Frequently Asked Questions
How are auditions run at Avon Players?
- Auditions for a show are generally held 6-7 weeks before a show opens, usually on a Sunday and Monday evening.
- If you are new to Avon Players, try to come to both audition dates. Sundays are usually used to gauge individual talent; Mondays are used to see how people look and act with each other. It is all right to come to just one or the other if you can not make both, but you certainly improve your chances the more you can be seen.
- If a director likes what he/she sees on Sunday, you will be called back on Monday (generally an hour or two after the published start time). If you can not attend, let the director know. You may still be considered. In fact, even if you are not called back, you may still be under consideration; the director has just seen all he/she needs.
- If you can not make either audition date, contact the director and there may be an opportunity for a pre-audition.
- Directors will either inform their cast choices at the end of the second evening or by telephone the next day. If you are not cast, you will be informed by letter.
How to Prepare
- Auditioners are generally taught all songs and dance steps during rehearsals for musicals. Auditioners will read from the script for both musicals and plays and will have an opportunity to quickly read through it prior to auditioning. Certainly, it helps to be familiar with either the songs or the script before coming to auditions. Directors often leave a copy of the script at the Rochester Hills Public Library reference desk.
- Wear comfortable clothes. If you plan to audition as a dancer, bring your dance footwear.
- You will be asked to fill out an audition form. You will have an opportunity to list all known conflicts with the rehearsal calendar provided. Directors can usually work around conflicts if they know ahead of time. Two or more unplanned absences could be grounds for dismissal from the cast.
- You will be required to pay a membership fee or rehearsal fee upon being cast. You do not need to pay this fee in order to audition.
- Rehearsal schedules vary from director to director, but for plays there are usually three rehearsals a week (M, W, Th), and musicals will add a weekend day. Rehearsals last three hours.
- Tech week is the week before the show. Sunday will be an all day rehearsal during which the show will be run twice (with a break for dinner), and there are rehearsals every day of the week, unless the show is prepared enough to take an off day on Wednesday.
- Shows run three to four weekends, two to three days a weekend. Evening performances are at 8:00 p.m. and matinees are at 2:00 p.m.
How can I get involved “behind the scenes” for productions?
Get in touch with a show’s producer. Generally, audition flyers list the director’s contact info, and he/she can put you in touch with the producer. Or contact any of the Vice Presidents on our contact page, and they will pass along your interest to the producer.
The opportunities fall into one of three categories:
- Production Assistant. Long before each show even auditions, production heads are chosen for costumes, choreography, set design, props, sound and lighting. These production heads typically are members and have some experience with Avon Players. However, they often need help, and the producer could put you in touch with the area where you want to assist… or learn.
- Set Builders. Unlike the above production areas, set builds follow a regular schedule, usually occurring two evenings a week (often a Tuesday and Friday). Avon Players has some tools on hand, but many builders feel comfortable bringing their own. Builds for a show start about 2-3 weeks after auditions (which is when the previous show closes).
- Running Crew. These are the men and women in black who help out backstage during the show: moving furniture, setting or retrieving props, helping with quick changes, etc. A show has anywhere from 12 to 16 days where it needs help backstage, which includes every weekend of the show plus a week of tech rehearsals. You can work as many days as you like, though producers will probably ask you to work at least one of the tech rehearsals before doing it “for real.”
I have directing/producing experience elsewhere. Can I direct/produce at Avon Players?
Avon Players prefers that directorial candidates have assistant directed a show at Avon before nominating themselves as a director. However, Avon Players has also accepted directorial candidates who have presented an extensive resume of shows directed at schools or other theater groups.
Producing candidates are also asked to assist with a show at Avon before nominating themselves as a producer. Again, experience elsewhere may be considered as a substitute.
The slate of shows for the upcoming season is presented to the Avon Players community in mid-January, at which time directors may submit their bids. The Board votes on directors at the April Board meeting.
Producers and directors must be members of Avon Players in the season that they produce/direct. They need not be members in the season they apply.
How else can I participate at Avon Players?
The membership form on our website lists dozens of opportunities to participate. Find the area that interests you and contact the VP in charge of that department (using our contact page). Or simply fill out the back, send in your membership fee, and the VP of Membership will pass the info along to the appropriate VP.
How much is the membership fee?
There are five classifications of membership:
- Sustaining Member A - $75.00. Participation in work areas is voluntary. Includes all mailings, member events, and one (1) OPENING NIGHT ticket for each slated show.
- Sustaining Member B - $90.00. Participation in work areas is voluntary. Includes all mailings, member events, and one (1) SEAON ticket good for ANY performance of each slated show.
- Active Member - $55.00. Required to participate in two (2) production or nonproduction work areas. Includes all mailings, member events, and one (1) OPENING NIGHT ticket for each slated show or one (1) ticket for any other show night at half off the normal ticket price.
- Youth Member - $35.00. Includes all mailings.
I Have Children Who Are Interested in Youth Theatre. How Can They Get Involved At Avon Players?
The Youth Theatre program at Avon Players is conducted immediately at the close of the regular season, which runs from September thru May. The Youth Theatre program is designed as a learning experience for children who are between 9 years and 18 years of age. Children who are 9 years old must have completed the third grade in the year in which they are looking to join Youth Theatre..
No special training or prerequisites are necessary for a child to become involved in the Youth Theatre program. For many children, their experience in Avon’s Youth Theatre program is their introduction into the world of acting and productions.
Depending on the Director who runs the program for a particular year, there may be workshops in addition to the production. Workshops are designed to make the children aware of components of the theatre world that go beyond the acting experience. It is important for the children to also be aware of other elements that go into a theatrical production.
The workshops act as learning tools, and are not a prerequisite for a child to audition for the production. Normally, two workshops are held, one week apart, and run between two and three hours each. There is a cost to attend the workshops. Registration is available both online thru our web site, avonplayers.org, and in person at our box office.
Auditions for the production occur after the workshops. There are no prerequisites for the audition. All the child and parent have to do is to show up at the theatre on the day of auditions and register If a child is selected for the production, he or she will be required to pay a tuition fee towards their participation in the Youth Theatre production.
The production is usually held on a weekend in early July and has three performances: one on Friday night, one Saturday afternoon, and one Saturday night.
Information about the Youth Theatre program is posted on our web site, avonplayers.org, starting in the Spring of the year (April-May). There you will find information about the dates of the workshops and their cost, as well as information about the day the auditions will be held and the cost of tuition.
While Youth Theatre is an excellent venue for children who are new to acting, or who want to hone their acting skills, be aware that there are sometimes shows during the regular season that need young talent. For example, the first show of the 2011-2012 for Avon Players was The Sound of Music and the last show of the season was The Secret Garden, both of which required young talent of different ages. The regular season is another venue in which your child can be in a production.
The best way to keep current at what is happening at Avon Players and to receive regular updates is to go to our home page at avonplayers.org, join our mailing list and subscribe to our Facebook page.