Jane Castro is a journalist and media enthusiast. She graduated from the University of Bacolod in the Philippines. She loves skating, scuba diving, and archery on her free time.

Performing arts organizations–such as theater companies, operas, ballets, and other types of groups who produce and provide performances for the public–are often in need of finding talented individuals to audition for parts in these performances. Getting the word out and generating interest in auditions takes a special kind of marketing and public relations. As you experience with Disney Performing Arts there is a constant need for marketing so that everyone can be a part of this great theatre and learn something from there.

Here are some guidelines for creating great casting or audition notices to make sure you find the talented people you need to put on great productions:

An audition or casting notice needs to be as complete and detailed as possible. Of course, this doesn’t mean that the media outlets to whom you send the notice will print the entire thing, but it still should contain some key elements. The notice should have the producing company’s information–including the name, address, web site, e-mail and phone. There should also be a contact person to call for more information. You’ll also want to include the name of the director and/or the person who will be conducting the auditions.

Next you’ll want to provide a good overview of the production–the title, a brief description of the plot or story-line and how and where the show will be produced. For example, if it will be outdoor summer theater in the park, or in a specific theater, put this in the notice. Also include the list of characters or parts that you are looking to fill. If you are conducting general auditions to fill positions in a community chorus or some other performing group, be as specific as possible about what positions you are filling.

Put some time into stating exactly what you are looking for in terms of age, gender, height, hair color, performance specialty, etc. This will keep you from wasting your audition time on inappropriate individuals, and save the office staff time from callers who are trying to find out more specific information.

Be sure to put the preparation requirements in your notice. Let people know exactly what they will need to do at the audition –whether they will be expected to perform a monologue or will be partnered with other auditioners, whether they will need to prepare and perform a specific song, be expected to sight read, etc. If you want individuals to audition in costume or in particularly attire, be sure to put it in the notice. If they need to be prepared to sing, include that as well.

Also put the duration of the time commitment and specific expectations in the notice. For example, state when rehearsals will be, for how long, whether or not there will be compensation or individuals are expected to volunteer, etc.

Finally, make sure that you put the exact time and location of the auditions in your notice. This should include detailed directions or a map (or a link to your web site if you can provide more complete directions and a map on your site). If there will be more than one opportunity to audition or a prescreening, make that clear in the audition announcement.

When you send out your audition or casting notice, don’t expect that every media outlet who receives it will print the entire thing. You should at least put the whole, detailed announcement on your web site, in a company newsletter, or some other in-house publication. Then, individuals who get the brief version from the newspaper or other source can be directed to a more complete notice to get the entire scoop.