JTF Auditions, Details, and Workshops…Oh my!

PPJR jazz hands colored logo transparentJTF production class is about to begin and auditions have already been set for August 21st, 2-5pm at the Mountain Heritage Center. So, what does this mean for students wanting to be a part of James and the Giant Peach Jr.? What is involved in an audition anyway?

An audition does not need to be a sweaty-palms, heart-pounding, nerve-wracking experience. On the contrary, the audition is your first chance to shine. The director wants to get to know you for the charming person you undoubtedly are. Be yourself. Do your best. Have fun. Rest in knowing that the director will do their best to place you in the ideal role for the success of the show as a whole.

For auditions this year casting will also be determined by your ability to show dedication and preparedness by performing a memorized monologue. In order to be considered for a lead role, students must prepare a monologue and a song.  The audition material should last between 60-90 seconds, so look for approximately a 45 second monologue that you would enjoy performing and 16 measures of a song from a musical that shows your range/ability. It is recommended to brush up on your British accent for reading sides.

The auditions will include a dance audition, so students should wear something that they can move in (jeans are difficult to move in, and ladies if you wear a dress or skirt be sure to wear shorts or leggings underneath).

If you are concerned about finding a monologue try these tried and true tips:

  • The best monologues come directly from plays.
  • Look for scenes where the character is addressing another person. Soliloquies are best left to Hamlet – don’t try them at home. 😉  
  • Always imagine in your head the “moment before” as you begin your monologue. What has just happened?  Are they reacting to something the other person has just said and done? Let that come through in your piece.  
  • Decide what your character wants? What is motivating them to speak?

Most importantly, for these auditions know you are not alone. Our new Director of Education, Chelsea Thayer, will be hosting a free audition workshop the day before auditions.  If you’d like to practice your audition so you can feel confident going into your JTF audition, come to Parkway Playhouse with your prepared material on Saturday August 20th from 3-5pm. There will also be 1/2 an hour set aside to focus on British accents. Students will work on vocal placement for the perfect British accent. Handouts will be provided with helpful dialects tips as well.

To close, here’s a lovely thought from director Kristen Livengood, “if casting a show is the director’s “problem,” then think of yourself as being the director’s “solution” and use that confidence when performing your audition.  Also, think of your audition material as an opportunity to perform.  Your audition is your time to own center stage – and all Directors enjoy being entertained.”


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Parkway Playhouse, located in the Appalachian town of Burnsville, NC, is a haven of theatre talent. While people come to the mountains to get away, Parkway Playhouse is a natural gathering place to connect. Likewise, we are an extension of traditional mountain talents: singing, dancing, and, foremost, storytelling. By giving rise to energetic new voices and through a wide variety of plays and musicals, we invite our audience into experiences that are thought-provoking, adventurous, and entertaining. Together we reimagine the world in every live performance, creating dynamic conversations that last far beyond the curtain call. This blog is will feature stories, helpful information, insight and features about the performances.

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