So you want to go to college for musical theatre…


YAY! It’s time to go to college! Because you are happiest when you are performing, you’re taking the big leap and you’re going to spend 4 years majoring in Theatre. So, basically, you picked a hard profession… but every profession is hard. At least you are doing something that is so exciting you can’t imagine doing anything else. (And you have awesome parents that want to support your dream!)

I have been coaching students for the past 10 years for college auditions. I do not know it all but I am happy to share things that I think are important and some things that I have learned along the way!

  • Make a spreadsheet with ALL of the info for ALL of the schools that you are auditioning for. I am talking: NAME OF SCHOOL, DATE OF AUDITION, DUE DATE OF PRESCREEN, MUSICAL PIECES NEEDED, ACTING PIECES NEEDED – ANY info that you need to keep track of.
  • Pick good material and be prepared. Every school has different requirements but you will track that in your spreadsheet, mentioned above – you’re welcome! For the most part, you need to have 2 contrasting Musical Theatre Songs and 2 contrasting Monologues from PUBLISHED PLAYS. I would suggest you have around 4-5 songs ready (full songs and 16-32 bar cuts) and 3 monologues. You need to find songs and monologues that work for you and that are not too mature for you.

On Finding Songs – For some help finding great songs, check out my BLOG from two weeks ago.

On Finding Monologues – Yes, monologues are hard to find. You have some options though. Go to a coach or spend a day at the Drama Book Shop. The staff at the Drama Book Shop will help you look through plays to find something that will work! Or just pull plays off the wall and read the back. If you find something that has characters your age, keep reading. If it says “16 middle-aged women go on a camp retreat” put it back. Get it? I would avoid monologues from “monologue books” – even if the monologues are from published plays. Make sure you read the play and you feel comfortable talking about the author and the play itself. Do the research. Do the work.

  • Learn about the school – You should make sure you know a lot about the schools: What is campus life like? What opportunities will you have as a student? What is the closest big city? Can you see yourself spending four years there? Etc. Many programs do not let you perform for the first year. If you are not okay with that, well, maybe that school is not for you. Research the schools’ alumni. This will give you some good background of the students that have come out of that program.
  • Keep an audition log – You are going to audition for a bunch of schools. You should keep a record of who you have auditioned for: What did you perform? Did they ask you any questions in the room? What did they ask you? Did they give you an adjustment? What did you wear? What was your impression of the school? Did they pay attention to you? How did you feel about your overall experience? Etc.
  • Be yourself –They want to meet YOU. Have fun, show them who you are and have a great time in the room, Don’t compare yourself to anyone else. There is only one you! You are going to get into a school so show them who you are and why you are a big ol’ star!
  • Get help – Broadway Workshop has a team of coaches that can help you prepare for these auditions. We have another One Day College Audition Intensive coming up on December 18th. Stay tuned for that info.


We hope this helps you on your College Audition journey!

-Marc Tumminelli – 10.6.16


Finding the perfect audition song

Winter Excel Teen IntensiveThe biggest question I get from both parents and students always revolves around two things, how do they find auditions and how do they find audition material. Today I will focus on how to uncover the mystery of finding the perfect audition song and what to avoid in your Broadway musical detective work!

* Stay away from songs from very popular musicals. These songs are going to be overdone and will not show you off well. I am talking – Phantom, Les Miserables, Thoroughly Modern Mille, 13: The Musical, Beauty and the Beast, Shrek, Hairspray, Jekyll & Hyde and Wicked.

* Take the time to research older or lesser known musicals. There is a world of songs from Broadway musicals and musical movies that are not produced often and are just fantastic. Check out shows like: Little Me, Anything Goes, Babes in Arms, She Loves Me, Kiss Me Kate, 110 in the Shade, Promises/Promises, The Pajama Game, Wonderful Town, The Apple Tree, Meet me in St. Louis, Triumph of Love, The Magic Show, Damn Yankees, Snoopy, State Fair, Steel Pier, Funny Girl, Funny Lady, 

* Higher is not better, it’s just higher – Sometimes students pick songs that are crazy high because they think that is impressive. In truth you should be singing songs that are in your range and not reaching for notes you don’t have…yet. Simple is better.

* Use YOUTUBE to dig for songs. Check out some of the bigger college programs final showcases on youtube (CCM, Michigan, Point Park, CMU). Check out – Thats Entertainment on youtube for some great old school musical choices.

* NO HAMILTON. Trust me, if you are singing from Hamilton it will NOT show you off well. So just don’t do it. You can work on it in your voice lessons….

* If you love a Broadway singer, they have most likely produced a solo album (Sutton Foster, Sierra Boggess, Judy Kuhn, Liz Callaway, Jarred Spector, Matthew Morrison etc.) take a listen to those solo or cabaret albums to get great ideas of songs that might work for you.

* Use resources like to find new contemporary musical theatre songs and to download sheet music, but make sure you play it though at least once with your voice teacher or anyone who plays piano because sometimes Music Notes will default to a crazy high or low key.

* Try to avoid singing songs that are too old for you. Everyone wants to sing I Dreamed a Dream but if you are 14, its a little embarrassing for everyone. It’s impossible to connect to that kind of song. I would say you can avoid ballad’s in general if you are under 16. Pick a great fun uptempo. Remember this is a chance to get to know who you are, if you sing a slow sad song, that is what you are leaving in the room!

* Make sure you love your song and you have a reason to sing it. If your song doesn’t mean anything to you or feels hard to connect to, find something else there are a million songs don’t get stuck with something that doesn’t make you excited to sing it for people!

– Marc Tumminelli

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