Signature in the Schools - for Students

Signature in the Schools is a theatrical training program unlike any other. The chance to be in a world premiere production, written, directed and designed by professional theater artists, featuring a professional actor, and performed in Signature’s state-of-the-art theatre. And beyond all of that, its the chance to participate in a theatrical conversation about issues that matter: the New Deal and its contemporary relevance; the power of the vote; freedoms of expression; the global refugee crisis. The 2021/22 production will take F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby as a springboard to look at mental health issues and care, both then and now.

Signature in the Schools needs you. This program aims to reflect the greater Arlington community onstage and backstage, telling stories about people from a wide variety of backgrounds. Not a word of the play is written until it’s cast, and it is all tailored to what you bring to the table. We cannot wait for you to experience this program.

Eligibility

Signature in the Schools is available to students who currently attend Arlington Public Schools high schools, grades 9 – 12.

Signature wants to meet student actors and technicians of all experience levels and of all racial and ethnic backgrounds, gender identities and expressions, and students living with disabilities.

Vaccination

Please note that students will need to provide proof of full vaccination against COVID-19. We will offer exemptions for those unable to be vaccinated, such as people with certain medical conditions preventing vaccination or those with closely held religious beliefs that prevent vaccination. Exempted students will need to provide regular and timely negative COVID-19 tests to participate. Students do not need to be fully vaccinated by auditions but will need to be by the time the program begins on November 1.

Time Commitment

When you sign up to audition, you’ll get a chance to tell us about any scheduling conflicts you may have. We will honor all submitted conflicts. Any conflicts that come up after the audition will have to be approved by the director (and they might not be approved!)

The general breakdown of how the program works is listed below.

Student Calendar

PART I – Boot Camp and Table Work: Designed to create a true theater ensemble, these sessions are devoted to theatrical skill building and hands-on lessons about the year’s given subject matter. Additionally, there are regular opportunities for the cast and crew to gather to read through the script and to discuss it with the writer as it goes through revisions.

PART II – Rehearsals and Crew Calls: After a week off for Thanksgiving, the cast and stage management meet together for three weeks in December and two weeks in January to stage and rehearse the show. During this same time, costume crew and prop crew meet one to two times a week to build the show.

PART III – Tech and Preview Performances: Mandatory for all participants in the process. This is the week where the cast, crew, designers, stage managers and directors all bring their work together to create a fully produced play. They also perform it for a preview audience before they make their final revisions and open the production.

PART IV – Performances: Following tech and previews, there are four performances for area field trips and two performances for the public. Field trip performances are on weekday mornings and public performances are in the evening. We will help you and your parents get you excused from the classes you have to miss. After tech is over, there are no more rehearsals – you just show up and do the show! After the final public performance, the show is closed and the program is over for the year.

Technical Theatre Auditions

While Signature in the Schools rehearsals and performances will be in person, auditions and interviews will be held on Zoom.

  • Technical theatre positions are available for costumes, lights, props, sound and stage management.
  • No experience necessary.
  • Interviews are on September 23 beginning at 3:30PM over Zoom. Interested applicants will be asked questions about their work ethic, work experience and their interest in the program. If, for some reason, you cannot make it on September 23, please email sigschools@sigtheatre.org to arrange a separate interview time (all interviews must be completed by September 25.)

Sign Up

Acting Auditions

  • No experience necessary to audition for a role.
  • Acting auditions are on September 24 beginning at 3:30PM over Zoom. To audition, bring in a memorized 1-minute contemporary monologue of your choice. Don’t have a piece? Click here for a couple of pieces we’ve pulled for you to use (but please, if you have your own piece, use that!) If you find out about auditions too late to memorize a piece, you’re welcome to read one of our monologue options to us.

Sign Up

  • Prerecorded acting audition option: If you cannot attend the live auditions on September 24, you may apply by submitting a prerecorded audition video of your contemporary one-minute monologue. Once you have created your video, upload it to YouTube as an “unlisted” video (NOT “Private”) and then upload it to the link below. Prerecorded videos are due by 11:59PM on September 26.

Upload video audition

  • Actors who need access to WiFi can find free WiFi access through Arlington County’s free wireless service.

Audition Tips

Want feedback on your audition piece or want to do a practice round of your interview? Get the feedback you need to succeed at your audition! New this year, we’ll be offering open time where you can log onto Zoom and get coaching on your audition piece or your interview with a member of Signature’s staff. You can meet with a staff member on September 20, 21 and 22 between 3:30PM and 5PM (your appointment will take a max of 30 minutes, likely less than that.) To sign up for a slot with a staff member, email sigschools@sigtheatre.org with “Coaching Time” in the subject line. In your email, let us know if you’re interested in acting or interview coaching and what day/time you’d like to work with a staff member.

Other things to consider:

  • Lighting: The most important thing is that we are able to see you clearly. If possible, place a lamp in front of you while you audition, interview or tape. Make sure the lamp doesn’t block your camera/phone.
  • Background: Pick a spot where you can stand out. A perfect place is in front of a solid-colored wall. If not, any background is fine as long as you stand out.
  • Filming: Video yourself or have a friend/loved one help you. Placing your phone between two textbooks is an easy way to make an at-home stand.

We want you to succeed. Have questions about Signature in the Schools? Send your questions to sigschools@sigtheatre.org.

Signature is committed to becoming a more equitable, anti-racist organization. In this company, we condemn all acts of racism, discrimination and hatred. Signature Theatre celebrates diversity and does not discriminate based on race, religion, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, age, disability status, or any other applicable characteristics. Signature Theatre is committed to providing access, equal opportunity and reasonable accommodation for individuals with disabilities.