AUDITION NOTICE - Panowski Playwriting Award Winner

NMU students are invited to audition for a new devised piece! Please read all of the below information carefully and email us at with any questions. As a reminder, BFA students must audition for every production.

Auditions will be held at the Forest Roberts Theatre on Tuesday, October 27th from 6:00pm - 8:00pm and virtually via Zoom on Wednesday, October 28th from 6:00pm - 8:00pm. Students must sign up for an individual time slot and fill out an audition form prior to auditioning for this production.

Students auditioning in-person should be sure to arrive at least 10 minutes before their schedule audition time. Once all paperwork has been completed, students auditioning virtually will receive a link to a Zoom call and should arrive in the waiting room of this call a few minutes before their scheduled audition time.

PLEASE NOTE: While rehearsals and performances will happen primarily in-person, there will be some virtual aspects to the rehearsal process, and this production will not be performed for an in-person audience. We will be staging and live-streaming the show each night of performances.

PLEASE NOTE: Students cast in this production will need to be available via Zoom January 4-8 and will need to return from winter break a week early to resume rehearsals on Monday, January 11.

About the Production

This production is a brand new devised piece, as of yet untitled, that will be guided by Keli Crawford-Truckey and Lex van Blommestein. Students cast in this production will be heavily involved in the creation of the show, from the structure and content to the dialogue itself. Flexibility, collaboration, and creativity are instrumental to this project.


The core theme of this production centers on the inhumanity of people and the way that human beings judge things they do not understand. This theme will be explored through the story of Mary the Elephant, a real elephant from the early 1900s who was tried for murder and hanged to death after she gored an unqualified trainer who injured her.


Auditioning will be by appointment only for both in-person auditions and virtual auditions. Students should prepare a short monologue and any other special talent they may have (musical instruments, acrobatics, singing, whistling, juggling, dancing, etc.) These talents can really be anything you're passionate about; be authentically you! If you are auditioning virtually and would prefer to send a video of any talent(s) you may have, please email it in the form of a YouTube link to You are strongly encouraged to have your monologue memorized, but please still audition regardless of if you are off-book. 

To read more about Mary the Elephant, please click the link below. (PLEASE NOTE: This story contains semi-graphic language and images.)

Mary the Elephant

How to Audition

The Department of Theatre and Dance holds separate auditions for each production in our season. Audition forms will be made available on this page before audition day and must be filled out prior to your audition. Actors will enter the space one at a time and each performer will have about 90 seconds to present their audition materials. An accompanist will be available at auditions for musicals, and there will also be a speaker and an aux cord for those using instrumental tracks.

What to Prepare

This may change depending on the production, but typically actors should prepare two short monologues or a short monologue and a 16-32 bar cutting of a song in the musical theatre style. Monologues may be comedic or dramatic. Those auditioning are encouraged to present contrasting pieces. If you are using an instrumental karaoke track, please remember to bring your phone and any adapter that you may need. If you are using sheet music, please bring it in the proper key and clearly marked.


Callbacks are typically scheduled for the day after the final day of auditions for a production. Performers will be notified if they are needed for callbacks. Cast lists are posted as soon as possible following auditions and callbacks and will be made available via email and our Facebook.