Auditioning Kids

Auditioning young actors can be challenging. If you approach it as you would auditioning adults, by reading the lines in the actual script, you may be unable to see the actor’s potential. With young kids, even sometimes with teens, reading skills can be a problem. So how do you get a good grasp of a young actor’s abilities quickly while making it an enjoyable experience for them? What we do in Easton Children’s Theatre is divide the auditioners into small groups by age or grade and give each actor a short script unrelated to the actual script but one that will be fun for them to read and is written on their age level. The roles are labeled actor A, B, C, etc., and kids are told which role they will play. Then they are given ample time to read through the script and familiarize themselves with the lines.

During the actual audition, they are allowed to read from their script but are encouraged to use gestures, facial expression and movement. Since we do musicals, we also use the initial “rehearsal” time to play the audition song (usually a short excerpt of one of the songs from the show) over and over again. The lyrics for the song are written at the bottom of the script. We rarely give the kids sheet music because very few kids can sight sing.

During this 30-minute “rehearsal” time, kids work with one another, and with their parents, sing along with the song or sit quietly and memorize the script (which is not required but helpful to kids with reading problems). 

This style of auditioning has been working successfully for us for the past 26 years for shows featuring kids age 10 to 16.

If you would like to see sample audition scripts for different ages, go to and click on “Audition Scripts.” Feel free to use any of these scripts if you think they would work for your theatre group!

Mary and George on the set of "Vaudeville"