Audition Tips

What is an Audition?

Auditions are a demonstration of the candidate’s suitability and skill level for a particular role in a production.

For some of our programs at Castro Valley Theatre Academy we ask students to audition to help us place them in the suitable role based their talent, skill level, and age. Student who attend our programs come from various backgrounds and experience, we do our best to make sure everyone has a role that will challenge them at this particular stage of their training. Rehearsal conflicts also play a factor in our casting decisions. It is important to remember and remind students that there are no small parts. Often in musical theatre productions an ensemble role has more stage time and opportunity to sing, act and dance than many leading roles. At Castro Valley Theatre Academy we emphasize the importance of working together as a company or team, all roles large and small are needed to tell the story.

Audition Procedures

Musicals:  Students choose a short (16 bars) excerpt of a song from the options we provide

Plays: Students choose a short (1 minute) monologue from the options we provide

Audition Tips

· Pick material you are familiar and comfortable performing.

· Pick material that will show similar qualities and skills required for the role you would like to play.

· Focus your attention over the heads of the audition panel, do not look directly into the eyes of the directors during your audition piece.

· Be prepared. Memorize and practice before the audition.

· Know the basic plot of the show and the specific characters you are interested in playing.

· Don’t use any costumes or props (a chair is acceptable if it makes sense in the context of the material).

· Know the source material for your audition piece (i.e. the show the song is from, the playwright, the character who’s monologue you are performing or the character that sings that particular song).

· Practice your slate (your introduction). Before you begin an audition you need to state your name and what you will be performing. For example:

“My name is Sally Jones, and I will be singing Do-Re-Mi from The Sound of Music


“My name is Tyler Smith, and I will be performing Jem’s monologue from To Kill A Mockingbird


Does my student have to audition?

We encourage all students to audition, however it is not required to participate. Student who do not audition will be given an ensemble role. An audition allows our teaching artists to evaluate a student’s confidence, facial expression, vocal projection, story telling and preparation.

Can I read/sing from a piece of paper?

The ability to memorize is an important theatrical skill. Encourage students to be off book so we can see their face and they are free to “tell the story”.

Where can I find the audition material options provided by Castro Valley Theatre Academy?


What are the directors looking for?

  • Character & Expression
  • Projection
  • Diction
  • A character similar to the character you would like to play in our show.
  • Tell the story!

What if my student is afraid of auditioning?

Encourage your student to overcome this obstacle. Our programs are about training and growth, we do not expect perfection, we just ask that students be willing to learn. The audition is how we are able to correctly place them in our production. It is an assessment of their skills, not a judgment. We strive to help every student feel they gave their best effort in their audition. All of our teaching artists are sensitive, positive and trained to encourage every student feel good about themselves.