The following entry was written by Jamie Davenport, Class of 2016.
Every April, the Emerson College Performing Arts department prepares for Emerson Stage auditions. Emerson Stage is the performance and production organization that compliments the academic excellence and goals of the Department of Performing Arts by offering opportunities for its students. In the nine productions of the 2013-2014 Season, students experienced equity-style conditions that prepare them for the auditions and opportunities that lay ahead.
EmStage auditions are a much anticipated time for any Performing Arts student. From these auditions, Emerson Stage casts four of the six straight plays for the upcoming 2014-2015 season. These plays include Anything to Declare by Maurice Hennequin & Pierre Veber and directed by Benny Sato Ambush, Middletown by Will Eno and directed by Sarah Hickler, Dancing at Luchnasa by Brian Friel and directed by Courtney O’Connor, and Uncommon Women and Others by Wendy Wasserstein and directed by Marureen Shea.
This year the Performing Arts department asks auditioning students to prepare two contrasting monologues. My plan is to prepare one monologue from Charles Mee’s Limonade Tous Les Jours and one from Marsha Norman’s Night Mother. Limonade Tous Les Jours is an abstract play about an older man and a younger woman meeting for coffee. In the humorous and approachable monologue, I muse about a recent breakup and the state of my new home. Night Mother is a very sad and beautiful play about a young woman and her relationship with her mother. My hope is that these two monologues show my versatility between comedic and dramatic performance.
Since auditions arrive right around the time of finals (and often are considered some of the “finals” for Performing Arts students), many get nervous or reflect back on the school year coming to a close. But looking forward to the opportunities for next year’s Emerson Stage season is also incredibly exciting. The jitters create a great environment for cultivating your craft and learning to fight through the nerves. The hope is that your nerves add to your audition and enhance your performance!
Regardless of the outcome of this season’s auditions, the overall goal is that everyone learn something from them. Whether you familiarize yourself with a new monologue to add to your repertoire, gain some context on an unfamiliar play, or learn different strategies for interpreting an old piece, everyone comes out a little bit more knowledgeable than they were before. It’s another great learning opportunity outside the classroom.