Spring musical auditions: not to be slept through

Alex Merkle-Raymond, Author

With the end of the Palo Alto High School’s fall show, “Server of Two Masters,” on Saturday, comes auditions for the spring musical “The Drowsy Chaperone.”

Seniors Oskar Soderberg and Will Kast finished up as leads in “Server of Two Masters.” Both will be attending “The Drowsy Chaperone” auditions which begin Tuesday. Photo courtesy of Paly Theatre.

“’The Drowsy Chaperone’ is an inherently hilarious show because it parodies all of the crazy and ridiculous things that happen in other musicals,” senior stage manager Hannah Nguyen said.

Auditions begin 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 18, in the Haymarket Theater and will continue to the end of the week with each day dedicated to a certain aspect of the audition process. Everyday students will be asked to wear appropriate, comfortable clothing and be on time, according to Director Kathleen Woods.

“The auditions are open and then the director, Kathleen Woods, in consultation with musical director, Michael Najar, conducts callbacks, where they see how well an auditioner fits a specific role,” Nguyen said.

Tuesday is dedicated to vocal auditions. Any student who auditions for the musical must audition with 16 bars of a traditional musical theater song. Music Director Michael Najar is available to help students choose and rehearse songs. There will be an accompanist available.

Wednesday will be a dance audition day. Students who have tap dance shoes are asked to bring them, according to Kathleen Woods. Additionally, stage movement specialist Kim Saunders will help with the auditions.

“She [Saunders] will probably teach a combination and then we [auditioners] will do them in small groups,” senior Jamie Garcia said.

Thursday will be focused on acting. There will be a variety of parts for auditioners to read from, and people may be asked to read more than once.

“They [students] will be given a ‘side,’ also known as a scene, to read as their audition,” junior Clara Baker said. “They will have time to practice before going up. When it is time for their audition, they should hand their forms to the auditioners and then walk onto the stage, state their name and the character they are reading for, take a moment and then begin. Don’t forget to say thank you at the end.”

On Friday, the callback list will be posted online and on the Haymarket doors. Even if students are not called back, there is a high likelihood that they can still be cast in the show. The official list will be posted on Sunday, Nov. 23.

There are 12 major parts, and Woods hopes to have an ensemble of 20 to 40 students. The official rehearsal schedule has not yet been released but can be found here. The shows will be held on March 6-8 and 12-14.

Woods is very excited to hold auditions and see the play come together.

“The show is just so fun and everyone can participate,” Woods said.