Off-limits Audition Monologues/Songs

There has been a lot more buzz around auditions in the past few weeks, with TPS Generals and other major auditions going on at the same time. One of the most frequently asked questions has been whether a monologue or song is overdone, or whether X song from a musical on Broadway was off limits.

As a director, my personal belief that nothing is off limits. Last year, during TPS Generals, three women did the exact same Juliet monologue. On the same day. But you know what? I remember one of them. She was brilliant. The others I have no idea who they were. And she wasn’t the first one.

While I might wince at a novice performer trying to sing “Defying Gravity” from Wicked because it’s their favorite show, someone who can nail the song should sing it. The same goes for Sondheim – there is this belief that you should never sing Sondheim at an audition, especially for a Sondheim show (I’d like to know who came up with that one.) If you can perform a mind-blowing version of one of Sondheim’s songs, then please do; I want to see excellence at an audition.

So while careful consideration must be given to whether a monologue or song is right for you, you shouldn’t concern yourself with whether it’s overdone or not if it’s the piece that best showcases your skill.