California Q's - Audition Attendance Trends

Have you experienced (or are you experiencing) a significant change to audition attendance in the past 1-3 years at your community theatre?

Are you experiencing a decrease in the following specific auditioners attending your auditions?

If you are experiencing a decrease in audition attendance in any way, what do you believe is or are the causes?

Depends on the show. For Chicago we had lots of people. For James and the Giant Peach, fewer. For Sweeney Todd, it seems like everyone came out to audition. Big crowds.

Young guys (18-30) scarce. Middle age, older guys ok.

More theater shows in town, Camp Fire crisis.

People don't have the time to devote to rehearsals. Most people have to work a full time job to make ends meet.

If you are experiencing an increase in audition attendance in any way, what do you believe is or are the causes?

Some recognition for past successes helps. Choosing the right show is more important.

More successful shows.

We have recently begun holding joint auditions with (another local theatre). It makes it easier on actors, and we get to see more people.

What steps are you taking to meet any challenges you currently face with audition attendance?

Aggressively approaching local high schools and colleges.

More pre-publicity.

Posting more outlets, phone calling ahead of time (though not a new practice).

Reduce show requirements where we can. Fill in with other gender.

Trying to work around peoples schedule.

Our area is a FEAST for actors. So many theatres doing so many shows. It is hard for us all to get the talent we want in our productions. That is part of why we do auditions twice a year, and get principals committed to roles as quickly as we can. It does not always work, unfortunately. And casting early always means you get some people that fall away.

How are any changes to audition attendance impacting your season overall? For example, due to an increase in audition interest, are you able to cast larger or more diverse shows? Or, for example, due to a decrease in audition interest, are you planning to produce shows with smaller casts?

Holding steady on this.

Shy away from men-heavy casts.

No change, it works out usually.

Try to keep away from large cast shows.

We keep plugging along with the season we wish to have and are still able to cast. But it is not easy.

We are not changing the shows we do, but we are spending a lot of time working out casting and cast conflicts with rehearsals.

"We have recently changed the way that we are doing auditions so drastically that I feel like none of my answers to this would be valid. Last May we combined our auditions with another local theatre (another local theatre) in an effort to make it easier on actors and less of a slog for all of us. It worked pretty well. There was some resistance, as there always is to change. We will have another round of auditions together in late January. "

Any other thoughts or ideas to share on the topic of recent changes to audition attendance?

Successful shows breed larger audition attendance, I'm thinking.

Community theater won't die due to lack of patrons, but a lack of actors....

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