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Evaluation of Videotaped and Live Theatre Auditions

Ward, William C.
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Report
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
Acting, Audiovisual Aids, Evaluation Methods, High School Seniors, Scholars in the Arts Program, Talent Identification, Videotape


Theatre auditions by 24 semifinalists in the 1980 scholars in the Arts Program were evaluated under two conditions. Four judges ranked the live auditions, while five evaluated videotapes of the same performance of the high school seniors. The auditions were videotaped in black and white. A single camera was used, fixed at an intermediate distance so as to give a whole-body view. Tapes were mailed to the judges for viewing on playback equipment. Correlations between the two sets of assessments indicated considerable agreeement across methods of evaluation, though they were not equivalent to one another. In the present sample, the use of videotapes for final decisions about nominations for awards would have resulted in a completely different group of nominees from those actually chosen. On the other hand, videot apes used as a screening device would have permitted a 60% reduction in those invited to give live auditions with a loss of only one individual who was eventually determined to be among or near the five most accomplished. Despite the limitations of this effort, its results point clearly to the usefulness of videotapes as a screening device. (Author/RL). (18pp.)

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