What's Arsenic and Old Lace about?
To the outsider, Mortimer Brewster has everything. His fiancée Elaine is the love of his life, he knows how to make money in the real estate game, and he lives in New York City, the greatest city in the world. Unfortunately things aren't as idyllic as they might seem. He's stuck writing as a theater critic, his one brother thinks himself to literally be Teddy Roosevelt...and he has just discovered that his two sweet aunts have taken up killing lonely old men who come to them for company. To make matters worse, a long lost other brother decides to show up in the midst of the chaos with a plan to kill Mortimur! One of the most beloved plays in the history of American theater, Arsenic and Old Lace is as funny today as it was when it first debuted on Broadway in 1941.
I want to be in the cast. What's rehearsal like?
We believe that rehearsals aren't just about repeating things until they are perfect – they're about discovering your character and developing that role into a realistic, human, and engrossing portrayal. As such, we take a lot of risks...and have a lot of fun while doing it.
- Our goal is to put on the best show you've ever been in. This cannot be done if you are simply told where to stand, how to say your lines, etc. Instead, at least Saint Ignatius, you are treated as a collaborative artist (as you always should be). Under the guidance of your director, you will develop techniques to create a dynamic, original performance.
- In addition to traditional work, cast members will receive acting classes built into rehearsal time.
- Through October 28, actors will only be called for their scenes during the Monday-Wednesday rehearsals. This means that, if we aren't working on a scene you are in, you don't have to be at rehearsal. All actors will be called for the full Thursday rehearsal every week throughout the process.
- Beginning November 1, all actors are called for the full rehearsal time, Monday-Thursday.
- Like a sports team, we need everyone at rehearsal in order to perform at a level that is commensurate with our talent. While we know some conflicts are unavoidable, many obligations we all have can happen outside of rehearsal time. As such, a reasonable but limited amount of conflicts – which must be communicated at the time of auditions – will be allowed through October 28. After October 28, no absences can be accomodated.
- Here's our schedule:
- Regular rehearsals are Mondays-Thursdays, September 13-November 4: 4:00-7:00 pm. (There will also be a special rehearsal during Open House on Sunday, September 26, from 2:00-6:00 pm.)
- Tech Sunday runs 11:00 am-7:00 pm on November 7.
- Tech rehearsals run from 3:30-8:30 pm, Monday-Thursday, November 8-11.
- *There is also a mandatory load-in day on Saturday, October 23, followed by a cast/crew bonding experience.
I'm thinking of doing tech crew. What do I need to know?
We'd love to have you! We have many positions open for both young men and women, including designers (yes, all of our tech designs are done by students, with the help of a professional mentor), assistant designers, build crew, and run crew.
Because there are different requirements for each position, we aren't posting the responsibilities of each role on the website. It would make this page incredibly long. Instead, if you're interested in learning more, please email Mr. Ebert (email@example.com) or Mr. Hoover (firstname.lastname@example.org).
What do I need to know about auditions?
Our audition process is an opportunity to show us what you can bring to our version of Arsenic and Old Lace.
- For your audition, you will need to present a 1-to-2 minute fully-memorized monologue from a published play. If you don't know where to find one, just ask Mr. Hoover or Ms. Martin. We have plenty of resources for you.
- Auditions will be from 4:00-7:00 pm on Tuesday, September 7. You do not have to arrive right at 4:00 – you may show up at any time during this 4:00-7:00 period to be seen.
- On the 7th, you do not need to be here the whole time. Your audition slot will be 5 minutes. Once you are done, you may leave.
- When you arrive, head to the Breen Center lobby to sign in. You'll be given an audition form to fill out. You will also turn in your headshot and resume at this time.
- When it is your time to audition, you will be brought into the theater by a tech student. Head to the stage, stand on the X, smile, and introduce yourself: "Hello, my name is [name], and I will be performing [name of character]'s monologue from [title of show]." Then...show the audition team what you've got.
- When done, you may be asked to do your monologue again in a different way. Don't read negatively into this. The audition team is just trying to see how well you take direction. Likewise, don't assume doom and gloom if you aren't asked to do it again. The team may already have a sense of how well you take direction and doesn't want to waste your time.
- The director will thank you when the audition team has seen everything they've needed. You may exit the theater and leave the building. You are done.
- If we need to see you for a callback on Wednesday, September 8, you will receive a call on Tuesday evening. If called back, you'll be reading a side (meaning, a portion of the Arsenic and Old Lace script) with some other actors. Getting a callback does not mean you will be cast. Likewise, not receiving a callback just means that the team doesn't need anything additional from you. It does not mean you are out of the running for the show. In professional theater, many actors who get called back do not make the show; there are also many actors who don't get called back who end up making the show.
- If you make the show, you will receive a call Wednesday evening. If you have not made the cast, you will receive an email.
What do I need to bring to auditions?
You will need...
Make sure to dress nicely. This is not a black tie affair, but you should be dressed to impress.
- A printed out headshot (if you don't have one, have a friend take a picture from your chest to the top of your head; print this picture out at Walgreens or wherever ahead of time, preferably 8 x 10). For more on headshots, click here.
- Your resume. Not sure how yours should look? Click here for some advice. If you don't have a lot of – or any – experience, don't worry: everyone has a first show, and maybe this one will be yours. Click here for some basics. Just fill out what you can, even if it's just your basic info, arts classes you've taken, and any special skills.
- A list of conflicts you know about (these can be on your phone – you'll write them out individually on your audition sheet).
Tiebreakers in the Audition Process
If it's between casting you or someone else in a role (or in the show) and all other things are equal, below is a list of tiebreakers that would sway things in your favor:
- Stapling your 8x10 headshot on the back of your resume
- Being polite to your stage managers, fellow auditionees, and casting team
- Having a reputation of being responsible and easy to work with
Actors, especially professionals, rarely have a perfect audition. It's totally normal if something goes wrong. Members of the casting team don't care about these mistakes. However, there are some things that are not mistakes, but red flags. We call them dealbreakers. Doing any of the following would prohibit us from seriously considering you...so make sure to avoid them!
- Mocking, pushing, or being rude to other auditionees.
- Being on your phone (especially on Snapchat, TikTok, etc.) or talking while the stage manager or casting team is speaking
- Not having a memorized monologue
- Not having a resume and/or headshot
- Coming in with a reputation of being irresponsible or difficult to work with
Do you have any other questions?