Get started in Oxford Drama
This page provides a step-by-step guide for how to get your foot in the door of Oxford Drama.
Step 1: Subscribe to the OUDS newsletter, become an OUDS member, and subscribe to the TAFF mailing list
On a weekly basis in term, and less frequently during the vacations, auditions, crew calls and a whole host of other opportunities are posted on the OUDS Newsletter, with details of how to get involved; the best way to be part of a show is to reply to one of these open calls. If you sign up to the OUDS Newsletter using your Oxford email address (firstname.lastname@example.org), you'll also automatically become an OUDS Member and you'll gain access to our termly workshops and socials, as well as the ability to stand and vote in the yearly OUDS committee elections.
If you are a technician then it is also worth subscribing to the TAFF mailing list, to keep up to date with the latest technical and design opportunities.
Nearly all cast roles, and some crew roles, will require you to meet with the producer and director of the team behind the show before you can join. While this can be quite daunting at first, you should remember that they are students too, and were probably very recently in exactly your position.
To find auditions to sign up for, head to our Auditions Portal to browse what we have available.
What to expect in an audition.
Usually, you will be asked to prepare a monologue (and a song, if you are auditioning for a musical) – which monologue you perform will be up to you, although you may be asked to pick one from a number of monologues chosen by the people auditioning you. You’re not normally expected to learn it by heart (Oxford term time can be a bit too busy for that!), but make sure you’re comfortable with it and have considered your performance, taking time to become familiar with the text, your character and their intentions, and the emotional trajectory of the extract. You’ll also often be given a ‘cold read’ (a monologue you won't have seen before), usually something from the play or musical you’re auditioning for, to work with the director on during the audition. Actors may be required for callbacks.
Should any of these stages pose particular issues for you, you should get in touch with the production team, who will be able to make alternative arrangements. If you’re unsure about who to contact or what to say to them, contact the OUDS president, and/or our equalities officer, whose email can be found on the committee page.
Step 3: If at first you don’t succeed…
Obvious as this may seem, the best way to ensure you get a head start in theatre is to put yourself out there in the first place, and not to be disheartened if you don’t get a position on your first couple of attempts. In fact, many people who become heavily involved in Oxford Drama were not successful on their initial attempts.