Question of the week: How do you create an audition situation for kids that is fun, not intimidating, and still serves the point of auditions–to find the best match-up of performers to roles so that our ensemble is as strong as possible?
I don’t think we’ve found the ideal solution yet, but we did do better this round than last year. In our first season, audition day was something of a failure. Kids felt intimidated by the idea of it, and as a result none of them showed even close to their best work. It was a painful sort of afternoon.
This year, we didn’t make a big deal out of it. We didn’t even announce audition day in advance, and had the students prepare a short movement sequence for a character they were excited to play as part of class. Those who felt they needed it were assigned partners. Everyone performed their sequence twice. And only those who were interested in singing alone stood up and sang alone. These were all good things.
As an added bonus, we asked each student to tell us their top three choices of rolls, to give us some options in casting. I suppose the ultimate mark of a successful audition is a perfectly cast ensemble, so we have yet to see if we’ve cleared that hurdle. We announce roles in an hour, so we should have some idea soon!