Young Performer Auditions

Updates as of April 12, 2024:

We are excited to share Young Performer audition info for our upcoming 2024/25 season!

We are excited to share Young Performer audition info for our upcoming 2024/25 season! 

A NOTE from First Stage and our Belonging, Equity, Access and Diversity (BEAD) Committee 

At First Stage we recognize that our audiences connect more deeply with our work when they see themselves on stage. To that end, we will list race/ethnicity/ability when specific to the character and/or story but are otherwise seeking all races, ethnicities and abilities. Additionally, while most characters we currently encounter in scripts are written with binary pronouns (he/him or she/her), our casting seeks to be as inclusive as possible. We invite gender non-conforming, genderqueer, transgender, and non-binary actors to submit for the roles which most interest them. 

-adopted from language originally created by Kevin Kantor and Emily Trarquin of Actors Theatre of Louisville 

Audition Dates

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Audition Process - What Do I Do?

Whether or not you have auditioned previously for First Stage we are asking that all folks interested participate in our General Auditions this Spring (to be considered for all shows in the season) or this summer (if you are only interested in shows rehearsing in the second half of our season.) If you are interested in auditioning for First Stage this season, please review our 2024/2025 season shows and dates to choose the productions/opportunities/roles for which you would like to be considered. Once you have made that decision, here are the next steps: 

1. Schedule your Audition Date and Time 


Schedule a time for an in-person audition by picking an available time slot on our Bookings page here 

All in-person auditions and callbacks will take place at Milwaukee Youth Arts Center, 325 West Walnut Street.  


2. Complete your Audition Form.  


Once you’ve signed up for an audition time, you will be sent a confirmation email with a link to our SharePoint. This site will include a mandatory audition form and all audition materials, updates, and FAQs for your perusal.  



3. Prepare Your Audition 


For your audition, please prepare a memorized monologue (between 30 seconds to 1-minute). 

If you’d like to be considered for a musical, please also prepare 30 seconds of a song of your choosing. All songs will be sung acapella (no music, just voice).  

  Or, if you would prefer preparing a scene and song (if you want to be considered for the musicals in our season) from one of the productions that you are interested in, look through the scenes and songs available for your preferred show and choose a character and a scene and song to prepare (we will ask other auditionees to read with you at the audition if needed). Once you sign up for an audition time, we will share audition materials from the season that you can choose from.  

 Please note that some of the shows you may be interested in auditioning for also ask for a song. 

NOTE – Though you may be using materials from a specific show, we will consider you for all options in our season for which you are available. Please note all shows for which you are interested in being considered for on your audition form. 


4. Arrive 15 minutes before your slot and break a leg!  


Plan to park in the side lot of the Milwaukee Youth Arts Center, 325 West Walnut Street. Enter through the main entrance and follow the signs that will lead you through the left side of the building. We will have someone at the Auditions table to greet you and check you in.  

Then get pumped to show us what you’ve prepared! 😊  

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Virtual Auditions

Please email for instructions and access to audition materials. To be considered for a Fall show in 2024, the virtual submission deadline is April 22, 2024.  

To be considered for a Spring show in 2025, the virtual submission deadline is August 1, 2024.  

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Spring General Audition Information

April 13-14, 2024

To be considered for the first three productions of the 2024/25 Season, you must attend a Spring General Audition. Those auditioning in the spring will also be considered for Callback Auditions in the fall for the remaining four shows in the 2024/25 Season.

Please sign up for a slot via this link, and we will reply with confirmation and additional information. Email if you have any questions.  

On April 13 & 14, audition slots will be in 30-minute increments between 12PM-5PM.

Callbacks for productions in Fall 2024, which includes PETE THE CAT and RUDOLPH THE RED-ROSED REINDEER™: THE MUSICAL will be scheduled for the week and weekend of May 14-16. Exact schedule TBA. 

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Summer General Audition Information

June 25 & 27 and July 23 & 25, 2024

If you attend General Auditions in the Spring, you do not need to attend the Summer General Auditions.

Please sign up for a slot via this link, and we will reply with confirmation and additional information. Email if you have any questions.  

June 25 & 27 

July 23 & 25   

Audition slots will be in 15-minute increments between 4:30-8:30pm for all summer dates.  

Callbacks for productions in Spring 2025, which includes THE DINOSAUR PLAY, EMILY SONG AND THE QUEEN OF THE NIGHT, FINDING NEMO, and ESPERANZA RISING will be scheduled for the week and weekend of September 10-15. Exact schedule TBA.


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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.

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

Each Wednesday both casts of Young Performers are typically called to rehearsal, but on Thursday and Friday, Young Performer casts will alternate rehearsal days. 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 four 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 Performing Arts Center. All other productions will typically tech in Goodman Mainstage Hall at the Milwaukee Youth Arts Center.

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.

If cast in a First Stage production, you and your child understand and agree to the time commitment asked of you; including but not limited to transport to/from rehearsals and performances, attending all rehearsals when called, attending all performances your cast is scheduled for, and working with your counterpart should any conflicts arise for you or for them. If offered a role, you are expected to clear any outside commitments for the duration of rehearsal and performances. 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.

Past history tells us that Young Performers are generally not able to be on a sports team, competitive dance team, or in another show during the eight to ten weeks of rehearsal and performances. A dual commitment causes significant problems for both sides, and the young performers have a poorer experience in both cases.

Young Performers should expect to miss seven to nine days of school during performances. We work with schools and principals to make sure attendance is excused as long as you are completing all schoolwork.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What if I have auditioned previously for First Stage? Do I need to audition again?

We ask that everyone attend general auditions this spring or summer. Please review the spring and summer audition dates and sign up accordingly.

What if I am interested and available for more than one show?
When you send in your audition information, include which shows you would be interested and available for, but you only need to prepare one audition. 

Do I have to sing or is sharing a scene or a monologue enough?
If you do not want to be considered for musicals, a scene or monologue is perfect. If you do want to be considered for any of the musicals, please share 30-60 seconds of a song that you feel represents you and your voice.

What happens next?
Based on your submissions, we will invite young performers to specific auditions, which will take place between late April and early May for the fall shows and after Labor Day for the Winter and Spring productions, during which we will provide you additional show specific materials to prepare.

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Other Performance Opportunities

Auditions for First Stage Theater Academy’s Company Class (March/April), Young Company (August) and First Stage Theater Academy’s Performance Experience Classes are scheduled separately.

For more information about these auditions, please contact the Academy office at (414) 267-2970 or

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For further information about First Stage auditions, please email

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