Aida auditions to be held Sep. 5

plus an inside look at what Aida is all about


Official Aida production poster. Photo from Music Theatre International.

Katie Bullock, Editor-in-chief

Students interested in acting, dancing and singing are finally going to get their chance to perform on Sept. 5 at auditions for Aida in the auditorium starting at 2:30 p.m.

Students should sign up for a two-minute audition time slot on the sign-up sheet outside of the Little Theatre. This year, students do not need to perform a reading at the first round of auditions. Instead, the two-minutes should be wholly devoted to singing.

“For this musical we are just listening to the song and then at callbacks we’ll have students do readings,” theatre director Sheri Coffman said. “Time is really limited when you only have two minutes so I just think it’s better to find out if they [students] can match pitch and what their range is and then at call backs we’ll find their emotional ability.”

Students can sing any song of their choice, even if it is not from Aida. However all auditionees are asked to either provide sheet music for accompanist Chad Willis – so that he can play piano as they sing – or to bring a karaoke version to sing with. If students would like a copy of sheet music from Aida, they can pick it up from Coffman’s office at any time.

Student director junior Cassy Pennington suggests that vocalists perform a song that showcases their strengths due to the music-heavy nature of Aida.

“Pick a song that really highlights your vocals because this a traditional musical so almost all of it will be singing,” Pennington said. “It’ll jump back and forth between singing and acting but the acting is just kind of little blurbs, most of it is song.”

All students are also asked to attend a dance audition in the Little Theatre after their two-minute time slot in case they are considered for a role that involves dancing. Students interested in dancing but not acting are not required to sign up for a time slot or to attend the vocal audition.

“If you only want to be a dancer and you don’t want to be in the play as a lead then you can go upstairs to the Little Theatre and right after school,” Coffman said. “It’s 2:30 to 5:30. The choreographer will be there and she will teach you a combination. You’ll dance it with a big group and then a small group and then you’re good to go so you don’t have to be there the whole time.”

According to Coffman, Aida is a diverse musical that has a part for everybody, which is one of the reasons it was chosen.

“I think it really embraces the diversity of the students in our building,” Cauffman said. “I’m constantly looking for material that allows us to incorporate all of our students and I feel like we can cast it beautifully this year. The talent that we have in both the theatre department and in the vocal music department and also in the orchestra will work great.”

Aida tells the story of a Nubian princess who is captured along with the rest of her people by the Egyptian army. The musical tells the love story between her and Egyptian captain Radames, who is betrothed to the Pharaoh’s daughter.

“It’s a Romeo-and-Juliet style musical written by Elton John and Tim Rice,” Pennington said. “Aida is this kind of undercover Nubian princess and she’s just completely awesome. She kicks butt.”

Filled with dancing, singing and lots of action, Coffman thinks that students will love the story of the musical most.

“We don’t usually do love stories but Aida has been on my bucket list for a very long time,” Coffman said. “The music is so beautiful. There’s a lot of dancing and I think the students always like that, but I think students will love the story more.”

Pennington advises anyone hesitant about auditioning to sign-up anyway so that they can be a part of that story.

“Everyone has a spot in theatre because we’re all threads in the theatre tapestry,” Pennington said. “You can’t be any less in the musical than you are now. Even if you completely mess up your audition you won’t be any less involved than you are now. The only way to go is up.”

Coffman also hopes that students will audition so that they can experience the theatre community from the inside.

“Get up your courage and do it because being involved in something bigger than yourself really connects you to your school,” Coffman said. “Especially for the younger students, freshman and sophomores, who’ve maybe never done anything like this before, it opens up a whole new friend group to them. The whole cast crew and pit become like a huge family as we work together on this huge effort.”