Be Our Guest Part I – Auditions
By Piper G.
Body trembling. Heart beating. The thoughts of “Will I remember this scene?” “Will I speak loudly enough?” and “Will my voice crack while I’m singing?” flooding the mind. Last week, students auditioning for the school musical faced a plethora of anxieties.
This upcoming school year the Duxbury High School Drama Department is putting on a production of Beauty and the Beast. Approximately 45 students auditioned last week for the musical.
This year, auditioners had to both sing a portion of the song “Be Our Guest” from the musical Beauty and the Beast and perform a scene from the musical, as chosen by student director Julia C.
Mr. Robert Judge, the chorus director, plays an integral role in musicals at DHS and he helps put together the audition piece.
Judge, in an emailed response, said, “I look for about 16 measures of a piece from the show that provides me a lot of information about one’s musicianship and vocal technique, as well as something that sits comfortably in all voice ranges.” He went on to talk about the various musical skills including tone quality, intonation, pitch accuracy, rhythmic accuracy, which he looks for the auditioner to demonstrate.
“Those who know me know that I’m always listening for diction,” said Judge.
This upcoming musical will be the seventh production Judge is involved in at DHS, but it is actually his twelfth year directing musicals. In fact, this isn’t the first time Judge has been a part of the production of Beauty and the Beast. ”It’s actually been quite fun going back and looking at my analysis of the score, rehearsal notes and plans, and other materials from that production. Although I have different ideas and interpretations now than I did ten years ago, all of those things have been very helpful in my planning and preparation for this production” he said.
For the past two years, junior Julia C. was in the ensemble for the musicals. Now, as the student director, she has the opportunity to make a creative impact.
“I knew I wanted to do something more with this,” she said.
When asked about advice concerning auditions for aspiring students, Julia said, “Honestly, as cheesy as it may sound, just be yourself and be confident, try your best. It’s the best experience I have ever had. It’s not as scary as it sounds.”
The musical will be performed in February, but until then the cast of Beauty and the Beast will be busy preparing. “I’m looking forward to seeing the outcome of working so hard over the next couple of months. I’m very excited to be able to work with the people who auditioned,” said Julia.
Every student that auditioned for the musical had to rehearse the part of the audition song and scene from Beauty and the Beast. Many student’s nerves were racing before the audition, whereas others felt prepared and calm.
“I was kind of nervous at first but I know Mr. Judge, and I’ve been doing chorus for a while so I wasn’t too nervous,” said sophomore Charlotte M. regarding the audition.
Another auditioner, Bernadette F., had some nerves before she started.
“I was pretty nervous before the audition. I’m a junior now, so I was thinking maybe I could get a part or something like that. I always get nervous before every audition no matter who it’s in front of so yeah, I was pretty nervous.” said Bernadette F.
In preparing for the audition, Charlotte spent a lot of time prior to the audition. “I looked over the song a lot. I listened to the recording of it too,” she said. “I think it went pretty good. I was pretty confident I guess.”
The musical will be performed February 1st through 3rd. Until then, the cast and crew will be busy preparing for the exciting event that will be happening in the next couple of months.