1. Age range and what directors will look for in character appearance.
School theatre- At a school theatre directors will be a lot looser with the general age of a character. This being on account of the fact that all of the cast will be about the same age. Appearances must and will be altered so don’t worry too much if you don’t look a whole lot like the character you’re auditioning for.
Community theatre- At a community theatre the age of a character will have an impact on whether or not you get the role. A community theatre would never cast, say a twelve year old, for a grown man/woman whereas this would be completely acceptable at a school theatre.
2. Familiarity between cast members.
School theatre- If you’re doing a play at a school theatre chances are you already know everybody, even if it’s just by sight. You’ve seen them often and have a general idea of what to expect from everybody. You probably even know the director as one of your teachers.
Community theatre- At a community theatre there’s a lot less familiarity between cast members. After you’ve been doing it for awhile everyone starts to look familiar, but there’s still the awkwardness that’s bound to happen when you have adults working alongside elementary students. When going into an audition, you also won’t have any idea how the director is going to run it so this can put you into unease if you aren’t confident.
3. The plays they put on.
School theatre- Naturally a school theatre will have plays chosen that are specifically for a certain age range, and the plays they choose will almost certainly be perfectly appropriate. Especially if you’re working at a middle school or even elementary school they’ll probably put on a popular play that’s familiar to almost everyone.
Community theatre- Community theatres are for adults to enjoy as well as children, so not all the plays they put on will necessarily fit your age range. Chances are sometimes they’ll do a play with only an adult cast, or a play with Old English. Just be prepared for anything, and make sure to look into the play before showing up for auditions.
Those are the top three differences between school and community theatre, if there’s anything you’d like to add definitely leave a comment!
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