Audition & Show Information Packet
Based on the popular comic strip and adapted from the Tony Award-winning Best Musical, Annie features everyone’s favorite little redhead in her very first adventure.
With equal measures of pluck and positivity, little orphan Annie charms everyone's hearts despite a next-to-nothing start in 1930s New York City. Annie is determined to find the parents who abandoned her years ago on the doorstep of an orphanage run by the cruel Miss Hannigan. Annie eventually foils Miss Hannigan's evil machinations, finding a new home and family in billionaire Oliver Warbucks, his personal secretary, Grace Farrell, and a lovable mutt named Sandy. In addition to the roles you have probably heard of, there are lots of fun parts for orphans, servants, and tourists of NYC!
This packet provides all the information you need to know to decide if you would like to be a part of this exciting production.
Thanks for reading and we look forward to bringing this classic Broadway musical to life with you all!
Your Directors, Amanda & Kate
Free Audition Workshop: Thursday, August 23rd, 6:00pm - 7:15pm
The audition workshop is not required, but highly recommended. If you have a friend that is thinking about trying out, have them join you!
Parent Informational Meeting: Thursday, August 23rd, 7:15pm - 7:30pm
Parent informational meeting is required for new students. Returning families do not need to attend.
Auditions: Tuesday, August 28, last name A-K - 4:00-5:30, last name K-Z - 5:30-7:00
Callbacks: Thursday, August 30, 4:00pm - 6:00pm or Friday, August 31st, 4:00 - 6:00pm (you will only be called for a 30 minute time slot)
MANDATORY PARENT MEETING: September 15th 1:30 - 2:00p.
EVERY student, returning or new, must have one parent attend this mandatory meeting on Saturday, September 15th from 1:30-2:00. It is IMPERATIVE that a parent attend so we can give you all the important info you need!
Regular Rehearsals: September 4 - November 17
Tuesdays: 3:30 - 6:30pm
IMPORTANT: After casting, we will be breaking down the Tuesday rehearsal schedule. Actors will NOT have rehearsal the entire Tuesday time, 3:30 - 6:30pm, but instead will rehearse for either an hour or an hour and a half (the same schedule on a weekly basis) based on their casting. Some of the roles like Annie may be required to attend the whole time.
Saturday schedules vary on a weekly basis. A detailed schedule will be emailed home monthly once the show is cast and it is important that you continue to check it and your e-mail for changes. It’s vital that students try to be at every rehearsal. Actors who miss learning a group number, may not get to be in it!
We will not have rehearsals on the following days:
September 14th (tentative, please keep day open on your schedule)
Dress Rehearsals/Tech Week: November 25-30
Tech week rehearsals are currently scheduled as follows. All tech week rehearsal will be held at NTC (Novato Theater Company), 5420 Nave Drive.
Sunday, November 25th: 12:00pm - 6:00pm
Monday, November 26th: 4:00pm - 7:30pm
Tuesday, November 27th: 4:00pm - 7:30pm
Wednesday, November 28th: 4:00pm - 7:30pm
Thursday, November 29th: 4:00pm - 7:30pm
Tech week rehearsals are MANDATORY - there can be no conflicts with these rehearsal dates.
Performances: November 30 - December 10 at Novato Theater Company
We are planning 6 performances of Annie. However, if we have fewer students than we are planning we may just have one weekend of shows (November 30- December 2 only). If we have MORE students than we are planning, we may add 2 additional Saturday matinees. Here is the most probable scenario for showtimes:
Friday, November 30: 7:00pm
Saturday, December 1: 7:00pm
Sunday, December 2: 1:00pm
Friday, December 7: 7:00pm
Saturday, December 8: 7:00pm
Sunday, December 9: 1:00pm
All shows are MANDATORY and students may not miss them for any reason except illness or family emergency. Students will be called between 1.5-2 hours before showtime for each performance.
Strike and Cast Party
After the final Sunday performance the cast will have a 45 minute strike to help pack and clean the theater. Then they will all get to stay for the cast party at the theater.
Parent Volunteer Requirement
There are many things to do to put together a show, and therefore we ask for a parent volunteer from each family to fulfill two volunteer positions. However if this is not convenient for you, you have the option to pay the opt out fee of $40. Certain positions require expertise in a field (set, costumes, etc.) and most just require your time (backstage parent supervision, etc). Most jobs will require about 2 hours of work. If you LOVE volunteering or have a special skill that might be helpful, please email us.
We will have the volunteer list ready at our required parent meeting and at that time you can choose your position or pay the opt-out fee.
Email and Texting Communication
It is very important that we can communicate quickly with parents and students. We send out fairly frequent emails with calendar updates and other reminders.
We also use a group text app called GroupMe. We ask that students and parents download this app BEFORE our first rehearsal. (It is free in the app store). Then we will add you to our conversation and you will receive an invite on your phone. On the app you have the power to turn off notifications so it won’t drive you nuts. Plus, we will put the parents into a separate group from the students so the constant texts from the kids won’t make you crazy! Don’t worry, the kids chat will still be monitored by the directors! The app doesn’t give out your phone number to anyone but allows you to communicate with anyone in the group. We HIGHLY recommend using the app to stay in the know! We usually are able to respond faster to these group texts than emails or phone calls.
The Annie Production costs $525. Your Rhythms account will be charged $175 on September 5, October 1, and November 1. You can pay by check, cash or credit card. We recommend entering your credit card in your studio account and enrolling in auto-pay. Payments later than 5 days will incur a $15 late fee. We are not able to give refunds. You may want to pay your first payment at the time of registration but it is not due until September 5.
Your Production Fee includes your script and show t-shirt. Most of your costume will also be included, though we will ask each actor to provide some basic parts of their costume.
We offer a family discount. If two or more siblings are in a Rhythms musical (including our younger or older shows), we offer $25 off for each child.
We also offer a new friend discount. For every NEW FRIEND that a returning actor gets to register for Annie, the returning actor will get $50 off their performance fee. (Friends must be new to Rhythms Performing Arts).
For students who are enrolled in 4 or more weekly Rhythms classes, we offer a $75 Over Achiever discount off of your $525 Production Fee. (This does not include musical or Company Classes).
These discounts may not be automatically added to your studio director account. Please email the studio if you don’t think your discount has been applied.
Most of your costume will also be provided, though we will ask each actor to provide some basic parts of their costume as well as jazz shoes - more specifics about costumes at the required parent meeting.
What will the audition be like?
We will start off with a quick dance and vocal warm-up. Then we will review the audition dance and perform it in small groups. Then each person will get a chance to go up one at a time and perform one song and two monologues of their choice (from the options handed out at the workshop). We may give you some feedback and ask you to do your scene one more time.
What are callbacks?
Callbacks are a chance for us to have actors try a couple specific parts that we think they would be good at. Everyone will get a callback. We will email you after auditions and let you know which parts you are called back for and give you some additional music or scenes to rehearse.
What if I get nervous?
Auditioning is always nerve-racking. Just remember it’s okay to make mistakes or forget what you’re saying. We want you to succeed and are rooting for you to do your best, so let us know if you’re nervous so we can help you through it! We HIGHLY encourage everyone to audition - even if they are nervous. It is your first chance to get to know your fellow cast members. It is also very hard for us to cast someone in a fun part when we haven’t seen them in auditions.
Will everyone be in the play?
Yes! Everyone who is signed up by auditions gets to be in the musical. We do have a limit of students we can allow to participate, so be sure to get registered at https://app.thestudiodirector.com/rhythmsperformingarts/portal.jsp
Will there be double or triple casting?
Double casting is when two different actors are cast in the same role. They share performances so one actor will play the part in half the shows and the other actor plays the exact same part in the other half of performances. We will double or triple cast some roles and will decide which roles to double or triple cast after auditions.
Do I have to memorize my audition scene?
If you want to memorize your scene, that’s great! But it’s totally okay if you have your script in your hand during your audition.
What are you looking for?
Speak loudly and clearly. Act out the part with your body. Make a choice about your character – for example if you think Molly has a squeaky voice or Rooster has a funny walk, try it during your scene. Have fun and be confident! The more fun you bring to each character, the more excited your directors will be!
How do I get ready for auditions?
Practice your scene. Read it with your parents, your friends, your dog and by yourself. Look up any words you don’t understand. Practice the song of your choice.
Which scene should I practice?
You can practice as many as you’d like. Pick scenes that have situations or characters that are interesting to you. Everyone needs to perform at least one scene.
How do you know which roles I want to play?
On your audition form you can indicate which characters you are most interested in. Even if you don’t read for all of the characters, Kate and Amanda will know which parts you like.
Will I get to play a part I like?
Everyone will get a part that has lots to do. The more parts you put down on your paper, the better the chance you’ll get to play something you requested. You may get a part that you don’t even know about. Amanda and I sometimes write in roles for students who we think need to be featured in a special way and don’t fit into one of the other roles. So, give your part a chance! We can’t all play the title character.
By opening night, you will LOVE your character and be so excited to play the part. We try our best to make each part special and fun.
The character that I want to play doesn’t have a scene listed. What should I do?
We’ll only see a few scenes at auditions. Pick one or more of these ones to perform, and you’ll also have a chance to tell Kate and Amanda what other characters you’d like to play.
What if I have a friend who wants to audition but couldn’t come to the workshop?
No problem! They can absolutely come to auditions on Tuesday, but they should sign up in advance. The more, the merrier! (Although we do have a limit to the numbers of kids who can participate.)
When will I find out what part I got?
We will email you by Monday, September 3rd to tell you what part you will be playing.
What if I have another question?
Feel free to email Kate and Amanda at RhythmsPerformingArts@gmail.com
The Orphans: These girls are gritty, neglected and vulnerable— yet basically honest and lovable. They have mischievous fun with each other as well as "sibling-style" fights.
Annie: A complex little girl. She is a tough streetwise urchin who is nevertheless vulnerable when she thinks she might lose her newfound "Family."
Miss Hannigan: The bitter woman who runs the orphanage. She has an obviously hates her job and the she is supposed to care for.
Grace Ferrell: Mr. Warbucks's secretary. She is a classy and businesslike when dealing with Miss Hannigan and Warbucks, yet maternal toward Annie.
Oliver Warbucks: A middle age self-assured and confident man. At first awkwardly affectionate toward Annie, he soon finds himself completely charmed by her.
Rooster Hannigan: Miss Hannigan's broke brother. A convicted felon. He is flashy and self-assured, and always looking for a scheme that will make easy money.
Lily St. Regis: Rooster's girlfriend and ditzy sidekick, who joins in on any nasty plot that he comes up with.
Bert Healy: "The Oxydent Hour of Smiles" radio talk show host.
President Franklin Delano Roosevelt: President of the United states of America at the time.
Sandy: In this production, Sandy might be played by a human. Sandy is Annie's canine friend and scrappy in her own right. This dog also has to sing.
We have not listed all the parts here, but there are some other fun roles that you may not audition for, but could still be cast as! As you may know from previous shows, we sometimes have even included special new songs or scenes for parts not listed above. (ex. Dory, Crush) There are lots of additional tourists, orphans and servants who all get to be in a lot of fun numbers!
AUDITION SONGS & SCENES
For audition songs and scenes go to:
WHAT TO DO BEFORE AUDITIONS:
As we get started on a new show of Rhythm & Rhyme Productions, we wanted to review the things that are most important to us as directors and let you all know what we hope your children will get out of being in the show.
The reason we (Amanda and Kate, the directors) love working together is we have the same philosophy about teaching: to provide a positive and warm environment for students to learn, express, and push themselves forward. We pride ourselves on giving kids a second place to call home. We try to be great role models in being kind, caring, and respectful of others. This is the most important thing to us because when you have those things, we find that we get the most out of the kids artistically as well.
As these kids are getting to know each other better and better, they are becoming very close, which is wonderful. However, as with any close group, occasionally their closeness can turn into gossip and such. Social media make gossip even more prevalent and hard to control. Partly because of this, we have a NO PHONE policy in the rehearsal room (though they can use their phone if needed on breaks). Unfortunately, we can’t monitor what is happening on their phones at home, and we ask that parents please keep an eye on group conversations about the musical and be sure they are positive and inclusive. (We monitor the GroupMe with the kids, so please encourage them to have their text conversations through our group chat). Also remind your kids that much of what they hear via social media may not be true or completely accurate. (Parents of the younger ones are blessed with not having to worry about this for a few more years… enjoy that while you can!)
Here’s a couple other ways you as parents can help us to help us create the environment we want and that you want for your children: please encourage your kids to build one another up, be inclusive, and be optimistic about the show. If they do have concerns that come up, please encourage them to discuss it with one of us. We will help, but only if we know about what is going on.
We are lucky to have amazing helpers that act as student assistant directors. We always choose high schoolers who are great role models for our actors. If your child has a problem or concern or need extra help on something from the show, they can also speak to these girls about it.
We are looking forward to a fantastic and positive semester with your kids. Musicals have made such a huge difference in our lives - they have helped us become confident, outgoing, team-oriented, and hard working; they also helped us build lifelong friendships. We hope that your kids experience those same feelings while participating in our musical.
Casting is a difficult process. Here are some thoughts and guidelines we want to share with you about how we approach casting.
Generally, we see casting as a “matching” of an actor’s abilities and talents to produce the very best show that we can.
We are directing musicals. The production numbers are the show-stoppers of musicals. Therefore, the music and dance are the most important elements to us. The students cast in the chorus represent the largest and most important parts of our shows. We also work very hard to give every student a special moment in the show, whether it be a featured dance part, a solo, or a funny line to make the audience laugh.
As to the principal roles, of which there are relatively few in any show, we cast them on the basis of the level of excitement, interest, humor, confidence and just plain stage presence that we see at the audition. These roles are never pre-cast. Nor are they “earned” by being in previous shows, taking private lessons, or enrolling in lots of Rhythms classes. The people who get those principal roles must be able to hold the audience’s interest on their own or the show will die when they are on stage alone.
We give these roles to the actors who show us what they can do that in the audition. What we see is what they get. We cannot rely on prior knowledge or experience with a given actor because there are just too many surprises, particularly with children whose personalities and attitudes change so quickly. The auditions also show us how prepared an actor will be at coming rehearsals. By being well prepared for auditions, actors can show us their work ethic as well as their excitement and interest in that particular show they are auditioning for.
Theater and musicals in particular are an ensemble effort. Everyone is equally involved in the creating and performing of a musical. Everyone is equally deserving of the credit and praise of a show well done.
It is our job, as the directors, to create the very best show possible and therefore cast who we feel will help create the level of performance that we are after.
We hope these thoughts have given you an idea of how we work, and particularly how we cast.