Keene State College students are gearing up for their November production of the 1971 Tony Award Winner for Best Musical, Company.

KSC held its call back auditions on Tuesday, Sept. 5, and the cast list has been decided. Rehearsals for the show began on Wednesday, Sept. 6.

While many people gather in the auditorium on opening night, ready to enjoy an evening of live entertainment, it is important to remember and recognize the countless hours that the actors and crew have put into creating the performance.

Graphic by to Sean Kiziltan / Art Director

Graphic by to Sean Kiziltan / Art Director

Even before the cast list is sent out, these talented individuals work relentlessly in trying to perfect their audition pieces.

When approaching an audition, it is crucial to familiarize yourself with the show, as senior Erin Conti pointed out.

“I make sure I know the show pretty much inside and out,” Conti said. “I listen to the music for the characters I think I might fit, and then kind of tailor how I’m going to audition towards that character.”

Conti is taking on the role of April in the production, making this her debut appearance on the Dance and Theater Department’s stage.

Going into the audition for Company, students were asked to put together a monologue and a song. Senior Matthew McGinnis, who will be playing Paul, explained the strategy he uses to prepare for an audition,

“I typically learn the song first because with the song, you have to learn the actual music,” McGinnis said. “Then, you have to think about the text and the meaning and how to have intention while singing it. Then, it kind of sets you up to be in the same mindset for when you work on the monologue.”

McGinnis is a new face in the official Dance and Theater Department-run shows, but is no stranger to acting. He has been involved in the student-run theater organization, as well as taken part in shows all throughout middle school and high school.

Although being on stage acting is what many theatrical people live for, the audition process can be nerve-wracking.

Veteran actress senior Bridgette Lord spoke of a theater class that was offered at KSC last year by Assistant Professor Kirstin Riegler, that helped students learn audition technique.

“We did mock auditions of different kinds, so for musicals and plays, so we got to prepare different materials for it, ” Lord said.

Students would then get feedback and critiques from Riegler, taking away some of the anxieties of an audition.

“Especially after taking that, it’s a lot easier to prepare for [an audition],” Lord said.

Despite putting in all of the hard work of learning the songs and practicing the monologues, an actor doesn’t always find themselves in the role they wanted to be in.

“You’ll feel discouraged, but it’s always exciting because you’ll see someone else, like a friend [in that role] and then you’re excited for your friend to do it,” Lord said.

And as the saying goes, there’s no such thing as a small role.

“There’s a reason that the composers and the lyricists write you to be on stage. You’re there for a specific reason,” Lord elaborated.

Countless hours go into the making of a show. From learning lines to learning music, being involved in theater is a big-time commitment.

“General rehearsing could be every single night, going in for two or three hours, but when it’s tech, it’s a lot longer,” Lord explained.

But the rehearsing doesn’t stop there.

“You learn stuff on your own too that’s outside of the rehearsal, like we never stop rehearsing,” Lord said.

Lord will also being joining Company’s cast as Amy, Paul’s fiance.

Company will be showing at the Redfern Arts Center’s Main Theater Nov. 15-17.

Erin McNemar can be contacted at

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