Kids learn how to audition

Published 4:58 pm Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Red Mountain Theater Company’s Keith Cromwell implored a stage full of kids to just be themselves.

“The one thing that you can do better than anyone else in the world is be yourself,” Cromwell said.

The kids assembled on stage at Shelby County High School April 10, came to learn more about the process of auditioning for school plays and even community productions.

“The whole point of this workshop is to demystify the idea of auditioning,” Cromwell said. “We don’t want them to be fearful of an audition.”

Cromwell gave participants several key tips to auditioning: be early, look like you’re ready to go, remember your “Bring It On” stance and be nice to everyone from the secretary to the pianist.

The Shelby County Arts Council sponsored the workshop. Students as young as 6, and as old as 15, participated. Council Director of Arts and Education Susan Dennis said youth gain much from working with someone who’s worked in theatre and auditioned themselves for numerous roles.

Cromwell spent years in New York both performing and directing before moving to Birmingham and taking over at Red Mountain.

“This is such a unique workshop because they get to work with real professionals,” she said. “It really focuses on the process of growing and learning skills they can use throughout life.”

Cromwell agrees kids can take lessons of auditioning throughout their lives.

“What the arts do is create a way for kids to grow their self esteem no matter what career they are going into,” Cromwell said.

For more information about upcoming programs through the Shelby County Arts Council, visit