Auditions at Flinders Drama Centre are your way into the Bachelor of Performance (Acting) or Bachelor of Performance (Directing). Dozens of prospective students apply for these sought-after degrees each year and are invited to demonstrate their skills. Are you looking to do the same? Getting nervous? Don’t be. Turn that feeling into excitement.
Drama lecturer Dr Tiffany Lyndall-Knight has the full lowdown on how to apply, what to expect from your Drama Centre audition and how to master it. Plus, should you not get in, there are several alternative pathways for you to explore.
How to apply for Drama Centre
First step: you’ll need to apply for the degree. With your application, Tiffany and the Drama Centre team want to get to know you. “We want to find out a little bit about you. First off, let us know if you are interested in applying to audition as a director or as an actor.
“Provide us with a letter or artist’s statement explaining why you’re passionate about this art. List some of the influences that you’ve been inspired by, where you want to be maybe in 10 years – dream big – and some of the artists that you think are really exciting.
“We’d like to see a CV, just a list of your skills and your training. If you’ve applied through SATAC, let us know if you’ve done something in an extracurricular environment that’s great and give us a couple of referees – those people who will tell us how fantastic you are.
“We’d also like to get a photo of you so we can put a face to the name. This could be a professional headshot but even just a photo in front of a wall is fine.”
Your invitation to the auditions
“Once you have applied and met the selection criteria, you’ll be invited to the audition phase. There are a few steps to the audition process. First up are the general auditions. You’ll see the dates for these on the website. If you can’t come to the general auditions, it’s okay if you need to put a tape in, e.g., if you live far away. Sending us a self-tape from your phone is totally fine for this step.
“However, if you get through the generals to our interview and call-back rounds which are at the end of that week, you will need to come to Flinders so we can meet with you in person. Make sure you can get here and join us.”
What to expect at your Drama Centre audition
Tiffany talks us through the significant audition process that lasts for a number of days.
“The breakdown of the day in auditions is very much like a day here at the Drama Centre. You arrive early, do a movement class, followed by a voice class and then you do an acting, making or screen class in the afternoon.
“The collaborative processes are very much what we touch upon here. We get everyone in a room and start to improvise with the auditionees. We start to get them to work with each other and play with each other. So, the audition doesn’t just revolve around the students coming in front of us and just giving us a monologue, we also let them team up with someone else.
“That way we can see how the students respond to another human being or give them a provocation to go and create something with. How do they listen? How do they receive? How do they imaginatively create something on the spot?”
“At the auditions, the cohort becomes a small family as the students have the experience of warming up with us – often with some of our older students – so that they get to be introduced to that experience of the physical and vocal preparation required.
“After the warm-up, the students prepare one or two monologues for us. What I find really exciting is that we work with them. We are really curious not to see the most polished production or monologue piece because everyone is young and new. Not everybody knows what they are doing necessarily, but what we’re interested in is people who can listen, who can take direction, who show a creative spark, and a willingness to be part of a song on an ensemble and to take risks.”
Interested in auditioning for Acting?
Interested in auditioning for Directing?
Which streams are available at Drama Centre?
Students have the option to audition as an actor or a director. “If you would like to audition as a director, you are very likely to be asked to participate in all of the above, because we believe in the idea of the actor’s director, meaning directors must have an embodied experience of the work of the performer.
“So you will audition and initially train with the actors, but you also have to audition as a director. I’ll give you a scene and a couple of current acting students to work with. Our acting students love to be a part of these auditions and I promise they’ll make you feel really comfortable.
“You then have to run the first rehearsal of your imaginary production of that scene while we watch you. It sounds scary, but it’s really fun. When selecting people to train as directors, we’re interested in their ability to communicate with actors. That’s what we focus on.
“I think it’s so important that our directors get to learn the acting side of things for one whole year. The directors then have a really embodied understanding of what the actor is going through. They can see the problem that the actor might be experiencing, whether it be in body or voice or whatever. I think it is fundamental how they get the work under their skin and have a real synthesis with the actor when they’re working with them on the floor. It’s wonderful.”
How to master your Drama Centre audition
“When auditioning, there are a few things to keep in mind that will boost your performance:
- Choose two plays that you’re really excited by – doesn’t matter if they’re male-presenting or female-presenting in the text. If you want to go cross-casting that’s totally fine by us, we just want to see what you’re interested in.
- Read the plays – that is a really important part because if you read the play you’ll get a sense of whom your character is talking to, why you’re saying what you’re saying to them and how you want to affect them.
- Know where you are – it’s a pretty weird experience to present an audition to a bunch of strangers in a big black room if you’ve got no sense in your imagination of where this character is.
These tips will really help you bring it all to life and help you overcome the nerves. We will try to help you with the nerves, we’ve all been there. Auditions can be crazy but we really try to make it a fun experience.”
Alternative pathways into the Drama Centre
If you don’t get into the Acting or Directing streams, Flinders offers several alternative pathways to your dream career. “It’s okay if you don’t get in the first time around. I auditioned for theatre school three times before I got in, it’s just part of the gig. Fortunately, here at Flinders, we have a lot of exciting pathways for you.
“We have an Undergraduate Certificate in Acting. This is a new part-time program where you are being taught by the same staff who teach the Bachelor of Arts (Drama) and you also get the opportunity to do a couple of theory topics. It’s a great opportunity for you to hone your skills to prep before auditioning the following year if that’s what you decide to do and to get a sense of what it really is like to train in this method here at Flinders. You also earn credits if you decide to go further with your degree.
“The other option is the Bachelor of Performance (Theatre-Making). That degree is not by audition. Everyone is welcome and you learn fantastic skills from fantastic teachers in devising, theatre making, community theatre, community engagement in theatre as well as producing and marketing. So it’s really teaching you how to be an original maker and put your work out into the world.
“The third alternative is the Bachelor of Arts majoring in Drama. That’s an opportunity to really understand the art of theatre through the great thinkers and the great plays as you take that journey over those three years.”
Ready for the auditions?
Here you’ll find everything you need to know about Flinders Drama Centre.