Mt. A Drama Department takes a new spin on their audition process

The drama department urges you to take a chance

Whether you are a fine arts major, drama major or minor, or even a science major, there is a place for you in the Mt. A drama department. I gained insight from drama faculty member, Valmai Goggin, and Crake Drama Fellow, Paul Griffin, on the plays they will be directing in the 2024–25 Motyer-Fancy Theatre (MFT) season. The first, directed by Goggin, will be Never Swim Alone by Daniel MacIvor, and the second, directed by Griffin, will be Albertine in Five Times by Michel Tremblay. 

Upendra Adhikari – Argosy Photographer


If you have auditioned for MFT shows before, you know that they usually take place at the beginning of the semester. However, auditions for the fall semester shows starts this March 25. Hard copies of the sides needed to prepare are available on the MFT call board in the Purdy Crawford Centre for the Arts. If you are unable to get the sides in person, the scripts are available online from this link.  When asked why the auditions are now, Goggin said that “they are challenging roles that will let our students stretch their wings as actors.” Both of these shows have challenging characters, and Griffin and Goggin believed that it was important to start the casting early, so the actors would have time over the summer to prepare the roles. “Give them the time to do the prep work. They are difficult, and they are bendy. You have to bend your brain around them,” Paul Griffin described. Both of these directors stated that they may not end up casting every role at these auditions, and may end up opening up auditions in September as well, depending on the actors that they choose.

When asked about the play she is directing, Goggin said, “Never Swim Alone is a modern classic in Canadian theatre. Daniel MacIvor is a major force and has been for several decades.” Both of these shows are Canadian plays, and have interesting similarities. “Both of these plays deal with the things in our past that we are grappling with in order to move forward in the present, and that’s where these shows stop having anything in common!” The play deals with complex themes: “It’s about toxic masculinity, it’s about competitiveness, it’s about male relationships. […] I picked it because it offers three incredible opportunities for student actors.” Goggin is an amazing director who is well-known for choosing modern plays that are moving and contemplative.

The second show of the season will be directed by Paul Griffin, and is called Albertine in Five Times. This is sure to be a great production, and Goggin herself did her master’s thesis on the author, Michel Tremblay, and this exact play. “That doesn’t make me nervous at all!” chuckled Griffin in response. This show is one that Griffin has always wanted to do. “Albertine in Five Times is a play about one person, Albertine, but in five different times in her life…The whimsically wonderful thing about how we see Tremblay has put it together is that we have Albertine in five times on stage talking to themselves at different times,” states Griffin, when asked how Albertine appears on stage. When I showed interest in why the show is written that way, Griffin responded with, “It is the kind of thing that you wish you could have done in your life at some point, or even look back and thought, ‘I was that person? What would I say to myself 10 years ago if that person was here?’” Those chilling words definitely make it understandable why they want the actors to have time to prepare. This beautifully haunting production will definitely take our breath away. 

Both directors urge anyone from any department of Mt. A to audition, emphasising how many students have been involved with the theatre that are not drama or screen studies students. If you do not get into these shows, not to worry! The winter semester auditions will be held in September. There are also lots of opportunities for backstage involvement as well. You can build props, stage manage, be on stage crew, or build a set, as long as you are interested in learning. Goggin and Griffin, as well as the rest of the drama department, urge you to take a chance, for you never know what will happen.

Register to audition here:

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