Our current audition process
The Playhouse changed its 2020-21 season from what was originally announced. As titles and dates are decided, audition information specific to shows will be posted here.
The Playhouse encourages performers of any race, ethnicity, gender, age, or other personal differentiations to audition for its plays. Where specific casting demands are not indicated by the playwright, any performer is encouraged to audition for any role.
Auditions are held virtually with videos due by 6:00 PM on a Monday. Callbacks are in person at the theatre, Tuesday-Thursday, by appointment only. All actors and director are required to wear a face mask or shield at callbacks. A cast list is posted on the website and social media on Friday, with those who had auditioned receiving an email before the cast list is made public.
The Playhouse uses Casting Manager. There you can read a show synopsis and character breakdown, will find audition sides to be used in your video audition, and can download and read Playhouse COVID-19 safety guidelines.
Actors will prepare both excerpts from the script and submit a video of their readings. A few tips for filming readings:
- Use a smartphone or tablet to film your audition. If you don’t have access to a device to film, please reach out to Playhouse artistic director Katy Merriman for assistance. If you have a friend who can film and be a reading partner, that is great! If not, prop the device on a stack of books or something similar and take a test video to make sure you are in the frame.
- State your name and the part you are auditioning for at stage volume and clarity at the beginning of your video. If you can do this separately and then film your readings in separate takes, that is best as you can take time to get into character.
- Please film in a tight to medium frame from the chest up. Choose a quiet room with a neutral background and good lighting that doesn’t cast shadows in your video.
- Please choose a reading partner to read the lines that are not your character’s for your filming. The most important part of your partner’s reading is that you can hear them and we can see your response in your video. They do not need to be on camera.
- Enjoy yourself, don’t look directly into the camera, and don’t stress! If you can memorize the scenes, that is great. If you are holding a script, that’s okay too. Prepare by knowing the story, who you are in the play, and what is happening in the scene, but don’t spend hours and hours doing multiple takes and stressing about the video. Save yourself time by doing your actor homework before you film.
Safety Guide, updated Apr. 14, 2021
The Des Moines Playhouse is following all recommendations from state and local governments and from the CDC regarding safety measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. In terms of volunteer safety, these measures include the following:
- Anyone over the age of 2 will still be required to correctly wear a mask inside The Playhouse, and social distancing practices will be followed.
- Actors will not wear masks during performances, but all other volunteers, staff, and patrons will be masked in the building.
- Frequent hand washing and disinfecting of performer properties and greenroom spaces.
- Distances of 6 ft or more maintained as much as possible during the rehearsal process and backstage for crew members.
- Disinfecting and cleaning of the building before performances
- Staying home if volunteer is not feeling well or experiencing symptoms of COVID-19. You may not be in the building if you are running a fever.
- Hand sanitizing stations placed throughout the building.
- Face shields offered at all rehearsals and performances for crew and actors as extra face covering.
- Limited or carefully controlled use of common spaces.
- Restrooms wiped down between each use
- Limited seating capacity in house with first row of audience 6+ ft away from the front of the stage
- Records kept of all people in the building at all times in case contact tracing becomes necessary
An inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 exists in any public place. COVID-19 is an extremely contagious disease that can lead to severe illness and death. If you are not comfortable taking this risk, please do not volunteer at The Playhouse yet. We respect and support that decision. If you plan to volunteer at The Playhouse you voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to COVID-19.
The Playhouse remains committed to monitoring the current recommendations, guidelines, and restrictions to which we are subject. Click here to download our full safety guide.
If you are not comfortable taking this risk, please do not volunteer at The Playhouse yet. We know that not everyone is in a position to put themselves at any risk for a number of reasons, and we respect and support that decision. If you plan to volunteer at The Playhouse in the coming months while COVID-19 is still spreading, you are doing so at your own risk. The Playhouse is not responsible should you contract COVID-19 while volunteering at the theatre.