A Christmas Carol Community Ensemble
Frequently Asked Questions
In short, YOU! Our Community Ensemble is composed of people who work in a variety of professions, from stay-at-home moms to stock brokers to students. Absolutely no previous acting experience is required to be a member of the Community Ensemble and the McCarter family. We’re looking for engaged and enthusiastic members of the community to join us in creating the magic of A Christmas Carol!
We’re looking for individuals who are creative, collaborative, kind and responsible. We’re interested in working with people who are excited about being a part of the creative and collaborative process of making theatre. We’re also looking for folks who are ready and able to make the time commitment that is needed for this project.
These won’t look like typical auditions. You won’t be asked to deliver a monologue, sing a solo, or even prepare anything. We are looking at these auditions as a way to learn more about who you are and what you could bring to the Community Ensemble. We’re casting an ensemble, so we want to see how folks work together, so you will be auditioning in a collaborative and fun group setting. You’ll be asked to join us in a series of games and activities and if you’re interested in letting us know about a special skill you have, you’ll have a chance to do that too. Auditions last about 90 minutes. We want you to bring the most authentic version of yourself to the audition. The best way to prepare is to come to auditions open and ready to play!
In the production, this ensemble will be the citizens of London and will welcome and greet members of the audience at the top of the show. Throughout the play they might sing carols, dance, speak in a British accent, perform puppetry, tumble, play an instrument, do a magic trick, and much more! Specific moments will be explored and discovered during rehearsals. We will also be casting a number of speaking roles from the Community Ensemble, including two roles for adults and several for children.
No, there will be no double casting in the production. Everyone who is cast in the Community Ensemble will perform at every performance.
No, unfortunately we are unable to cast Equity actors for the Community Ensemble. If you are EMC, you are eligible to audition. Any Equity members interested in auditioning for McCarter’s season should attend our open Equity Principal Auditions in April. Information will be publicized on AEA’s website and posted on McCarter’s website.
Yes, actors are able to receive EMC points for being in the Community Ensemble.
We are able to offer each community ensemble member a nominal stipend to help offset the cost of transportation to and from the theater during the process.
Receiving college credit is dependent on individual school’s guidelines and requirements. McCarter is able to provide any documentation needed by universities and colleges and if you have individual questions about this, we are happy to talk further if you are cast.
Yes, you will be expected to provide your own transportation. However, we realize that transportation is one of the potential accessibility challenges facing individual and families without regular access an automobile and/or who are economically disadvantaged. Every individual person cast in the Community Ensemble will receive a nominal transit stipend intended to defray some of the costs associated with participation (e.g., gas, parking, mass-transit fares, tolls). McCarter will encourage Community Ensemble members to make their own carpool or ride connections with other members of the ensemble from common or intersecting geographical locations.
We welcome any member of our surrounding community to come audition; that means everyone from Princeton locals to our neighbors in Pennsylvania are eligible. All rehearsals and performances will take place at McCarter, so the only requirement is that you’re willing to travel to and from the theater throughout November and December.
Yes. All parents of children cast in the production must have a conversation with teachers and schools about missing full days or just attending part of the school day when they are called to daytime rehearsals and performances. We have found that many area schools understand that this experience is incredibly valuable and educational for the student are able to accommodate. However, we can’t speak for all schools or situations. If your child is cast in the show he/she would be required to be there for all daytime technical rehearsals for which he/she is called, as well as all matinee performances. We ask that you speak with their school and teachers about missing those days before accepting a role. On our end, we do our utmost not to pull children out of school for rehearsals/performances unless absolutely necessary. This is the commitment we will ask of all of our Community Ensemble members and unfortunately, major conflicts with performances cannot be accommodated. It is up to each individual and their family to decide if this commitment is possible for them.
Being part of the Community Ensemble is a big commitment.
You can see a sample rehearsal and performance schedule here to give you a sense of how often the ensemble rehearses and performs. This is the best way to gain a sense of the full scope of the time commitment required to participate. Please note that this is designed only to give you a sense of scope, and the details are subject to change!
If you’ve performed in plays before, especially in community or educational theatre, you’ll likely notice that our rehearsal and performance schedule looks different than what you might expect. Where many rehearsal processes tend to be long with just a few performances, we spend only a few weeks rehearsing, but perform more than 20 times!
Rehearsals for the Community Ensemble are mostly in the evenings and on weekends. Weekends tend to be full days. As Opening Night and the performances draw closer, we move into “tech” – where all of the technical elements get incorporated. At this point, weekday daytime availability is also required.
Every ensemble member performs at every show, and that means additional daytime commitments, especially for our student matinees. Performances are 6 days a week, with two shows on Christmas Eve and the final show on December 29th.
There will be roles in the community ensemble for great singers, so we’re looking for some people who have sung in choirs and know how to hold parts.
But there are also plenty of roles for people who aren’t great or experienced singers! These folks just need to be comfortable singing along to a carol in a group the way you might at a family gathering during the holiday season.