‘Night of Scenes’ auditions held last week

Brianna Carmack, Print Editor-in-Chief

Manhattan High Thespians Troupe 941 hosted their first-ever “Night of Scenes” auditions last Monday with callbacks on Tuesday.

“Night of Scenes” is coined from “One Acts,” the troupe’s annual event where students audition for roles in a short play with one act. However, instead of a play with only one act, Thespians Troupe 941 has decided to host a night where students will play roles in eight acts, each being roughly 10 minutes in length. The scripts this year have been chosen, directed and partially written by students in the Advanced Repertory Theatre class. Cast lists were compiled together by the students in the Advanced Repertory class last Thursday, leading to the finalized cast list posted on Friday.

“The Advanced Rep. class is grouping up and directing one ten minute scenes each,” senior and Thespians officer Max Barbe said. “I’m directing one of the scenes and I directed a scene I wrote last year as well, so I have a little bit of experience.”

The directors had specific responsibilities, such as watching the auditions, taking notes on each auditionee and casting the roles.

“I had the opportunity to watch over and take notes over the auditionees,” Thespians Troupe 941 president Nicole Savage, senior, said. “There are so many talented actors, but as a director, you’re also looking for someone who fits the characters in your play.”

In the case that two directors favor one actor, the directors decide what role the actor gets depending on what they think the actor would want. 

“Directors know they won’t get every actor they want; they know that compromises will be made,” Savage said. “When two directors both want one actor, we look at the actor’s preferences or size of a role, giving the actor the part we think they’d want more or which director needs them the most. This year went spectacularly amicably in casting and most, if not all, directors are really happy with the casts they got.”

The audition process this year focused on the auditionee’s ability to improv and perform an open scene. Students were paired up and performed the open scene together as their audition. According to Savage, an open scene is a script with only dialogue with no given circumstances.

“You as an actor have to decide what’s going on,” Savage said. “Are you siblings? A couple? Enemies? Strangers? In space? Three centuries ago? In a bakery? Committing arson? Then you use the same dialogue as everyone else, but you tell a different story based on your actions, inflection and tone.” 

Since “Night of Scenes” will consist of eight different acts, there are many roles, which gives many actors opportunities to have a role. 

“Since there are so many roles, practically everyone who auditions gets one,” Savage said. “It’s an especially great opportunity for underclassmen to snatch a role since upperclassmen with more experience tend to earn most roles in mainstage production.”

Rehearsal was supposed to begin after school on Monday. However, inclement weather pushed the school board to make the decision of cancelling school.

“Night of Scenes” will have its showings on Feb. 18-20. Based on the auditions, the directors have high hopes and believe “Night of Scenes” will be exceptional.

“I had a really good time last year and I’m completely confident that this year is going to be just as awesome,” Barbe said.