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Audition Walk through

Auditions are a part of the casting process which allows directors and producers to find their group of performers for their production. 


After your initial audition, the production team may want to see more of you to help decide on specific roles; they may require you for a ‘callback’. You may have to learn specific songs/lines for this. 


Auditions at Oxford are usually run one of two ways; a group workshop audition or a one on one audition.

One on One Audition

This type of audition is most popular in Oxford. This will involve you, the actor, performing a monologue, speech or some dialogue in front of the director and maybe also the assistant director (AD) or the producer. Each production team will decide on the specifics of the audition. They may ask you to prepare a monologue from a specific genre or time period in order to see how you perform. Others give you full leeway with what you choose. 


If you have been asked to prepare a monologue and want some inspiration, Drama Online is a wonderful place to start. You have free access to it through your University login and it has a huge choice! Or take a look at the Monobox Monologue Library here: Choose something that you love and which you think shows off your skills.


Do not stress about learning the monologue off by heart. If you do know it, that’s great - but no one expects students to arrive knowing it all, especially as some auditions are last minute and at the busiest points of term. As you do more auditions, you may begin to build up a canon of monologues you know and can choose from, but do not be put off from auditioning if you are completely new to the monologue or have not had time to learn it all yet. 

Group Workshop Audition

Some directors will choose to run workshop auditions which will mean actors work together in a group on various exercises and activities in order to be cast. This may include playing drama games, taking part in improvisation or devising. Each workshop will be unique to the director and they should describe what the workshop will be like on the OUDS Auditions Page. If you have questions, feel free to email them if you are worried or have access requirements.


After an initial audition, directors may invite you to a callback. This is a second round of auditions where the directors will ask you to return and maybe bring another speech or read a speech from the play you are auditioning for. They will let you know what to expect. It’s just another audition which aims to help the director cast the company from a pool of actors. Some productions may not have callbacks! It depends on the directors!

After Your Audition

In a few days, you should hear back from the director regarding their casting decision. There are two things to be aware of here; if you are not successful this time, you are always entitled to feedback from the director and the production team. You can email them back and ask for feedback on your audition so you can improve for the next time. Also, it is important to remember that most actors face rejection at some point and are not always cast in the roles they want. Please do not be put off from auditioning again. Not being cast does not mean you do not have talent, it just means you weren’t right for the part this time. 




Each audition will differ depending on the production team that runs them. We cannot predict what each audition will entail but there are a few important things to remember:


  • Know your rights: Even in an audition setting, you are completely within your rights to say no. You do not have to do anything you feel uncomfortable with and this extends to rehearsals. If you feel threatened, unsafe, offended or uncomfortable you are allowed to leave the audition or rehearsal room and there are various people you can contact to talk to or report instances to  (see contact us for individual email addresses):

    • OUDS Welfare 

    • OUDS President

    • OUDS Outreach, Access and Class Rep

    • OUDS POC Officer

    • Your College’s Peer Support Team or Welfare Officer

  • If you have any specific access requirements or believe the production team should take something into account regarding your audition, email or message the production team behind the auditions. If you feel uncomfortable doing this, the Welfare Rep  or the Outreach/Access Rep can do this on your behalf.


  • You should never feel like you should not audition due to an access problem. Every audition and rehearsal space should be accessible for all students and the access information should be provided by each director. If this is not the case, you can get in touch with the director or notify OUDS welfare or our Disabilities Rep

  • If you feel like you should not audition because of skill, please think the contrary! Production teams welcome auditions from people with any experience to none. 

'A Midsummer Night's Dream', Magdalen Players, TT23

Photo by Freddie Houlahan

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