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Dear Roosevelt Students,


Between Dramafest, Musical Production, and our class productions (Play Production class, Roughwriters and Variety Show in Intermediate Theatre, and the Narrative Theatre Show in Advanced Theatre), our department offers many performing opportunities. While the class productions automatically involve everyone taking the class, our other shows require auditions.


First and foremost, a director casts according to the demands of the show.  Some shows require huge dancing ensembles, other shows have a large number of leads but no one "main character." Some shows need people with an unusually strong command of language or singing ability; we even did a show where everyone had to be able to swim!  Somebody with a lead in one production may not fit any role in the next. Luck plays a big part, unfortunately.


During the audition and callback process, we assess the student’s unique talent and fit for a given role as it pertains to the needs and vision for the production.  From teh audition and callback process, we are weighing whether the person can learn to sing/dance/act the part and play it in a believable way.  When there's more than one person who could fit a role, we take into consideration an actor’s 21st century skills (collaboration, creativity, critical thinking, communication) and level of experience gained in the department at large.  There is no "right path" to getting a part in a Roosevelt show.  Just keep working hard and be the type of artist and person you would want to work with.


Just as colleges, Broadway, and other professional regional theatres are diversifying their understanding of who can “fit” in what roles, Roosevelt Theatre will make a concerted effort to include students of ALL backgrounds, ethnicities, gender identities, body types, sexual orientations, and physical, linguistic, and mental abilities.  None of these characteristics will prohibit an individual from consideration for a certain role—many are actually assets to a role or a production.


Everyone is encouraged to audition for Dramafest and the Musical Production class—regardless of previous experience.  Completing Beginning Theatre or teacher approval is required to take the more advanced theatre courses that produce Winter Production, The Variety Show, The Narrative Theatre Show, and Roughwriters.  For more information about audition requirements and material, please download and read the audition notices and packets available on our homepage as they become available.


If you don’t get cast, we encourage you to take and keep taking theatre classes and to consider one of the many dozens of critical behind-the-scenes roles we need to fill.  We discourage you from looking for patterns, formulas, or reasons why someone got a part over someone else.  Put this energy into yourself and future auditions instead!  Thank you for your interest and participation in the Roosevelt Theatre Department—it’s a big tent and there’s a place for everyone!

Our protocol around casting is as follows:

1. Prepare your audition & fill out a packet found in theatre hallway.

2. Audition!

3. Check the audition board the day following for Callback List. 

4. If called back, attend Callbacks! If not, do not assume you are not cast. 

5. When the cast list is posted, do your best to be aware of others around you. Some will be happy, some will be disappointed. If you are happy with your news, what can you do to support others around who are not? If you are disappointed with your role or not getting cast, we suggest making plans with friends to distract yourself, start looking for your next project and turn to your family/friends for support and comfort. 

6. After two weeks, all students are encouraged to ask us for feedback during the designated feedback days and times.  A great way to start this conversation is "What can I improve on?" We will take you through your scores, any written feedback and general ideas we have for improving your singing, acting, dancing, collaboration, work ethic etc. 

7. Once you have received feedback, keep working, taking class and showing up!  



bStuW & Gronk



Audition packets are posted for

download on the homepage.


Sign-ups are posted outside

Rm. 154 (Black Box).



Q: Do you factor in past fundraising in casting?

No.  We’ve had leads who did their best to fundraise the year before and brought in little or even no money.  Casting is a mix of the audition, the fit (are you the best person to learn to sing/dance/act the part), and the director’s vision for the show. Nothing else.


Q: Are the leads cast based on seniority? 

Not necessarily.  While older students can bring more vocal maturity, stage experience, or cast leadership to a leading role in a show, they may not be the best fit for a part or may not have had the most prepared audition or successful callback.  We have had 9th and 10th graders nail leads in our shows, sometimes an 11th or 12th grader finally tries out for the first time and gets cast, or a new student transfers from another school and nails their audition.  There are no sure things in theatre so the best you can do is do your best!


Q: Do kids with parents involved in Boosters get preferential casting?

Nope.  One year our Spring Musical had 3 leads and 8 supporting roles.  0 of the leads had parents involved in boosters and less than half the supporting roles had parents involved.  The year after had a totally different configuration.  If you increase the sample size of shows over the program’s recent history, you’ll see there’s no pattern or formula here.  A better use of this energy is to ask for feedback about your audition and keep working on your audition material for next time!  We LOVE our booster parents who make opportunities for ALL Roosevelt students to find a place in the theatre program but know that volunteering or donating money has zero impact on casting.


Q: If a freshman or sophomore gets a lead, are they not getting one again?

We can never know this as we have no idea what the shows will be several years out or who else will be trying out.  In the event a younger student is up for a lead, we do have a conversation with them before the cast list goes up.  We tell them this is a possibility but not a certainty, as spreading opportunities around is one of MANY priorities when we cast but it always comes down to the audition, the fit, and the director’s vision.


Q: Do you pick shows for certain kids (AKA pre-cast)?

No.  When we choose a show, we hope everyone returning will audition and we ask ourselves, do we have 3+ kids who could play this part?  We’re also open-minded to newcomers and to being surprised by who else has been working hard since the last time we saw them audition.  Not only would it be unfair to pick a show for a specific kid, we’d have a huge problem if they didn’t try out and we had no one else who could play the part!


Q: Do people “only” get parts because they are ___ (fill in the blank: a senior, Thespian Board Member, a child of a booster parent, BIPOC, LGBTQ+, Cis/Het, tall/short, a popular personality at Roosevelt, a successful fundraiser etc…)?

Absolutely not.  The person who gets the part is a mix of the best fit for the director’s vision of the show and the person who demonstrated they can learn the role in their audition and callback.  Saying someone “only” got cast because __ can cause hurt feelings, unnecessary drama, and a problematic reputation as an actor.  We would also never put a student in a position where the demands of a part are embarrassingly out of reach for them just because they are __.  It’s totally normal to be disappointed with a casting decision, but the best thing you can do for yourself and the show is follow the casting protocol above.

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