Ann Arbor Civic Theatre Comprehensive Audition Policy
Ann Arbor Civic Theatre
Comprehensive Audition Policy
Approved by the Board of Directors November 11, 2016
In its productions, Ann Arbor Civic Theatre places high value on: 1) a process that is open and fair, and 2) a product that exhibits high artistic achievement. To achieve these objectives, the Board of Directors empowers each production's Director and Producer with substantial authority to determine the creative and procedural course of their show.
Recognizing that casting a show can potentially place these objectives in tension, this Audition Policy seeks to clarify the Board's expectations with regard to fair and open auditions and casting of shows, while retaining the ability of the Director and Producer to employ a process that serves their show's particular artistic needs.
1. A show's Casting Committee shall consist of the Director, Producer, Assistant Director, Music Director (musical only), and Choreographer (musical only). Should the Director choose to have any other staff member participate in the casting decisions, they too will be considered part of the Casting Committee, and subject to the same rules as those above named. To the maximum extent possible, all members of the Casting Committee should attend every audition session and casting meeting. Members of the Casting Committee should consider their deliberations as confidential and should refrain from outside discussion of specific casting decisions.
2. No member of the Casting Committee may be considered for any performance role. In some cases, depending on the staff position held, staff members NOT on the Casting Committee may be permitted to audition for small roles, but may not be considered for leading or featured roles.
3. A show's Audition Period begins with the publication of the show's official Audition Notice. The Audition Notice should be made publicly available no later than 60 days prior to the first Open Audition and should include the following information:
• Dates, times and locations of Open Auditions and any scheduled Callback Auditions
• The show's general audition requirements
• A list of all roles noting any specific eligibility requirements (e.g., gender, age, etc.). Eligibility requirements for any role should be specified as broadly as possible so as not to limit the pool of potential auditioners.
• Contact information for the Director or another representative of the Casting Committee designated to respond to audition-related inquiries.
4. Each show should conduct at least two Open Auditions, whose times and locations are published as part of the Audition Notice All interested auditioners are welcome to attend one of the Open Auditions.
5. Following Open Auditions, a show may choose to hold one or more Callback Auditions. Callback procedures and expectations for casting decisions to be based on Callback Auditions should be clearly explained to all auditioners.
6. A show may elect to conduct one or more Private Auditions if necessary to consider interested auditioners who are unable to attend an Open Audition or Callback Audition. Arrangements for Private Auditions are left to the discretion of the Casting Committee, but should substantially employ the same audition procedure as Open or Callback Auditions. Shows may choose not to grant any Private Auditions, but if any are granted, they should be similarly granted to all auditioners who seek them.
7. All auditioners who meet the eligibility requirements for any role should be afforded equal opportunity to be considered for that role. Persons interested in a role for which they do not meet all eligibility requirements may be allowed to audition for that role at the discretion of the Director.
8. Only persons who audition may be cast in a show.
9. To the maximum extent possible, all leading and featured roles should be cast from the pool of auditioners. If it is not possible to cast all roles from the audition pool, top roles should be filled first, leaving lesser roles open. Should there be roles left open, for which the director deems it necessary to hold an additional audition, those auditions should be announced to the public as soon as possible. Any additional auditions should follow the same protocols as the initial general auditions and callbacks.
10. A show's Audition Period formally ends with the publication of the show's Cast List. The procedure for auditions necessary to fill out the cast or replace a departing cast member after the Cast List is published need not follow the same procedures as used during the open Audition Period, but should be fair and justifiable in all cases. Wherever possible, Open Audition participants should be given priority consideration for roles that must be filled after the Audition Period; any other person to be considered must audition for at least two members of the Casting Committee. No member of the Casting Committee may fill any role.
11. The Ann Arbor Civic Theatre Board of Directors will have a non-auditioning Board Member attend each open audition and callback session. This Board Member will serve as the designated representative of the Board during the audition and casting process, and shall be held accountable for the fairness and integrity of the process. Auditioners with concerns about the conduct of auditions are encouraged to address those concerns immediately with the Board Member present. Concerns may also be addressed for later consideration to the Staff or Board of Ann Arbor Civic Theatre.
12. Once the cast list is decided by the Casting Committee, it is to be submitted to the Executive Director. All offers of roles will be presented by the Executive Director, via email, website, or phone (per the Director’s wishes) once it is determined that all prospective cast members took part in a fair and open audition process.