Shakespeare Age - Drama School Auditions

Hey,

So I've been having a look through some of Shakespeare's plays for drama school auditions & I wanted to know people's opinion on playing age.

I've auditioned for drama schools twice in the past & got in twice but couldn't afford to go *sigh*. Both times I performed Joan la Pucelle from King Henry the 6th Part 1 - as I love the character. But I need something different.

I was told by a friend that I would love one of Tamora's monologues from Titus Andronicus, however my concern is I'm 23 years old & I think my playing age is 20 - 27. I do love the piece but will my age be an issue in drama school auditions?

Apart from this character, the only other characters I am drawn to are Rosalind & Viola.

If you think I would suit any other characters or have some suggestions for great monologues that show change etc, let me know.

  • 2 years ago
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Hi Zoey,

Firstly, feel free to take my advice or leave it, but before you even start looking at audition speeches I would strongly urge you to make sure you have secured the funds to be able to afford drama school. Especially as you have applied twice before and been accepted (go you!), it would be heartbreaking to experience that again (been there myself.)

As for the speeches...from what I've read, heard and seen, audition panels do *not* like you auditioning for a part outside of your playing range. That's why 18 year olds walking in and performing anything from Hamlet is strongly discouraged.

My humble opinion would be to look at yourself as the audition panel or a casting director would: could they reasonably see you in that role or is it stretching the imagination too far? How old do you look? Have a number of speeches prepared so you can switch up your game plan if you can gauge what the panel want.

Also, the fact you're suggesting "the only other speeches that you're drawn to" are Rosalind and Viola suggests to me that you're trying to avoid overdone speeches? I could be wrong. However, I'd suggest it's better to go with something that suits you, you enjoy and can do well rather than choosing a speech because you want to do something different (even though that matters too!)

Hope that's somewhat useful and best of luck! :)


Hi Zoey!

Well done for getting in twice, I hope you get in again and can afford to go. Beg, borrow and steal!

I agree with Ozer completely.

Adding a different take on it- In terms of Shakespeare audition pieces, I would say that age tends to matter slightly less than in modern day speeches. I have been through drama school and as long as you can justify why you're doing the speech, and you do it well, then there should be no issues. Within reason, of course. If you can't relate to the character then don't do it, so that's where I suppose the age thing comes in. I also know people that have auditioned with a piece by a character of the opposite gender, but have done it because they relate to it, and these days anyone can be playing any role!

I hope that is of some use to you, I'm not sure I've worded it very well- so I hope it makes sense.

Good luck :)


  • Anonymous

Some great monologues here for men and women. Some real hidden gems too: https://www.curtaincallonline.com/news/detail/10-of-the-best-shakespeare-monologues-for-auditions/210


Hi!

Thanks for the responses, it's a great help. I'm working on getting enough funding together Ozer - I joke that my aim in life is to get into every drama school and not go :P And you're right, I was trying to avoid doing overdone speeches - but you've changed my tune.

Thanks for your advice Millie - I've always liked the idea of playing a part originally designed for the opposite gender as I often relate to them more than a lot of the 'female' roles. But I stayed away from it out of uncertainty. But if Tamsin Greig as Malvolia is anything to go by in Twelfth Night, maybe I should do it.

And thanks for the link Alistair. I definitely think Ganymede's speech is a top contender, as it was the first Shakespearean character I ever performed & they holds a special place in my heart.

Anymore tips are welcome.


Hey Zoey.

I'd say if you love the monologue and have a modern that fits you like a glove then give it a go! Further to what Millie said, I'm one of the people that auditions with male monologues. Last year my lead was Romeo and this year I think it might be a Prince Hal or Richard II (was tempted by Shylock but decided that that one was a little too risky given that it's in prose as well). Having said all that, it's good to have a 'safe' piece (like Rosalind or Viola) as a back up since places like Birmingham and Drama Studio are very specific when it comes to gender and playing age (DS especially so) but most other places like Central, Cardiff and even Bristol are pretty relaxed about it.

Best of luck lovely!!!


Thanks for popping over some tips for particular schools Cassie. Drama Studio was actually the place I got in this year but couldn't go - I had no idea they were so particular about it. Thanks for the great answer:)


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