Image from First Stage's Elf - the Musical

Professional Adult Actor Auditions

Important update as of May 19, 2021

A year after suspending in-person performances, First Stage is optimistic to return safely to the stage in late fall 2021. We are planning an inspiring 2021/22 season to safely welcome back our families, our audiences, and our actors and artists. 

First Stage is hiring five to eight Actor’s Equity Association Actors and four to six non-Equity Actors for the 2021/22 season. Due to 2019/20 season cancellations and postponements, we have standing agreements with another eight actors for our upcoming season. Please review our 2021/22 season and actor needs.

If you have auditioned with us through UPTA or Milwaukee Theatre Generals, please consider that your general audition. If you have interest/availability for any of the open roles, please email us at auditions@firststage.org with that interest and we will try to match your interest with a call back in the early summer 2021. If you haven’t auditioned with us in the last couple years, please reach out with interest/availability for any of the open roles. 

All of our productions are based on AEA reopening plan to be submitted and approved summer 2021.

If you are auditioning through the Milwaukee Non-Equity General Audition portal in March 2021, you need not resubmit your audition to us.

Please contact Jeff Schaetzke at jschaetzke@firststage.org if you have questions regarding audition submissions.

Auditions for A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS (play with music)

Directed by Jeff Frank

Performances at the Todd Wehr Theater, Marcus Performing Arts Center


Schedule (nine actor weeks):

First Rehearsal: October 27, 2021
Performances: November 20 - December 26, 2021  


ACTOR(S) ROLES:

SNOOPY (Open Call) - Snoopy is a non-speaking role and require strong movement skills with a particular focus on clowning. For example, one of the moments in the show is Snoopy’s attempt to set up a director’s chair for Charlie Brown – which turns into an extended lazzi as he fails repeatedly before finally succeeding. In your video audition we would love to see 60 seconds of physical comedy/lazzi incorporating any found object, and/or 30 seconds of Snoopy battling the Red Baron in the skies. Have fun!


Video considerations for Snoopy due to Jeff Schaetzke,
jschaetzke@firststage.org by June 15, 2021. 

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Auditions for THE WATSONS GO TO BIRMINGHAM - 1963 (play)

Directed by Aaron Todd Douglass

Performances at the Todd Wehr Theater, Marcus Performing Arts Center


Schedule (eight actor weeks):

First Rehearsal: December 20, 2021

Performances: January 21 - February 23, 2022  


ACTOR(S) ROLES:

Grandma Sands – Black woman. Mother to Wilona and grandmother to the Watson children, Grandma Sands is a figure of strength. She is the proposed solution for Byron's misbehavior since she "won't be putting up with any of that mess" and yet when Kenny sees her for the first time, she is revealed to be "a teeny-weeny, old, old, old woman." In contrast to the playground, where physical size and might is equated with strength, Grandma Sands is strong in the way that she "pulled everybody together." She is a symbol for strength in its most important form.


Wilona Sands Watson
** First Stage has tentative agreement with an actor to play one of the this role based on agreements in 2020 before shutdown.**


Dad - Daniel, Wilona's husband -
Black male. Father to the three Watson children. He loves his children and has a good sense of humor although, when the children misbehave, he can be a disciplinarian.

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Auditions for THE DANCING GRANNY (play with music)

Directed by Samantha Montgomery

Performances at Goodman Mainstage Hall at the Milwaukee Youth Arts Center


Schedule (seven actor weeks):

First Rehearsal: January 18, 2022
Performances: February 12 - March 6, 2022  


ACTOR(S) ROLES:

Anika the Granny - 40s-60s, Black, female identifying - dances with the fervor of a toddler - background in African dance a plus.


Old Man/Ananse the Spider
- Black, male identifying character actor with strong movement skills, background in African dance a plus. The Old Man is weathered and worn, but Ananse is a vibrant and quick trickster.


The Sun who Drums
- Provides the underscoring for the play as the drum responds to the story throughout the telling. **Tentative agreement with musician/actor/music director for this role**

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Auditions for THE LEGEND OF ROCK, PAPER, SCISSORS (musical)

Directed by Kelly Doherty

Performances at the Todd Wehr Theater, Marcus Performing Arts Center


Schedule (eight actor weeks):

First Rehearsal: February 9, 2022
Performances: March 5 - April 3, 2022  


**Casting for this production has been completed with agreements with actors from a previously-staged or cancelled production**

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Auditions for THE AMAZING LEMONADE GIRL (play)

Directed by Molly Rhode

Performances at the Todd Wehr Theater, Marcus Performing Arts Center


Schedule (eight actor weeks):

First Rehearsal: March 23, 2022
Performances: April 22 - May 15, 2022  


**Casting for this production has been completed with agreements with actors from a previously-staged or cancelled production**

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Auditions for LAST STOP ON MARKET STREET (musical)

Directed by Johamy Morales

Performances at the Goodman Mainstage Hall, Milwaukee Youth Arts Center


Schedule (nine actor weeks):

First Rehearsal: April 11, 2022
Performances: May 7 - June 12, 2022  


ACTOR(S) ROLES
Seeking a diverse cast reflective of the changing landscape of a city.

NANA -CJ's Grandmother - Older woman of color. Firm but nurturing soul. Strong singer a plus.


Actor 1 (male identifying): Reverend, Mr. Dennis (the Bus Driver), Blind Man, plus other ensemble characters.
 Male identifying, Strong Character actor, good movement skills, potential puppetry, ability to rap and sing.


Actor 2 (male identifying)
: Tattoo Man, Guitar Man (proficient), Shopping Cart Man, Mr. Sunglass Man, plus other ensemble characters. Strong Character actor, good movement skills, potential puppetry, ability to rap and sing.


Actor 3 (female identifying)
: Well-Dressed Woman Butterfly Lady, Garbage Can Woman, plus other ensemble characters. Strong Character actor, good movement skills, strong singer/rapper, potential puppetry.

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Understudy Opportunities

A First Stage understudy usually covers two tracks. Limited rehearsal time and a presence to be available during the run of the show. Must be local to Milwaukee.

Understudy tracks pay $250-400 and EMC points. 

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Other actor opportunities

We are always looking for teaching artists for our Theater in Education programs during the school year, and our Theater Academy during the school year and in the summer. 

Please send your interest and resume to Julia Magnasco, Programming Director at jmagnasco@firststage.org

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About First Stage

FIRST STAGE is proud to employ between 30-40 professional actors every season, and there are opportunities for Internships, Understudies, and Teaching Artist Fellows. FIRST STAGE employs Actor’s Equity Association Actors and Non-Equity actors under a Theatre For Young Audience (TYA) Contract.

First Stage is one of the nation’s largest professional theatre for young audiences. We are an Equity theatre that also hires non-equity actors, Teaching Artist Fellows, and understudies for most shows. Contracts run in length from six to nine weeks. We do age-appropriate casting for our young roles, and cast anywhere from five to twenty-five young performers per show. We also are interested in actors who have experience or potential as teaching artists either in our Theater in Education department or our nationally acclaimed Theater Academy. 

For more information about auditions, contact Jeff Schaetzke, Director of Artistic Operations at jschaetzke@firststage.orgauditions@firststage.org or (414) 267-2985. When possible, please submit your headshot and resume electronically ahead of time.  

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