Mary Kate Francis: Ragtime Audition
Duke University Class of 2015
Hometown: Napa, California

Having only ever auditioned in front of the same three adults at my high school, I was incredibly anxious heading into my audition. The audition space overwhelmed but definitely excited me since my high school performances were typically in a gymnasium. The production crew who were auditioning us seemed intimidating at first as they looked down on us in the theatre, but as soon as they began speaking, their friendliness was obvious and comforting. We learned a short dance routine at the beginning of the audition. This calmed my nerves more than anything and allowed me to control my nervousness and allowed me to enjoy the remainder of the audition.

Getting involved in the arts at Duke so early on has been one of my best decisions since arriving. Though the week when I had auditions for both Ragtime and the fall musical, Company was very hectic, the experiences so far have more than paid off. I couldn’t even bring myself to take the winter away from musicals and the people involved in Hoof ‘n’ Horn. As a result I auditioned for and am now cast in The Mystery of Edwin Drood as well! Rehearsals are definitely the part of my day that I look forward to the most. They give me a break away from my studies that allows me to relax, blow off steam, and stop thinking about classes and grades. One of the things I love most about doing musical theatre at Duke is that the unity among the cast does not rely on whether or not you are cast in a principle role. Hoof ‘n’ Horn has made me feel welcome and excited about my future at Duke since seeing the Cabaret during Orientation Week, and I plan to be involved in the arts at Duke for the remainder of my years here.