First Day Audition Information, What to Expect!

The first day of Twin Cities Theater Camp is our audition day, and along with auditions can come some nervousness among students. So here’s a little FAQ to allay some of your concerns!

What will we do for our auditions?

Singing, dancing, and acting, although it can depend a bit on your age. Every student will do a short dance sequence in groups of around 10 at a time. You will also sing an excerpt of a song (posted below and on our Rehearsal Tools page. Younger students will do acting games in their morning class and older students will be asked to read “sides” which are short scenes from the script. We often follow up with call-backs for students we want to hear more from.

Tell me more about my dance audition

Students will learn a series of steps and moves in the morning from our choreographer, Kate, and her assistant, Helena. You will practice this dance in class, then get a chance to review in the afternoon at your audition. Then you’ll do the routine in a smaller group of your classmates, usually a couple of times. This helps us get an idea of where each student is in regards to their movement skill level. You do not need to do any prior preparation for this audition as it is taught in the morning on the first day of camp. Older students will often do this portion of the audition in smaller groups than the younger students.

tell me more about the singing audition

All students will learn the same excerpt of a song and will sing together as a group. To be considered for a solo in the show, students are required to sing by themselves, either with the general audition song , or with one of the character selections. Usually the older students will audition with a character excerpt although auditioning with the general excerpt does not disqualify you from being considered for a principal role. The vocal excerpts are linked to below. If you plan on auditioning for a principal role, it is recommended that you look at and learn the basics of your song before camp starts. If you aren’t sure what to do, just don’t worry about it! We’ll learn the song together on the first day.

Tell me more about the acting audition

This is where things can vary depending on your age. For younger students the acting audition happens as a part of morning classes. We may have you do some sort of acting exercise in the audition itself, but we can also get a very good sense of your acting skills in how you dance and sing. For older students, we will have a scene for you to perform with some of your peers. You will be given a scene in class to work on and are not required to memorize it. Acting can also happen during the other portions of your audition, so really go for it!

can i bring my own song in?

No. Having everyone sing the same songs helps us to manage our time and get a better sense of your pitch-matching and ability to work with an accompaniment. It also makes the auditions easier for students who may not have access to music, lessons, or a way to learn songs at home.

I’m nervous about Acting/Singing/dancing, can i sit it out?

We require everyone to participate in this part of the camp experience! It’s okay if you’re not an expert in some areas of the audition. Not only is the audition a great way to seeing how students get better year-after-year, but it tells us what kind of cast we’re working with overall. We like to tailor our productions to our performers and the auditions help us to do that.

who will be present for the auditions?

Our director, Ellen Fenster; our choreographer, Kate Guentzel; our music director, Tim Kraack; our assistant music director, JJ Gisselquist; assistant dance instructor, Helena Magalhaes, and sometimes an intern or two are all of the adults involved in auditions. The other students present will be those in your age group.

do I need to learn anything ahead of time?

No! You’re not required to prepare anything. Older students who are interested in a principal role are encouraged to look at the character audition excerpts but we will also teach any songs and dances on day one.

the character i’m interested in isn’t on that sheet!

Some of the characters sing similar vocal ranges to other ones in the show, so we narrowed down the audition sheet to four main characters and can make decisions on other ones based on these. For other lead Newsies characters beside Jack, we recommend the general audition song, plus Santa Fe.

If I audition for a character will I only be considered for that one role?

We consider students for all roles, and auditioning for one particular role will not negatively impact any casting decisions.

Newsies sounds like a lot of boys, what about the girls?

We will be casting both boys and girls as Newsies. Twin Cities Theater Camp casts fluidly between male and female roles.

What are callbacks?

Callbacks are extra auditions that will happen at the end of day 1. These are an opportunity for the directorial team to hear students sing and act some different parts to help us make the best casting decisions we can. We will ask some students to return and sing excerpts of songs that may not have been a part of the original audition repertoire.

if i didn’t get called back does that mean i’m not being considered?

Not necessarily. Usually we just need to hear more from a handful of students. Shows like Newsies have LOTS of roles and we don’t always need to hear a second time from everyone we’re considering for certain roles.

I’m nervous.

Auditions often make people nervous, even adults. It’s normal to be nervous during this process, but the camp staff is very gentle and we’re here to help teach you how to handle your nerves and improve your audition skills. Just like anything else in theater, auditioning is a skill and you’ll get better and better each year!

When do you cast the show?

The artistic team sticks around after camp on the first day to discuss all of the auditions we saw and make decisions on casting. Remember, we just saw 80 actors audition, so casting can be pretty difficult!

Does everyone make it into the show?

OF COURSE YOU DO! One of the best parts about a TCTC show is that everyone will learn a ton of songs and dances, and we make sure every character is unique and try let as many students as possible shine in their own way on stage. But YEAH, everyone is in the show!

Do you have some sort of video i can watch that has more information?

Timothy Kraack