What is it like being in the Summer Show?
Being in a TCOE Theatre Company Summer Show is an incredibly exciting and fulfilling experience. Students learn new skills, make new friends, and work together to create something to be proud of! It is a big time commitment and requires a lot of dedication. Auditions usually open in May. Weekday rehearsals begin shortly after school concludes for summer in June. The show performs the last two weekends of July.
What is the schedule like? What about conflicts?
Because of the fast-paced schedule, if a student misses just one rehearsal, they might miss the vocal parts and choreography for an entire number. Students cannot have more than two pre-approved absences. These must be turned in on our conflicts form with auditions. Please talk to theatre company director, Bethany Rader at email@example.com, if you have specific questions regarding this policy.
We often have three rehearsal rooms going at once. Students will be in one room learning choreography, in another room learning music, and learning blocking in the third. Downtime is limited, and attendance is essential to success. Students must be off-book/memorized for the first rehearsal.
Classroom rehearsals are Monday - Friday from 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. beginning in early June. Once rehearsals move into the theater in July, rehearsal times will be extended to 1:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. (this does not include tech week, which often has longer hours.)
Load-in is usually on a Sunday, two weeks before opening. Strike is typically the Sunday after closing. These events are mandatory for each student (if you have a religious conflict with Sundays please speak with Bethany before rehearsals begin).
Some of these dates are subject to change. A general rehearsal schedule for the current show will be given out at the Materials Meeting after the cast list is posted. More detailed rehearsal schedules will be provided to the cast as the directing staff can make one available.
Who can audition for the Summer Show?
Any 7th-12th grade* student who lives in or attends school in Tulare County. *This includes students entering 7th grade in the upcoming fall and those who will have just graduated from high school.
There may be a summer where we invite younger students to join our Summer Show, it just depends on the title that is chosen. If it is one of those situations, we will advertise for younger performers. If it isn’t, then we will have a pre-show for 1st-6th graders who would like to participate. Audition information for that age group will be separate and may vary from year-to-year depending on the director for that project.
TCOE Theatre Company’s OnStage Summer Camp will also be working on their production during the month of June. That is open to incoming first graders through just “graduated” sixth graders. Click HERE for more information.
What is the cost to participate?
Cast members will be asked to provide $50 toward the cost of producing the show and will be asked to provide their own performance undergarments, shoes, and some tools and accessories for hair and makeup. No cast member is ever turned away due to an inability to pay. Scholarships are available. Email Bethany at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are in need of a scholarship.
How do I audition for the Summer Show?
We will have in-person auditions around the first few weeks of May, specific dates and times will be advertised on the audition flyers for the show every summer and on our Callboard page. Auditions will take place over the course of one week – with two days of acting and singing auditions, one day of dance auditions, and an invitation-only callback.
What else do I need to know about auditions for the Summer Show?
You only need to come to ONE of the days for acting/singing. We offer two different days for ease of scheduling, but you only need to come to one day.
Everyone must participate in all three disciplines involved in the audition (vocal, acting, and dance) in order to be considered for casting. The directors and audition panel fully understand that students have strengths and weaknesses and varying levels of experience and confidence in the three disciplines. Do not count yourself out because you consider yourself a weak dancer or have little experience singing. There are plenty of roles in every show that are not dance-heavy or don’t necessarily have a vocal solo. Just try your best and learn from the experience no matter what happens! Have fun and “fake it till you make it!”
If you have a conflict with the audition times, please let us know, and we will work out a video audition scenario for you.
What about callbacks?
There will be invitation-only callbacks for students that we wish to see more from. At the end of each day of auditions we will be letting students know if they will be invited to callbacks OR we will be sending out an email to students.
It is VERY important your email is legible on your audition form.
We will typically give the callback material to you at that time, so you have time to look at it before callbacks.
PRO TIP: If we give you callback material early, look at it! Know it! We can tell if you haven’t spent any time on it when you come to callbacks. That also tells us something about you.
You could also possibly get a callback after your dance audition, so don’t discount that.
Always remember, just because you didn’t get a callback doesn’t mean you didn’t get cast or didn’t get a role. Callbacks are just those we want to see more from.
Any other tips for auditions?
Vocal Audition Tips:
Pick a song that highlights what you do best as a singing actor -- your vocal range, ability, musicality, and the tone of your voice. Do not just pick the most popular song on Broadway or one that has the highest of notes. Find a song that really works for you and the show you are auditioning for!
Remember to do your research and consider the style of music and characters when choosing a song. Don't choose a song from the show you are auditioning for.
Select 16 to 32 bars of music (30 to 60 seconds) of the song that you feel most confident about and that shows off your singing and acting abilities.
You do not have to start at the beginning of the song, just make sure that whichever portion you choose tells the audition panel a story that has a beginning, middle and end to it. This will help you emote and act through the song.
The intro should only be 8 beats or less of music before you sing.
Bring with you the edited sheet music that has the piano score for the accompanist to use.
Acting Audition Tips:
Do your research on the play, not just the music, so you can be as prepared as possible for your cold read. Since you will have no idea what the acting audition will be beforehand.
Our office will have copies of the script for perusal the week before auditions. They have to stay in the office, but you can schedule a time with Bethany to come over and read them.
Use the acting audition to your advantage.
If you know you want to play a younger character, make sure you read with more youthful qualities.
If you want to play an adult, deliver it how you feel an adult would be.
Is the character a “bad guy” or a “good guy”? Play that! Make us know your thoughts.
Don’t use any accents unless that are specifically requested, just be your version of the character.
Speak slowly and clearly.
What to wear to your singing/acting audition:
Wear something that is nice, neat, clean, and semi-professional .
Avoid ripped, stained, messy, or baggy clothing.
Dress to reflect the part you want
If you want to Elle Woods in Legally Blonde, consider a skirt and bright colors.
If you wanted Evan in Dear Evan Hanson, consider jeans since he is a high school student.
Wear your hair out of your face, so the panel can see your face and you aren't tempted to fidget with it.
Don’t wear too much makeup unless the part you are auditioning for calls for it.
Wear clothes you can comfortably sing, move, and breathe in.
Avoid revealing clothing.
Dance Audition Tips:
Research the show in advance to get an idea of the movement requirements.
Dress in neat dance clothes or athletic attire that is not baggy or revealing.
Check to see if there are any special shoe requests for the audition. Usually jazz shoes work best for most TCOE Theatre Company auditions and flexible athletic shoes/sneakers are always acceptable for students who do not have dance shoes already.
Have your hair neatly and securely pulled off of your face.
Warm up and stretch your body before the audition to avoid injury and help you perform your best.
Spread out, finding lines and windows, so everyone has enough room to dance.
If you are new to dance focus on the big picture of the choreography instead of getting bogged down in the smaller details and technique.
If you make a mistake, don't break character, just pick it back up and keep that smile on your face!
We have all had the experience of walking out of an audition and never being completely happy or content with the work that we did. We can always find something to nitpick and might spend hours upon hours going over the audition in our heads and analyzing it and tearing it apart. Do not fall into that trap! The directors and audition panel are not looking for perfection. We are looking for a confident and capable performer who entertains us!
Do your homework ahead of time. Study up on the show you are auditioning for. Know who the composer is, the writers, the original choreographers…use that knowledge to your advantage!
Treat your auditions like it’s a performance. Don’t focus on what the directors are thinking. This is your chance to share who you are and what your unique voice does!
The sign of a successful audition isn’t whether you booked “the job”. It’s if you walked out of it saying, "I did the best I could". Strive for that in all you do.
We want to learn more about YOU in your audition. Do not try to copy other famous actors, singers, or dancers. Be you and do what you do best. Be proud of yourself.
Tulare County Office of Education
Tim A. Hire, County Superintendent of Schools
P.O. Box 5091
Visalia, CA 93278-5091