Auditions for
BY THE BOG OF CATS
will be held Friday, December 14 at 6:30pm.

Auditions are held in The Edward K. Daniels Auditorium
at the Central Campus, SSCC, Hillsboro.

All SSCCTHEATRE shows are open to community members and students.

Everyone: Fill out the forms required in the packet linked below.
For your audition: Prepare a one to two minute, memorized, dramatic monologue.
For crew: Be present during auditions for an interview with our staff.

CHARACTERS:

HESTER SWANE: Hester is a forty-year-old “tinker” woman who has lived on the Bog of Cats her entire life. When she was seven years old, her mother, Josie Swane (not pictured in the play), abandoned her on the Bog. She has been waiting there for her mother ever since. Hester has a daughter, Josie, with Carthage Kilbride. She is very resentful that Carthage has left her to marry Caroline Cassidy, the daughter of wealthy landowner Xavier Cassidy so that he can inherit the Cassidy farm.

CARTHAGE KILBRIDE: Carthage is Hester’s former lover with whom she shares a daughter, Josie Kilbride. He leaves Hester due to his greed for land and social ambitions. At thirty years old, he is ten years Hester’s junior. He began a relationship with her at sixteen years old.

JOSIE KILBRIDE: Josie is Hester’s and Carthage’s seven-year-old daughter. She is the same age that Hester was when her mother left her and the Bog of Cats. She is a generous, loving little girl who enjoys spending time with both her mother, father and mean-spirited, greedy grandmother.

MRS. KILBRIDE: She is Carthage’s mother and in her sixties. She looks down on Hester because Hester belongs to the “tinker” class and tries to hide the fact that her own grandfather was a tinker. Mrs Kilbride calls her granddaughter a “little bastard” because she was born out of wedlock.

MONICA MURRAY: She is Hester Swane’s sixty-year-old neighbour on the Bog of Cats. While she does at times seem sympathetic to Hester, she attempts to carry out the community’s wishes and convince Hester to leave her house on the bog so that Carthage and his new bride can move in there.

THE CATWOMAN: The Catwoman is a strange mystical figure who most closely echoes the blind prophet Tiresias from Greek myths. She eats mice and drinks milk from a saucer. She has magical powers that include prophecy and talking to ghosts.

XAVIER CASSIDY: Xavier is a farmer who schemes to marry his daughter to someone he can easily control since his daughter cannot inherit his land. He convinces Carthage to marry Caroline and promises to sign over the farm to him.

CAROLINE CASSIDY: Caroline is the twenty-year-old daughter of Xavier Cassidy who marries Carthage Kilbride. To add insult to injury, Hester often babysat Caroline as a child. Caroline is very meek and follows orders from both Xavier and Carthage.

THE GHOST FANCIER: This ghostly figure appears at the beginning of the play to collect the spirit of Hester. However, Hester is still alive, so the Ghost Fancier realizes he is too early.

THE GHOST OF JOSEPH SWANE: Hester’s brother’s ghost returns to the Bog of Cats to find out why Hester killed him.

YOUNG DUNNE: Often referred to as the waiter, who serves the guests at the wedding of Carthage and Caroline.

FATHER WILLOW: He is the town priest who officiates Caroline and Carthage’s wedding. He is inappropriately close with the Catwoman.

TWO OTHER WAITERS

Tips for a Good Audition

If you’re looking for acting audition tips this is a good place to start. It will give you a few ideas, though, because of space it’s not totally exhaustive, so just consider this a starting point.

Acting audition tips can be broken down into roughly three sections, The PreparationThe Performance and The Result. We will look at all three and hopefully by the end of the article you will be a little more relaxed about the whole process.

The Preparation

Preparation, as all good job interview books will tell you, is essential.

* Firstly, any research that you can do into the project will help, be it the character you are going to play, the director, the company or even the writer. It will show a degree of thoroughness and dedication that could be the deciding factor in your favor.

* Secondly, make sure you know your monologues (if that is what’s required, it may be a cold read), you should have practiced them out loud in front of a variety of people to get a diversity of opinions, if this is not possible you may find it useful to record yourself, this gives you the chance to evaluate your own performance from a slightly different perspective.

* Thirdly, know exactly where the audition is, how long it takes to get there and arrive early. This allows you to relax and find some where to warm up.

If your audition is a cold read, follow the advice below:

Don’t be afraid to take your time. Usually the audition panel will give you a few minutes to look over the scene. Take them. Sometimes, in the fear of wasting time, we don’t really take the time to do this right. Read the scene all the way through once, slowly, really thinking about the character you are reading and what is happening in the scene. Spend this time wisely – don’t try to memorize. Just get a really good handle on what is happening in the scene.

Remember your basic acting technique. Often when faced with new material we forget all that “common sense” stuff like speaking slowly, clearly, and loudly. Even if everything else falls apart, make sure that they can always hear you and see your face (hold your script at chest level). Take your time.

Don’t feel that you need to memorize the cold reading – the purpose of the cold reading is not to test how quickly you can memorize, but to see what you can bring to a character (using your skills and creativity) on short notice. Instead, look at your next line as the other person finishes speaking, so that you can look up while delivering it and not at the paper.

Listen carefully to any directions that are given to you. Sometimes the audition panel will introduce the character you are reading to you. Listen carefully to this as there may be some hints as to how they might like it played. But beyond that, don’t be too worried about making the wrong artistic decisions. Making no decisions at all about the character you are playing is far worse than making the wrong ones. As long as you make a decision about the character and fully commit to it, the audition panel will notice that you are willing to take risks, and that is always a good thing for an actor to do.

Take water, a snack and a book with you, you could be there some time.

When in the audition environment, it is good practice to be nice to everyone. It sounds cheesy, but todays’ rival actor could be tomorrow’s hot new director. This leads us nicely onto the topic of the other actors auditioning with you, they will be just as nervous as you, if not more so, and if some appear to be over confident try not to let that intimidate you. A cocky actor does not make a good actor.

The Performance

When you enter the acting audition room be confident, positive and friendly. First impressions count, it may be helpful to remind yourself that these people in front of you are on your side, they actually want you to be great! It’s good to be as open and personable as possible because you want the director to want to work with you personally as well as professionally and any advantage is an advantage.

Try to keep any questions you may have to a minimum, time is precious and too many questions can seem overly ingratiating.

If you are asked to prepare a monologue of your own choosing, it should not really be more than two minutes long, have others of a similar length prepared, these should show the range and diversity of your talent, and also have a longer monologue prepared, just in case the director requests it.

The director might ask you to reread after direction, so showing good listening skills is important, it’s better to ask questions than to assume that you know what the director wants. Accepting direction also requires flexibility, so avoid sticking too tightly to the same old way you’ve done the reading in the past, be prepared for a degree of unpredictability.

The Result

No article on acting audition tips would be complete without a word or two about rejection.

As you have just read there are many ways that you can improve your chances of getting a role, but most actors will get turned down for most jobs most of the time. You could do all of the above and more and still be overlooked, but you should not take this as a comment on your ability. It just indicates that the casting panel thought that someone else was more suitable to that particular role at that particular time.

If you do get a role, or called back for a second audition, then well done.

Good luck!

These audition tips are copied and adapted from MusicalTheatreAudition.com and ezinearticles.com.