The Activities Network Executive expects that you abide by the following when hosting auditions for theatre productions or for any other auditioned events.
- Publicise widely – use new methods of publicity to reach as many as possible. Don’t be content with just your regular members, look for new members. More people auditioning means a greater chance of finding the best people.
- Make them accessible – choose venues and times that suit as many as possible and sign-post people to the rooms if necessary. If possible, have someone there to meet them before the audition.
- Be welcoming to all – auditions are intimidating, and they can be made worse if new people are made to feel as if everyone else there already knows each other.
- Check student status - make sure all auditionees bring their student ID with them to audition. You need to be aware from the start of the audition process if they are a current UCL student or not (see below for policy on non-UCL students).
- Check membership - check if they are already a member of your society or not. The society president or treasurer can download a list of current members from the union website in a matter of moments. Guidance on how to do this can be found in the 'How to check my Membership List' guide. Please remember that non-society members can audition but, if successful, they must purchase society membership prior to taking part in rehearsals or further society activity.
- Be consistent – make every person do exactly the same things in the preliminary auditions. This is the only way they can be fairly compared.
- Keep detailed notes – for every person who auditions you should keep detailed notes about what you did and did not like. These are useful if someone questions your judgement later on.
- Keep an open mind – when making your decisions and judge people based on whether or not they would be good for the part. Don’t always automatically give parts to people you know. Take risks, give people a chance!
- Contact everyone with the results – always start by contacting the successful candidates, preferably by phone. If someone turns down a role, you can then contact your second choice. Always follow up with an email so the offer and what you discussed is in writing. Once roles have been accepted immediately email the unsuccessful candidates. (Delays mean they could hear the news from other sources). If people ask for constructive criticism then provide it using your notes.
- Pre-cast – auditions should never be a formality. Don't just cast your friends and peers. As per clubs and societies regulations, all society members should be given equal opportunity to audition. Failure to do so could draw complaints against your society or individuals and lead to a disciplinary investigation from the union.
- Create false hope – this can lead to serious hard feelings. If you give people the wrong impression before auditions and then don’t cast them, it can be very upsetting for people.
- Have too many people on the panel – this can be intimidating, and it is quite frankly unnecessary. A maximum of 3 people should be on a panel.
- Discuss results until after they are released – everyone deserves to hear about the results at the same time. Do not call friends or start gossip until the results have been confirmed.
- Overlapping or consistent casting – Be fair; don’t give a part to somebody who has already got several other parts in other shows. It isn’t fair, and it will ultimately affect their quality and commitment if they have too much on their plate. Clubs and Societies are there to provide the greatest opportunity to the greatest number. If you really want to cast an individual who is in other productions, you have a right to make them choose between your show and other shows, so long as that decision is theirs to make.
Non-UCL Students in Performances/Productions
Most union funding is charitable income and must be used to pursue our charitable aims and objectives. With this in mind, casting non-UCL students, to the detriment of UCL students, could constitute a breach of Charity Law, therefore we have implemented the policy below to make sure the benefit of UCL student members is always at the forefront.
Non-UCL students will only be permitted in union shows if:
- The role cannot be filled by a UCL Student. This assumes that an open audition of UCL students has been held in line with the guidance above.
- An opportunity is not being taken away from a UCL student who could do the role.
- The non UCL students not taking part would reduce the opportunity provided for UCL students.
- That the role is not the lead or major cast member within the production.
Decisions on whether non UCL students are allowed to take part:
- All requests for non-UCL participants must be put in writing to the Chair of the Theatre Users Board/Activities Officer a minimum of one month prior to the start of the production/first performance, via email [email protected]
- Any requests less than a month prior to the production will be refused, except in extreme extenuating circumstances
- All requests must be accompanied by detailed evidence of previous efforts to recruit a UCL student in the role
Please note that a non-UCL student being ‘better for the role’ or having a more successful audition will not be accepted as a reason for casting a non-UCL student.