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Saturday & Sunday, January 19 & 20, 2019
12:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Manhattan Theater Club​


You got a Call Back! What do you do?

Get the inspiration you need to take your work to the next level in those high-pressure situations and equip yourself with the tools to show yourself in the best possible light at your next classical audition. Work with master vocal coach MARY IRWIN in the mornings to prepare your voice and body as well as Tony Award-nominee DEREK SMITH. The class will culminate in a mock audition and a valuable opportunity to meet and work with The Public Theater Casting Director JORDAN THALER.

Essential Question:

How do you prepare Shakespeare pieces in a way that shows yourself in the best light to a casting director. What aspects of an actor’s preparation are most essential when there is limited time to prepare. How do you engage honestly with your piece in this tense, artificial situation.


Course Objectives:
  • Develop a technique for preparing audition pieces

  • Explore how Shakespeare’s verse, text and rhetoric provide clues to how to deliver a piece

  • Learn how to create the true life of your character and his surroundings in an audition setting

  • Learn how to warm up your voice and body before delivering an audition


Enduring Understandings:

Shakespeare’s verse provides clues for how to develop a truthful character efficiently. Like any tool, it requires training to use it effectively. A flexible, confident voice and body are essential for effective presentation of a character in an audition. Auditions are, by their nature, artificial environments, creating a technique allows you to be committed, brave and truthful under these trying circumstances.  


MARY IRWIN is a teacher and coach of voice, speech and text, and an actor. She is Professor Emerita in the UNSCA School of Drama, where she taught voice, speech and Shakespeare from 1995-2018. Mary served as Head of Voice and Speech from 2001- 2016, and as Assistant Dean from 2013-2016. She did voice, text, and/or accent coaching on close to 100 productions for UNCSA, including an orchestral/theatrical Much Ado About Nothing which won a Regional Arts Emmy Award. Mary twice received Teaching Excellence Awards from UNCSA, and is currently a freelance teacher and coach in New York City. Professional coaching includes: Cost of Living at Manhattan Theatre Club (2018 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, 2 Lucille Lortel Awards), And So We Walked: An Artist’s Journey Along the Trail of Tears, Master Harold and the boys and Noises Off, all at Triad Stage, Our Town at Palm Beach DramaWorks, The Dresser with John Cullum at the Clarence Brown Theatre, and Misalliance at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival. Other teaching: The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in London; The Laura Henry Studio in Santa Monica, CA; Red Bull Theater’s Shakespeare and Jacobean Workshops; Cherokee Summer Co-Laboratory Storytelling Workshop in the Education Dept. of the Museum of the Cherokee Indian, Cherokee, NC; and guest teacher of Shakespeare text and voice pedagogy at Sarah Lawrence College. Mary was Voice and Text Coach for the North Carolina Shakespeare Festival for
seven seasons. She is a Designated Linklater Voice Teacher (2003) and holds an MA in Voice Studies from the Central School of Speech and Drama, London); and BA (summa cum laude) from New York University. She has professional acting credits in theatre, television, radio, voice over and film.

JORDAN THALER has been a casting director working for the last 30 years at The Public Theater (NYSF), casting over 300 productions Off-Broadway and at the Delacorte Theater. Broadway: The Iceman Cometh, Sweat, Shuffle Along, Eclipsed, Lucky Guy, Chinglish, The Motherf**ker With the Hat, The Merchant of Venice, Hair (Tony Award 2009) Passing Strange, Caroline, Or Change, Take Me Out (Tony Award 2003), Topdodg/Underdog (Pulitzer Prize, 2002), The Wild Party, Bring in ‘Da Noise, Bring in ‘Da Funk, On The Town and The Tempest. Tours: Hair, Bring in ‘Da Noise, Caroline, or Change. Film/TV: Lady Bird, Passing Strange, Hamlet. Mr. Thaler works as both a teacher and guest lecturer at various universities and training programs for actors throughout the country.



12:00 - 2:00: Voice work with Mary Irwin

2:00 - 3:00: Meal Break

3:00 - 6:00: Audition work with Derek Smith



10:00 - 12:00: Open rehearsal space

12:00 - 2:00: Voice work with Mary Irwin

2:00 - 3:00: Meal Break

3:00 - 6:00: Audition work with Jordan Thaler


Have a Monologue prepared. If you prefer, sides can be provided two to four days before the class to best imitate a true Call Back experience. Knowing your given circumstances, who you are talking to, what your objective is, and your tactics to achieve that objective is suggested.



A hard copy of your piece. A journal is recommended to record notes and observations. Comfortable clothing that you can move and breathe freely in and a water bottle is strongly encouraged

Concerns? Questions?

Contact Nathan Winkelstein.

Faculty subject to change.

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