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Audition Information

Auditions are open to all registered students in the Vanderbilt community. Directors usually post requirements for auditions on the greenroom board. You may stop by the Theatre's office in Neely Auditorium to read a copy of the script in the days before the audition. You may also contact the office with any additional questions or to set up an appointment to speak with a director personally.

VUT also welcomes the participation of any student on crews for scenery, lighting, costume, makeup, properties, sound, stage management, and house management. Contact us to see what opportunities are available.

Auditions take place on the main floor of Neely Auditorium. Dress so that you can move comfortably and relax - we usually try to have some fun.

Spring 2020 Auditions 

Uncle Vanya
By Anton Chekhov

Directed by Jaclynn Jutting, Coe Artist-in-Residence

 

Auditions: Friday, December 6, 10:30am-12:30pm or 1:30-3:30pm. 

Callbacks: TBA

Rehearsal Dates: Tuesday, January 7 - Thursday, February 13.
4 weeknights per week and Sunday afternoon.
Actors won't be called the entire time, but rather for the scenes when their scenes are being rehearsed.

Tech/Dress Rehearsal Dates:
February 9: Noon-11pm
February 10-13: 6-11pm
ATTENDANCE AT TECH IS MANDATORY.

Performance Dates:
February 14, 15, 21, & 22 at 8pm
February 16 at 2pm
February 20 at 7pm

About the Play:
Sex and politics wreak havoc on a Russian estate as a long-absent father returns to his secluded estate with his young wife, sending a ripple effect through the family.  Tensions rise as romantic jealousies and old family bitterness brew, threatening to split the household.  Written in 1899, Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya explores the simmering tensions between ideologically opposed countrymen, multiple generations and lovers longing to escape a life’s disappointments in another’s arms.  In an exciting new translation by the young, American Annie Baker, Uncle Vanya asks what could entrap us, both then and now?

The Audition Process 
Sides will be prepared and distributed in advance for the auditions and callbacks.  Actors are welcome to choose the side (and character) that they’d like to audition with and for.  There will also be a brief physical warm-up at the audition, please come prepared to move. 

Scripts are available to be read in the Theatre Department Office on the first floor of Neely Auditorium.
Contact Laura Bodin (laura.bodin@vanderbilt.edu or 615-322-2404) for details.

Character Breakdown: 

Serebryakov:  An intellectual and retired professor.  Male-identifying.  Dealing with illness, he is now focused on prolonging his life and grappling with the potency and validity of his ideas.  He is in control of the estate.
Yelena:  27 year old, female-identifying.  A senator’s daughter, attracted to ideas and wishes that she could alter the course of her life, which has been defined by class, ideas of beauty and gender.  But she cares too much what people think.  A fighter and trying to do what is right.  Serebryakov’s wife.
Sophia:  Young, early 20s, female-identifying.  She is a competent, worker bee, who manages the estate.  Has an earthly, pragmatic soul but is hopeful and full of faith.  Serebryakov’s daughter.  Longs to be seen.
Vanya:  A caregiver.  Has managed the estate for Serebryakov (sister’s widow) and raised Sophia.  A curious mind who speaks Latin, manages accounts and follows philosophy from afar.  In love with Yelena and tormented by the idea that life’s most exciting chances may have passed him/her/them by.  Fiery.  Any gender.  
Maria Vasilyevana:  A widow, mother to Vanya and grandmother to Sophia.  A reader, interested in women’s liberation and ideas.  A bit preoccupied with her own thoughts, and a hands-off parent.  Late 60s.  
Astrov:  A dreamer, and passionate idealist who extinguishes his fervor and dissatisfaction in vodka.  Male-identifying, mid/late 30s.  A doctor tormented by his work and inability to save the lives of everyone.  A visionary.
Telegin:  A sensitive soul, Vanya’s long-time friend.  Is easy going, perhaps struggles with low-self-esteem and feelings of powerlessness.  Loyal, diplomatic and tries to look at the bright side of life.  Any gender, and a fixture in Vanya and Sophia’s family.  Plays a guitar or violin.
Marina:  The maternal presence in the house.  An older servant/cook, but part of the family.  Comic humor and sharp.  A grumbler and a sage.  Likes to gossip and has raised Sophia with Vanya.  Takes care of things.  Any gender.
Yefim/Hired person/watchperson:  A laborer.  Maintains the estate (and our scene changes).  A mover—interested in movement, timing and flow.  Part of the ensemble, with less rehearsal time commitment. 

About the Director: 
Jaclynn Jutting is a freelance director and teaching artist, working out of Nashville and Chicago.  Directing credits include the award-winning THE WOLVES (Actor’s Bridge Ensemble), award-winning THE FLICK (Verge), A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM (Nashville Shakespeare Festival), SEA WALL (Oz Arts Nashville), the Jeff-nominated production of THE SEAGULL (Eclectic), THE WHALE (Verge), the award-winning THE AMISH PROJECT (Belmont/Actor’s Bridge Ensemble), SIMPLY BESS (Nashville Rep), ANIMALS OUT OF PAPER (Next Up/Steppenwolf Garage), MOSQUITOES (Steep), THE IROQUOIS (Raven), LOVE AND UNDERSTANDING (Redtwist), BRONTE (Promethean Theatre Ensemble), AMAZONS AND THEIR MEN (Belmont), and ROSENCRANTZ AND GUILDENSTERN ARE DEAD, THE LIFE AND THE TIMES OF TULSA LOVECHILD and CLOUD 9 (Roosevelt University).  As the former Associate Artistic Director of Vitalist Theatre, she directed Kobo Abe’s THE GHOST IS HERE, David Hare’s THE BAY AT NICE, in Suzan-Lori Parks’ 365 Days/Plays Festival and Brecht’s MOTHER COURAGE AND HER CHILDREN (Associate Director), which won an After Dark Award for Best Direction.  She is the recipient of First Night Awards for Outstanding Direction (2018 & 2019) for her work on THE WOLVES, THE FLICK and THE AMISH PROJECT, which also received a KCACT citation.  As an Assistant Director, Jaclynn worked on SEX WITH STRANGERS (Steppenwolf), THE SINS OF SOR JUANA (Goodman), UP (Steppenwolf) and also was the assistant director for Tony-winner Mary Zimmerman on her adaptation of Bernstein’s CANDIDE at the Goodman Theatre, which went on to tour the east coast.

For the last five years, Jaclynn was the head of the BFA-Directing program at Belmont University, where she was also an assistant professor.  She has taught at Northwestern University, where she received her M.F.A. in Directing and at Dominican University, Columbia College and Roosevelt University.  In addition to her work in the theater, she spent 7 years working on public health and environmental campaigns for the Environmental Law & Policy Center of the Midwest.  She is an environmentalist and committed to the intersection of theater, society and the political.  

  


 

We are Proud to Present a Presentation About the Herero of Namibia, Formerly Known as Southwest Africa, from the German Südwestafrika, Between the Years 1884-1915
By Jackie Sibblies Drury
Directed by Assistant Professor Ibby Cizmar

 

Auditions: Wednesday, December 4, 4-6pm or Thursday, December 5, 4-6pm. 

Callbacks: TBA

Rehearsal Dates: February 15 - April 2.
Typical schedule: Sundays 3-7pm; Mondays - Thursdays 7-11pm.

Tech/Dress Rehearsal Dates:
March 29: Noon-11pm
March 30 - April 2:  6-11pm
ATTENDANCE AT TECH IS MANDATORY.

Performance Dates:
April 3, 4, 10, 11 at 8pm

April 5 at 2pm
April 9 at 7pm

About the Play:
Written by the 2019 recipient for the Pulitzer Prize in Drama, Jackie Sibblies Drury’s We Are Proud to Present a Presentation About the Herero of Namibia, Formerly Known as Southwest Africa, From the German Sudwestafrika, Between the Years 1884–1915 centers on six actors who attempt to stage the forgotten Herero and Namaqua genocide during German occupation. The play grapples with issues of the erasure of West African narratives, race and representation on the American stage, and the ethics of actors experiencing suffering as a creative process.

Questions raised in the play:

  • What is a genocide and what are the ramifications of genocidal acts?
  • How do we excavate lost narratives when western narratives gloss over oral histories?
  • What is a white savior and why is it problematic? 
  • How has colonialism attempted to erase culture through language?
  • How can we engage in meaningful discourse and avoid the “oppression Olympics?”

The Audition Process 

  • Due to the difficult subject matter and provocative language, actors are **highly** encouraged to read the play. 
  • Prepare a poem, song, monologue or spoken-word piece to present.  Memorization not required.  
  • Sides (excerpts from the play) will be provided.
  • Be prepared to stay the full 2 hours.

Cast of Characters:
“All are young, somewhere in their 20s, ish, and they should seem young, open, skilled, playful, and perhaps, at times a little foolish”    – Jackie Sibblies Drury

ACTOR 6/BLACK WOMAN
ACTOR 1/WHITE MAN
ACTOR 2/BLACK MAN
ACTOR 3/ANOTHER WHITE MAN
ACTOR 4/ANOTHER BLACK MAN
ACTOR 5/SARAH, WHITE WOMAN
ENSEMBLE OF THE ANCESTORS

“Each Herrero family has a fire in their backyard. The Herero believe that this fire contains the souls of their ancestors.”  
-Jackie Siblies Drury