Tips for Casting a Musical Revue

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Musical revues are an important selection for a college manufacturing. There isn’t any restrict on what number of college students you may forged, you may tailor the casting of the present to suit the talents and skills of the scholars concerned, and except you select a revue with strict casting necessities (for instance, Shout! The Mod Musical is particularly written for an all-female forged), you aren’t sure by gender id, race, sexual orientation, or age when casting the present. Let’s check out some suggestions for casting your musical revue.

As a reminder, a musical revue is a method of musical theatre that mixes singing, dancing, music, and sketches. The materials included in a musical revue focuses on a specific theme. Some musical revues function a single musical artist (similar to A Grand Night for Singing, which options the music of Rodgers and Hammerstein, or Putting It Together, that includes the music of Stephen Sondheim) whereas others embody items by many various artists. Some musical revues have a unfastened storyline however the total theme is the primary focus. Some examples of musical revues embody Edges, Songs for a New World, The Theory of Relativity, Working, Side by Side by Sondheim, Red Hot and Cole, The No Frills Revue, Ain’t Misbehavin’, Beehive: The 60’s Musical, Monty Python’s Edukational Show, Forbidden Broadway, MTI’s Broadway Junior Revue: Pure Imagination and MTI’s Broadway Junior Revue: Raise Your Voice, A Pocketful of Rhymes, Jerry’s Girls, and Smokey Joe’s Café.


Some musical revues require a particular variety of performers whereas others are extra versatile and permit for creativity when together with extra performers, including an ensemble, and assigning songs to completely different performers. Always be sure you examine with the licencing firm to make sure that your concepts in your musical revue don’t battle with the necessities of the present as set out by the rights holders.

If you’re producing a musical revue that enables flexibility for casting, you would embody each pupil who auditions, even college students who aren’t the strongest singers. Many musical revues function scenes or monologues between songs, and you may function your stronger actors in these sections. Similarly, your college students who love motion and dance might be featured as dancers in sure numbers. Shy or inexperienced drama college students would possibly solely need to be in a few numbers or simply in full-cast numbers, and that’s nice too — musical revues are an effective way for them to dip their toe into the performing pool.


During the audition course of, create a spreadsheet with every pupil’s title within the first column, in addition to a column every for “acting,” “singing,” and “dancing.” You can use this spreadsheet for a wide range of functions. You may charge their talent stage in every space as displayed within the audition (3 for a extremely expert pupil, 1 for a much less expert pupil), have college students give themselves a ranking, or use it to point whether or not the scholar prefers performing, singing, or dancing. In the latter possibility, 1 signifies first selection, 2 signifies second selection, and three represents third selection. For instance:

From this desk, you may see that Chauncey, Nate, and Elysia need to sing, whereas Ted and Michelle need to dance and Sarah prefers performing. This may help you manage your college students and have them in numerous numbers and sketches.


Once auditions are full and college students have been accepted into the present, make a listing of every musical quantity and scene within the present. Determine what sort of piece each is, or what you’d prefer it to be (full-cast quantity, small group, trio/duet, solo). You may additionally break up up sure songs, having completely different college students sing every verse, which suggests extra function alternatives for extra performers.

Make a word of what number of performers you’d like in every quantity, together with featured performers and ensemble. For instance, the opening and shutting numbers, in addition to the quantity proper earlier than and proper after intermission will doubtless be full-cast numbers. The remainder of the numbers could possibly be any variety of combos, for instance, a full-group quantity, a singing duet with featured dancers, a monologue, a solo, after which one other full group quantity — no matter works greatest in your present.


You would possibly need to have some particular numbers that function completely different teams of scholars: all of the female-identifying performers, all of the graduating seniors, a particular function for a pupil who received an award at a contest, a quantity that includes college students with particular or uncommon expertise. Again, no matter works greatest in your present and your college students.

Create a spreadsheet with every musical quantity/scene within the first column and go away empty areas for every following column to place within the title of every pupil as soon as the present is forged, so you may monitor which numbers they’re in. Each pupil must be a lead or featured performer in a single quantity and within the ensemble of a second quantity, at minimal (on high of collaborating within the full-group numbers). Here’s an instance, utilizing the scholars from the earlier spreadsheet:

Each pupil was in a position to be featured of their most well-liked efficiency type, whereas additionally being included within the full-group numbers. This chart additionally helps you see what number of college students are in every quantity, what number of numbers every pupil is in, and the place within the efficiency every featured efficiency is.


Avoid overloading college students with too many options, attempt to make sure that every pupil has a reasonably equal quantity of stage time (understanding that some college students could also be able to or want for kind of stage time), and concentrate on placing college students in back-to-back numbers, particularly if there are costume modifications.

If college students have a number of options, attempt to unfold them out to allow them to relaxation and seize a sip of water between numbers. You may black out sure cells of the spreadsheet to point to not put a pupil in a sure quantity, for no matter motive (costume change required at the moment, solely college students of a sure gender or age in that quantity, pupil doesn’t want to be in that quantity, and so on.).

Having these organizing methods in place will assist you a lot whenever you’re casting your musical revue. You may even use the quantity spreadsheet throughout efficiency time. Post it backstage to make use of as a working checklist so actors, crew, and volunteers know what’s happening. Then sit again and watch your performers shine!


Additional Resources:

Make Your Own Mini Musical Revue
The Ultimate Audition Guide: Teacher Edition
Prepping for Auditions from the “Other” Side of the Table




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