UNH Dress Guidelines for Acting/Musical Theatre Auditions

Auditions for “These Shining Lives” and “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”

Due to the need for social distancing, and to reduce chance of infection, we have decided to hold auditions electronically—that is, asking you to submit your initial audition online. Fill out the audition form here.  You will be asked tp upload your audition video within the form.  The deadline for submissions is JULY 8.

Audition requirements: Prepare two contrasting one-minute monologues.  If you wish to be in Midsummer, one must be from Shakespeare. Please slate at the beginning with your name and with the character name, title of the play and the author of the play. We do not need to know what scene it is from, nor do we need any synopsis of the play.

Information about the shows:

These Shining Lives, directed by Raina Ames: THESE SHINING LIVES will be a live production; however, there will be modifications due to the new COVID guidelines. We will need to adhere to social distancing, so there will be modifications to blocking, and we will wear masks. Victoria is working on special masks that use vinyl to allow more of the face to be exposed. To help tell the story, we will use projections.  Rehearsals will begin the first day of school and will run Sunday-Friday, 6-10pm. Every effort will be made to group rehearsals so you are only called if you are working. 

THESE SHINING LIVES chronicles the strength and determination of women considered expendable in their day, exploring their true story and its continued resonance; in the 1920’s and ‘30’s, women were slowly being poisoned by the painting method at The Radium Dial Co in Illinois. In this play, Catherine and her friends are dying, it’s true; but theirs is a story of survival in its most transcendent sense, as they refuse to allow the company that stole their health to kill their spirits—or endanger the lives of those who come after them.

There are six characters:

  • Catherine Donohue
  • Frances
  • Charlotte
  • Pearl
  • Tom Donohue
  • Mr. Reed

A Midsummer Night’s Dream, directed by Deb Kinghorn: Because of the many considerations about social distancing, wearing masks, etc. that arise from COVID, we have decided to shoot MND as a film. As soon as casting is complete (meaning during the summer), David Richman and I will begin working with actors via Zoom on text. When we arrive at UNH, we will rehearse scenes in person, but only with those people who are essential to the scene. We will rehearse in masks, but we will be able to unmask during the shooting of the scenes, as I plan to work with medium and close-up shots of one person at a time, or use two-three cameras to record a scene, each focusing on one person. Our wide shots will allow us to space you appropriately as well. Otherwise, all personnel on set will be masked.

This means that our rehearsal and shooting period will be in direct conflict with “These Shining Lives”, and as such, there likely can be no cross-over in casting between the two shows. We must finish shooting no later than mid-October in order to complete editing in time for the November opening/showing.

There will be a full reading of the play on Zoom at some point during the summer, but thereafter, you will not be “onstage” together again. The schedule for shooting will be out of order of the play, and we will only call those who are needed for filming. Therefore, it is probable that you will not be called every day. However, due to the variability of weather, because we are shooting outside, we will need to be flexible in scheduling, and this means that, if you are called for a shoot, it must be prioritized over any other activity (except a class).

The shooting schedule is currently 5:00-8:00 p.m. each night, in order to catch the waning light. We will also shoot on weekends, again in the late afternoons, so it is important to list conflicts for ALL days of the week. Rehearsals (where there is no film being shot) will likely begin at 6:00 and go to 9:00 p.m.

Setting and Time Period: This will be a modern-day production. I am seeking a match-up between clear articulation of thoughts and ideas and modern behavior and mannerisms. Although the fairyland dwellers are dressed more fantastically, I want to stay away from the saccharine-sweet depiction of the woods. It is a place of confusion, sometimes menace, and ever-growing turbulence, evidenced in Titania’s speech.


  • Theseus: part of a power couple, well-dressed, a leader.
  • Hippolyta: The other part of the power couple, another leader, a person with a sharp eye who has fought their way to the top.
  • Egeus: A member of the court and Hermia’s parent. An important cog in the court, therefore, not easily dismissed.
  • Philostrate: “Master” of the revels, another member of the court. Perhaps a little judgmental about what is and is not “Art”.
  • Demetrius: former love of Helena, now fixated on Hermia. Favorite of Egeus. Likes to look sharp and current, sometimes rather self-involved.
  • Helena: In love with Demetrius, they have let others influence how they perceive themselves.
  • Lysander: in love with Hermia, then Helena, then Hermia again. Honest and straightforward, but nonetheless is not above suggesting a “sleepover” with Hermia before marriage.
  • Hermia: a “popular” person who is not fully conscious of how their popularity affects their best friend, Helena.
  • Oberon: King of the fairies, quick-thinking, mercurial in moods, a “force of nature”.
  • Titania: Queen of the fairies, every bit Oberon’s equal.
  • Five Fairies: Moth, Mustardseed, Peaseblossom, Cobweb, and one other, as yet unnamed. Part of Titania’s entourage, they each have a unique personality. They will need to dance and preferably sing. There are two dances in the show.
  • The Mechanicals: The “rude mechanicals” are six skilled laborers who come together to put on a play for the royalty of Athens. In our production, these roles will be updated to their corresponding current occupations: Quince, the carpenter, Snug, the joiner (woodmaker), Bottom, the weaver, Flute, the bellows-mender (a leatherer), Snout, the tinker (tinsmith/metalworker), and Starveling, the tailor.
  • Puck: A hobgoblin. A mischievous imp, always looking for ways to disrupt, but ever conscious of their place in the scheme of things.