CATS Audition Information
Director – Ashley Wright
Choreographer – Julie Murphy
Music Director – Sean Bayntun
Music by ANDREW LLOYD WEBBER
Based on ‘Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats’ by T.S. Elliot
ABOUT THE SHOW
Based on T. S. Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, Cats is a sung-through musical with a score by Andrew Lloyd Webber. The story revolves around the gathering of a group of neighbourhood cats for their annual celebration – The Jellicle Ball – to see which cat will be chosen to ascend to the Heavyside Layer, becoming reborn with an extra life on Earth.
The cats proudly perform for the duration of the show, fully aware there is an audience present and happy to educate them on the highs and lows of being a Jellicle cat. The production is the real-time celebration of this annual tribal ritual, and simultaneously an audition for being selected by Old Deuteronomy to gain an extra life.
Cats is one of the longest-running shows on Broadway and received seven Tony awards including Best Musical. Since its world premiere in London, this musical has been presented in over twenty-six countries, translated into ten languages, and seen by over 50 million people world-wide.
CREATIVE TEAM VISION
We, the Creative Team, are interested in fully exploring the major themes and motifs that make up this brilliant musical. The predominant theme of accepting one another, despite our differences in appearance and personality, is at the heart of this story. We have embraced the challenge to build a show that utilizes song, and especially dance, to advance the plot and move the story forward without the use of a formal script. This is, after all, what makes Cats a revolutionary musical and beloved to this day.
We are interested in casting across gender identities, body types and vocal ranges (without the need for any musical score transposition) that may defy traditional casting of the Cats– all to deliver the strongest performances possible. We are looking for strong vocalists with movement/dance backgrounds for some roles, and strong dancers who are comfortable singing in the ensemble for other roles.
Ultimately, for our production of Cats, we aim to bring audiences an exhilarating ride full of heart and strong characters. We are committed to providing an empowering experience for the cast and crew, from all corners of the Vancouver community, to bring this memorable show to light.
Song Cat Roles: Mukustrap, Rum Tum Tugger, Jennyanydots, Bustopher Jones/Gus the Theatre Cat/Growltiger, Skimbleshanks, Mungojerrie, Rumpleteazer, Bombalurina, Demeter, Jellylorum, Jemima, Old Deuteronomy, Grizabella
These roles require strong singing ability ranging from headlining featured songs to singing significant lines within songs.
Dance Cat Roles: Mistoffelees, Victoria, Macavity, and all Chorus Cats (Chorus Cats: Alonzo, Pouncival, Coricopat, Tantomile, Cassandra, Bill Bailey, Electra, Etcetera, Exotica, Admentus).
These roles require strong dance ability in ballet/jazz styles and ideally tap and/or acrobatics/tumbling as well. Featured Dance Cats will be showcased as prominent dancers with solo parts and Chorus Cats will be given highlighted moments and featured dance parts as ability permits.
For your General Audition, you must present 1-2 songs and attend the Dance Call (more details below).
NOTE: These “Song Cat” roles require various levels of dance ability (ie. some of these roles are also Chorus dancers and some are not), but all candidates auditioning for “Song Cats” must attend the Dance Call regardless of this, so the creative team can see your movement ability and level.
Your “Song Cat” General Audition: Please prepare two songs (16-32 bars each), but you may be asked to sing only one. It is recommended that one of the songs be for the Cat you are auditioning for, but this is not required. Song sides for each “Song Cat” are provided under the Sides tab in Casting Manager.
You must sing with piano accompaniment; please provide sheet music. The creative team will briefly speak with you as well.
Your Dance Call: A short dance combination will be taught, the style will be theatre-jazz with ballet underpinnings.
(NOTE: If candidates have tap experience, please let the Choreographer know when prompted at the conclusion of the Dance Call. Candidates with tap dance experience auditioning for “Song Cats” will be asked to showcase this during Callback Auditions, if granted such an audition).
Your Time Slot: Depending on your time slot, you may be asked to audition in the Dance Call first, and then your General Audition will take place shortly afterward, or, you will present your General Audition first and then attend the Dance Call. You will be notified of the order of your audition once you have completed the General Audition registration.
For your General Audition, you must present 1-2 dance routines, attend the Dance Call, and attend the Chorus Singing Call (more details below)
Your “Dance Cat” General Audition: Please prepare 2 dance routines (45 sec – 1 min) and expect to present one or both pieces. You may present or improvise any choreographed combination you like, and may bring in music to dance to if desired.
Your first audition dance should be in ballet, jazz or ballet-jazz, in as advanced a level as possible. Your second piece should highlight any tap dance or acrobatic/tumbling experience, and be as advanced a level as possible. If tap and/or tumbling are not in your repertoire, then for your second piece please present theatre/Broadway-jazz, contemporary, hip hop, other gymnastics disciplines, etc. of your choosing
If using music, have your device and music ready to go: we will have an audio jack available to plug your device into a speaker (standard 3.5 mm audio jack) and somebody will be available to press “play” when you are in place to dance. The creative team will briefly speak with you as well.
The Dance Call: Every candidate auditioning for Cats must attend a Dance Call. The style will be theatre-jazz with ballet underpinnings.
Chorus Singing Call: All candidates auditioning for “Dance Cat” roles must attend this “group singing audition”. “Dance Cats” will not be required to sing outside of the Chorus parts (ie. no featured lines or solos necessarily), but must be able to sing in the Chorus. This audition will be led by the Music Director, and consist of all candidates being assigned to vocal parts that suit their range.
Your Time Slot: You will be required to attend all three audition segments (The “Dance Cat” General Audition, Dance Call, and Chorus Singing Call). You will be notified of the order of your audition segments once you have completed the General Audition registration.
Genders listed are ‘characterizations’ for individual roles, but Creative Teams will consider casting performers of all genders for all roles.
REHEARSAL SCHEDULE (Subject to Change)
CATS will begin rehearsals May 1st, 2024, leading to performances on alternating nights through July and August, closing on August 23rd, 2024. A more detailed schedule (subject to change) can be found here. Cast members must be available for ALL rehearsals and performances. ALL CONFLICTS MUST BE LISTED ON YOUR AUDITION FORM.