Musical Theater Audition Workshop

The OFA and the HRDC present:
Musical Theater Audition Workshop
With Casting Director Ally Kiley ’13 (Telsey & Company) and Musical Director Madeline Smith ’14 (Waitress, Ragtime on Ellis Island)

Want to be able to audition for musicals in a virtual world? Sign up for an OFA-HRDC three-session audition series, to learn about the professional audition room, what casting teams look for, and how to create an effective video audition. Professional guest artists working on Broadway will guide participants through prepared readings and songs, provide a recorded music track and coach performances and video recordings. Participants can expect to leave the series with a highly polished audition video to submit to Harvard shows or for professional auditions!

Limited space for the full workshop series, but all may attend the first workshop. Students participating in weeks 2 and 3 must commit to ALL sessions and register by emailing Dana Knox.


Headshot of Ally KileyALLY KILEY ‘15 is a New York City-based Casting Director. As an Associate with Telsey + Company, her Broadway credits include Wicked, West Side Story, Waitress, Once on This Island, Carousel, and Pretty Woman. Upcoming Broadway credits include Mrs. Doubtfire, The Music Man, and Flying Over Sunset. Off-Broadway and Regional: Alliance Theatre, Arena Stage, Atlantic Theater Company, Hunter Theater Project, La Jolla Playhouse, MUNY, The New Group, Paper Mill Playhouse, Second Stage, and Williamstown Theatre Festival. In addition to her work with Telsey, Ally was the Casting Director of Oscar at the Crown at 3 Dollar Bill, and Ragtime on Ellis Island. (Both productions were helmed by fellow Harvard community members.) At Harvard, Ally majored in History and Literature and served as HRDC president.

Headshot of Madeline SmithMADELINE SMITH ’14 is a New York City-based music director, arranger, and conductor. Broadway credits include Waitress (Piano/Conductor sub), War Paint (Key 1 sub), Mean Girls (reh. piano). Off-Broadway: An Octoroon, TFANA; Rags Parkland Sings the Songs of the Future, Ars Nova; Skin of our Teeth, TFANA; 1001 Nights, Atlantic Theater Company; FUTURITY, Ars Nova/Soho Rep. Regional: We Live In Cairo, ART; Loch Ness, FLMTF; Nikola Tesla Drops the Beat, ATF. TV: The Wiz! Live. Weird assorted gigs: adapting Frozen Jr. and Descendants for Disney Theatricals; MDing/conducting Ragtime on Ellis Island. B.A. from Harvard University.

Workshop Details

Week 1: The Professional Audition, Wed, Sept. 16, 6:30-8:30 p.m.

A discussion led by casting director Ally Kiley and musical director Madeline Smith about the professional audition room. What makes a good audition? What will be expected of you? What are directors looking for? We’ll discuss topics such as entering/introducing, audition material selection, resumes, headshots, common missteps, taking direction/improv, and other techniques for a successful audition. This session will be open to ALL (unlimited space).

Homework for Week 2; collaboratively select your audition materials (audition sides and 32 bars of music) with Ally/Madeline, and prepare to be “off book” for 9/23. Ally will provide diverse examples of sides, Madeline will have diverse examples of songs, and Madeline will record rehearsal piano accompaniment digital files for each student.

Week 2: Live Rehearsing/Feedback Session of Audition Materials, Wed, Sept. 23, 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Students will be asked to prepare audition sides and a song selection to an open forum of “live presenting” their materials to the rest of the class over Zoom for feedback from Ally and Madeline. We’ll develop acting/vocal technique, create "wow" moments, and give a tool kit for how to best showcase yourself in the allotted time. Registration required, space is limited.

Homework for Week 3; continue to rehearse/polish your audition materials, and create a draft video of your full audition.

Week 3: Evaluation/Feedback of Recorded Audition Materials, Wed, Sept. 30, 6:30-8:30 p.m.

We will review the audition recordings, and have another round of feedback and developing how the audition translates into the recorded form. Learn ways to create engagement with the viewer, frame yourself well, create your audition space, etc. Registration required, space is limited.