23-2024 Season Audition Information
Participating in a Playhouse Show: Playhouse Merced produces 6 - 10 shows each season and runs 2 to 4 weekends. Performances are Friday & Saturday nights (7:30pm) and Sunday matinees (2pm). In addition, Playhouse Merced produces community collaborations and our Education Dept. also has 4-6 productions each season, featuring our Youth MDT Conservatory and Perennial Players
40+ performance group. The Education Dept. shows run 1 to 3 weekends with performances on Thursday, Friday nights (7:30pm) and Saturday (2pm) matinees.
Playhouse Merced rehearsal periods are typically six-eight weeks long for musicals and five weeks for literary plays. We rehearse Sundays through Fridays. Variations on this schedule are at the discretion of the individual director.
Please Note: Playhouse Merced is an amateur theater company entering our 29th season. Any member of the community is welcome to audition for all roles in all shows. All Auditions are by Appointment and can be scheduled through our website using Sign-Up Genius. All performers and crew members are volunteers seeking training and/or a creative performance outlet and the Playhouse is a safe and supportive environment to explore your creative theatrical passion.
Musicals vs Theatrical Auditions : Although the Playhouse Merced is known for our quality musicals, we do always offer theatrical plays as well. Auditions for theatrical non-musical plays do not take the extra audition timing due to the singing and choreography that musical auditions require. Therefore, theatrical play auditions will customarily start at 12pm - 3pm whereas musicals may start as early as 10am - 3pm customarily. Please be sure to note the timing of each audition, as they may change from production to production depending on the Director or for reasons stated. Thanks and BREAK A LEG!
Before the Audition: All Auditions are by Appointment through our website. Playhouse has scripts available during the week of auditions. Scripts must be read in the office and cannot be checked out. To read script the week of auditions, go to the Playhouse Business Office at 452 W. Main St., Merced, CA 95340.
Office Hours: 12pm – 3pm, Tuesday – Friday.
At the Audition: You will receive a calendar with information on the specific length of commitment and tentative rehearsal schedule with an audition form to fill out, (if you did not complete the online form already) We ask auditionees to look at the time commitment carefully and to inform us of any conflicts. We expect our actors and crews to participate in all performances. We do our best to accommodate some rehearsal conflicts, but too many can affect casting.
Musical Auditions: Auditionees are asked to sing a prepared (i.e., memorized) song. A show tune is preferable to a pop tune, please do not sing a song from the show for which you are trying out. Please bring sheet music with the correct key. Keep it short. 16 to 32 bars are sufficient. We will need to hear you sing with the piano; we provide the accompanist. There may also be a dance audition for which no preparation is needed. Our choreographer may teach you a dance or dances which you would then be asked to perform in a group setting.
Please wear comfortable clothing and safe footwear to musical auditions just in case you are asked to dance.
Theatrical (non-musical) Auditions: If you are trying out for a theatrical play, please note the times of auditions carefully. You will be asked to prepare a short monologue from a play in the genre of show for which you are auditioning. Monologues should only be 1 minute long.
Callbacks: Callbacks are usually held the Sunday evening following the Saturday audition. You will be told if you are needed at Callbacks before you leave the theater on Saturday or will be contacted via text/call. Callbacks may consist of further reading, singing, or dancing. If you cannot attend the Saturday audition, you must make an appointment, prior to Saturday auditions to be seen during Sunday’s Callbacks. Only a limited number of people will be seen in this manner, and the director has the right to decide against seeing any new people at Callbacks once the Saturday audition is over. While every attempt is made to cast from the original audition pool, directors may feel they need further options. Additional performers may be asked to come into Callbacks for this purpose.
Casting Notification: After both Callbacks, you will be called if you are cast. The cast list is posted at the Business Office and on Playhouse Merced social media pages after all calls are made to those cast.
Understudies & Double Casting: UNDERSTUDIES are expected to be totally prepared to cover a role or roles as needed. If all goes well, understudies do not perform. DOUBLE-CASTING: Only in rare instances, the audition pool may allow a director to double cast certain roles. This is most often done with school show productions or with a particularly demanding adult role. It may also be done to give performance opportunities to two equally talented performers. Variations of double-casting might include doubling a role (two performers alternate as assigned before the run begins), or a split role (one performer takes part of a run and another plays the rest of the run, again, as arranged in advance with the director).
If you have specific conflicts, we urge you to audition but let us know up front and ask about casting options. This would also be a possibility for those of you interested in crew work. We would like to be able to involve people who may stay away because of the challenges of a long run or concerns about specific coverage needs.
Pre-Casting: Playhouse Merced prohibit pre-casting except for two very rare exceptions which would be
1. Reviving a recent show
2. Opportunity to work with a special guest artist.
We Want Everyone to Succeed
There are not enough lead roles for everyone who auditions, and no two directors will cast the same show - the same way.
We strongly urge you to audition again if you aren’t cast in your preferred role the first time you audition. And please always remember:
BREAK A LEG !