MISHAWAKA--The Bethel Theatre Department is having video submission auditions for the new plays, FLUX and Obelisk, written by a student playwright, Autumn Owens. The auditions are due Monday, Jan. 18, by midnight for anyone wanting to turn in a last-minute audition tape.
What the audition calls for is filling out a Formstack, which has all the information that would appear on an audition sheet if they were to be in person, including your name, height, times you are not available, and what your preferred role is in the play. And since it is a new play, the theatre department provided copies of the two new plays to be read if you so desired before auditioning to see what you would prefer to try out for.
There are two options prospective castings have when turning in a video submission: they can either provide a YouTube link or upload the file of the video directly to the form. In the video, the person auditioning must perform two contrasting monologues which are no longer than two minutes. For the rest of the form, they can provide theatre experiences or a resume for the director to peruse. The director for this show is Derrick Null, one of Bethel’s adjunct professors.
In addition to the online auditioning, Grace Cole, the administrative assistant for the Theatre Department, said the shows will be livestreamed online as well, with a limited in-person audience.
“We’re planning to do a combination of livestreaming and in person [seating] upstairs with seats socially distanced,” Cole said.
This means that this show will be in the Chapel auditorium. She says she is excited to have shows on the stage again. Cole said this process of seating and online auditions might also happen for future shows.
Andrew Cora, a theatre major, said the biggest challenge for this will be the fact that it has never been done before for an audition process at Bethel, but he says this is a great experience because this is how some auditions are done in the acting world. For some open calls, which Andrew has been a part of, use video auditions. This is an important skill to learn for implementing in the future, as it can be difficult to craft a video submission of oneself in an audition mindset.
One thing Cora appreciates is that this keeps many performers safe and protects people with health issues by enabling them to audition from their homes or dorms. It stays the risk of transmitting any diseases, COVID-19 or otherwise.
This is a novel experience that the Theatre Department is working around. They are continuing to adapt, creating a better learning environment for their students and making it a safer space to perform.