Theatre Auditions

2021-2022 AUDITIONS


Book by Enda Walsh
Music and Lyrics by Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová

On the streets of Dublin, an Irish musician and a Czech immigrant are drawn together by their shared love of music.

Over the course of one fateful week, an unexpected friendship and collaboration quickly evolves into a powerful but complicated love story, underscored by emotionally charged music.

Featuring all the magical songs from the critically acclaimed film, including the Oscar-winning "Falling Slowly," this achingly beautiful, joyously uplifting show strikes an unforgettable chord in audiences and speaks to the power of music to connect us all. A show like that only comes around Once.

Produced by Kent State University at Stark Theatre Department
Directed by TC Mavis Jennings

2022 Performances
April 8, 9, 15 & 16 at 8 p.m.
April 10 & 17 at 2 p.m.


NOTE: If possible, all actors in the cast of Once will play at least one instrument. However, to cast more closely to the essence of each character, our production’s instrument assignments, in most cases, will be flexible. For example, traditionally, Andrej plays double bass and Svec plays drums, but these instrument assignments can be reversed. *Please note the instrument assignments of Girl (who must play piano) and Guy (who must be an excellent guitar player) must remain, as their shared songs specifically call for this instrumentation.

Instruments needed in Once: Piano, guitar, violin, cello, double bass, electric bass, mandolin, ukulele, accordion, banjo, harmonica, and drums/percussion.

Open Casting Policy

Our policy is centered on casting the very best actors for each role and we are committed to racial, cultural, and artistic diversity and embrace our Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion Policies always. We value diversity in race, disability, gender, sexuality, socio-economic background, faith, and age. And so, casting will start from this position and always be open and neutral. Everyone is welcome and warmly encouraged to attend our auditions at Kent State University at Stark Theatre. If specific race/ethnicity or other characteristics are central to the story, we will make this clear in audition notices. There are no such requirements within the story structure of Once, thus this casting is OPEN and we hope you can join us in auditions for casting this wonderful story about following your dreams. 

The Plan (Auditions, Rehearsals, Tech and Show)

Place: Kent State Stark Fine Arts Building: The Mary J. Timken Theatre

Production Dates and Times:

  • Initial Auditions: videos and in-persons by 1/20/22
  • Callbacks: by appointment – the week of 1/24/22
  • First Cast Meeting: Design presentation, share books and production plan, Monday, 1/31/22, 6 to 7:30 p.m. 
  • First Read Through/Sing Through: Tuesday, 2/22/22, 6 to 9:30 p.m.
  • Rehearsals: Sunday through Thursday (Sundays from 2 to 4 p.m. and M-R evenings from 6 to 9:30 p.m.)
    Feb. 22, 23, 24, 27, 28,
    March 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 27 
    *Note: Not everyone will be called for all dates and times. Attention will be given to schedules and actors will only be called when implicitly needed. Times near the end of the schedule will be called for all, more than during the first few weeks. 
  • Sitzprobe: 3/25/22 from 6 to 8:30 p.m.
  • *Spring Break: 3/28/22 - 4/3/22
  • Tech: 4/4/22 - 4/7/22 from 6 to 10 p.m.
  • Show Run: 4/8, 9, 15, 16 at 8 p.m. and 4/10, 17 at 2 p.m. *call time will be 1½ hours before each performance.
    *Note, full attendance at Tech and Show Run are mandatory to insure the successful run of our production.


  • Send your videos to attention TC Mavis Jennings by Jan. 20, 2022.
  • Callbacks will be made by appointment and are planned to be scheduled in person during the week of Jan. 24, 2022.

The 1-2-3s of Auditioning

Send a short video of yourself:

  1. Create a video sharing your name and a little bit about yourself... what instruments you play, what character(s) you are hoping to play. Then:
  2. On the video, sing a song from Once, or something comparable in genre. 
  3. In an email, include your contact information, any rehearsal conflicts, (mandatory attendance for Tech week and Show Schedules), and attach your video*, resume, and headshot. (Send to:
  • *Note: if your video file is too large to email, use the website which you can use to send files under 2Gig for free. (In this case, you can send your resume, headshot and conflicts on a separate email.
  • Callbacks will be made by appointment and are planned to be scheduled in person during the week of Jan. 24, 2022.   


The ages and genders listed are for describing the characters being played and not necessarily for the actors’ playing the characters. Our aim is, first and foremost, to tell the story and our casting is open.


GIRL, Female, 20-35, mezzo soprano; direct, intelligent, no nonsense and witty. Should have something ‘other’ about her. Has had to work hard at life but doesn't think she deserves any sympathy. Must play the piano and sing extremely well. Should have a strong Czech (Eastern European) accent.   

GUY, Male, 30-39, baritone; a busker who, after suffering a painful breakup has decided to give up on his music and has resigned himself to living a life as a vacuum machine repairman, and living along above his dad's shop; brooding and charismatic. Must play the guitar and sing extremely well.  Should have a strong Irish accent.   

BILLY, Male, 30-49, baritone; a large Irish man. Owner of the music store where Girl plays piano. Loud, funny and protective of Girl but also has a vulnerability. Must sing and play guitar well. Should have a strong Irish accent.  (If following the original production casting, Billy also plays Ukelele, Cajon, Snare Drum)  
REZA, Female, 25-29, Soprano; a sexy, funny, smart Czech girl. Often a bit larger then life. Must sing well and ability to play violin/fiddle is a bonus. Should have a strong Czech (Eastern European) accent.  

BARUSKA, Female, 45+, alto; mother of Girl. A cool but caring Czech mother who likes a full house and full stomachs. Not many inhibitions. Must sing and should play the accordion/piano well. Should have a strong Czech (Eastern European) accent.  (If following the original production casting, Baruska plays piano, accordion, Tambourine, Melodica)  

BANK MANAGER, Males & Females, 30-49, tenor/alto; seems quite prim and proper but has a secret passion for music. Must sing and play guitar & cello well. Should have a strong Irish (Cork) accent.   

DA, Male, 50+, baritone; Guy's dad. A man of few words, but a lovely and caring father. Should play guitar, ukulele/mandolin well. Should have a strong Irish accent.   

SVEC, Male, 20-39, baritone; a real odd ball. Loves television and coffee. Playing guitar & drum kit well is a plus. Should have a strong Czech (Eastern European) accent.  (If following the original production casting, Svec plays Banjo, Guitar, Mandolin, Drum Set)  

ANDREJ, Male, 20-29, baritone; earnest and kind. It works well if he has a slight build, made slighter by his oversized interview suit. An employee at a fast food chain, but has big dreams. Should play guitar & bass guitar extremely well. Should also have a strong Czech (Eastern European) accent.  (If following the original production casting, Andrej plays Electric Bass, Ukelele, Tambourine, Cajon, Guitar)  

EAMON, Male, 20-49, baritone; the music studio manager where Guy and Girl record their album. A tough nut to crack but eventually gives into the musician’s talents. Must sing well; playing guitar (& piano) well is a plus. (If following the original production casting, Eamon plays Guitar, Piano, Melodica and Harmonica). Should have a strong Irish accent.

EMCEE, Male, 20-49, baritone; the emcee at a bar. A good-natured ball buster. Must sing well, playing guitar (& piano) well is a plus. Should have a strong Irish accent.   

EX-GIRLFRIEND, Female, 20-39, mezzo-soprano; Guy's ex-girlfriend who now lives in New York. Kind, lovely and likeable. Playing violin well is a plus. Should have a strong Irish accent.   

IVANKA, Female. 7-10, mezzo-soprano; the sweet-natured daughter of Girl, should be comfortable on stage and have the ability to sing.


TC Mavis Jennings
Theatre Director & Instructor
Department Coordinator