Students currently in 8-11th grades may apply for High School Arts Instruction.
The Musical Theatre Division of Theatre Arts seeks to assist young theater students in discovering who they are as an artist while preparing them for conservatory-style college training and/or a career in Musical Theatre.
The program’s rigorous training includes a slate of Voice, Acting and Dance training classes as well as classes in a wide variety of theatrical skills in order to help students find their passion and place in the theatre.
We hope to instill in young artists the importance of collaboration in an ensemble and the ability to improve their work through the application of notes from constructive critique. We hope our students will leave NOCCA with a sense of where they fit in the world of theater, an ability to make the most of future training, and most importantly, that they will bring willingness, courage and open-mindedness into their future careers.
The Musical Theatre audition day will start with a group warm up. Then you will proceed to your acting and singing audition. Those invited for a callback will participate in a movement class for the dance portion of the audition. The audition process for each of these three elements is explained below.
Please wear comfortable clothes that you can move in and rubber soled shoes with no heel.
Set yourself up for success; give yourself plenty of time to prepare your song and monologue. It will not only lead to better results, it will allow for a less stressful audition day for you.
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.
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). Please reach out to Jose Simbulan ([email protected]) with any questions about sheet music.
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.
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 Jose Simbulan ([email protected]).
For the Acting portion of the audition, you will perform a memorized monologue selection provided by the department (see below for the list of acceptable choices/NO ORIGINAL SPEECHES OR POEMS).
Please take some time to be familiar with the play from which the monologue was taken. Read the play, understand the context, be prepared to answer questions about your character. If you are having trouble locating a copy of the play, please reach out to Amy Holtcamp ([email protected]) for assistance.
You may be asked to participate in an individual interview if the faculty needs further clarification concerning your application to NOCCA.
Those students who are invited for a callback will participate in 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.
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.
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.
Leslie Castay (she/her) holds an MFA from Tulane University. She is a veteran of Broadway, Television, Film and Cabaret stages. A multiple Big Easy Award winner, she returned to New Orleans after a 20 plus year career as a New York City based actress.…
Amy Boyce Holtcamp is a writer and director. Her other directing credits include: Macbeth and Shakespeare’s R&J (Serenbe Playhouse), Broomstick (Southern Rep), Death of a Salesman (Le Petit Theatre du Vieux Carre), Romeo and Juliet and Julius Caesar (The Shakespeare Festival at Tulane), Waxie Moon: Extreme Boylesque (Northwest New Works at On the Boards), Waxie Moon: Boylesque Cinematheque (Next Stage), Heavens to Betsy by Stephanie Timm (Next Stage), Wonderful Life (Washington Ensemble Theatre), Romeo and Juliet (EVE Productions), A Christmas Story (Everett Historic Theatre), Having Our Say: The Delaney Sisters First 100 Years (Public Theatre of Kentucky), Sorry, Wrong Number (The Culture Project, NY), Christina and Apartment Building of the Blind (Soho Rep, NY), and Machinal and Stage Blood at the University of Washington. …
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. …
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.…
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.…
Jose C. Simbulan (he/him/his) has been on the podium and in the pits of various theatres over the past 35 years.…
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.…