Dates and Venues (BA Acting)
January 19 & 22: Millennium Broadway Hotel, 145 West 44th St, New York, NY 10036
January 20 & 21: Pearl Studios, 500 Eighth Avenue, New York, NY 10018
January 23: Ripley-Grier Studios, 520 Eighth Avenue, New York, NY 10018
February 5-8: Palmer House Hilton Hotel, 17 E Monroe St, Chicago, IL 60603
New York Panel Members: Ali de Souza, Marc Silberschatz
Chicago Panel Members: Vanessa Coffey, Josh Armstrong
*Auditions may be recorded for additional review by departmental faculty/staff at RCS.
We kindly ask that you bring a headshot as it helps the panel keep names and faces together. It will not have an impact on the audition outcome.
Please prepare two speeches to perform in character. One should be from a play by William Shakespeare, preferably in verse, and the other a contrasting contemporary* piece of your own choice.
Each speech should be no less than one minute and no more than three minutes. When you are preparing your speeches please time them carefully – the audition panel may stop you if the speech is too long.
Read plenty of plays in order to find the best speeches for you. The panel may ask you about the play as well as the monologue you have chosen to perform.
Try to find a character with whom you identify – s/he does not have to be like you but you should be able to empathise with the thoughts, feelings and actions implied by the text. The panel wants to see you bring a character to life, not necessarily demonstrate great originality of choice.
Take plenty of time to prepare. Read the whole play a number of times. Learn the words perfectly and rehearse the pieces thoroughly. Do not change your mind at the last minute and try to prepare a new choice without adequate preparation time.
As you prepare, consider carefully what kind of person the character is, what they want to achieve, and how they go about getting what they want. Why do they say those particular words at that moment – how do they want to change the attitude or behaviour of the listener? What kind of tactics do they use?
* The Contemporary Monologue
It is safe to consider anything written in the latter half of the twentieth century onwards to be contemporary. However, even a period play written in the late nineteenth or early twentieth century if it has been adapted by a living author is considered as contemporary. So for example Tom Stoppard’s adaptation of Anton Chekhov’s Three Sisters or Zinnie Harris’ adaptation of Strindberg’s Miss Julie would both be fine. A good rule is if the author is alive, or could theoretically still be alive if they died young (e.g. Sarah Kane) then you can consider the work as contemporary. Of course finding a speech from a relatively new work (e.g. from the last five years or so) gives us some indication of your knowledge, understanding and passion for theatre today, so the more recent the work, the better.
The initial audition will last approximately 10-15 minutes and you will be asked to perform both of your pieces and have a short interview with the panel. In the interview do not try to give the replies you think are wanted, or that will impress, just be yourself and answer honestly.
Prior to your audition, we will also email you a scheduled workshop time that will consist of a series of group improvisation exercises. The workshop is approximately 45-60 minutes in length and is typically scheduled around either 11:30am or 3:30pm on the day of your audition. The group improvisation exercises give us an opportunity to see you in circumstances you can’t plan or prepare for. We’ll be looking to see how spontaneous and open to other you can be. If end up scheduled for a workshop time that is conflicting with another pre-existing engagement of yours, please let us know and we will be able to either offer another workshop time or find a suitable alternative to these exercises.
Throughout the audition, interview, and workshop…
The panel will be looking for evidence that in most, if not all of the following aspects you are able to:
- Bring a character to life with believable thoughts, feelings and actions which are appropriate to the text chosen
- Be sufficiently relaxed and energised in performance, improvisation and interview in order to present your characters and yourself with honesty, clarity and conviction
- Show potential in voice and body for further development of the means of expression
- Discuss your work giving reasons for choices made
- Respond to direction in performance and improvisation
- Be open to others, responding creatively to their ideas, thoughts and feelings
- Demonstrate some knowledge of theatre, film and television today
- Show some experience of acting in public performances
- Indicate the maturity, resilience and commitment necessary for successful completion of the programme and entry into the professionYou will then be advised one week after your audition if you have reached the final workshop recall audition stage.