School Year Opportunities
The CDH Theater Department is in constant motion, from curricular classes and showcases to production stage crew, rehearsals, and performances. Please see below for specific information.
The CDH Theatre Department produces four shows, including one Black Box performance. All students are encouraged to audition for every show–no experience necessary! Audition information can be found below
Auditions for The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime
First off, thank you for your interest in auditioning for this production. It’s such a beautiful story and I can’t wait to get started creating with the team. I have included two monologues and two scenes to help you prepare for the audition.
Note: Everyone will audition for the role of Christopher. I am open to Christopher being played as a female. Even if you are not interested in this role, I want you to audition for it. The character of Christopher (although never stated in the book or the play) has traits of Autism and Asperger’s. The way you play this character is completely up to you, but I want you to create a character other than yourself. Do not be afraid of doing something wrong. One of my favorite quotes about Autism from Dr. Stephen Shore is, “If you have met one person with autism, you have met one person with autism.” Meaning? There is not ONE WAY description of a person with autism.
Character Research Help
There have been two recent movies about Autism that are spectacular: Temple Grandin (staring Claire Danes) a true story about an animal expert who overcomes prejudice against autism to become a leader in her field. And, Life, Animated a documentary about Owen Suskind a man with autism who, with the help from his family, learns to speak through the help of Disney Movies. I have included YouTube videos to help you learn more about autism and watch segments of the recent movies.
Can’t wait to see what you bring to the table! See me if you have ANY questions or you want to brainstorm ideas. I’d love to chat.
1. One of my favorite things I watched was Temple Granden’s Ted Talk. She explains how her own autistic mind works. AMAZING!
2. This is a scene with Claire Danes playing Temple Grandin. The movie won numerous Emmy awards in 2010 and Claire Danes won a Golden Globe for her role.
The following clips are from a 2017 Oscar nominated film called Life, Animated. I can’t wait to see this film in it’s entirety.
5. Owen and heartache. This one is a tear jerker.
6. This is a clip of Owen when he was interviewed on THE VIEW.
7. This is a young teenage girl, Andrea Jackman’s, video presentation about Autism. It’s pretty good.
8. A clip of a 19 year old boy with autism explains what it’s like to be autistic.
Chose one of the monologues. Figure out simple staging and create your own version of Christopher.
Christopher: I think you would only kill a dog if a) you hated the dog or b) if you were a lunatic or c) because you wanted to make Mrs. Shears sad. I don’t know anybody who hated Wellington so if it was a) it was probably a stranger. I don’t know any lunatics either, so if it was b) it was also probably a stranger. But, most murders are committed by someone who is known to the victim. In fact, you are most likely to be murdered by a member of your own family on Christmas Day. Wellington was therefore most likely killed by someone known to him.
Christopher: When you look at the sky at night you know you are looking at stars, which are hundreds and thousands of light years away from you. And some of the stars don’t exist any more because their light has taken so long to get to us that they are already dead, or they have exploded and collapsed into red dwarfs. And that makes you seem very small, and if you have difficult things in your life it is nice to think that they are what is called negligible which means they are so small you don’t have to take them into account when you are calculating something. I can’t see any stars here, though. It’s because of all the light pollution in London. All the light from the streetlights and car headlights and floodlights and lights in the buildings reflect off tiny particles in the atmosphere and they get in the way of light from the stars.
Mrs. Gascoyne is Christopher’s school principal
Ed – Christopher’s Dad
Mrs. Gascoyne: I don’t know if we have the facilities in the school to allow him to do that.
Ed: Then get the facilities
Mrs. Gascoyne: I can’t treat Christopher differently to any other students.
Ed: Why not?
Mrs. Gascoyne: Because then everybody would want to be treated differently.
Mrs. Gascoyne: It would set a precident. Christopher can always do his A levels later. When he’s 18.
Ed: Christopher is getting a crap enough deal already, don’t you think? Without you pissing on him from a great height as well. God, this is the one thing he’s really good at.
Mrs. Gascoyne: We should talk about this later. Maybe on our own.
Ed: Are there things you are too embarrassed to say to me in front of Christopher?
Mrs. Gascoyne: No, it’s not that.
Ed: Say them now then.
Mrs. Gascoyne: If Christopher takes an A level, he would have to have a monitor, a member of the staff looking after him on his own in another room.
Ed: I’ll pay for it. They can do it after school. Here. Fifty quid. Is that enough.
Mrs. Gascoyne: Mr. Boone.
Ed: I’m not going to take no for an answer.
Mrs. Alexander - Neighbor
Mrs. Alexander: Because maybe your father is right and you shouldn’t go round asking questions about this.
Mrs. Alexander: Because obviously he is going to find it quite upsetting.
Christopher: Why is he going to find it quite upsetting?
Mrs. Alexander: I think you know why your father doesn’t like Mr. Shears very much,
Christopher: Did Mr. Shears kill mother?
Mrs. Alexander: Kill her?
Christopher: Yes. Did he kill Mother?
Mrs. Alexander: No. No. Of course he didn’t kill your mother.
Christopher: But did he give her stress so that she died of a heart attack?
Mrs. Alexander: I honestly don’t know what you’re talking about Christopher.
Christopher: Or did he hurt her so that she had to go into hospital?
Mrs. Alexander: Did she have to go into hospital?
Christopher: Yes. And it wasn’t very serious at first but she had a heart attack when she was in hospital.
Mrs. Alexander: Oh my goodness.
Christopher: And she died.
Mrs. Alexander: Oh my goodness. Oh Christopher I am so, so sorry. I never realised.
Christopher: Why did you say “I think you know why your father doesn’t like Mr. Shears very much?”
Mrs. Alexander: Oh dear, dear, dear. Christopher look, perhaps we should take a little walk in the park together. This is not the place to be talking about this kind of thing.
Siobhan – One of Christopher’s teachers and the only one who seems to really understand him.
Christopher: Father said.
Siobhan: I see that’s a pity.
Christopher: So the book is finished.
Siobhan: Well, Christopher, if your Father said he wanted you to stop then I think he probably has a good reason and I think you should stop. But you can still be very proud because what you’ve written so far is just, well it’s great.
Christopher: It’s not a proper book.
Siobhan: Why not?
Christopher: It doesn’t have a proper ending. I never found out who killed Wellington. So the murderer is still At Large.
Siobhan: Not all murders are solved Christopher. Not all murderers are caught.
Christopher: Father said I was never to mention Mr. Shears name in our house again and that he was an evil man and maybe that he meant he was the person who killed Wellington.
Siobhan: Christopher, I think you should do what your Father tells you to do.
18. THE STREET
What to Expect at a Non-Musical Audition
Read from the Script/Play:
During the audition, you will most likely be asked to read a dialogue with another actor, or a monologue by yourself. It is a great idea to know the play before you audition for it, so the director will always have a reading copy of the script available on the Media Center’s website approximately 2 weeks prior to auditions.
The director needs to know that you can both read and move. Movement can be judged through a simple improvisation or a series of physical work to see how comfortable you are on the stage.
Sometimes (but not always) a director will hold a third day of auditions called Callbacks. The director invites some of the actors back from the first round of auditions to hear and see them read again. If an actor is not called back, it does not mean he or she is not in the show.
*The non-musical shows in the CDH Theater Season typically do not require a dance routine or a rehearsed song.
What to Expect at a Musical Audition—Singing
Find out what songs are available for the audition by attending the Musical Audition Workshop, or contact the director or music director with questions. You may choose 16 measures of a song you can perform well. We recommend the song match the genre or style of the show. You must bring a copy of the sheet music to your audition.
During the dance portion of auditions, the choreographer will teach you a short dance combination. The choreographer and director will then watch you perform in a small group of people, usually between 5-10 dancers.
Callbacks are often used for musical auditions because the first round of auditions emphasizes an actor’s singing and dancing skills. For a musical callback, the director will usually specify which of the roles each actor is called back for, ask actors to read from the script for those specific roles, and possibly have actors sing songs from the show. If an actor is not called back, it does not mean he or she is not in the show.
Who Can Audition:
With year-round opportunities, the CDH Theater Department makes it possible for almost everyone to take part in a production at some point. It works very well to choose your sport seasons, and then to work them around the theater season. For example, as a student, if you are involved in a fall and spring sport, then both the Children’s Play (in late November & early December) and the Winter Play (in January & February) would be shows you could audition for, or crew for.
Rehearsals for all shows will depend on the director who will inform actors and crewmembers of the rehearsal schedule at the time of auditions. Typically, the Fall & Winter Shows rehearse 5-6 weeks; the Children’s Show rehearses 3-4 weeks; and the Spring Musical rehearses 8-9 weeks. The CDH Summer Community Show depends on the genre. If it is a musical, the Community Show will rehearse approximately 7 weeks, and if it is a non-musical, it will typically rehearse 6 weeks.
It is possible to have a smaller part and still be involved with another activity, but typically if a person is cast in the production, they are required to be at daily rehearsals. Participants will be asked to attend more rehearsals or crew time, the closer the production gets to opening night.