Design Tech Audition Tips

How do I prepare for my Technical Audition/Theatre Educator Audition?

Prepare a presentation that shows the kind of work you have done in technical theatre. Be prepared to discuss the projects you have worked on and your interest and achievements in technical theatre. You may bring and use models and visual aids, but your strengths will shine best in a portfolio. You will be given a table in the Foundry A & B ballrooms for your portfolio to be displayed all conference and the Presentation time slot will be a time when you will give a 3 minute abridged presentation of your portfolio to the college reps. Electrical outlets may be available, but extension cords will not be provided.

If you are auditioning for the theatre educator scholarship, prepare drama lesson plans for one week for any level drama class. You may also prepare and display a portfolio and/or display board showing your experiences in the area of theatre education.You will have a table to display portfolio in Foundry A & B ballroom, and will present a 3 minute abridged portfolio to the college reps.

During the college tech audition time, you will present a 3 min max presentation of your portfolio. We recommend a powerpoint of some sort. The last 30 min the college representatives will come to you to view and discuss your work. Show what you do well. A well organized, enthusiastic presentation of your work and portfolio demonstrates to the college representative what you’ve done and suggests what you will be capable of doing in the future.

Visit the Educational Theatre Association web site for more helpful advice.

How do I prepare my Design Tech/Management Portfolio?

You’ll want to show college reps some visual documentation of your past work, photographs, sketches, draftings, renderings, and organizational paperwork—all organized and contained in an easily transportable folder, case, or notebook portfolio. Much of your portfolio will consist of photographs: of props, costumes, or scenery you’ve built; of three-dimensional models you’ve constructed for class projects; and of productions, if you’ve had the opportunity to design sets, lighting, or costumes. Process photos, taken at key steps in the construction of an item or the painting of a set, illustrate craftsmanship and are good to have. Include only sharp, color-accurate photographs of your best work.

High-quality color copies or laser prints may also be used. Mount the pictures neatly on pages in your portfolio binder, and label each one with the title of the show, the theatre that produced it, and information about your own role in creating the item or moment pictured.

As for drawings, renderings, and draftings, make selections with a critical eye. Include class projects as well as work you’ve done on actual productions. If, as often happens in the race to opening night, you didn’t have time to do your best rendering or drafting on the originals, it’s perfectly okay to redo them. You may also include paintings or drawings that have nothing to do with theatre work, since they can show a lot about your skills and how well you deal with light and shadow, perspective, and color.

Paperwork is another element of the tech portfolio, and for lighting and sound technicians and stage managers, it’s the most important. Completed lighting cue sheets, hookup sheets, and gel sheets, along with a drafted light design, show a familiarity with the level of precision that’s needed for successful lighting work. Sound cue sheets and system diagrams provide some evidence of an audio technician’s skill. Stage managers can include completed show prompt books, cast and crew contact sheets, rehearsal schedules, and other samples of organizational and communication expertise. Make sure your paperwork fits standard formats (Broadway Press’s Backstage Forms is a good resource), and if your original show materials are a mess, copy them over and make them presentable.

All drawings or models must be to scale. (1/4” = 1’ or ½” = 1’)

You should be very familiar with your own school theatre spaces. You should know dimensions, instruments available, limitations, etc.