Four Marietta students advance in W.Va. Theatre Auditions

Theatre students are accustomed to entertaining audiences with their performances. But part of studying the performing arts is learning how to be successful in the audition process, which even for veteran actors is a nerve-racking process.

"While being a theatre major I am certainly used to performing onstage, the stakes are raised so high at an audition that it is hard not to get a bit nervous," said Patrick Simone '08.

In November, nearly a dozen Marietta College theatre students participated in the first-round of stage tests during the West Virginia Theatre Conference Screening Auditions, held in Inwood, W.Va. Four Marietta students - Simone, Maggie Smith '09, Andrew Wind '10, and Stephanie Tett '10 - scored in the top 40 percent of the auditioning group, qualifying them to move on to the next round of tests, which take place in March in Chattanooga, Tenn. Success at the next level will ensure them a summer internship with the West Virginia Theatre Conference. Of the 142 students who auditioned in November, only 58 students plus two alternates were invited to the March auditions.

Theatre professor Jeff Cordell accompanied the students to the auditions. Proud of what the students learned and accomplished during this process, Cordell has high hopes for his qualifiers and for the College's theatre department.

"The event is a major experience for all students who attend it, as it allows them to see more of their peers, to compare their work, and to recommit to their training in theatre and to their education in general. I remain proud of both their preparation and their professional attitudes at the event," Cordell said.

Auditioning for a role can take months of preparation, but the audition itself may last only 60 to 90 seconds.

"It is mind boggling to think of how much time we put into such a short period of acting. Now that is dedication," Tett said.

The students agreed that what drew them to Marietta College was the theatre department. Each of them saw something in Marietta's faculty and curriculum that they couldn't get anywhere else.

"I saw that I would be able to explore all facets of theatre including directing and playwriting, as well as technical aspects. After visiting the college and meeting with the faculty of the theatre department, I knew Marietta was the perfect fit for my personal style and needs," Wind said.

Cordell is proud of what the students who represent Marietta College have done and very thankful for the students he has the chance to work with.

"For my second year of teaching at Marietta, I am so grateful that I have great students to work with and that the preparation in our department is connected to the real world of working theatre," Cordell said.