by Maria Irene Fornes

Venable Theater

Audition Requirements

ACTORS: The audition will consist of a group audition followed by a cold-reading of sides from the play. The group audition not only helps us determine your fit for casting, but also helps you determine whether this project is right for you.

No experience necessary. The group audition will involve movement that works with your bodies’ own abilities, whatever they are.

Preparation. Come prepared to participate in movement exercises and improvisations. Please dress in clothing appropriate for physical activity.

Cold reading. A cold reading is when you are handed a script and asked to perform a scene. After movement, some of you will be given a side (an excerpt of material from the play), paired with a partner and allowed a short amount of time to rehearse together. To prepare for cold-readings, be familiar with the play (see information below) and study the characters you think you are right for.

Day of Auditions. It is recommended that you show up early enough to fill out a form. Once we start the event, we want to get started right away.

Sides will be made available the day of the audition for actors to familiarize themselves with the scene. If you would like to receive a copy of the sides, email Laura Standley at

Evaluation. The audition will be evaluated based on the following areas:

Ability to learn lines
Ability to follow directions
Emotional honesty
Vocal strength and variety
Ability to distinguish between personal and general space
Enthusiasm and focus
Creative and social cooperation with other performers
Ability to improvise (make it up as you go along, go with the flow)
Coordination, sustained movement, and ability to take risks onstage

*Please note that all roles are open to all ethnicities and abilities.


No registration necessary, just show up.

NOTE. All auditions are private. We find that students do their best and most honest work when parents and guests are not watching. In the room will be the director, Laura Standley.


MCLA Theatre’s MAINSTAGE show offers hands-on, real-world experience making theatre productions in a faculty mentored, professional setting. Students who audition and are cast participate as actors, while students who interview are assigned backstage crew or production area positions. While this course is required of theatre program students, it is also recommended for anyone interested in making theatre. This course may be repeated.

Any MCLA student may audition. Actors participating in the Mainstage show must enroll in 3 credits of THEA 379-Theatre Production: Company.

The Theatre Program is committed to inclusive casting which promotes diversity in the casting of roles where race, ethnicity, gender, age, and the presence or absence of a disability is not essential to the development of the play or characters. All students are encouraged to audition. Theatre Program students are not given preference in casting decisions. 

The audition process is part of the students’ theatre training. All best efforts will be made to inform students of the director’s process, and to encourage them to maximize their preparation and participation. The aim of casting is to select the most able student for a particular role, while also taking into consideration the relevance of the nature of the role to the student’s continuing development as an actor.

Guest artist actors are occasionally used in some roles and are always pre-cast. Guest artist actors enhance the training process by providing professional level models for students to learn from through observation.


Hailed as game-changing, provocative, and genius, FEFU AND HER FRIENDS is one of the most influential—and invisible—plays of the 20th century. An innovation of immersive theater, Cuban-American playwright María Irene Fornés’s rapturous comedy-drama allows the audience to be a fly on many walls in this unconventional tale of eight women gathering at a New England country home in 1935.

Utilizing multiple rooms in Venable Hall as non-traditional theater space, audiences will be broken up into four groups that independently tour Fefu’s home. Stories and histories come into play as you happen across conversations as Fefu’s bohemian and raucous cohorts gossip, question, flirt, provoke, and ultimately reveal (or hide?) the universal understandings between women. As muscular and searing in her deliberate use of language as Albee and Miller at their best; as acidic as Clare Boothe Luce’s iconic play The Women; and patron saint to blockbuster hits like Sleep No More—Fornés’s FEFU AND FRIENDS is an invitation to a theatrical experience like none other.

FEFU, she/her, any ethnicity. The host of the party; the leader of the group. Brilliant, mischievous,daring; deep anguish under the surface.

CINDY, she/her, any ethnicity. Patient, loyal, and practical. Knows her friends well and appreciates
them for who they are.

CHRISTINA, she/her, any ethnicity. Cindy’s friend, new to the rest of the group. Both intrigued and
scandalized by Fefu.

JULIA, she/her, any ethnicity. Exceptionally intelligent but haunted by hallucinations that only she can see, stemming from a mysterious source. Julia uses a wheelchair for most of the play; there is one scene where she gets up and walks around without any assistance.

EMMA, she/her, any ethnicity. A close friend of Fefu. Charismatic, outgoing, affectionate, unafraid to say what she thinks, enjoys the spotlight. Likes a good joke but is also a careful listener who is attentive to her friends.

PAULA, she/her, any ethnicity. Doesn’t like to be the center of attention, but steps into strength and groundedness over the course of the play. Comes from a less privileged class background than the rest of the group. Cecilia’s ex.

SUE, she/her, any ethnicity. Quirky, irreverent sense of humor. Generous in spirit; takes care of her friends.

CECILIA, she/her, any ethnicity. Used to being in charge; flustered when she’s not in control. Paula’s ex.

Pronouns listed above describe characters. Non-binary and gender non-conforming actors who are comfortable playing women are encouraged to audition. None of these roles will be understudied.

Questions? Contact: Laura Standley