the packet at the end of the Friday. Then, they had to leave the area and could open their packet alone or with whomever, as they wished, but with no drama nearby.

    All students had the weekend to adjust and to wonder who else was cast, etc. They didn’t really know until Monday’s read through!

    The feedback gave some indication of what they could work on for future auditions OR that they did well but just didn’t fit any role or whatever.

    It worked SO well for me! I invite you to try something like this! You could send the letters electronically and scan their feedback forms to them. And e mail it all after school on Friday! Or there may be an app that could make this type of system work. Hey, I should create one!!!! Haha!

    Jacquie Thompson-Mercer
    Retired, Bakersfield High School
    California Educational Theatre Association
    Emeritus Member, California Thespian Board
    Bakersfield, CA