Selecting a Piece


Students will demonstrate their ability to match an appropriate audition piece to a show by choosing audition pieces for their faux audition opportunities.




Audition pieces, Actor’s portfolio, Pianos




At the beginning of class, the teacher announces that today he or she will be auditioning for Hamlet by singing “The Sun Will Come out Tomorrow” from Annie. They side-whisper to the class that, if the teacher is male, they’re going for the part of Ophelia or, if the teacher is female, they’re going for Laertes.



Discussion—Before they actually sing “Ease on Down the Road,” they stop and ask the class why that is wrong. There are several answers. If students do not list these answers, the teacher fills in the gaps. Some reasons include Annie is a musical and Hamlet is a Shakespearean tragedy, the piece is not age-appropriate, the messages of the two shows do not match, and the teacher is going for a character of the opposite gender. The teacher then leads a discussion on how to choose a piece based on the show. Audition pieces should meet the requirements the casting team posted. They should be appropriate for the actor’s gender, race, age, physique, voice, and talents. They should subtly hint that the actor has the ability to play the character(s) they are going for. They explain to students what an actor’s portfolio is, pass one around, and then inform students that they can take the pieces they’ll be auditioning with to start to compile their own portfolio.



Guided Practice—The teacher takes some of the audition opportunities and descriptions and asks the class to list off potential audition pieces. As the class lists off pieces, the teacher assess what needs to be clarified and taught, then does so.



Individual Practice—The teacher lets the class, for the remaining time, select pieces for their audition and practice. If students have chosen a musical theatre piece, they may use the pianos. Halfway through the class, the students must check off with the teacher their selections.



At the end of the class, the teacher has the students return to their seats. The teacher reviews with questions such as: “What determines a good piece for an audition?” “The piece you choose should be appropriate for what?” and “What is a portfolio?”




The teacher assesses student understanding through the discussion and guided practice. They check off student’s audition pieces.