Students await casting calls

Auditions attract aspiring thespians

This weekend the anxieties of more than 100 students will be relieved as cast lists go up across campus, announcing the new cast members of several student theatrical productions. Auditions were held this week for two Lab! Theatre productions, "Arcadia" and "Mere Mortals," as well as Pauper Players' musical, "The Secret Garden." For the initial auditions, Pauper Players required prospective cast members to sing 16 bars of music, while Lab! auditioners performed a short monologue. "It's just really scary because I feel like you're being judged," said freshman Kelly Anderson, who auditioned for "The Secret Garden." And auditioners' fears might arise from the disciplined nature of the auditions as well. "We try to make auditions as professional as possible because many of these people are practicing for the real world," said director Jessica Smith, a junior. Freshman Alex Bumgardner said preparing for the audition wasn't easy. "I'm still trying to get into the whole school thing," he said. "So I haven't had too much time to practice." Despite the challenge of balancing school and theater, many students said they believe that auditioning is worth their time. "I'm considering music or dramatic arts as a major, so this would be a good way to get into it," Bumgardner said. He also said that despite his hopes, he won't be too upset if he doesn't get a role. "I also have some technical theater experience, so hopefully I'll be able to find a place in the show, even if it's not on stage." Junior Chris Dorman said that being an upperclassman has its advantages in the audition process. "When you are a freshman or a sophomore, you start out and you don't know anybody," he said. "But as you progress, you start to get to know people, and that puts you in a relaxed state of mind." A panel of five students, including the shows' directors, judged the auditions for the Lab! Theatre shows. "I am unusually not scared about the audition," said auditioner Amy Stelling. "I think it's because the people watching me are my friends." Junior Abby Manekin, director of "Mere Mortals," said she knows auditions are often challenging. "One of the biggest fears in our society is speaking in public," said Manekin. "In my opinion, just having the courage to get up and audition deserves enormous respect." And as a junior dramatic-art major and a member of The Lab! Board, Stelling has a method to how she auditions. "It can be intimidating, but the more you think about it, the worse it is," Stelling said. "I just try to focus on my character." For students who won't find their names on the cast list, all is not lost. "That's just kind of how it goes in theater," Stelling said. "You can't take it personally. There will always be more opportunities." Contact the Arts Editor at artsdesk@unc.edu.

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