State drama applications

The applications for the NSW Public Schools State Drama Ensemble are now open. The State Drama Ensemble is open to students in Years 9-11 and runs at The Arts Unit in Lewisham over the first week of the October school holidays from 10am-4pm. In that time they work with an experienced tutor and industry professionals to devise a piece for the State Drama Festival later that month at the Seymour Centre.

All details can be found on our website:

Auditions are via video submission and priority is given to rural and remote students, although the ensemble will ultimately be comprised of a mix of students from across the state and year groups.

To help students with their audition, please pass on the following notes:

  • Try to avoid filming the whole audition as an extreme close-up on the face only. The best auditions were mid-shot or showed the body and physical life in action. Avoid talking heads only in your piece. Think about appropriate actions in telling your character’s story. Stillness is good if it’s a dramatic choice as we get to see body control but it’s really important to see the whole actor.
  • Remember this is an audition for a theatre piece so creating an edited short film where we don’t get to see you act does not work in your favour.
  • Make sure it’s a solo performance for the most part. Group performances divert attention away from you and may not serve your interests by not showcasing your skills.
  • Make sure the video is within time limits. Anything more than 3 minutes is unnecessary and after 4 minutes, the committee stops watching.
  • Be careful of playing the emotion instead of the intention.
  • Show variety. One emotional state for your character can get monotonous. We are rarely just one thing. So a character who demonstrates a range of states is a much better choice.
  • Learn your script. Don’t read from it in your audition.
  • Consider good content choices. Whilst we are not ‘marking’ content, there are decisions you can make in terms of appropriateness that are better than others. If you couldn’t perform it in front of your parents or your school community, probably don’t use it to audition for this.
  • Consider the space you are performing in. Can you be seen? Does it affect sound quality? Is it big enough?
  • Check your video for quality, sound and that the link works before you send it to us. In some videos we can’t see you or hear you very well. Check it all serves your best needs before sending it to us.