Bad Auditions by Bad Actors provides audience with a night of laughter


Leah Ziskin, Arts editor

As each new personality arrived on the stage, the cast of Bad Auditions by Bad Actors made sure the play lived up to its name, showing the many ways to fail an audition.

The staged reading filled the Little Theatre with character-driven comedy. Directed by Cassidy Donohue, the show ran Dec. 16 and Dec. 22.

The show opened with Avery, the director of “Theatre Ink,” , played by sophomore Jace Sawicka, asking his overenthusiastic assistant Carol to direct their next show, Romeo and Juliet. Carol jumps at the opportunity, excited to see the auditioners display their talents alongside her much less eager assistant, Roger, played by sophomore Yael Grossman.

Carol is soon dismayed to find that the auditioners range from talentless to completely unhinged.

The show featured an array of quirky characters, from an actor convinced he was auditioning for an action movie, to a woman who walked on her hands and knees and spoke like a cat.

Due to the uniqueness of each character in the play, Donohue emphasized character work throughout the rehearsal process. “Everyone worked really hard on developing characters and honing in on making those characters different.”

Grossman agreed. “I think the focus was just to embody your character as best as possible and have fun while doing it,” she said.

Many actors in the show played multiple characters and had to focus on curating their exaggerated personalities. The actors excelled at making each auditioner memorable to the audience.

According to Donohue, because the show was a staged reading, she felt that the humor and premise of auditioning fell perfectly in line with actors carrying scripts on stage. “Having scripts on stage during an audition felt very natural and functioned within the show,” she said.

Sophomore Uma Katz, who played Carol, also recognized the comedy of the show and enjoyed being able to get a reaction out of the audience. “I loved playing with the audience and seeing what would get a lot of laughs. I somewhat improv things that I know the audience will react to.”

The set and costumes of the play were minimal with many actors wearing a black base layer and changing accessories to accent the various characters they were playing. For instance, freshman Maialen Alawam wore a leather jacket when playing the “bad boy” Joe Romano, but a feathered boa when playing the theater diva Charlize.

According to Donohue, during rehearsals emphasis was also put on reactions. “Acting and reacting was also a really big part of the show, especially for Uma and Yael who were sitting and watching the characters come in and have these crazy auditions for a lot of the show. I wanted to make sure that they were not just sitting, but that they were engaged the entire time,” she said.

As the play progressed, Carol and Roger began to run out of time to cast Romeo and Juliet, but the quality of each audition stayed the same. Carol began to become more and more impatient with the auditioners and ended up rolling around the stage, screaming and crying.

“Watching Carol go into delusion is a really fun part of the show,” said Donohue.

In order to play the character of Carol, Katz worked hard to fully display her personality change throughout the show. “So, to get into character I had a meeting with Donohue to talk about notes, and directions to keep in mind,” she said. “For me, physicality is the hardest, and I figured out how to practice that during rehearsals.”

At the end of the show, Carol had run out of auditioners and had to turn to Roger and his date, Amy, played by sophomore Lorelai Steiner, to try out for Romeo and Juliet. Although the audition starts off smoothly, Roger and Amy begin to adapt mannerisms from the past auditioners. Roger turns into a Shakespearean method actor while Amy screams at the ends of her sentences.

The ending of the show provides a callback to the characters we previously saw while emphasizing how fed up Carol has become with the auditioners, as she bemoans that not even Roger and Amy are normal anymore.

According to Donohue, one of her favorite parts of the show was seeing the wild characters come to life. “These characters are all so funny and I have just enjoyed being with all of them. It has been really fun,” she said.