Application Questions

  • StrawHat Auditions have been assisting performers and theatre companies for over 30 years. See our list of past participating theatres under the Theatre pull-down menu.
  • Applicants must be 18 years or older at the time they start work. Click Here for some theatre programs for younger actors.
  • There are 3 types of auditions: Song and Monologue, Monologue Only, and Dancers Who Sing. There are also a set number of Stand-By appointments for each day. See the explanation of Audition Types in the Actor pull-down menu.
  • No, you should apply for the category where you can present yourself at your best.
  • Every actor who registers for StrawHat has an online profile that includes picture and resume. Those profile pages are used to create the audition directories that the producers use during the audition. Your picture is your calling card and it should be of good quality to present you at your best. Plain paper laser copies should only be used as a last resort. Your submission should be as professional as possible. Read our advice on head shots in the Actor Application section.
  • Nothing. We only accept complete applications.
  • There are two steps to a complete application. You must follow all the instructions and submit ALL the required materials before the deadline date to be considered for an audition. See INSTRUCTIONS under the Actor pull-down menu.
  • Use the Forgot Password? Link when you log in.
  • Log in to your account and make whatever changes you wish. Just remember: for audition selection purposes, we use the application print out information you submit with your hard-copy. If your audition availability changes, you must email us so we can note the change in your hard-copy file. 
  • The Print Application button appears on your dashboard once you have completed all sections of your profile, successfully uploaded your photo and resume, and made your registration/subscription payment. If you complete all tasks in a single session, you may have to refresh the dashboard page for the print button to appear.

  • We do our very best to make a determination on all applications with 4 to 6 weeks of receiving a hard-copy submission. However, with the volume of mail we receive, it can take longer. Every application is given consideration, and there are times when we are unwilling to make an immediate decision either for or against a candidate: in those cases, a second and even third assessment are made.

  • Application deadline is January 15th. This means that your online profile must be complete - including your pre-screen video -- and your hard-copy submission must be delivered to our office by that day. If you are paying a premium for over-night delivery, be sure they can confirm delivery on that day. Better yet, apply early!
  • An appropriate visa or OPT is required for employment in the US. International students might be able to pursue summer work, but it seems somewhat complicated. According to information we found on the San Francisco University website, international students can apply for Optional Practical Training (OPT) authorized by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) which is based on a recommendation from the designated school official (DSO) at the school that issued the form I-20, a government document verifying the student's admission to that institution. The term "optional" means that students can opt to use all or part of their total practical training allotment of a maximum of 12 months. OPT can be authorized by the USCIS: (1) during vacation when school is not in session: full-time employment is allowed; (2) for part-time work, a maximum of 20 hours per week, while school is in session; (3) after completing all course requirements for the degree; or (4) full-time after completion of the course of study. Students who have received OPT permission will be issued an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) by the USCIS. Their name, photo and valid dates of employment are printed on the EAD. The average processing time for USCIS to issue the EAD is two or three months, and students may begin employment only after they receive the EAD which will indicate the starting and ending dates of employment. Our interpretation: you would have to have the paperwork -- the Employment Authorization Document (EAD) -- already approved, showing you are allowed to work during the dates of whatever contract might be offered. If you don't have an EAD, and it takes 2 or 3 months to process, companies would not be able to hire you as a delay in your paperwork would jeopardize their casting.
  • Our auditions are open to all ages, 18 and up. The majority of applicants and auditioning performers are typically between the ages of 19 and 25, but we do schedule older performers as well. There are real opportunities for older performers to play character roles, but those opportunities are perhaps somewhat more limited: i.e., when there's an ensemble, there are many actor/singer/dancer spots while there may only be one father or grandfather role in a show. Additionally, as performers get older they join the union, or move away from performing. We have many more applicants from the current or recent college student pool because they are just starting out -- and because the majority of the opportunities are summer season work. Only you can decide whether these are desirable positions to pursue.
  • Your file is probably too big -- the program can only accept photos 600 pixels wide or smaller. There are several free online photo compression web sites: you upload your image and set the parameters, then the site program resizes the image and you download the new file. It's pretty simple. Check this one out;
    The example parameters of Compression: 65 and Resize to: 400 pixels will work perfectly.

  • Here at StrawHat, we take every submission into consideration for an appointment, and sometimes we'll revisit an application more than once before making a determination. We take notes and it's simply easier to refer back to those notes in hard-copy form. Call us old-school, but we prefer working this way.

  • Check your spam/junk mail folder. Your email server may have flagged our address because of the volume of mail that's generated during the registration period.  If you find the email in your spam folder, you should be able to use tools (or settings) in your account to white list our address. NOTE: Yahoo, AOL, and many university .edu systems have notoriously sensitive spam settings -- so add these addresses to your Contact List - [email protected] and [email protected]

Members Area Questions

  • To see how your profile displays in our talent database, log in to your account and then click on Actors in the menu at the top of the page. Use the Search option and enter your last name.
  • Log in to your account and select My Profile. You can update your page as often as you like, BUT be aware that we use your originally submitted application print-out for the audition selection process.
  • PHOTOS: Log in to your account, select My Profile, then select Update Profile Picture. REMEMBER - your new photo needs to be web optimized, just like your original one. Use www.jpeg-optimizer.com to resize and compress your jpg. file. The parameters displayed on their home page work perfectly.

    RESUMES: Log into your account, select My Profile, then go to Personal Information. Scroll down to the field that displays "Resume Exists" and click on REMOVE. Then Browse your computer for your updated one-age resume pdf and upload it.

  • Our system uses your email as your user name, so if your email changes we have to do that for you. Please do not create a new account! Just contact us: email us and tell us your name, your current email address, and the new address you want to use. We will make the change in the system. That way your record and your account history stays consistent.

Selection Questions

  • No. All complete applications received by the deadline are given consideration. We have a selection process to insure that theatre and casting representatives are seeing the best group of candidates possible. See "Criteria" in the Actor pull-down menu.
  • When you are scheduled for an appointment, we email you a notice including a confirmation sheet with all the pertinent information. Upon receipt of the email, you can log in to your account, click on Actors in the menu bar, then search by last name to view your profile: your appointment displays on your page. 
  • We strongly advise that you defer making flight arrangements until you have appointment confirmation (or at least be sure that your tickets are refundable). We cannot guarantee that you will be selected for an audition, and in the past we have had disappointed applicants inform us of airfare purchased in advance.

Audition Questions

  • Email us at [email protected] Provide both your scheduled day and time and the day you would like to change to. IF we can accommodate you, we will email you the new details. There is a $25 service fee for appointment changes.
  • To cancel your audition, simply email us with your name and your scheduled audition day and time. We will confirm receipt of your cancellation by email.
  • No. All actors that get an audition are pre-screened. Your audition time is yours alone and cannot be transferred to another actor.
  • If you are not selected to audition, we return your fee, but if you are scheduled for an appointment and choose not to attend, there are no refunds.
  • For details on Stand-By auditions, please refer to Audition Types in the Actor pull-down menu. There are no walk-ins at StrawHat – all auditioning actors are selected in advance.
  • First audition is at 10:00 am every morning, and general auditions end at 6:00. After that is the dance teaching and dance call, then individual theatre callbacks can run as late as 11:00 pm. On the last day of the event only, Dancers Who Sing learn their dance call at 1:00 pm, then their auditions start at 2:00 pm for the hour.

  • Nope! Your whole audition is completed in a single day. If you get a lot of callbacks, it’s a really long day, but it’s all done in a single day.
  • If you are from out of town and you have to drive, okay. But if you can avoid it, do. The auditions are easy to get to by subway, 10 minutes from Mid-town, and city driving is a hassle. If you do drive, we recommend parking in a garage, but be sure to confirm their operating hours, since our nights can go pretty late

  • If you need to reach us the week of the auditions, please use our email address [email protected]. Please do not contact Pace University for information about auditions or accommodations.
  • We suggest you wear clothes that have some color and show you to your best advantage. For details on full audition preparation, visit Final Prep for Auditioning Actors in our Premium Content section.
  • We time your audition from the first word of your monologue or the first note of the piano, but you should time your entire presentation (introduction and pieces) to take under 90 seconds. Visit "I Got an Audition, Now What?" in our Premium Content section. 

  • Many of the songs and monologues cited on the Dreaded List (see our Premium Content section) are so popular that lots of people do them. The same day, sometimes the same hour. Choosing over-used material puts you at a disadvantage. Take the opportunity to do a little research and come up with material that will be your own. But, we STRONGLY recommend you stay away from obscene or graphic material. We promise you, it’s a turn-off.
  • Two songs show only that you can sing in two styles, or in two registers -- it does not show whether you have the acting skills to make and display strong, clear emotional choices when working with a script. Accompaniment and note value provide emotional clues and the intended stress on a given word. A monologue requires that you provide all the detail of emotion and intent, with no supporting clues beyond what you've read and interpreted from the page. We most often find that people doing two songs are genuinely stronger on one of the two pieces, and the weaker piece negates the better one.    Finally, our system of seeing 700+ people in 21 hours over 3 days requires that the accompanist is speaking to the next performer regarding tempo, cuts, etc. while the previous person is performing the monologue. It is helpful for all if people prepare an audition as requested.

    Ultimately, the decision is yours and what really matters is that you do a great audition. Speaking for StrawHat, we know what we prefer, what we respond best to, and what we hope to see. But we don't hire, we just coordinate the opportunity for you to shine. Do your preparation from top to bottom: practice how you plan to instruct the accompanist; practice your introduction (your slate); practice and time the whole package of two pieces to a stop watch so that you know you are inside 90 seconds; practice your end slate. Be prepared, be awesome, have fun, and regardless of your choice of pieces, you will leave the stage confident that you did your very best.

  • Are you trained in classical theatre? If you are auditioning with two contrasting monologues, you can choose to contrast with classic/contemporary or with comedy/drama. It’s up to you to select pieces that show you at your best. For musical theatre auditions, you can do Shakespeare for your speech but it may be more appropriate for you to do a speech from a contemporary play – chances are that companies doing musicals are more likely to have a Neil Simon play in their season rather than Hamlet.
  • Our accompanists are professional accompanist/vocal coach/musical directors who specialize in musical theatre. You are in good hands, as long as you come ready to communicate and with your music prepared as suggested in our preparation advice.
  • Of course! But save yourself any anxiety and be sure he/she has directions, arrives on time to meet you (meaning well ahead of your scheduled appointment time) and stays with you through the audition. You have enough to think about without worrying if your accompanist is going to show up.
  • If you received an audition time, you were accepted from over a thousand other applications. You'll audition for a whole lot of theatres, make new theatre contacts, be called back and perhaps get a job, all in one day! StrawHat is an event that attracts lots of theatre producers, directors, casting directors, etc. – and sometimes even a few who are not formally registered. Every one of us watching the auditions is eager to discover exciting new talent for the upcoming season. Have a great audition – we’re glad to have you with us!
  • Planning the annual events takes months of preparation. We typically know our audition dates by July at the latest, but all bets are off with COVID-19. A typical StrawHat weekend entails 700+ performers and 100+ theatre casting reps and StrawHat staff, along with the theatre staff, maintenance crew, and security personnel that work for the facility we rent for the event. As of this writing (9/14/2020) NY City doesn’t permit gatherings of that size, even if the facility we use would allow us. Hallways and waiting areas are crowded, and there’s no way to maintain social distance. A combined audition is likely to be a super-spreader event. Plus, NY State currently has a two-week quarantine requirement for people coming from 34 states. A majority of applicants – and many casting reps – would not even be able to attend.

  • In March, our staff choreographer will post a link to a dance tutorial. There are three combinations: Dancer, Mover, and Tap. You decide whether you want to learn the Dancer or Mover combination – not both. NOTE: If you’re a strong dancer or registered as a Dancer Who Sings, we expect you to do the Dancer call. The Tap combination is not mandatory, but if a company asks for it and you want to work there, then you should do it. The tutorials and complete instructions will be available through the Virtual Dance Call page in our Premium Content section. You’ll go to that page to access the invitation code and the link to the tutorial video. Dance tutorials will only be posted from March 1st till March 15th. You must learn them, record them, and post your self-tape to your profile page by the 15th