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July 11, 2023 rebekah@sharpshellsolutions.com

Sourcing Local Theatre Roles in Central Florida:

A Guide for Aspiring Artists


If you’re an aspiring actor in Central Florida, the path to finding your place on the local theatre scene can seem like a daunting journey. With a vibrant arts scene, Central Florida is home to several theatre groups that provide ample opportunities for budding talent. This guide will provide you with insights and tips on how to source local theatre roles, with a special focus on the apprenticeship program offered by the esteemed William Daniel Mills Theatre Company.

The William Daniel Mills Theatre Company (WDM), a renowned name in the Central Florida theatre scene, has been a springboard for many talented artists. WDM prides itself on its unique approach to nurturing talent: it hires paid apprentices, providing them with hands-on experience in the world of theatre. The group also partners with local theatre organizations to assist in placing their apprentices, ensuring a wide range of experiences for their proteges.


The first step for any aspiring actor is research. Look for local theatre groups and community theatres that have active seasons. Theatres regularly stage productions, offering numerous roles for actors of all experience levels. Additionally you can search for curated sites that show auditions for the overall theatre community for example:

(20+) Central Florida Auditions | Facebook 

Orlando Shakes Theater Auditions 

Auditions | Rollins College | Department of Theatre & Dance | Rollins College | Orlando, FL 

Audition – Orlando Fringe

When researching, take note of the types of productions each theatre group typically puts on. Some might specialize in classic plays, others in musicals, and others in contemporary or experimental theatre. Knowing your strengths and interests will help you decide which theatre groups you should target.

Once you’ve identified potential theatre groups, the next step is to audition. Auditions are generally advertised on the theatre group’s website, social media platforms, and industry newsletters. Some theatres also hold open auditions at the start of their season. When preparing for an audition, make sure to fully understand the requirements—these can vary from monologues to singing or dancing routines.


Getting involved in the local theatre community is another vital step. Joining local acting workshops or classes, attending industry events, and networking with local actors and theatre professionals can open doors to opportunities that might not be publicly advertised. These connections can also provide valuable advice and support as you navigate your acting career.

Another way to get your foot in the door is by taking on roles behind the scenes. Many theatre groups in Central Florida value the versatility of their members. Joining a theatre group as a stagehand, costume designer, or lighting technician can provide an opportunity to learn the workings of theatre production and make valuable connections within the industry.


Now, let’s delve a little deeper into the WDM’s apprenticeship program. As a paid apprentice, participants get to work on real productions and gain firsthand experience in professional theatre. The program is designed to provide a comprehensive understanding of the theatre world, from acting and directing to stage management and technical roles.

The application process for the WDM apprenticeship program involves submitting a resume, portfolio, and a letter of intent, followed by an audition and interview. The apprenticeship runs for a year, during which you work closely with the WDM team and their partner theatre groups. This exposure to different theatre practices and productions can be an invaluable asset for any aspiring actor.

In partnership with other local theatre groups, WDM also helps place its apprentices in roles within their productions. This collaboration ensures a diverse range of experiences and opportunities, providing a holistic view of the theatre industry.

Sourcing local theatre roles in Central Florida involves a combination of research, networking, auditions, and getting involved in the local theatre community. The WDM apprenticeship program offers a unique opportunity to gain hands-on experience and network within the industry. Remember, each actor’s journey is unique. Embrace the process, stay persistent, and keep your passion for theatre.

The WDM apprenticeship program is designed for elite high school and early college talent in central Florida. They offer professional training through master classes and paid opportunities. The areas of work include performance, stage management, directing, theater design, technical theater, and education1.

The program, now entering its third year, has already engaged nearly 100 apprentices, and is expanding its reach by forming new partnerships. These partnerships include Central Florida Shakes, Rollins College Department of Theatre and Dance in Winter Park, FL, and Weathervane Theatre in Whitefield, NH. Apprentices will have the opportunity to work alongside Rollins College students, faculty, and staff as part of the department’s productions in their 23-24 season. In a unique summer opportunity, apprentices selected for Weathervane will get to live, work, learn and play alongside professional actors and staff, and perform in original theater and mainstage productions throughout the season1.

The program encourages the creation of art in safe, equitable, and diverse spaces. It’s about building the future of the industry and leaving a legacy that will sustain the young adults for generations to come.

The professional apprentice program in Central Florida was founded by Harold & Rosy Mills in memory of their son Daniel and is guided by the leadership of Joseph C. Walsh, Roberta Emerson, Nick Bazo, and Anne Hering.

Finding local theatre roles in Central Florida, Florida, involves a mixture of research, networking, auditions, and involvement in the local theatre community. The WDM apprenticeship program offers a unique opportunity to gain hands-on experience and network within the industry. Remember, each actor’s journey is unique. Embrace the process, stay persistent, and keep your passion for theatre alive.

For more information on the William Daniel Mills Theater Company please visit:

William Daniel Mills Theatre Company | Making Performing Arts Accessible To All (wdmtheatre.org)

“Great theatre is about challenging how we think and encouraging us to fantasize about a world we aspire to.” – Willem Dafoe

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STE 331
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