Perry auditions in the mind of the director

Cameron O’Neill, FACTS Staff Reporter

The auditions for the upcoming fall play Almost, Maine came and went as the cast members were announced on September 9th. Many people came to the auditions, but only so many could get a role. This leads one to ask, how are the decisions made in the end? What is the process for auditions and assigning people roles?

Almost, Maine is about a rural, off the map community and discusses the idea of how love can be found in different ways and the loss that love can bring sometimes. The story follows a non-linear approach where each scene has its own plot and characters, which allows for a diverse cast in tandem with the diverse set of circumstances the play will bring, but how is the cast chosen?

“I think tone is a big thing to look for with actors,” teacher Thomas Tutsie said. “And also finding connections between people.”

Each scene in the play has around two to three characters interacting with one another and Tutsie searches for chemistry between the actors as they will need chemistry with each other as the scene requires.

“A great thing to see during auditions is making choices,” Tutsie said.

While someone does have to be authentic and match the tone and setting of the play, it’s the tiny choices people  make that increase their chances of getting a role as it sets them apart from the other actors.

“Memorizing it is also a big helpful thing in auditions,” Tutsie said.

While standing out and being entertaining is an important part of auditions, you obviously must still show that you know what you’re doing, and memorization of your lines is one of the easiest ways of doing this.

That may be some of the big things actors need to think about for theatre productions, but what choices do the director need to make?

“For me, the biggest thing is looking at the students in the program,” Tutsie said. “You need to be sure you have students that can fill in the roles of the play.”

While every director has their own specific priorities and high school productions are of course different from more professional ones. For high school plays, there aren’t going to be hundreds of people coming to audition, so Tutsie needs to think about who he has that could audition and if they would match the style of the play.

Auditions can be a stressful experience for actors, but the thrill of performing keeps people coming back to engage in theatre. Almost, Maine is only one of the productions that will be coming to PMHS this year and Tutsie is optimistic for the future of Perry’s theater department.

“The numbers are growing and building and so many people are getting involved that you really have to just jump on opportunities and try something new,” Tutsie said. 

Almost, Maine is only one of the productions that will be coming to PMHS this year and Tutsie is optimistic for the future of Perry’s theater department.