I have a question for those of you that do your musicals all or partially within a class (during school time) and/or those of you who hold auditions for a musical before picking the show. I have never done a play or musical like this before, but I am at a new school and due to many circumstances, I think this might be the kind of thing we need to do.
We're at a small school and so the students are involved in many activities, making scheduling rehearsals very difficult. My music director (choir teacher) and I are looking at doing a sort of hybrid schedule for the musical that includes 2-3 days a week of in-school rehearsal (during a special daily 35 minute class period that is a study hall/catch-all period which is usually a complete waste of everyone's time) and after school rehearsals that will increase in frequency and length as the production gets closer. The in-school rehearsals will start at the beginning of the semester in January, and the musical won't be performed until the first week of May.
This is the first time in a very long time our school is attempting a musical, and this is the first year at this school for both me and the choir teacher. Because of this, and our funky scheduling idea, we are not sure who to expect at auditions, and neither of us feel very comfortable picking a show until we know who we've got to work with.
So, we're looking at holding auditions for "the musical" right before we go on Winter Break so that we can get kids' schedules changed to be put into our musical "class" during study hall next semester. Then, during the break she and I will choose a musical based on the numbers of people and gender/voice breakdown we have. When we come back, we will hold a second audition for the individual characters and everyone else will be the ensemble.
Are we insane? Does anyone else out there have a system like this? Do you have any words of wisdom or advice? As I said, I've never done a show in a scheduling format like this before, and I've never held auditions for a show before picking it (crazy!) so I'm not even sure what questions to ask. I would just love to hear success stories (or horror stories of warning) from people who do this kind of non-traditional scheduling and casting. Can we make this work? Thank you!!!