Journey to a Trauma Informed Life

How to Prepare for an Audition

Actor in feathered gown facing upstage with shadow cast larger than life on back wall.
42nd Street at the Erie Playhouse

Thinking about auditioning for a production this season? If you’re going out for a show here at the EP – or anywhere – read up on these helpful tips and answers to some frequently asked questions about auditioning, and check out the full rundown of auditions for the rest of the season.

How to Prepare

Find a monologue. If you have been in a play/musical before, you may use a selection from there. Otherwise, you should find an age-appropriate monologue from a play, musical, movie, or even a short poem. Monologues can be found online or in collections at bookstores. You should try to memorize your monologue – but it is not necessary (although it does show dedication!).

Find a song. You should select a song you like to sing in a comfortable key. Sheet music is available online, or at a music or book store. Bring this with you to the audition. There will be a pianist at the auditions to play your music for you. You can also bring a karaoke track from YouTube or iTunes…we know sometimes it’s easier to sing along with something you’ve practiced with!

Practice, Practice, Practice! Rehearse ahead of time in front of familiar people – parents, friends, or a music teacher. Practice with someone playing the piano for you. This is very important because the piano accompaniment may not be exactly what you’re used to hearing on a recording or video. Take time to sing with a piano.

Know the play or musical you are auditioning for. Perusal scripts are available for checkout at the Erie Playhouse Box Office two to three weeks before auditions.

The Process

When you arrive at auditions for the Erie Playhouse, you will be asked to fill out an audition form. This form includes: contact information and previous theatre experience, a place to list scheduling conflicts, performance dates and times, and other important information.

After you have filled out your audition form, you should keep it with you. When you audition, you will be called by the number on the top, right-hand corner of your audition form. Please take your audition form, the song with musical accompaniment and your monologue/poem with you.

There may also be a movement or dance audition. The choreographer will teach a dance or movement combination to small groups. Each group will then perform the combination for the director.

Important things to know



Have a POSITIVE face, attitude, and body language.

SMILE! Be expressive, animated, and full of energy when you audition.

BE POLITE to everyone, starting with the first person you see at the audition, all of the others who are there to audition, and those in the audition room.

INTRODUCE yourself to the director, music director, choreographer, and piano player. These people will most likely be in your audition.

DO NOT apologize even before you start your audition. For example, “I have a cold and can’t sing.” Those in the audition room will be able to tell.

LISTEN carefully to and/or read all instructions given in the audition. If you have questions, please ask the person in charge.

BE COOPERATIVE. The director may ask you to try a part of another song from the actual show or start from a different point in your music. Do what is asked of you — don’t argue.

Say THANK YOU when the audition is over.


SING a song you like to sing in a comfortable key. If you are an alto, do not sing a song where you have to screech high to get the notes out.

MEMORIZING your song and poem/monologue is not necessary. However, it does show how hard you’ve worked to prepare for the audition.

PRACTICE! PRACTICE! PRACTICE ahead of time in front of familiar people: parents, friends, or a music teacher.

PRACTICE with someone playing the piano for you. This is very important because the piano accompaniment may not be exactly what you’re used to hearing on a recording or video. Take time to sing with a piano.

Get a drink of water before you sing. Do not chew gum.

Have your full musical accompaniment ready for the piano player (this should include your singing notes and the piano notes). For example, in a book or taped to cardboard, not stapled or crumpled up. Have your poem/monologue marked in your book so you can get to it quickly. For example, use a bookmark to mark your page.


WEAR comfortable clothing to the audition and have a neat, physical appearance, including hair out of your face.

KNOW the show you are auditioning for – read the musical or play if you can.

KNOW the performance dates. If you cannot be there for ALL of the performances, DO NOT AUDITION.

FILL OUT the audition form correctly. Do not include information you were not asked to provide.

KNOW YOUR CONFLICTS — those times when you cannot rehearse. For example, Tuesdays – dance class, 4:00 to 5:00 p.m.; Thursdays – basketball, 3:30 to 5:00 p.m.

Ready for your next audition? Check out upcoming auditions here at the Erie Playhouse – we’ll see you there!

Now that you know the basics, check out the Erie Playhouse audition code of ethics