Actors PLAYground 20 Something Series

Are you a young adult who has outgrown youth theater?  

Are you searching for auditions with roles that are right for you? 

Are you interested in directing or designing a show?

 

Actors PLAYground Theater Company has a program for you. Our “20 Something Series” consists of shows that are geared for young adults and mature teens.  As young actors grow and gain experience in theater, there comes a time when they are too old for youth productions, they have a desire to be challenged with more mature themes and in-depth character development, but have limited opportunities to audition. Our “20 Something Series” will fill this gap.

This program provides the opportunity for:

  • Personal growth and collaboration with their peers.
  • Challenge to create new and exciting projects of their own choosing and passion.
  • Learn advanced acting techniques of classic and contemporary coaches. 
  • Immediately apply what they are learning through the rehearsal of a scripted play and 
  • Finish with a challenging theatrical production. 

There are three modules in the year-long project.  Each 10-week module will begin following the open call. Actors accepted into the program  will receive a copy of the script and role assignment prior to the first week and are expected to begin learning their lines outside of class/rehearsals.  

  • Week 1-2 includes script analysis with emphasis on discovering the given circumstances and exploring the power of why.
  • Week 2-3 we will move into character development including building the relationship with self and other characters.  
  • Week 4-5 we will develop the physical embodiment of the character.  Participants will become intune with their own physicalities, identify how it differs from the character’s and how to use this information to create strong, dynamic characters.
  • With the creative work done and the script memorized, the staging of the play becomes much easier.  Weeks 5-8 will put it all together in the rehearsal process. 
  • Week 9 participants will meet daily for tech rehearsals and conclude with 2-4 performances. 
  • Week 10 will be dedicated to post-production reflection and feedback.

Application and Audition – There will be an open call for applicants before each module begins.  Interested individuals are encouraged to apply.  Applicants will audition and interview with the leadership team.  Those that demonstrate a strong desire to learn, a commitment to growth, and willingness to accept constructive feedback will be accepted into the program. 

There is a $200 annual fee for the program.   To ensure the program is accessible to everyone there are three options to fulfill the annual tuition requirement. 

  1. Monetary payment
  2. Complete volunteer hours with Actors PLAYground Theater Company
  3. Secure one program sponsor

With the annual fee, participants can take all 3 modules. Each module will work with a different script allowing participants to continue building and applying learned techniques to different source material.  New participants can apply during the open call for each module.   

Actors PLAYground has conceptualized this program based on the input and desires of individuals the leadership team has worked with in the past.  Our goal is to create a program that is “for youth by youth”. We have assembled a Youth Theater Advisory (YTA). This is a group of teens and young adults that have helped mold the program to fit their vision.  They participate in regular play readings, committee meetings and provide input on the content and type of shows we select for our “20 Something Series” as well as our general season.

Participating actors will also provide feedback and program assessment following each Module. Their input will be taken into consideration for the future modules giving them a sense of empowerment by having a program that represents issues that are important to them and that they relate to. 

Project Team  – Amber Ryan has over 15 years of experience working with youth theater.  She has directed over 40 productions and started multiple youth theater programs, throughout the Valley, each achieving high levels of success.  Ambers’ work has received the ariZoni Theater Awards of Excellence for Overall Production for a youth play and Director of a youth play, the past two years. Several youth actors have also received ariZoni Theater Awards for performances under Amber’s direction.  Amber’s ability to connect with young people stems from her passion to make everyone feel seen and valued.  She finds inspiration in the words of Oscar Wilde, “I regard theater as the greatest of all art forms, the most immediate way in which a human being can share with another the sense of what it is to be a human being.”  

“Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.” -Albert Einstein  This is the quote that inspires Rachel Cummings’ passion for the performing arts. Rachel earned her B.A. in Theatre from Grand Canyon University, then continued to Liberty University where she received her M.A. in Strategic Communication.  She is a professional actor having appeared in numerous theatrical, commercial and film projects.  She found her true passion directing and teaching youth theater and her work has earned her two ariZoni Theater Awards of Excellence nominations for Director of a Youth Play. 

Together, Amber Ryan and Rachel Cummings will facilitate and instruct the Actors PLAYground 20 Something Series.  Guest instructors will be brought in for specialized and diverse training.


Objectives: 

  1. Participating actors will learn and apply advanced techniques to: character development, emotional believability and physical control. These techniques will strengthen the connection between the body, the voice and the imagination in relation to the text allowing them to create well-rounded, multidimensional characters. (Assessed via performance review and acting journal)
  2. Participating actors will execute a detailed analysis of a play that includes unearthing the given circumstances, understanding their impact on the creation of the dramatic action and emotional points of view.  (Assessed via self-evaluation and instructor feedback)
  3. Participating actors will develop interpersonal skills and problem-solving capabilities.  These skills will strengthen their ability to work with others via a disciplined, collaborative, professional, respectful, and productive approach throughout the rehearsal and performance processes. (Assessed via performance, acting journal and peer evaluations)
For more information or to schedule an interview and audition  Contact Us 

 

2024-2025 Season

 

“Love, Liz” by Lauren Grove 

20 Something Series – (teens and young adults)

August 8-10

Join Queen Elizabeth I and her closest friends and confidants for a fabulous night of gossip and intrigue. Will Elizabeth’s gal pals convince her that an illustrious marriage and an heir will quell her unruly heart, or will the flutters of her feelings for her rumored Romeo prevail? Get ready to listen to music, sneak some drinks, paint your nails, and meet all of Elizabeth’s suitors… The good, the bad, and the handsome! Love, Liz is a hilarious romp through history as Queen Elizabeth I of England must decide who (or if) she will marry.

 

 

“Murder At The Art Show” by Michael Druce

Youth Production

October 10-12

Everyone’s an art critic…  but who’s serious enough to kill over it?!  Sloane Akers is doing her best to keep afloat the Harriet Anderson Gallery (aka HAG) she inherited from her late Aunt Harriet.  Standing in her way is Harriet’s conniving boyfriend, Jacob Smote, who wants to tear down the gallery and replace it with a sports complex.

Desperate to save the gallery, Sloane plans to unveil a previously unseen masterpiece along with works of some other well-known artists.  By the end of the evening, Murder at the Art Show paints the perfect picture of greed, jealousy, and deception as a priceless Monet goes missing, art is hysterically destroyed, and a murder mystery is unveiled.

 

“Dorothy In Wonderland” by Brian D Taylor

Homeschool Production

Performance date early-mid November TBD

The worlds of Oz and Wonderland collide in this fantastically fun romp, cleverly and carefully adapted from the works of L. Frank Baum and Lewis Carroll.  Dorothy Gale has made her way to the end of the Yellow Brick Road, and the wonderful Wizard of Oz is just about to help her get back home to Kansas.  But before she can hop into the wizard’s balloon, another whirlwind appears over the Emerald City, sweeping Dorothy, Toto, Scarecrow, Tin Man and Lion away to Wonderland.  

Meeting many other interesting characters along the way, including Alice, the White Rabbit, Mad Hatter, March Hare, the Cheshire Cat and many more,  Dorothy and Alice team up to defeat the queen at croquet, but will that be enough to return Wonderland to normal?  And how will they ever get back home to Kansas and to London? 

 

“The Christmas Bus” by Robert Inman

Directed by Rachel Cummings

December 2024

It’s Christmas Eve, and Mrs. Frump, the director of the Peaceful Valley Orphanage, is planning what she believes will be the most special Christmas ever for her kids. She’s borrowed an old bus and arranged for each child to spend Christmas with a family in the area. The only problem is, she hasn’t told the Busybodies on the orphanage board of trustees, who believe Frump has gotten too old and soft to handle the rowdy kids at Peaceful Valley. With the help of teenage Thomas, the oldest of the orphans and her trusty right-hand man, Frump sets off to deliver the kids—pursued by the suspicious Sheriff Snodgrass and the Busybodies. Along the way, they pick up a passenger: a traveling troubadour who’s been on the road trying his luck as a folksinger and is now returning home to his girlfriend (who may or may not be glad to see him). It’s an adventuresome ride, culminating in a Christmas even more special than Frump could have ever imagined.

 

“Alibis” by Peter Kennedy

20 Something Series – (teens and young adults)

January 2025

Whodunit, howdunit. When famous actress Primavera Donna throws a party and winds up dead, it’s up to the guests to figure out who and how, and why the hired help is so annoying. Shades of Sherlock Holmes, Agatha Christie, and Clue. As the storm outside rages and the body count mounts, the guests must contend with interruptions, shocking revelations, tacky special effects, and the arrival of a mysterious visitor. Both the action and dialogue are fast-paced and the surprising conclusion leaves only one question: Who gets the movie rights? The cast includes a stuffy butler, a social butterfly, a playboy, a dotty chemist, an aristocrat of dubious origin, a nun who has taken a vow of silence, a part-time detective, a very French maid, and a mysterious stranger. 

 

“The Neverending Story” by David S. Craig

Youth and Homeschool Production

April 2025

Told with all the thrills of a classic adventure, the story begins with Bastian, a lonely boy, who stumbles into a curious bookshop where he discovers a curious book—The Neverending Story. Bastian hides in the attic of his school and begins to read, and a huge adventure surges into life. Fantastica, a land of stories, is being destroyed by the Nothing. The Childlike Empress has chosen Atreyu, a young hunter, to be the Hero of the Great Quest. Atreyu, an orphan, is an unlikely choice, but he accepts and, with his horse and companion, Artax, rides to face the menace. First, he experiences the Nothing and discovers its thoughtless destruction. Then he is guided by a dream to the Swamps of Sadness where he meets Morla, the Ancient One, who reveals another solution. He must find the Childlike Empress a new name. With this new direction, Atreyu faces Ygramul the Many, befriends Falkor the Luck Dragon, and solves the riddles of the three magic gates to meet Uyulala. From her he learns that only a human child can give the Empress a new name. In despair he faces his final test—the werewolf Gmork—and returns to the Childlike Empress without a new name. However, his quest has attracted a human child. It is Bastian himself who calls out a new name for the Empress, and the story rushes to its triumphant and moving conclusion.

 

“Anne of Green Gables” based on the story by L.M. Montgomery

Directed by Rachel Cummings

May 2025

This dramatization captures the charm and excitement of L.M. Montgomery’s enduring classic about an orphan girl, Anne Shirley, from her first encounter with her austere guardian to her thrilling graduation from Queen’s Academy. The play faithfully recreates the memorable events and characters from the brilliant novel. All the tragedies and triumphs that mark Anne’s growth from adolescence to early adulthood are here: her friendship with Diana, her feuds with Gilbert, her adoration of Matthew, the mistaken wine bottle, the cake disaster, the broken leg, the scholastic achievements, and the saving of Green Gables. Whether the playgoer is an “old friend” of Anne’s or meeting her for the first time, this play will solidify a lasting friendship between the audience and one of literature’s most unforgettable characters.

 

How To Stand Out At Your Audition

You have done the work and prepared for your audition, now what? It is time to put it all into action. Here are 7 ways to stand out at your audition.

1) Bring a headshot and resume.
The main purpose of a headshot is to help the director to remember you. Even if you have auditioned, or worked with them in the past, providing a headshot and resume will make you stand out. And, it keeps you in front of the casting team longer.

If you don’t have professional headshots, grab a friend and take a snapshot. Your headshot should look like you. It should be a close up shot of your face from the shoulders up. Use a plain background, avoid anything that will draw attention away from you. Make sure you have good lighting on your face, remember we want to see you!

What about a resume? When you are just starting out, list anything you have done in front of an audience. Music and dance recitals, talent shows, school plays, these are great additions to your resume in the beginning. As you gain more experience you can replace these items with theater credits. Whatever you do, dont lie.

Tell us a little about you. What hobbies do you have? Do you play an instrument? What classes have you taken?

Put your contact information on your resume. List your phone number and email. Do not put your address. Especially if you are a minor. There is no reason anyone needs to know where you live.

Make sure your name is on your headshot and resume. Staple them together before you arrive.

2) Dress comfortably and in the essence of the character. Think about the shoes the character would wear? The shoes you are wearing will make you stand and walk differently. I personally always audition and rehearse in the style of shoes the character would wear. For example, for Charlie in Always a Bridesmaid, I wore birkenstocks, for CeCe in Red Velvet Cake War I wore cowboy boots, for Nora in A Doll’s House Part Two, I wore character shoes with a small heel.

3) Arrive early – give yourself plenty of time to get to your audition. You want to allow for traffic or getting lost. When you arrive, give yourself a few minutes to get in the right mindset. Review your material if you have it in advance. Review the notes you took during your research.

4) Warm up – on your way, do some vocal warmups in the car. Tongue twisters are great for this. Listen to music that helps you relax, get in character or get your energy up. Stretch a little before you go in.

5) Audition form – fill it out completely and legibly. There is a reason they ask for this information. Plus, the director can learn a lot about you by how you fill out this form. Do you pay attention to details and follow directions? If the form asks for information that you have on your resume, you can answer “see resume attached”.

Know your sizes and measurements.  This may be information requested on the audition form. 

Often you will be asked this question: “Will you accept any role?” Please be honest here. It is acceptable to say “no”. It is even acceptable to say “maybe”. Please do not say “yes” if you do not mean it.

Casting a play is like putting together a big puzzle. It takes a lot of time and energy for the director. When you remove one piece of that puzzle it changes the entire picture. If you answer that question with a “no” or “maybe” it lets the director know to discuss offers with you privately before finalizing the cast list and announcing it. Being selective of the roles you will consider does not reflect poorly on you. Turning down a role after answering yes on your audition form, will reflect poorly on you and could very well affect future opportunities.

6) Take direction
Once you are in front of the director, be prepared to take direction. If you are asked to do your audition piece again, this is usually a good sign. Most likely the director liked what you did and is looking to see if you can take direction.

A good exercise to practice “doing it differently” is one-liners. For example, use the line: “I did it.” Can you say it 10 different ways? Take a video of yourself saying this one line 10 different ways. Change your volume, emotion, energy, intention, speed. If you have your audition material in advance, rehearse it saying the lines differently.

7) Be kind
Be kind to everyone you come in contact with at the audition. Smile, be polite and professional. You never know who is watching. The person checking you in could be the director at your next audition.

Now that you are ready, check out the upcoming auditions at ActorsPLAYground!

5 Tips to Prepare For Your Next Audition

Want to stand out at your next audition?  Since Actors PLAYground will have an audition announcement within the next few days, we thought it was a good time to give you 5 ways to be prepared.  

1) READ THE POST

Read the post carefully and follow directions.  Let me repeat that!  READ THE POST CAREFULLY AND FOLLOW DIRECTIONS. There is an awful lot you can learn in the audition posting.  Make sure you read the entire post and follow all the directions for the audition.  The post should tell you when and where the audition is, when rehearsals will start, the performance dates and what you need to prepare.  There may be additional information like the rehearsal schedule, list of characters, and in some cases material to prepare.  Read everything that is provided.  

2) RESEARCH THE SCRIPT

Even if it is a story you are familiar with, try to find the specific version of the script that will be performed. The easiest way to do this is to find out who the author is. 

For example, the audition may be for “Wizard of Oz”.  If you do a google search for “Wizard of Oz script” you will find MANY versions.  When you add the author and search “Wizard of OZ script by Jon Jory” you will find the specific script which also, happens to be available to read online for free. Now that you have found it, READ it You can usually find at least a sample of the script.  At the very least you should be able to find a summary and list of characters.  

3) KNOW THE AUDITION MATERIAL

Each director will audition differently however the most common ways are:

Cold readings: you will be provided a scene at the audition.  If this is the case, plan to arrive early to give yourself time to become familiar with the scene.  With this type of audition it is even more important to do the research you did in tip 2

Prepared scene:  you will be provided scenes based on the role you are interested in auditioning for.  As we mentioned above, read all the scenes that are provided, not just the characters you are interested in.  Memorize the scene even when it is not required, You will set yourself apart from everyone else if you know the scene by heart.

Prepared monologue:  you are asked to perform a monologue of your choice.  Sometimes additional parameters are given, please follow the directions! If they ask for a 1 minute monologue, make sure it is only 1 minute.  With a prepared monologue you are expected to be performance ready.  That means off book and with strong character choices. 

4) PREPARE YOUR MINDSET

On average you will be cast in one of every 20 roles you audition for.  That is a lot of rejection.  Treat every audition as an opportunity to perform and it won’t feel like a rejection.!  Do the work, research and prepare, then walk into that room with confidence and have fun giving the best performance you can. You will leave the audition with that rush of excitement you get after every performance. 

5) KNOW YOUR CONFLICTS

Please, please, PLEASE list ANY and ALL conflicts!  Do not sandbag on this!  Directors put a lot of time and energy into creating a detailed rehearsal schedule based on conflicts provided by the cast members.  

There you have it!  Five tips for your next audition!!  

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