Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How much does it cost to be in a show?
A: The cost will vary per show. Our production fee is $160 per student (with a $20 sibling discount per student within one family). All students are required to purchase a stage makeup kit (approximately $25; one kit will last multiple shows) and a garment bag (approximately $6). Other purchases are optional, but encouraged! To see a breakdown of most costs, click here.
Q: How do I sign up for auditions?
A: Once you create your Jackrabbit family account, you can sign in and enroll your student in the production “class.” This is very important for communication purposes; any student not enrolled in the production via Jackrabbit will not be considered audition-ready. Once you sign up for the class, the next step is to fill out the RegFox form! This is where you will choose your audition time, submit measurements for costumes, select your parent committee preferences, and more! The link to this form is in the class description of your chosen production.
Q: What can I expect at auditions?
A: At NYT, auditions are an open casting call; nothing is precast. Any student, 7-19 yrs. old (must be the specified age by audition date), is eligible to audition. Students have “1 minute to shine.” We recommend preparing a 1-minute song highlighting your vocals and acting through song. However, students may choose to do a monologue or dance if they prefer. We recommend using a karaoke/backing track. You can find these on iTunes, Amazon, etc.; there’s many options. Email your cut down karaoke track to [email protected]. On the day of auditions, students will be given a number and taken to the audition room in groups of approximately 10-12. Auditions are closed, meaning that only the auditioning student and their family members/friends will be allowed in the audition room. As each student’s number is called, the student will come into the room, stand in front of the directing team, introduce themselves and their song, and perform. Students will then head to a different room to learn a dance audition, but no preparation is required for this. If the directing team wishes to see your child for a specific role, they will be called back – usually the following day. Callback notification will generally be sent late that night or early the next day.
Q: What are callbacks?
A: Callbacks involve singing for a specific role(s), reading for specific character(s), and/or learning more advanced dances. Songs from the actual show are featured at callbacks. Learn all the songs from the show for callbacks in advance, especially the ones you feel you could be called back for. As a performer, you should try to prepare in advance for roles whenever possible. Sometimes the music is not available in advance for lesser-known works, but often the songs are easy to access online.
If your child is called back, you will receive notification sometime after auditions. The callback list will be sent via email through Jackrabbit.
Q: If my student is not called back, does that mean they were not cast?
A: No. All students are considered for casting even after callbacks have been completed. If a student is called back, it does not automatically signify they will be cast in a featured role. Likewise, the directors sometimes know who they are casting in a lead role without a callback. In general, NYT’s goal is to cast all students that complete the one-minute audition and that do not have significant rehearsal or dress rehearsal conflicts. The number of conflicts allowed is at the discretion of each lead director for each show. However, please be aware that if the number of children auditioning is very large (i.e., 90+), cuts are possible, and every child may not be cast; although this is something that the NYT directors will make every effort to avoid. Please be aware that one sibling may be cast, but another may not. That is part of the competitive process. If your child is not given a part, you will be refunded the production fee.
Q: Besides practicing my audition, are there any other preparations that are needed?
A: Please have accurate measurements ready when signing up for auditions. The measurements needed are:
-Shoulder to shoulder (back)
Q: Who can view auditions? Can I videotape/record my students’ audition?
A: Auditions are closed. This means that only the directing team and the family of the student currently auditioning are allowed in the room. You may record your own students’ audition only.
Q: What if I have rehearsal conflicts?
A: Please make sure your rehearsal conflicts are included on your audition form, as rehearsal or show conflicts brought up after casting are considered non-excused. If you are unsure of a certain conflict or if it is flexible, please note the dates as “negotiable,” and a team member will contact you to clarify. If a conflict is non-negotiable, then please note as a “firm” conflict. If a cast member misses any rehearsals during the run-through process (later in the rehearsal schedule), dress rehearsals (tech week), or shows that was not disclosed on the audition form, they will only be eligible to audition for a ensemble/chorus role in the next National Youth Theater production for which they try out. An exception to this policy will be made for emergencies and excused illnesses.
Q: What should my student wear to auditions and callbacks?
A: For auditions, we recommend wearing comfortable but nice clothing. Comfortable shoes or dance shoes are also recommended but not required. Same dress is recommended for callbacks. However, if you are called back as dancer, and you have dance shoes, please wear them as well. Dressing up as a character from the show is not encouraged.
Q: Can my student audition if we will be out of town during auditions/callbacks?
A: Yes, you may submit a video audition to our production coordinator by email by the night of auditions to be considered. Video callbacks will also be considered; we will communicate this process to you should the need arise for your family.
Q: Do you make cuts after auditions?
A: We make every effort to not cut students from our casts. However, sometimes it is necessary due to physical constraints such as the size of rehearsal or theater venues, etc. If an actor is cut, the production fee will be refunded.
Q: How can I help my student with the audition process?
A: Help them find the correct music for their audition. It is good for them to practice in front of their family and friends as much as possible; it makes it easier at the actual audition. Encourage more than critique.
Q: How do I pick the right audition song?
A: Choose a song/piece that you are excited to perform and also fits into your vocal range or dance abilities. If you have to strain either high or low to hit notes, it’s not in your range. Keep looking for a song that feels comfortable for your vocal range. If you are new to auditioning or have little preparation time, then choose a song you already know. Songs from Broadway, Disney, or kids’ movies are always good options. In general, try to avoid songs from the show you are auditioning for.
Q: Should I download and bring my own music?
A: Yes. In addition to emailing your cut down 1-minute karaoke mp3 to us at [email protected], it is helpful to have a backup track with you on audition day just in case there are technical difficulties. If your backup track in on a phone, please make sure it is on “Do Not Disturb,” and the passcode is off. Please also bring a cable to plug in to our speaker; we cannot guarantee that we will have one available for all device types.
Q: Can I sing without music, or a capella?
A: We would rather you audition without music than not audition at all. However, make every effort to bring music with you even if the song has voices on it. The ideal option, however, is a karaoke track. If you choose to sing a capella, the directing team may ask you to sing “Happy Birthday” so that they can see how you are able to follow a track.
Q: How will we know what role my child received?
A: After callbacks on Saturday, the directing team will take time to meet, pray, and review their audition notes. They will share their thoughts with each other, and may take overnight to think about it. Casting decisions will be finalized by Sunday evening. The cast list will be emailed to the production class (via Jackrabbit) and will also be posted on our website.
Q: What if my child doesn’t want the role they’re offered?
A: At National Youth Theater, we encourage students to audition only if they are willing to accept any role given to them. It is normal to want to go after specific roles. But once the casting is announced, our expectation is that you will receive whatever role(s) you are assigned by the directing team like a pro. You can be disappointed, of course; that’s normal. But after a few days you are expected to handle your casting with grace and be part of the team as we practice and perform the show for the glory of God. Also, all production fees must be paid before auditions, and are non-refundable for students who are cast. If you decide to drop out of the show, please know that we are happy to have you return to audition, but you will only be considered for a role in the ensemble/chorus for your next show back.
Q: How do you ensure a fair casting process?
A: We take pride in the integrity of our casting process. All of the directing team members are encouraged to give feedback on casting of all roles. However, if their own children or private lesson students are being discussed, that director must leave the room; and they are not eligible to give input on those students. We rely on godly wisdom from the council of many to make casting decisions. Final decisions are never one person’s opinion, and we bring in a variety of directing team members into each production to make sure our casting decisions are as fair and balanced as possible. We also do not have a policy against students receiving good roles each show. This is a competitive program and the roles are given to the students that are best suited, as determined by the whole directing team. The only way to earn a role is to prove yourself to be best during auditions and callbacks. The coordinators and/or production managers of shows are not eligible to give input on casting. They are at auditions to help facilitate paperwork and to make sure all rehearsal conflicts are noted. They are also required to leave the room if their children are discussed.
Q: Are production fees refundable?
A: Fees are refundable up until the time of the audition, with a $25 processing fee. All participants are required to have production fees paid in full prior to their audition. Once the actor steps into the audition room, fees become non-refundable. The only exception would be for those times when the directors decide not to cast an actor; and then the full production fee will be returned.
Q: What is the parental commitment?
A: At least one parent or adult from each family is required to serve on a committee. Approximately 15-20 hours of volunteer work will be required to get the show off the ground. A committee chair will be assigned, and that person will lead their committee into rehearsals and shows. Some families may be asked to serve on multiple committees depending on the size of our cast. To see a list of parent committee descriptions, click here.
Q: Does my family have to sell a certain number of tickets?
A: No, but the students who sell the most tickets to our show will receive prizes and rewards!