Greater Vancouver Professional Theatre Alliance (GVPTA)

Programs + Initiatives

Unified General Auditions & Designers' Spotlight

Here you'll find a number of frequently asked questions about the Unified General Auditions and Designers' Spotlight. Scroll down for FAQ sections specific to performers and specific to designers. 

General Frequently Asked Questions

General FAQs

Click the headings below for answers to frequently asked questions about submitting an application to the 2021 UGAs and Designers' Spotlight.

1. What are the UGAs and Designers’ Spotlight?

The Unified General Auditions (UGAs) are general auditions that the GVPTA holds each spring. They are an opportunity for theatre actors to be seen by casting directors from throughout the region.


Despite the postponement of UGAs back in 2020 due to the pandemic, we are back this spring to provide an opportunity for performers to audition and introduce themselves to theatre directors digitally. 


Designers’ Spotlight - This year we are also welcoming submissions from designers who will have the opportunity to submit their portfolio and video introducing themselves and their work.


2. Who is eligible to participate?

Directors

GVPTA Theatre Company members will have access to up to three complimentary registrations to access the performer auditions, designer portfolios, or both depending on their role within the organization. Non-GVPTA member companies can request access (for a fee) if they are planning to hire for a production or project within the next year.

Performers

Submitting an application does not guarantee invitation to the Unified General Auditions.

  • Must be based in B.C. 

    • individuals who have temporarily relocated outside of B.C. due to the pandemic but intend to return when it’s safe to do so are eligible to apply.

  • One the following:
    • A full CAEA member in good standing
    • A full UBCP or ACTRA member in good standing with recent professional theatre credits
    • Have attended the UGAs in the past or previously attended the Qualifiers and invited to attend the UGAs
      • A current GVPTA membership is required if you are not a full union member, with the exception of the 2020 UGA invitees. The Individual Membership fee will be requested if you are invited to this year’s UGAs.

Designers

Submitting an application does not guarantee invitation to the Designers’ Spotlight.

  • Must be based in B.C. 

    • individuals who have temporarily relocated outside of B.C. due to the pandemic but intend to return when it’s safe to do so are eligible to apply.

  • You have experience or training as a designer under one of the following disciplines: Set, Props, Costume, Sound, Lighting, or Video / Projection.

  • As part of the pilot for the Designers’ Spotlight, designers do not need to be a GVPTA member, however current members will be reviewed first.


3. How do I become a GVPTA member or renew my membership?

If you are invited to submit your materials for the UGAs or Designers’ Spotlight, you will be notified if you require a GVPTA membership and the steps to do so. 


Find more information about memberships here.


4. How do I get invited to submit my video?
  1. Performers who attended the 2020 Qualifiers and were invited to attend the 2020 UGAs would have already received an invitation to pre-register for this year's digital UGAs.
  2. All other performers and designers who are interested must meet this year's eligibility guidelines and submit and application. (Note: Submitting an application does not guarantee an invitation to participate).
  3. Selected participants will be emailed an invitation with next steps and a process to submit their materials.
5. If I’m invited, does it cost anything to participate?

PERFORMERS - There are no fees for full CAEA, UBCP/ACTRA members, or UGA Qualifier individuals who were invited to the 2020 UGAs. Other eligible performers are required to be current GVPTA members.


DESIGNERS - There is no cost for designers if they are invited to participate.


DIRECTORS - GVPTA Theatre Company members will have access to up to three complimentary registrations to access the performer auditions, designer portfolios, or both depending on their role within the organization. Interested Associate Members ($20+GST) and non-members ($50+GST) must be planning to hire for a production or project within the next year.

6. What are the video and audio technical requirements?

Requirements include:

  • All submission videos must be in .MOV or .MP4 format (no video links)
  • Resolution: 720 p - 1080 p (HD)
  • Compressed files preferred
  • Filmed horizontally
  • Designers submitting audio only, file format must be in .MP3 and .WAV format


Editing Requirements:

  • Performers are welcome to submit their audition as a continuous take, however minor editing is allowed only for:
    • Editing the transition between the audition clip and introduction clip are ok;
    • We ask that the audition portion is a continuous take (ie there is no editing as you transition from one audition piece to the next);
    • Short edits within your introduction clip are ok as well.
  • Designers are welcome to structure their introduction and talk about their artistic practice and other interests (see prompt questions under Process for Designers) however they see fit, and may include, but not limited to:
    • A one shot continuous or short edits for their introduction and other things they want to share; OR
    • An audio submission of their introduction and other things they want to share; OR
    • Your introduction has you on video, then there’s a cut to visuals or video clips or other recordings that highlights some of the work in your portfolio which helps talk about your practice, for example:
      • George is a costume designer, they introduce themselves briefly on camera and then cut to slides of his costumes with a voice over of them talking about their process; OR
      • Scout is a sound designer, they introduce themselves briefly on camera and then cut to a screen recording of them showing their SoundCloud page and then playing samples of their soundscapes over a voice over that helps them talk about their practice.


7. What are some video and audio best practices and advice?

General Best Practices for filming your video:

  • You’re welcome to film your audition with your phone, video recorder or video camera
  • Make sure you have front lighting so we can see your face
  • Try your best to record in a quiet room or at a time with least amount of background noise. Audio quality is key!
  • Do not use overlay filters or effects while filming your video
  • Do some research before-hand on your video settings, if you are new to self-taping checkout the articles below
  • Make sure you are framed in the shot and about 3/4s of you is visible (torso up), and camera is at eye level (not from above or below shots)


General Best Practices for recording your audio (designer submissions only):

  • If you are not comfortable doing your introduction on video, you have the option to submit an audio recording
  • You’re welcome to use your phone or any audio recording device to record your audio
  • If you are able to adjust your recording settings, we suggest recording between 16,000 - 48,000 Hz
  • Try your best to record in a quiet room or at a time with the least amount of background noise.

Articles with tips when filming your audition or introduction video:

8. What technical support can the GVPTA offer for submissions?

If you have specific technical complications for your submission our team can try and help, albeit limited resources ourselves. 


Please let us know if you have any barriers or challenges as you prepare your materials by contacting davey@gvpta.ca.

Performers' FAQs

1. How do this year’s UGAs work?

Performers invited to the 2021 UGAs will submit a 4-minute video that includes their audition and a brief introduction of themselves. These videos along with performers' resumes and headshots will be accessible to directors for approximately one month.


2. How do I get invited to submit my video to the UGAs?

UGA application forms can be found through the UGA main page, under the Application Information tab.


3. Why are you not hosting Qualifiers this year?

In 2020, we hosted the Qualifiers for individuals who were not full union members and who had not previously qualified for the UGAs. Due to the pandemic the 2020 UGAs were cancelled, so this year we’re only inviting those individuals who were invited but missed out on the opportunity last year as well as those who are eligible under the other categories.


4. How long is my audition video?

The audition portion can be a maximum of 3 minutes and introductions can be a maximum of 90 seconds. (The total video length cannot exceed 4 minutes and 30 seconds)


Please review the Process for Performers section on the main guidelines page for more details.


5. Does my audition piece need to be memorized?

Yes, in order to showcase yourself in the best light, your audition should be memorized.


6. Where should I be looking during my audition?

When you’re performing, please focus your gaze just off camera to the side or above camera, just like you would do for stage or taped auditions. For your introduction portion, you should look into the camera.


7. Will I get a callback from any of the directors?

Callbacks are at the discretion of each director and producing company, all of whom will be provided with your resume to reach out to you directly. The GVPTA is not a producing organization, and will not hold any callback auditions or be a liaison for any of the companies.


8. Who will I be auditioning for?

All GVPTA Member Companies are invited to view the video submissions. Independent directors and non-member companies are also invited to participate if they are intending to hire or create work in the next year. Given the shift to digital auditions which can be viewed over the course of a month, we cannot guarantee the number of directors or which individuals from the companies will watch your audition.


For our current list of GVPTA member companies, check our member directory.


9. I'm a singer. Is there a musical audition?

Singers may choose to perform a monologue as well as a song within your available audition time frame. You can choose to sing acapella or with music (as either a live backtrack or accompaniment by your own instrument). Please note that we are not offering singing-only audition slots.

If you have a question we haven't answered here please email davey@gvpta.ca.


Designers' Spotlight FAQs

1. How do this year’s Designers’ Spotlight work?

Designers invited to the 2021 UGAs will submit a video (up to 5 minutes) that includes an introduction of yourself, information about your artistic mandate and practice, and interests and other information you feel compelled to share. These videos along with resumes and portfolios will be accessible to directors for approximately one month.

2. How do I get invited to submit my video?
Application forms can be found through the UGA & Designers’ Spotlight page.


3. If I apply, does that mean I’m automatically in?

Submitting an application does not guarantee a spot in the program. Only those invited to submit a video will be invited to do so.

4. How long is my Designers’ Spotlight video?
Your video can be a maximum of 5 minutes. Please review the Process for Designers section on the main guidelines page for more details.

5. What are the technical and editing requirements of my video?
Requirements include:
  • All submission videos must be in .MOV or .MP4 format (no video links)
  • Resolution: 720 p - 1080 p (HD)
  • Compressed files preferred
  • Filmed horizontally
  • Designers submitting audio only, file format must be in .MP3 and .WAV format


Editing Requirements:
  • Designers are welcome to structure their introduction and talk about their artistic practice and other interests (see prompt questions under Process for Designers) however they see fit, and may include, but not limited to:
    • A one shot continuous or short edits for their introduction and other things they want to share; OR
    • An audio submission of their introduction and other things they want to share; OR
    • Your introduction has you on video, then there’s a cut to visuals or video clips or other recordings that highlights some of the work in your portfolio which helps talk about your practice, for example:
      • George is a costume designer, they introduce themselves briefly on camera and then cut to slides of his costumes with a voice over of them talking about their process; OR
      • Scout is a sound designer, they introduce themselves briefly on camera and then cut to a screen recording of them showing their SoundCloud page and then playing samples of their soundscapes over a voice over that helps them talk about their practice.

6. Will I hear back from any of the directors after I submit?
Each director and producing company are provided your resume and are responsible for contacting you directly if they are interested in following up. Reminder: production cycles vary, especially during the pandemic, and you might not hear from interested directors for many months.


The GVPTA is not a producing organization and will not be a liaison for any of the companies in matching designers with directors.

7. Who will be watching my video?
All GVPTA Member Companies are invited to view the video submissions, which may include directors and production personnel responsible for hiring designers. Independent directors and non-member companies are also invited to participate if they are intending to hire or create work in the next year. Given the shift to digital videos submissions which can be viewed over the course of a month, we cannot guarantee the number of directors or which individuals from the companies will watch your video. For our current list of GVPTA member companies, check our member directory

8. Will my work in my portfolio or video be shown to anyone else?

We acknowledge all submitted work is the property of the submitting designer. Directors will be instructed to not share the portfolios or videos outside of their company. The GVPTA will not make public, disseminate, and/or use the content submitted by designers without their written consent. GVPTA is not liable if a director or company member does make public, disseminates, and/or use any submitted works of designers.

9. Do I submit separate applications and video submissions for the different design work I do?

We encourage you to apply and, if invited, submit a video that encompasses all your design skill sets. If you have multiple skill sets (eg. you are a costume, prop, set, and lighting designer), we leave it up to you how you craft your portfolio and video to talk about all your design work. If you have space in your resume (max 2 pages), we suggest adding any other relevant work experience or skills we should be aware of (eg. stage management, technical directing, production management, event planning etc).

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