You definitely do not need to be a member of ABC Players to audition or even to be in one of our plays, but if you come back after that to perform in other plays, we'd like you to join.
When you arrive at a typical audition, you'll be given a questionnaire about your theater interests and experience, any schedule conflicts you know about, any part you're particularly interested in, whether you're willing to help put on the play even if you aren't cast, and your contact information. (Hints: Come a little early to give yourself plenty of time to fill out the questionnaire. If you have a favorite pen, bring it along.)
The director will ask different combinations of people to come up on stage and read (or sing, if the play is a musical) from the play scripts. You may be asked to read for different characters or may be asked to read one part several times with other people playing the other roles. You'll have a couple of minutes to read over the material before starting, but not a lot of time. Of course, you'll want to get into the role and do your best. Normally, everyone who is trying out will be in the room together, so you'll get to meet everyone else and hear their auditions. (Hints: It'll be easier to understand the context of what you're asked to read, if you can read the play before the audition. Scripts for non-musicals are typically less than $10 from Internet sources. Often the Ohio University library has a copy; even if you're not associated with OU, you can get a community access card for the OU library or request the script through inter-library loan from your community library. Often the director puts copies of the script on reserve at the public libraries. If you don't have time to read the play, Google on it and read some plot summaries and reviews of it on the Web. If you need a bit longer to understand the part or to compose yourself, don't be afraid to ask for it.)
After everyone has had an opportunity to read, the director may ask some people to stay a little longer or to come back on another day for additional readings. In some cases, the director will be able to tell a person on the day of auditions that he or she will not be cast, but usually casting decisions are made within two days of the audition, and the director calls or e-mails you with the news about whether or not you got a part. (Hints: Don't get discouraged if you're not cast the first time you try out. Being cast has less to do with talent/potential than with being right for a particular part when looking at the cast as a whole. Stay with the show and work backstage with the tech crew--no experience necessary, or work with props or costumes or publicity. Keep coming back.)
After reading the above notes, a recent president of ABC Players added that she "lacked experience and had no idea how to prepare for the audition, yet auditioned on a lark and is still active in the group after nearly 10 years."