Mastering the Theater Audition

What Are Casting Directors Looking For?
Hosted by Alexander Carney

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Alexander D Carney

Webinar hosted by: Alexander Carney

Stage Director

Alexander D. Carney is based in New York and has staged works all across the country with an emphasis on classical work. He has won awards for his directing from both the Baltimore Playwrights Festival and Broadwayworld.com. With the Maryland Shakespeare Festival for many years, he directed MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING, THE TEMPEST and MEASURE FOR MEASURE as well as their Shakespeare Alive! yearly tour which was seen by over 25,000 people in the greater DC area. Other highlights: A TUNA CHRISTMAS at Virginia’s Court Street Theatre, THE TAMING OF THE SHREW (Festival 59, Princeton, Illinois) as well as A LIE ON THE MIND and MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING at Stella Adler Studios, NYC. Additionally, Alex has directed several Youth Theater productions (self devised work such as FAIRY TALES IN ‘DA HOOD, a retelling of Grimm’s Fairy Tales set in the Baltimore ghetto) and is the Artistic Director of Raised Spirits Theater Company, which produced the first staging of the First Quarto version of THE CHRONICLE HISTORIE OF HENRY V IN 400 YEARS as well as staging the uncut Folio of THE TRAGEDY OF HAMLET. He holds a BA in Theatre Arts from SUNY/Empire State College, an MFA in Elizabethan and Renaissance Literature with a concentration in Directing and an M.Litt. in Elizabethan and Renaissance Literature in Performance from Mary Baldwin College in Staunton, Virginia. As an actor he's played Macbeth, Claudius, Benedick, Caliban among many others as well as appearing off-Broadway with such noted actors as F. Murray Abraham and the late Geraldine Page. Full Bio »

Webinar Summary

Learn directly from Alexander Carney, an award-winning stage director with works all across the country!

Theater auditions are different from TV and film auditions. Theater calls on different skills and makes different demands on the actor. The size, power and flexibility the actor needs to convey during an audition can be daunting to both the newcomer and the more experienced performer. Live theater auditions can be especially nerve-wracking.

The best way for an actor to combat nerves and make their best presentation is through preparation --- but the actor must know WHAT to prepare. Things like what to wear and proper protocol are just as important as the clarity and presence of your acting. Learning the structure of a good audition can help the actor immensely.

The preparation process is not easy but it is necessary and can be great fun. Since one minute of performance or audition requires an hour of rehearsal, the actor has a lot to do to be fully prepared for what is at most a seven or eight minute experience.

Stage 32 is excited to bring you “How to Master the Theater Audition” led by Alexander Carney Theater Director/Coach, from New York, New York with over 30 years in the business. Alex has directed over 50 plays (most notably over 20 of Shakespeare). He is currently Artistic Director of Raised Spirits Theater, which is dedicated to classic theater "by, for, and with ALL sorts of people."

What You'll Learn

  • Preparation. 1 minute of performance requires one hour of rehearsal. The different elements that require rehearsal: intention, relationship, actions and obstacles.
  • Difference between theater and film/TV auditions
  • Reading the play. How to find the thematic spine of the play and why the spine is more important than your individual part.
  • Voice. The role your voice plays in theater that is different from film/TV.
  • Studying the script. How to study a theater script to gain maximum information to make your audition really fly.
  • Memorization: do it or not for the audition?
  • What are casting directors looking for? What are theater directors looking for?
  • Research. What and how. There are two kinds of research: business and artistic.
    • Business - how to research a theater, a production, a director, a casting director, etc.
    • Artistic - accents, skills, background, information contained in the play to help you make your audition shine.
  • Entrance. Your first impression is most important.
  • Exit. How you finish is of equal importance.
  • Proper protocol. What to do 1 week, 1 day, 1 hour, 15 minutes before the audition. What to do immediately after, 1 day after the audition.
  • Next steps. how you can prepare over time to be the best theater actor you can be.

About Your Instructor

Alexander D. Carney is based in New York and has staged works all across the country with an emphasis on classical work. He has won awards for his directing from both the Baltimore Playwrights Festival and Broadwayworld.com. With the Maryland Shakespeare Festival for many years, he directed MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING, THE TEMPEST and MEASURE FOR MEASURE as well as their Shakespeare Alive! yearly tour which was seen by over 25,000 people in the greater DC area.

Other highlights: A TUNA CHRISTMAS at Virginia’s Court Street Theatre, THE TAMING OF THE SHREW (Festival 59, Princeton, Illinois) as well as A LIE ON THE MIND and MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING at Stella Adler Studios, NYC. Additionally, Alex has directed several Youth Theater productions (self devised work such as FAIRY TALES IN ‘DA HOOD, a retelling of Grimm’s Fairy Tales set in the Baltimore ghetto) and is the Artistic Director of Raised Spirits Theater Company, which produced the first staging of the First Quarto version of THE CHRONICLE HISTORIE OF HENRY V IN 400 YEARS as well as staging the uncut Folio of THE TRAGEDY OF HAMLET.

He holds a BA in Theatre Arts from SUNY/Empire State College, an MFA in Elizabethan and Renaissance Literature with a concentration in Directing and an M.Litt. in Elizabethan and Renaissance Literature in Performance from Mary Baldwin College in Staunton, Virginia. As an actor he's played Macbeth, Claudius, Benedick, Caliban among many others as well as appearing off-Broadway with such noted actors as F. Murray Abraham and the late Geraldine Page.

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Testimonials

"Alex Carney is the kind of guy that hears your idea and then runs with it. He works with you in a creative, positive and energetic way. As a director, he recognizes the actors’ strengths and weaknesses and activates the best in them." - Jonathan Faila, Owner of Production 8 Media

"Alex’s passion, excitement, and curiosity, matched with his knowledge and skill, make him a delight to work with and an illuminating presence." - Dave Demke, Associate Director of Training, Shakespeare & Company

"I have had the pleasure of working with Alex as an actor under his direction and workshop and wholehearted recommend him as a director, actor, and mentor. He is generous, open-minded, articulate and very focused. These qualities make him an outstanding professional and I would work with him anytime, anywhere." - Nancy Flores, Actor, Chesapeake Shakespeare Company

"Alex knows his business. I’ve seen both his acting and directing. Both are excellent; clear and inventive." - Roger Gindi, Owner, Gindi Theatricals

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Reviews Average Rating: 4.5 out of 5

  • The material presented is useful and helped me broaden my understanding of the audition process. The reason I didn't give this five stars is because the sound was spotty a couple times and I couldn't understand what the teacher was saying.

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