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Webb Canyon Chronicle

The Student News Site of The Webb Schools

Webb Canyon Chronicle

The Student News Site of The Webb Schools

Webb Canyon Chronicle

How to audition: And All That Jazz

Elena Petrova
Emily Berg (‘24) throws her sheet music in the air as she practices for auditions. Having been in theater productions since she was six, Emily is an expert on the auditioning process. “Honestly, the easiest part of auditioning for me is just showing up,” Emily said. “It’s a lot of fun to sing on stage.” While Emily’s audition date is under wraps, auditions for the musical begin on Monday, January 22nd.

So, you’ve decided: you’re going to join the theater crowd. Whether it be the painfully elaborate Fosse choreography, the unchecked narcissism bordering on sociopathy, or the promise of murder in the big city, something about the 2023-2024 spring musical, Chicago, has attracted you. 

But auditioning, you say, is terrifying! Intimidating! Whatever shall I do? 

Say less, I say. Seeing as, in the style of Chicago, you can’t do it alone, so I present to you… 


STEP 1: Gathering Information 

It all starts when she sends you an email. Who, you ask? Why, Stefanie Plumley, Director and Fine Arts Department Chair, of course. 

Whether that email contains major plot points, a powerpoint covering everything you missed from the flex time meeting, or a brief description of every character, the most important part of this step is that you read everything. Anything not included in this guide will be contained in her emails. 

STEP 2: Finding Your Range 

One of the most crucial steps to auditioning is picking your song. You want to audition with something that a) makes your voice sound good and b) is in your vocal range. If you need help finding your range, it might be a good idea to schedule a practice session with Ms. Plumley through email. 

If she is not available, the next best option is to find a friend who plays piano or has perfect pitch. Sit down for a couple of minutes in one of the music rooms and follow this handy guide to figure out what your range is. 

Alternatively, you can use that time in the music rooms to sing along with the soundtrack and figure out which songs work in your voice. 


This is arguably the most important step on this list. Even if you forget everything I just told you tomorrow, as long as you remember to practice, you will be fine.  

There are a variety of ways (and things) you can practice. Since you are auditioning for a musical, you have three things you need to work on: singing, acting, and dancing. 


The first and most important resource at your disposal is the Original Broadway Cast Recording of Chicago, available on YouTube, Spotify, Apple Music, etc. What is most important, however, is that you do not get this recording confused with the Chicago movie soundtrack — the movie soundtrack cuts songs (for movie brevity) and often does not have the full version of the songs they do include. 

Acting & Dancing 

Singing, acting, and dancing are all equally important to a musical audition, but how can you practice the latter two? Simple: research and a mirror. The first thing you will want to do is get some reference—there are all sorts of interesting options here. You can watch either clips of Fosse choreography for ideas on how to move, clips of the actual show or even the movie for acting tips, or full recordings of high school productions. 

The next part of this step is, again, simple: practice, preferably in front of a mirror. Do not just copy what you see; take your research and interpret it into something YOU feel comfortable with. 

“I need to see is that you’ve actually put some work into learning the song, and that you’re trying your best,” Ms. Plumley said when asked for tips for new auditioners. “Also that you bring a bit of life to the song, and – I think this is probably the most relevant thing – you actually try and interpret it rather than just sing the words and mouth the lyrics and do it by rote.”  

STEP 4: Break a Leg and You’ll End Up in The Cast 

Now comes the last step: securing your audition slot. Ms. Plumley makes this process a breeze with SignUpGenius. You just need to open the link, and with a few clicks, voila — you are in! You will be directed to a page with audition slots. Remember, choosing the right time is as important as picking the right song: this is not just about convenience; it is about showcasing your talents when you are most vibrant and energetic.  

“[My main consideration when picking audition time] is being able to go home, eat, refuel, drink a lot of water so my voice is fresh, and then come back for the audition,” Sydney Becker (‘24) said. “So, I’m not coming for the entire day of school and then just throwing the audition in.” 

Once you select your preferred time and fill in your details, you will receive a confirmation email. Just like that, you are one step closer to the spotlight. So mark your calendars, set your reminders, and get ready to shine! 

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About the Contributors
Eleanor Hong
Eleanor Hong, Chief Copy Editor
Pencils, pens, poetry, playwright, but most importantly, passion; Eleanor Hong (‘24) refuses to let her senior year cede to boredom. Whether it is ink on paper or fingers on a keyboard, her writing captures the attention and hearts of readers all around her community. From her friends and family to random strangers, she entertains and informs through any medium of written art. She recently finished writing a ninety-seven-page play over the summer, which she hopes to get produced in the future. Her passion is unrestricted by discrimination faced by the people in her community; she writes because she is proud. Lately, Eleanor has become very driven about issues of internalized misogyny and being Asian in America, much of her work tackling these important issues and inspiring those around her. She is a writer of truth. An activist. A poet. A playwright. And luckily for Webb Canyon Chronicle, she is a heck of a journalist.  Favorite Song: "Ai No Corrida" by Quincy Jones & Charles May
Elena Petrova
Elena Petrova, Copy Editor
Elena Petrova (‘25) calls Moscow home, knowing every street and every pigeon, and yet she has been chased through the city for holding a piece of paper questioning the authority of her country's president. Always wanting her voice heard, she fights for her future and her community, hoping for a day when Russia can be free. As such, Elena looks forward to indulging her fascination with Russian and Soviet history and culture in Advanced Studies Cold War class. She also gives others a voice: as a passionate learner of many languages, she helps six students, including a Webb alum, embark on their linguistic journeys by teaching them English and Russian. As a Webbie, Elena serves this community as a prefect in Appleby, and a stage manager for this year’s fall play. Though she is very busy, you can also find her cooking new recipes, including her favorite dish: ratatouille. This year, Elena hopes to balance her urge to serve others with protecting her mental health and well-being. At the Webb Canyon Chronicle, she hopes to continue making the student community’s voice heard through more opinion articles, understanding that authority shall be questioned.   Favorite song:  ОГНЕЙ by SALUKI

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