Musical Theatre

Students currently in 8-11th grades may apply for High School Arts Instruction. 

AUDITION OVERVIEW (AND AN IMPORTANT TIP!)
As Musical Theatre artists, we are storytellers. We tell our stories using a combination of music, spoken word, and dance.

The Musical Theatre audition consists of elements in these three areas: Singing, Dancing, and Acting. The audition process for each of these three elements is explained below.

With your application, please provide:
A photograph of yourself. It can be an informal picture or a professional headshot; as long as the photo is current, clear, and an accurate likeness. Beware the blurry selfie!

A resume (or a list) with the experiences you have had in Musical Theatre shows and classes – the experiences that are most important and formative to you. Include dance classes, voice lessons, and acting workshops, as well as your most significant performance experiences. Help us get to know you as a performer.

An important tip: Give yourself plenty of time with the material before the audition.

We talk a lot about “process" in the MT classes, we believe that the path you take to get to the performance is as important – if not more important-as the performance itself. Take time to discover the material – to memorize it, to research the background, to play with different possibilities in how the material can be performed. Not only will you be less nervous and more confident, your performance will be detailed, spontaneous, and unique! And who doesn't want that?

MUSIC AUDITION
Choose and prepare a song to perform at the audition.
For your song choice, there are two options:

Option 1: Choose any song that you enjoy singing.
Any style is acceptable, though songs from musicals are preferred.

Memorize the song. You may hold a page with the lyrics or the sheet music if necessary, however, you should know the lyrics and melody well enough to look up and articulate clearly. Please do not read directly off the page.

For the song that you choose, you must have sheet music with piano accompaniment; at the audition, you will perform with an accompanist. There are many sources for sheet music: a music teacher at school or music minister at church can help, or you can purchase sheet music for many songs online (musicnotes.com is a popular site). You may also contact Jefferson Turner, Chair of the Musical Theatre Department – [email protected] with any sheet music requests. If the sheet music is unavailable, you will need to choose a different song. Applicants should not prepare to sing a capella (unaccompanied) or with a recorded accompaniment track.

Option 2: Sing “Over the Rainbow."
For this song, sheet music is provided, along with recorded rehearsal accompaniment tracks.

Somewhere Over the Rainbow-low, medium, high sheet music

Over The Rainbow-low melody
Over the Rainbow-low accompaniment

Over the Rainbow-medium melody
Over the Rainbow-medium accompaniment

Over the Rainbow-high melody
Over the Rainbow-high accompaniment

Choose the vocal range that suits your voice. Three different ranges, or “keys" are provided: a higher range (key of Eb), a medium range (key of C), and a lower range (key of Ab). The key that best shows off your voice is the correct one to use.

Memorize the song to perform at the audition. You may hold a page with the lyrics or the sheet music if necessary. However, you should know the lyrics and melody well enough to look up and articulate clearly. Please do not read directly off the page.

At the audition, you will perform with an accompanist. You should have the sheet music to refer to as you prepare, though at the audition we will have copies for the accompanist.

If you have any questions about the song choice or preparation, feel free to reach out to Jefferson Turner, Chair of the Musical Theatre Department – [email protected].

ACTING AUDITION
The song that you choose for your Music audition (either “Over the Rainbow" or your own choice) will also be used in the Acting audition.

Be prepared to speak the text of the song. As you prepare, think outside of the rhythm of the words when they are sung. What do the words mean? Can you make the meaning clear and conversational when the words are spoken?

Research the context of the song. If you are singing a song from a musical, chances are the character who is singing wants something. Find out as much as you can about the scene. Even if the song is not a musical theatre song, there is a story in the lyrics. What is it?

Research the background of the song. Who wrote it? If from a musical, what show? Who has performed it? When was it written? How would you describe the style?

In the audition, we will give direction for the text of the song – different ways to approach and act the material. The best way to prepare for this is to concentrate on the meaning and intent behind the words. Who are you speaking to? Make a specific choice. How does your performance change if you are speaking to someone else? For example, your performance would be different if you were speaking to a friend versus your teacher. Be open to any possibility; do not limit yourself to a single choice.

DANCE AUDITION
The Dance portion of the audition will be a movement class with one of the Musical Theatre Department's dance instructors. In that session, you will have a physical warmup, movement exercises, and a short piece of choreography.

The session is for you to show your flexibility, strength, ability to recall movements and follow instructions, but most importantly, for you to show us the dynamic performer that you are. Remember: we are storytellers, and an important way to tell stories is through movement. The movement class helps us see your physicality. It is not about how many years of dance class you have had (prior dance experience is not required), but it is about being open to what is given in the moment and being willing to step out of your comfort zone.

For the movement class: Wear comfortable clothes and be prepared to move. You may wear dance clothes if you have them, but it is not necessary. Do not wear tight jeans or clothing that restricts your movement. You may wear dance shoes (if you have them) or go barefoot.

You do not need to prepare choreography or dance combinations ahead of time – all of the movement will be given as part of the class itself.

INTERVIEW
An important part of the audition process is an interview with the faculty. We will discuss your audition and preparation, your past experience with musical theatre, what you hope to achieve as part of the Musical Theatre Department, as well as anything else that comes up in conversation. Think of it simply as a conversation – we want to get to know YOU as a performer and as a person.

In addition to individual department requirements, all applicants will:

    • Upload to the application a 1-2 minute video of the applicant answering the question, “Why do I want to train at NOCCA?"
    • Upload to the application a copy of the most recent report card. Applicants must have at least a 2.0 GPA.
    • Be prepared with the email of an adult who is not related to you to complete your recommendation. Your recommender will receive an email from Acceptd with a link to fill out a recommendation form online.

Faculty

Photo of Stephani Kammer-Taylor Stephani Kammer-Taylor Dance Instructor | Jazz & Hip Hop

Stephani Kammer-Taylor resides in New Orleans as a professional instructor and choreographer.  After earning her Bachelor of Performing Arts degree from Oklahoma City University, Stephani began her professional career in New York appearing in regional theaters, industrials, and prime time television. …

Photo of Heidi Malnar Heidi Malnar Dance Instructor | Tap

Heidi Malnar is an Emmy Award and two-time Big Easy Award winning dancer and choreographer from Chicago. She is the founder, artistic director and principal choreographer of Gulf Coast Theatre on Tap– New Orleans’ Premier Rhythm Tap Company; whose mission is to celebrate, promote, and preserve America’s indigenous dance form in the birthplace of jazz.…

Photo of Kevin Murphy Kevin Murphy Drama Faculty: Vocal Music | Musical Theatre Faculty: Acting
Photo of Dan Pruksarnukul Dan Pruksarnukul Acting

Daniel Pruksarnukul is a Creative Producer & Director. He worked at Arena Stage in Washington, DC for nine seasons where he served as the Artistic Associate & Casting Director and helped produce over 60 main-stage shows and dozens of new play readings & workshops.…

Photo of Tianna Pourciau Sykes Tianna Pourciau Sykes Dance: Chair

Tianna Pourciau Sykes is a dance educator, choreographer, and performing artist with experience spanning 20 years. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Dance from Kennesaw State University.…

Photo of Jefferson Turner Jefferson Turner Department Chair Musical Theatre
(504) 940-2864

Since arriving in New Orleans to study music at Loyola University (Bachelor of Arts in Music History, 1999), Jefferson has built a career in performing, music directing, and composing in theatre.…

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