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Branson theaters hold virtual auditions due to COVID-19

Published: Jan. 27, 2021 at 5:40 PM CST
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) -The pandemic has changed a lot of things in our lives. For those in the theater community, it’s changed how performers get their foot in the door. Auditions are the first step to booking the gig for a performer, but thanks to COVID-19, that process looks a little different.

“They will submit their first video and then if they make the callback portion, then we will send them the video of the choreographed dance.” said Americana Theater performer C.j. Newsome

Theaters are using a variety of methods to host virtual auditions, including video submissions and live streaming.

“Not everyone feels comfortable coming to the theater.” said Newsome “Some of their immune systems are a little weak and such, but we want them all to be a part of the decision-making process.”

“With the pandemic, we found that it worked better to move online, so we used zoom, and youtube videos, and other methods to have people send in an audition.” said Branson Regional Arts Council Executive Director Jim Barber.

Virtual auditions help limit the number of people in the theater at one time.

“We had about 50 people send in auditions.” said Barber “So we held auditions live via zoom in smaller groups at a time.”

This method of auditioning may help slow the spread of COVID-19 but, it comes with its own challenges.

“With going virtual, we tend to have a smaller amount of people who sign up for auditions.” Said Barber “I think it may be because they are nervous about going online, or maybe they’re not technical, or they are worried their audition won’t come off the same online.”

Several theaters in Branson have been holding virtual auditions to cast upcoming shows. While video submissions were accepted in the past, they are more common when moving forward in a pandemic.

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