What to expect at “Beauty and the Beast” Auditions

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So… you are auditioning for the musical Beauty and the Beast?  Great!  So you have you came to the workshop and have all the songs to choose from, you’ve practiced the dance number and maybe watched the Beauty and the Beast movie. Now what?

Now, you will have to choose what you are auditioning for.  Do you want to try your hand at a Lead?  Or do you want to sing and dance in the ensemble?  Pick wisely, we audition the Leads first, then two days later we look for the ensemble.

Lead Auditions are October 20th from 3-6pm in the Choir Room

Ensemble Auditions are October 22nd 3-6pm in the Choir Room

During the auditions we will have you enter in groups of eight.  You will first sing your song (as a solo), and then all eight of you will dance at once.

For the Lead auditions we will ask you to wait around after you audition.  Then we have callbacks once everyone is done.  The callbacks will include more singing, dancing and now acting.  You will read scenes together.

771_1_BB-8-amy-boyleFor Ensemble auditions you sing and dance for us the first day.  You get to leave once you audition.  Ensemble Callbacks are the next day October 23rd from 3-6.  For these Callbacks we will sing together, dance together and read some people for the smaller characters such as the Silly Girls or other townspeople.

As the Director and Music Director, Ms. Figg-Franzoi and Ms. Winnie watch with an open eye.  As much as the whole theatre department thinks they precast, they don’t.  Going into the musical the two directors have no idea who will be Belle or the Beast, and this is the case every year.  For that reason alone they ask that you don’t precast.  Ms. Figg-Franzoi learned as an actor that precasting only leads to disappointment.  Please don’t do it, you think it’s fun, but it ends in sadness.  Anyone could play any character.  Every show they cast they are surprised at who gets cast, within the department their is a lot of talent, so it’s always fun.

What the two of them look for in an audition are performers who come prepared.  Ms. Winnie and Ms. Figg-Franzoi have seen everything in their years here at HHS.  One of the best actors walked in unprepared for an audition and did not get cast.  They knew he could play any roll in the show with his eyes closed, but he didn’t feel he needed to show them he could.  On the other hand they’ve had two women who walked into auditions knowing the part they wanted, owning the audition and getting the roll.

408861_322436027794562_320951310_nThe Music and Theatre Director look for actors who are nice and open to others.  Who will jump up and help a fellow actor in need.  They look for performers who are willing to take risks, who are willing to fail and try again.  Ms. Figg-Franzoi wants actors willing to change and grow, who have an open mind and willingness to work hard.  The productions that she’s had the most fun on are the ones where the actors are working harder than she is.  Ms. Winnie and Ms. Figg-Franzoi have witnessed this in their leads for the past couple of years.  Meri Bobber, the Leading Player in Pippin choreographed a dance for the show, Joe Schwalb and William Toney worked with each other for Carousel and Maggie Collins, Jonathan Bartlett, Grace Bobber and William Toney would practice with each other on the weekends for Carousel and The Mikado.  

As they said before, for the musical, they cast based on effort put forth at auditions.  The leads traditionally go to the person who is the most prepared.  But if they have worked with the actor before they do think back on how well they worked with others.  It’s all about teamwork and upholding the HHS name in the Fine Arts department.  You might be an amazing actor, but not nice to work with.  Maybe you have skipped rehearsals in the past, don’t memorize your lines, are mean to others… these all play a roll in casting.  Ms. Figg-Franzoi and Ms. Winnie are building a community and don’t want people who can’t play nice.  So yes… they do think back on past shows in that sense.

With that in mind, they also cast people who have proved to them in the past that they work hard for their role.  They do their homework on their character and listen to others. Ms. Winnie and Ms. Figg-Franzoi also look for Professionalism.  But this is not just for actors.  They look for this quality in all of theatre: stage crew, costumes, make-up, ushers, actors, directors.   It requires a certain level of maturity for a high school student to be in musical theatre. Unlike most students, they have a responsibility to others. Musical theatre is fun, but it is also a job.  The student leaders get to that position by being professional, by going above and beyond and by helping others.

Ms. Winnie and Ms. Figg-Franzoi wish you luck on Auditions and if you have question please don’t hesitate to talk to us!

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