Auditions are a necessary, but understandably nerve-wracking, part of the performing arts process. The actor’s job is to showcase their abilities as best they can so that the artistic team can place the actor in the best role for their abilities.
Musical theatre auditions consist of three parts—acting, singing, and dancing—the order of which changes depending on what order the artistic team has decided to go in.
For most PAA shows, the material for each audition is provided ahead of time. Students are sent a short dance routine to learn, a short monologue to memorize, and an excerpt from a song to learn. Most directors provide several song and monologue choices to choose from.
During the audition, students will be in a small group that proceed through the audition together along with the director, music director, and choreographer. This is the artistic team for your production, and you’ll get to know them really well over the next several weeks of rehearsals!
Auditions typically last 30-45 minutes and the cast list is typically announced 2-3 days later through email.
What to Expect from PAA Auditions
We know that auditions can be fraught with anxiety so we make every effort to help students feel comfortable during the process. We provide material ahead of time to insure as much preparation as possible. We keep the audition environment casual and friendly, with students participating in small groups.
Once a student is registered for a show, you will receive an email from firstname.lastname@example.org with the link where you can sign-up for an audition time slot. Auditions are typically 30-45 minutes in length an occur on one day.
The PAA Producer will also email you the audition material, typically consisting of a short dance routine to learn, a short monologue to memorize, and a 30 second excerpt from a song. Most directors typically provide multiple options for songs and monologues.
You will be asked to fill out your costume measurements ahead of time and submit them through an online form. This link will also be emailed to you. If you don’t do this ahead of time, a paper version will be available for you on the day of your audition.
You will be asked to submit any known absences and scheduling conflicts to the producer via email.
DAY OF AUDITION
When you arrive for your audition you will check in with our site manger and join the small group of students whom you will be auditioning alongside.
PAA Staff will take your photo an give you your show script.
If you have not done so ahead of time, we will ask for your costume measurements as well as your list of known absences an scheduling conflicts. Your attendance is critical to your success and we take absences very seriously. Read more about PAA’s attendance policy
DURING THE AUDITION
You will meet the artistic team for your show, typically consisting of the director, music director and choreographer.
You will take turns with the other members in your audition group performing your music, reciting your monologue, and dancing as a group.
Try to remember these three important things:
- Breathe. If you feel anxious, try slowing your breathing a bit, and pretend you are gently and slowly blowing on a wand to make bubbles. This is called using bubble breath.
- Be Yourself. We are thrilled to have you with us! The more you are you, the better we can find a role that that will be a good fit for you!
- Have Confidence. If you don’t feel confident, try finding a space in the waiting area before you go in and make a wide X with your body. Be an “X” for about 20 seconds or more!
AFTER THE AUDITION
Waiting is the hardest part! We will email the cast list typically 2-3 days after auditions. Once you know your part(s) you can find your scenes in your script and get to know your role.
Not getting the role you were hoping for can certainly be a disappointment. Please know that at PAA we think EVERY ROLE IS IMPORTANT, and we work hard to show that through our actions and interactions with students.
Check the schedule for when rehearsals start! We can’t wait to see you on stage!
Will every student have a role in the show?
Yes! Every student will have a role in the show and will be involved in the rehearsals!
Can parents watch the auditions?
No, we ask that adults please wait outside the audition room. This allows the students to fully participate in the process without additional distraction.
Who are the people in the audition room?
The director is the person who oversees the entire show, and also does the acting and blocking (where you move on stage) rehearsals. The choreographer creates and teaches the dances with the cast, and may also do other parts of the show depending on how the director and choreographer choose to work together. The music director is in charge of all of the singing and music for the production. They work closely with both the director and choreographer to make it all tie in together. Occasionally, additional PAA Staff may also be in the room, someone like our tech director or production assistant.
What do I need to prepare for auditions?
PAA typically provides a selection of short monologues to choose from, a few song excerpts to choose from, and one dance routine to learn. These materials are provided to you when you register for the show, so the earlier you register, the more time you have to prepare for the audition.
Where do I find the audition material?
Please check your inbox! You will receive an email from email@example.com with the audition material for your show.
When will I know my role?
We will email the cast list typically 2-3 days after auditions. This may vary so please be patient with us. If you don’t receive any email within a week please check in with our producer, firstname.lastname@example.org.
How will I know my role?
PAA will send an email.
What if I don’t get the role I was hoping for?
This is one of those tricky things that doesn’t have a perfect answer. We suggest talking your feelings out with an adult you trust, then taking a new look at the role you have been given with the goal of finding a way “in” to making friends with your character.
It could be fun to imagine you are interviewing your character to find out what they like, dislike, their dreams and hopes, their fears and maybe a secret too. This type of game is fun no matter if your character is a person or animal! Try looking for clues in the script to help figure out who your character is, and then use that information to invent things that feel right to you about your character and their journey through the story.
Do you have callbacks?
Our Conservatory level program is the only PAA program for which we model our auditions after professional auditions, with callbacks and cuts. All other PAA shows have one-day auditions, without callbacks, and every student is assigned a role.