Skits Workshop

Skits Workshop Cast & Crew, February 2020

“This class is the funnest thing I’ve ever done in my life!” ~ Mr. Pelham

This course is for students from 12 to 18 years of age, and is by audition only. The class is capped at 12 cast members and is also accepting as many as 6 crew-only members. While this class is certainly educational, we view it primarily as a performance troupe, so that’s why the auditions. In fact, we hope to start publishing videos of our best skits, as it’s very hard to find excellent skit material on YouTube. Further, we’ve begun to use the Skits group to advertise our Homeschool Program courses.

We will accept the best candidates from the auditions, provided they each seem to be of high-enough skill for a truly entertaining public performance. If we don’t find enough qualified people, we’ll simply do with fewer.

The successful auditioner will be able to speak clearly, loudly, and with authentic inflection, will be able to manage stage fright successfully, and will be easy to coach.

During each semester, we’ll be performing various skits, and depending on how many are in the class, a class member may be in more than one skit. You will be expected to memorize your lines ASAP after receiving a script. If you don’t want to do that work, this is not the right workshop for you, so please don’t let the rest of us down, because it’s a real bummer when everybody’s off the scripts except for one!

We may make use of some simple costuming, and students will be responsible for scrounging up various outfits as needed. If you’re the sort of person that this course is made for, it’ll probably be one of the funnest things you’ll ever do in your life. You will be stretched out of your normal “comfort zone” as we train you to decouple from your own habits in order to act like someone different from you. And in addition to learning many things, there’ll be lots of laughing, because this is fun business. And clever.

You’ll also be learning stage craft and the technical stuff such as lighting and PA. And if you’re the sophisticated sort, we’ll teach you over the semester how to spell “theater” the fancy way.

We’re ready to start taking on crew members dedicated to one or more of the following tasks. None of this is all that hard, but some do better at various tasks than others. We’d love to have folks who are already pretty good at it, but we’ll take what we can get, of course! All of these positions will be expected to take direction from the Director, as well as to communicate well with the director about whether they have everything they need to do their jobs well.

  • Sound. Running the PA system, recording audio at performances.
  • Lighting. Running our DMX theatrical lights. Taking lighting cues from the script and/or the Director.
  • Stage Manager. Making sure cast is cued for entrances.
  • Props Manager. Making sure we have all the props we need, and that they are in the right places.
  • Prompter. Cuing the cast when they forget their lines during rehearsals and performances.
  • Photographer/Videographer. We need loads and loads of pictures and videos. And we’re very interested in live-streaming some performances on YouTube—and even doing it with more than one video camera.

Crew members won’t “audition” per se, but we do want to interview you. We’d like to know in advance which position you’re interested in and what experience (if any) you may have with it. We’d like you to be present at the audition date listed below, and to have a chance to talk it over with you personally after the Cast auditions are finished. Until now, the Cast have been covering most of these tasks, as they are not all in every skit. But we’d like to get more sophisticated with it

Audition Requirements

NOTE: You don’t have to be a super-acting-genius to pass the audition. Mostly what you have to do is to demonstrate that you’re willing to go after it and that you can keep your volume up as you audition. (The #1 bad habit we see is actors who won’t consistently speak loudly enough to be heard. It ruins the skit—both for us and for the audience—so we want to protect everyone’s experience by picking only those who are already good at this.

Auditions for this Spring (2021) will be held on
Saturday January 9 from 9 to 11 a.m. in the Great Room. And if you can’t make that date, you can submit an audition via video.

  • You must inform me in writing of your intent to audition. No walk-ins will be accepted.
  • Come prepared to have a lot of fun!
  • Come prepared to recite this silly piece–and to do so loudly:
  • Come with a monologue memorized and ready to perform. It should be between 1 and 2 minutes long. The goal here is to show that you can act like somebody other than you. The monologue doesn’t have to be funny. It can be dramatic if you like—unless it’s SUPPOSED to be funny. If it’s SUPPOSED to be funny, but it’s not, that’s bad.
  • If you don’t know what a monologue is, you’re going to need to figure that out before you show up. You might find this link helpful.
  • Be prepared to answer a question or two IN CHARACTER—acting as if you are still the character from your monologue.
  • Be prepared to be given a new line to repeat in various tones, such as happy or sad or aggravated, etc.
  • If you really want to impress, you’ll know a few basic theatrical terms like “up stage”, “stage left”, “house right”, and so forth.
  • Your total audition should last about 5 minutes.
  • While it’s not impossible that you’ll be informed on the same day whether you passed or not, don’t hold your breath. I’d like this to be the case, but it remains to be seen just how this is going to play out. See the bullet point just below to understand just why this is.
  • If you’d like to audition but you can’t make it on JANUARY 9, and you want to persuade me not to make the final call until I’ve had a chance to see you audition live, then you need to send me a video audition via YouTube or Facebook or through some other means upon which we can agree. You won’t be accepted without a live audition, but if you’re a real firecracker, I might just postpone making the final call until we can schedule for me to see you audition live. The sooner you inform me and get me your video, the better. Contact me here to discuss it. You can send your video up through Sunday, January 10.
  • You will be auditioning in front of everyone else who is there to audition. This is part of the test—seeing how you’ll handle an audience.
  • If we end early, we’ll end early (and you can leave). If we have so many come that it can’t be done in two hours, we’ll announce an amended schedule ASAP.

Other Information

A Code of Conduct agreement is required for this course. This helps to ensure the positive environment in each class. This document is being updated and will be published this summer.

Mondays, 2:20 p.m. to 4:20 p.m.
The semester runs January 11 through through April 26.

We’ll have at least two performance dates. One is likely February 15, and the other will be quite near the end of the semester.

Scripts will be provided, and are loaned to each student, to be returned.

Dress for performances will vary depending on what we’re doing. Students should be prepared to get together various costumes on occasion–though much of what we do will either be in street clothes–or perhaps in chorus attire, as many of our cast and crew may well be in our chorus, performing skits in conjunction with chorus concerts.

12 Cast
6 Crew

This course meets, as do all our courses, in the We, Montana! Great Room.

Jack Pelham

This course is part of our Homeschool Program. You’ll find our fee structure detailed here.