Spring Awakening

August 13, 2018

Open auditions start August 19 for SIU music and theater performances

by Hannah Erickson

CARBONDALE, Ill. — With a new semester comes a fresh wave of fun and exciting performances. Both the music and theater departments at Southern Illinois University Carbondale invite the community to audition for multiple spots in upcoming productions and musical ensembles.

Auditions open to the community

The fall theater season features four unique productions, with audition opportunities available for individuals ages 16-65. Actors from all cultures are encouraged to audition.

Similarly, the SIU Choir, Wind Ensemble and Southern Illinois Symphony Orchestra have open positions for community members.

For over 100 years the Southern Illinois Symphony Orchestra, composed of talented faculty, students and community members, has brought outstanding music to Southern Illinois. The large ensembles presented by the music department consist of individuals who portray passion and musical skill, and represent the core values of SIU.

Auditions for “Pippin” Aug. 23

The first theater production, “Pippin,” will be held Oct. 4-7. In the play, Pippin — a recent university graduate and son to Holy Roman Emperor Charlemagne — is encouraged by a group of seductive actors to try war, sex, politics, revolution, the simple country life and they eventually lure him to try a death defying and extraordinary final act of fulfillment.

Auditions are Thursday, Aug. 23 at Altgeld Hall, room 116.

  • Sign-in is at 6 p.m.
  • Dance/movement auditions are at 6:30 p.m.
  • Individual auditions are at 7:00 p.m.

Actors should prepare a one to two minute song that demonstrates their vocal range and ability to play a character urgently pursuing an action, while integrating the use of a specific street performance skill such as stilt walking, juggling, tumbling, stage fighting, magic tricks, card tricks, playing a musical instrument, etc. Actors should also be prepared to attend a dance/movement call at the beginning of the audition.

Auditions for “Punk Rock” Aug. 25

The second event is a special production of “Punk Rock,” set for Nov. 9-11, and produced and directed completely by undergraduate theater majors. The production centers around a group of outspoken 17 year-olds who navigate their way through the pressures of their last year in high school, hoping to avoid catastrophe and make it to their futures.

Auditions are Aug. 25 at Christian H. Moe Laboratory Theater.

  • Sign in is at 5 p.m.
  • Group auditions are from 5:30-8:30 p.m.

Actors should be prepared to perform cold readings from the script. 

Auditions for “In the Shadow of His Language” Aug. 25

The third production of the fall semester, “In the Shadow of His Language,” is set for Nov. 29-Dec. 2.

In the premiere performance of this new play by Department of Theater Resident Playwright, Jacob Juntunen, a first generation college student is asked by her mentor to give up everything in order to succeed in the world of academia. The question asked is; “Will what she gains be worth what she loses?”

Auditions are Aug. 25 at C.H. Moe Laboratory Theater.

  • Sign-in is at 1:30 p.m.
  • Group auditions are from 2-4:30 p.m.

Actors should be prepared to cold read selections from the script.

Auditions for “Sunday in the Park with George” Aug. 24

The first production of spring 2019 is “Sunday in the Park with George,” and is set for Feb.21-24.

This musical is inspired by the painting at the Chicago Art Museum, “A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte” by George Seurat. Stephen Sondheim’s most autobiographical musical explores the challenges of creating art by comparing two artists, 100 years apart and both named George, as they struggle to balance a life in art.

Auditions are Aug. 24 at Altgeld Hall, Room 116.

  • Sign-in is at 6:30 p.m.
  • Individual auditions are at 7 p.m.

Actors should be prepared to sing approximately 32-48 bars of a song from “Sunday in the Park,” appropriate to their type. Or, sing another selection in the musical style of the show; usually the final 32 bars is the most appropriate cutting. Appropriate, honest acting is valued equally with voice and musical accuracy.

Music choir auditions Aug. 22-23

Open auditions for the SIU Choir will be held Aug. 22-23 in Altgeld Hall. Interested individuals can reserve a spot by signing up in Room 108 of Altgeld Hall. The auditions will consist of vocalizing, sight-reading a short melody and singing one verse of “My Country tis of Thee,” and will last approximately five to eight minutes.

SIU Choral consists of two unique groups; the Concert Choir and the Choral Union.

The Concert Choir is a mixed ensemble of approximately 40 voices, and performs in a variety of short distinguished choral works and tours each year. It is available exclusively for students.

The Choral Union is built of over 100 singers from the student body and community, and performs extended masterworks with orchestral and wind accompaniment.

Woodwinds, brass, percussion and strings Aug. 21-22

Community members, students who are not majoring in music and students who have fulfilled their ensemble requirement may audition for both the Wind Ensemble and the Southern Illinois Symphony Orchestra.

Individuals who would like to audition for both the Wind Ensemble and the Southern Illinois Symphony Orchestra may attend auditions on Aug. 22.

  • Percussion: 3-4 p.m.
  • Woodwinds: 6-7:30 p.m.
  • Brass: 7:30-9 p.m.

Individuals who would like to audition only for the Southern Illinois Symphony Orchestra will attend Aug. 21.

  • New members: 6-8 p.m.
  • Returning members: 8-9 pm.

All individuals who would like to audition only for the Wind Ensemble, both new and returning members, will attend August 19 from noon-4 p.m.

All instrument players should prepare a piece, such as a solo or etude. The auditions may also include a sight-reading portion.

Music student auditions Aug. 21-22

Students who are majoring in music must fulfill an ensemble requirement, and will audition Aug. 21-22.

  • Percussion: Aug. 22, 3-4 p.m.
  • Woodwinds: Aug. 22, 6-7:30 p.m.
  • Brass: Aug. 22, 7:30-9 p.m.
  • Strings: Aug. 21, 6-8 for new students.
  • Strings: Aug. 21, 8-9 for returning students.

For more information on music auditions, contact Edward Benyas at benyas@siu.edu. For more information on theater auditions, contact The Department of Theater at 618/453-5741.