The Union Grove Union High School Performing Arts Department holds itself to its motto of "Expect Success". Our productions are expected to be as skillfully staged, acted, designed, and lighted as is possible within the resources and talent pool of our school. We encourage anyone who is interested to audition. We hold open auditions, meaning all auditioning students attend the audition process.

The Directors make casting decisions based on some or all of the following:

  1. Quality of the audition
  2. Specific performance skills required by a role
  3. Suitability of the auditioner for a specific role
  4. Artistic vision of the Directors
  5. Performer’s attitude, commitment level, availability and work ethic 
  6. Academic Standing – not on academic probation

In casting we follow no seniority policy. Principal roles are not reserved for Seniors; Freshmen may be cast in lead roles. In addition, casting is not based on which students worked hardest to prepare for the audition; we expect all students who audition to be fully prepared.

The actor who, in the opinion of the Directors, is most “right” for each role is cast. Students may be “typed in” or “typed out” based on physical characteristics or presentation. Qualities taken into consideration may include: vocal abilities (i.e. range, projection and articulation), physical abilities (i.e. ability to make movement choices), emotional range (i.e. vulnerability or strength), ability to make clear choices about what the character is doing, demonstrated work ethic, willingness to take direction positively, and the ability to work as an ensemble member. Qualities NOT taken into consideration include: ethnic background, age, grade, religion, and personal likes or dislikes.

An audition is a clean slate for all students; we do not pre-cast any productions. It is our philosophy that every student, whether they are new to the program or a seasoned veteran, has a place in the theatre program.  Therefore, casting and placement decisions are not determined by what a student has done for the Union Grove Theatre Department in the past. Our casting is also not determined by what a student has done for other educational or community theatre organizations. Being invited to audition, either directly or indirectly, does not guarantee a role.

Directors’ casting decisions are final. Callbacks are sometimes necessary. However, it is important to understand the callback process. Not being invited to a callback does NOT mean you are not in consideration for a role. Likewise, being invited to a callback does not mean you will be cast in a role. If a student is not cast in their desired role and feels the need for feedback, the student may make an appointment to meet with the Directors the week after casting in order to receive feedback on their audition. If further discussion is needed, the student should then ask for a joint parent/student meeting with the Directors.

Notice of auditions is given one month in advance of auditions. Students are assigned or sign up for specific time slots.  Depending on the production the audition may involve reading, singing and/or dancing.  It is to a student’s advantage to be present at the scheduled audition; in extenuating circumstances the Directors may approve a special, pre-arranged audition time.

We recognize that there are often more qualified, talented actors than there are available roles, and we understand that casting decisions may not please everyone. Auditioning is competitive and a life art!  Learning to accept any role gracefully is one of the important lessons of the theatre. Perhaps another actor was better suited for the role; perhaps the Directors imagine a student’s skills in a role very different from the one the actor had in mind. The feeling of “rejection” over not getting a first choice role seems disappointing at first, but we strongly urge students to commit themselves to the whole production, further sharpen their skills, and trust the process.

How can students improve future auditions? We strongly encourage every student to enroll in theatre, and choir classes at UG.  We further encourage students to take outside voice or dance and acting lessons, enroll in theatre and music summer workshops, or participate in community theatre and music opportunities.  Take your talent and grow to the next level.

STUDENTS: By auditioning you are obligating yourself to a major rehearsal and performance process. Please be certain that you are willing and able to accept this responsibility.  Your audition is your commitment to accept AND perform any role offered to you.

PARENTS: Your child’s audition is their commitment to accept AND perform any role in which they are cast. The very nature of this art form is a roller coaster of both disappointment and success. Our goal is to teach our students how to deal with both, so when they leave Union Grove they will be well prepared to navigate their way toward success in a complex world. We encourage families to celebrate and support any role in which a student is cast in any Union Grove production, be it principal, supporting, ensemble, or technical.


Robert Kroes, Fine Arts Department Lead, Director of Choral and Theatrical Activities

Michael Kurhajec, Technical Director 

Kara Ernst-Schalk, Choreographer



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