QSE Auditions for 2020

We are excited to announce that auditions for QSE's 2020 QSE Core Ensemble and Apprentice Program will be held on the afternoons of the 30th of November and 1st of December 2019, with call-backs on the evening of the 2nd of December.

The Queensland Shakespeare Ensemble is an artist-run company with Core Ensemble members having priority for involvement in artistic roles, while also managing a business portfolio (e.g. Administration, Members and Events, Marketing, Finance).

Applications must be received by 5pm on November 22nd, and are to be submitted electronically (via e-mail as below).

Auditions will consist of 15-minute slots in the following sessions, by appointment only: 2-6pm Saturday November 30th and 2-6pm Sunday December 1st.

Callbacks will consist of a group session 6-11pm on Monday December 2nd that will include voice, Shakespeare, group work, and improvisation. You MUST be available for the entirety of the callback on December 2nd in order to be considered for the Core Ensemble or Apprentice program.

All auditions will be held in the Geoffrey Rush Drama Studio, on the St Lucia campus of the University of Queensland (under the Schonell Theatre).

Please note that not all applicants will necessarily be offered auditions. The offer of an audition is dependent on the quality and fit of the application materials.


Prepare two pieces from any of Shakespeare's plays, one comic piece and one dramatic piece (not necessarily from a comedy and a tragedy/history, just one piece with a comic tone and one with a dramatic tone). Each piece should be no more than two minutes long, and speeches do not need to be age/gender appropriate. Choose something with which you feel a personal connection.

Apprentice Program Applicants

Applicants to the Apprentice program do not need any previous experience performing Shakespeare. Apprentices must be at least 18 years of age by the beginning of the Stradbroke intensive (February 2nd, 2020). There is no upper age limit. The ideal apprentice is a theatre artist (of any age) who wants to enrich their craft by immersion in classical text and its performance. Apprentices receive extensive training in the Linklater voice method and QSE's approaches to working with classical text, as well as having the opportunity to engage in a range of activities and tasks involved in putting on a production and running a theatre company.

The cost of the Apprentice Program is $800 (including membership). The Apprenticeship is ideally suited to emerging artists, and Apprentices will receive training plus mentorship from experienced company members valued at over $2,000. The apprentice program runs from January 20th to July 12th, and is a part-time commitment other than during the intensive training periods outlined below.

Expressions of Interest: Core Ensemble

Experienced professional actors that are interested in being part of the Core Ensemble are encouraged to apply for an audition.

Applicants will be skilled actors with a passion for performing Shakespeare and a strong desire and capacity for being part of an artist-managed ensemble. The Core Ensemble, as the name suggests, is the backbone of QSE, and drives its artistic and business activities.

Applicants for the Core Ensemble should be familiar with QSE's work and activities, and ideally would have some previous experience with QSE's training. It is unlikely that an applicant who has not previously performed or trained with QSE before would be invited to audition for the Core Ensemble.

The ideal Core Ensemble member would have the following qualities:

  • a passion for performing Shakespeare
  • respect and commitment to QSE's work and training
  • skilled and energetic in their work on-stage and off
  • able to receive and incorporate feedback into their practice
  • a mix of artistic and business/administrative skills
  • able to fill a gap in QSE's current skill profile
  • a team player, more concerned with the creation of artistic community than in furthering their own commercial career
  • a long-term commitment to the advancement of QSE and theatre in Queensland

Core Ensemble members are given first priority, where possible, for any paid work within the company.

For 2020, QSE is particularly interested in auditioning actors who also have experience in website maintenance, IT, sales and marketing, or education.

General Application Information (all applicants)

Applications will be accepted electronically only, by e-mail to (if electronic submission is not possible, please contact QSE at the same e-mail address well in advance of the deadline to request an alternative).

Make sure that your application includes ALL required documentation, or it cannot be accepted. Each of the following should be a separate document, ideally JPEG for the headshot and PDF for other documents. Applications should include:

  • your headshot (ideally A4 size / high resolution)
  • your acting CV
  • a one-page cover letter, as a separate attachment (i.e. not in the body of the e-mail) that:

    • clearly states whether you are auditioning for the Core Ensemble, Apprentice Program, or both
    • includes contact details; specifically mobile and home phone numbers and an e-mail address
    • indicates if you have a preference for a particular audition time
    • details why you would like to work specifically with QSE
    • assesses your strengths and challenges as an actor
    • if you have specific time restrictions for your initial audition on November 30th or December 1st, please make these explicit in the cover-letter, otherwise we cannot guarantee you a specific time.

And additionally, for applicants to the Core Ensemble:

  • a non-acting CV or a short description of your non-acting experience that outlines your administrative, managerial, marketing, and/or computer skills


Once we have received your application we will send you an e-mail acknowledging receipt, along with information about QSE and our 2020 activities. Your audition time will be e-mailed to you on or by November 24th.

Crucial Dates

In order to be accepted into the Core or Apprentice program, you must be available for the following:

  • Residential Training and Kick-off Intensive at Stradbroke Island: Saturday February 1st through Friday February 7th, 2020 (dates include travel days).
  • Regular Advanced Training: 6-10pm Wednesday nights from February 19th to April 8th, with a public sharing the week of April 14th (must be available evenings April 14th - 18th).
  • Members of the Core Ensemble must have general availability on Sunday evenings for meetings. While not held every week, many Sunday evenings are taken up with business, artistic, and production meetings (currently the first and third Sunday evenings from 6-10pm are set aside for this purpose).
  • Apprentices and NEW Core Ensemble members: training in voice and acting on the weekends of February 8th/9th, 15th/16th, and 22nd/23rd from 9am to 5pm on each day.

For Core Ensemble Members: Rehearsals are generally held on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday evenings, and on Saturdays during the day. Rehearsal and performance periods for 2020 are likely to run from early June through to early November. Please note that although QSE encourages its actors to gain experience through other performance opportunities, preference must be given to the QSE artistic seasons throughout the year.

More detailed information about 2020 activities and events, including a detailed calendar, will be available prior to the audition.

If you have questions, please e-mail QSE at or leave a message on 0411 172 390.