The hallway buzzed with students talking to themselves. They spoke to empty hallways and to their own reflections in the window. These students were rehearsing monologues before their auditions for the spring IU Theatre season.
The theater department held auditions for its spring plays on Monday night in the Lee Norvelle Theatre and Drama Center. The auditions lasted from 6-10 p.m., with 74 students signed up to try out. This left 90 seconds for each student to perform their monologue.
Senior Carina Lastimosa said she started preparing her monologue three months ago during a theater class. She walked out laughing from her audition. She said she felt good about it.
“I feel it’s as good as it can be,” Lastimosa said. “You can rehearse it so many times, but when I get up there, my heart just goes, ‘ahh.’”
Every few minutes, a stage manager called a few actors to line up at the door. While they waited, some rehearsed their monologue, adjusted their collar or swayed back and forth on their feet. Others talked and laughed, as if it were a casual hangout.
Lastimosa said auditions generally have a friendly, supportive environment.
“You support your friends,” Lastimosa said. “For some people, it’s supportive. Some people will be like, ‘I hope they suck.’”
Behind the audition doors sat directors and stage managers of three upcoming IU Theatre plays. The plays include Caryl Churchill’s “Vinegar Tom” and two new plays for IU's “At First Sight - A Festival of New Plays.”
Outside, students prepared their resumes, headshots and audition forms. One student approached the sign-in table with none of these in hand.
“I’m cancelling because I did not prepare,” the student said. “I didn’t prepare an English dialect.”
After sophomore Wyatt Lee exited the audition room, he exhaled a slow, long sigh. He exchanged smiles with other students who were in line to enter.
“I feel very relieved,” Lee said. “I was very stressed. I didn’t put as much work as I should’ve into it.”
Lee said he practices for auditions by going over the lines repeatedly in his head. He said this helps him calm his nerves.
“If nerves are there, you might forget a line,” Lee said.
Monday night was freshman Dakota Abell’s first time auditioning at a university level. Since he was 8 years old, he has been performing in community and school theater.
Abell said he had a strong, emotional audition, and the other students auditioning were great to be around.
“I love watching my peers prepare for a public audience,” Abell said. “With these people being your classmates, you forget they have amazing talent.”
IU Theatre was also performing callback auditions for its spring musical, “Wonderful Town." These students had to prepare 16 to 32 bars of musical performance. Students with dance auditions stretched in group circles and talked about their work.
“It’s nerve-wracking to think about how I perform,” junior Henry Miller said. “If I’m cast as a part, that’d be great. I’ll take what I can get.”
While some students panic over spending months workshopping parts in classes and in private, Miller said he wasn’t stressed. He simply loves the opportunity to show what he can do.
“I just breathe, and realize I can only give what I can give,” Miller said.
Callback auditions would be announced the next morning at 9 a.m. Cast lists would follow. For students who gave their 90 seconds, all they could do was wait.