Young Performer Auditions

As the nation’s leader in Theatre for Young Audiences with age-appropriate casting, First Stage casts between 140-180 young performers ages 8-18 among our 8 – 9 plays each season for our Mainstage, First Steps, and Foundry Stage productions.

New Students and Families  Returning Students and Families  | Callback Schedule  Frequenty Asked Questions | Contact 



NEW STUDENTS AND FAMILIES

April/May Auditions
Sign up and attend a 30-minute general audition on one of these dates:

  • Tuesday, April 16 – 4pm – 8pm   
  • Wednesday, April 17 –  4pm – 8pm   
  • Wednesday, May 1 – 4pm – 8pm   

Sign Up For An Audition

April/May auditions for 2019 will be considered for May callbacks for the following plays: 

Prepare a one-minute memorized monologue from a play, sing a one-minute song a Capella, and join seven to eight other students in some group exercises. Auditions are held at the Milwaukee Youth Arts Center.

June Auditions

Sign up and attend a 30-minute general audition on one of these dates:

  • Monday, June 24 – 4pm – 8pm   
  • Tuesday, June 25 –  4pm – 8pm   

Sign Up For An Audition

August dates to be announced June 1, 2019. 

Summer auditions for 2019 will be considered for Fall Callbacks and the following plays:  THE SNOWY DAY AND OTHER STORIES

All auditions are held at the Milwaukee Youth Arts Center (MYAC), 325 W. Walnut Street. Parking is available on Third Street and Walnut Street in the adjacent parking lot.  


RETURNING FIRST STAGE STUDENTS 
Previously auditioned in 2018-19 been cast/called back in 2018-19

If you have previously auditioned for First Stage during the 2018-19 season, your audition and performance was taken into consideration for our Spring Callbacks. Young Performer callbacks will be emailed to those students who we are calling back for our first three shows of the year (On the Wings of a Mariposa, Elephant and Piggie's "We Are in a Play!", and Elf – The Musical). These callback emails will be sent no later than Thursday, April 4, 2019. If you received a callback email, please reply to that email with whether you accept your callback (s).  

If you did not receive a call back email, you can re-audition at a general audition in April or June.  (Please note:  to be considered for one of the first three shows of the season (On the Wings of a MariposaElephant and Piggie's "We Are in a Play!", and Elf – The Musical), you must re-audition in April/May of 2019.  

Sign Up For An Audition

If returning students are not satisfied with their callback invitations, all students are welcome to re-audition at any general audition. If you accept your callback(s), then simply accept your callback invitation.

We will be sending out call back invitations for the final five plays of the season (A Wrinkle in TimeThe Legend of Rock, Paper, ScissorsGretel!Alex and the Amazing Lemonade Stand) after our May call back season and throughout the summer general audition season. Those callbacks will be August 26 – September 10, 2019.

If you have any questions about the status of your audition or call back, please contact Jeff Schaetzke at auditions@firststage.org


FIRST STAGE CALLBACK SCHEDULE FOR 2019-2020

You need only come to the callback to which you are invited. Callbacks are by invitation only.

There will be a make-up call back by appointment only if you are called back, but completely not available for that evening.  

The callbacks for A Wrinkle in TimeThe Legend of Rock, Paper, ScissorsGretel!; and Alex and the Amazing Lemonade Stand will take place between August 26-September 10, 2019. Those invitations will be sent following the May call backs and the summer general auditions.

In addition, we will be casting four to five Foundry Stage Series New Play Reading (one-week commitment) throughout the year.


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What is a General Audition?

  • Ages 8-18 (in 2019-2020)
  • 30-minute audition in a group with 7-10 young performers
  • Group warmup/exercise/theatre games
  • One-minute monologue memorized from a play or musical or dramatic work
  • One-minute song sung a Capella that shows off your voice (optional, but encouraged)
  • Have fun!

What is a callback?

  • A callback is an audition for a specific show.  The director of the show will be there with a choreographer or music director and other First Stage staff.  
  • You will sing or read from the show and you will be sent that information ahead of time
  • You will read and sing with other young performers being considered for that show.
  • For musicals, you will sing specific parts of the show that are sent to you
  • You may be asked to do a dance call or movement or puppet exercise that will be explained to you.

What happens after an audition and callback?

  • Directors will look at the roles available and necessary for each show, consider all factors including double casting (we double cast each young performer role) and then make offers.  

  • An OFFER for a role is an invitation to play a certain part in a show.  That may be exciting – but you need to consider your evening commitments for rehearsals, your weekends for 7-8 weeks as there are rehearsals and performances each Saturday/Sunday for eight weeks, and your school schedule.

What is it like to be in a First Stage production?

  • Being cast in a First Stage show is a lot of work and a lot of fun!

  • Young performers are always “double cast”’ and share their roles with a “counterpart”, which is another young performer in which you will share duties, blocking, performance responsibilities and may be asked to switch rehearsals or performances on a limited basis.

  • Rehearsal schedule:
    • Young performers work with the adult, professional actors, professional stage management team, and directors to rehearse and perform the roles in any given production.

    • The typical rehearsal/performance commitment is between 8 – 9 weeks.

    • Young performers begin rehearsals on YP weekend on Saturday and Sunday.

    • Rehearsals are Tuesday through Friday from 4 – 8:30pm, with a 20-minute dinner break; Saturdays from 12:30 – 4pm or 5 – 8:30pm, and Sundays from 10am – 1:30pm or 2:30pm – 6pm.  

    • During the week, one cast is Tuesday/Thursday and one cast is Wednesday/Friday.  This keeps young performers fresh with their schoolwork and not at rehearsal every single night.  On the weekends, casts alternate between the first rehearsal block and second rehearsal block.  This adds up to 4 rehearsals per week in each cast. There will be three to four BOTH CAST rehearsals in which we call all of the young performers to have them work together or watch each other.

    • Rehearsals for the first three weeks are at the Milwaukee Youth Arts Center. At the end of the third week, our Mainstage production rehearsals will move to the Todd Wehr Theater at the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts. All other productions will typically tech in Mainstage Hall at MYAC.

    • Once Mainstage shows move to the Marcus Center, pick up and drop off is at the Stage Door of the Marcus Center on State Street.  An Assistant Stage Manager will meet them at the door and wait for their rides with them after rehearsals or performances.
  • Performance schedules:
    • Our school matinee performances are in the morning and into the lunch hour.  Young performers should expect to miss between 7 and 9 days of school from 8:30am until 1:45pm.

    • Young performers to be at their show times one hour before their performance, and to be picked up 30 minutes after the final show of the day.  A typical show call is 9:00am until 1:45pm. If you are available, you will to go to school in the morning before 8:30am or after the shows from 2:00pm on. 

    • We work with schools and principals to make sure your attendance is excused as long as your work is being completed.  Because of the school commitment, we only cast young performers in one show during any season.

    Commitment:
    • Once you are offered a role in a show, you are expected to have any outside commitments cleared for the duration of rehearsal or performances.  In very rare exception can we allow you to miss rehearsal – we only have three weeks to put a production together, and time is valuable.

    • If you’re cast in a show, it means you aren’t able to be on a sports team, competitive dance team, or in another show during those eight weeks.  It isn’t fair to either production or team and it usually makes the young performers have a poorer experience in both cases.

    • Please discuss any possible conflicts with casting or Stage Management at the time of the offer.  We have to replace young performers from time to time who have unexpected conflicts or conflicts that haven’t been communicated.

Auditions for First Stage Theater Academy’s Company Class (March/April), Young Company (August) and First Stage Theater Academy’s Junior Productions (school year) will be scheduled separately, and not through this process. For more information about these auditions, please contact the Academy office at (414) 267-2970 or academy@firststage.org.

For further information about First Stage auditions, please contact Jeff Schaetzke, Director of Artistic Operations, and auditions@firststage.org.