Charlotte Morritt- Jacobs
This spring, Humber’s Theatre Performance program will open its doors to applicants nationwide during a first ever cross-Canada audition tour.
Two full-time Humber faculty members will be traveling to audition sessions in Toronto, Vancouver, Winnipeg, and Halifax.
Each year, anywhere from 400 to 600 aspiring actors audition for Humber’s Theatre Performance program.
Competition will intensify this year with the national tour as class sizes are expected to stay the same. Only 34 to 36 applicants will make the cut said Paul DeJong, program coordinator for the Theatre Performance program.
Auditions have been opened up coast to coast to highlight cultural diversity, which reflects the program’s vision, he said.
Unlike other Ontario theatre school applications, which only last an hour, Humber auditions are a day-long affair.
Humber faculty members want to spend a full day with applicants getting to know one another and discussing the program.
This offers applicants an opportunity to decide whether the program fits their education criteria, DeJong said.
The full day includes one hour of orientation and a written essay application to assess language skills.
After this, students break into two groups. One group does a voice and movement workshop, while the other group forms a physical theatre creation workshop.
Students can expect to do rigorous non-conventional improvisation training as they prepare to perform their monologue, DeJong said.
“More than anything, applicants should come prepared to play and show their spontaneity” DeJong said. “We aren’t looking for polished performers. We are looking for potential students who are passionate about the world, curious about training and have a desire to push the theatrical envelope.”
Applicants are not restricted to perform a contemporary or classical monologue. They’re encouraged to write and perform their own pieces.
Grace Thompson, a second year Theatre Performance student, said she chose Humber because of the audition process.
“I wanted to go to a school where I could create my own work. I wasn’t interested in going to a theatre school that was strictly text work. The other schools I auditioned for were more text focused,” she said.
Many Humber theatre students expressed their concern over the lack of diversity and voices in theatre schools.
Thompson said she felt many schools rely too heavily on accepting a certain “type” of person rather than welcoming applicants that bring different styles of theatre from other cultures.
Samantha Nonan, a second year Theatre Performance student, also cited her audition as a positive experience and said she was less nervous for her Humber audition than she was for other auditions.
“I was less afraid to audition later on in the day because we had warmed up with the workshops. Other schools made me feel intimidated with the strict atmosphere and I felt all alone,” she said.
It is up to the person who is auditioning to make the most of what they bring to the table as in performance and energy as an actor, Nonan said.
Auditions for Humber’s Theatre Performance program will be held at North campus, Vancouver, Winnipeg and Halifax until May 16.