All musical theatre pieces must be performed from a musical published fort the stage. Cabaret nights, movie songs, and pop songs are not eligible for competition. Musical Categories include Solo Musical, Duet Musical, Group Musical.
Recommended companies to look up songs.
The Musical Company (Now Part of Concord Theatricals)
The musical rubric is broken down into six sections.
Movement and Dance
For more help on each section and how to maximize your performance, keep reading.
Acting transitions includes the following elements
- A clear slate that includes clear articulation of name, selection, author of selection, and troupe number.
- Transition into the scene/monologue, transitions between monologues, and a clear final moment of the piece and transition out of the piece.
Recommendations to improve your Acting Transition score.
1. Practice your slate like you do your piece itself.
2. Know how to pronounce your author and selection. If the judge knows the proper pronunciation and you say it wrong, it sets the wrong tone.
3. This is your first impression, almost like a date, you want to be pleasant but not over the top and say what you are supposed to, not too much, and not too little.
4. If you are using a chair or table (if allowed), pre set it before your slate, do not allow your transition be muddled with moving furniture.
5. Be aware of what you do before you talk, you are being evaluated from when you start your slate.
6. Be clear on your final moment. Don't start leaving before you are done.
7. Know what you are to present. You should say your name, troupe #, selection title, selection author/composer.
Characterization on the rubric asks for emotional and physical realness and commitment to character; choices or tactics towards an objective that create a relationship with real or implied partner(s).
What is characterization? Characterization is the creation of character through voice, movement, personal research and textual analysis.
Different Tips and methods to creating character.
Suggestions on how to improve upon characterization
1. Take the time to read the full script, not just the slection you made. This is important because you need to know all the different experiences and actions the character has, know the subtext.
2. Research your character, know the playwright.
3. Establish clear OOAT. Objective (What does your character want (from someone). Obstacle (What is in your way (need drama). Action (What are you doing to get what you want). Tactics (How are you going to get what you want).
4. Make choices and take risks. Ultimately impressions matter, if you don't make one, it can be hard to leave one. This will often help separate you from the character you are portraying.
5. Listen to feedback.
6. Know emotions, but don't play emotions. Focus on objectives and work to them, and be aware of emotions, but don't play them.
7. Practice and prepare.
8. Watch out for stereotyping, make educated decisions.
Acting Techniques: There are several different methods to creating character developed by a range of teachers. It is up to the actor to decide which method is write for them.
For a general overview of the major methods and the actors who use it. CLICK HERE.
Constantin Stanislavski: Known as the method, Stanislavski is considered the father of modern acting. His approach incorporates spiritual realism, emotional memory, dramatic and self-analysis, and disciplined practice.
Lee Strasberg: Strasberg took Stanislavski's method and adapted it, it encourages actors magnify and intensify their connection to the material by creating their characters’ emotional experiences in their own lives.
Stella Adler: Adler studied under Strasberg but modified the system to emphasize imagination in addition to emotional recall.
Sanford Meisner: Meisner worked with Adler and Strasberg. Meisner taught his students to “live truthfully under given imaginary circumstances.” His approach is an imminently practical one; his famous repetition exercise, in which two actors sit opposite each other and respond in the moment with a repeated phrase, breaks down overly structured technique and builds openness, flexibility, and listening skills.
Michael Chekhov: Chekhov pioneered a psycho-physical approach to acting, focusing on mind, body, and a conscious awareness of the senses.
Practical Aesthetics: This method was developed by William H Macey and David Mamet. It involves a four-step scene analysis that simply focuses on pursuit of an action; actors are taught to focus on what is literally happening in the scene and what is desired of the other characters.
Uta Hagan: Her popular technique emphasizes realism and truth above all else; “substitution” (or “transference”) encourages actors to substitute their own experiences and emotional recollections for the given circumstances of a scene.
Viola Spolin: Used theatre games to live in the moment and respond quickly and truthfully to their present circumstances.
Characterization in Theatre
Pitch, articulation, pace, rhythm, projection, breath support and control that follows the score.
Pitch: Make sure to match the expected notes. Know your range, if you cannot hit the notes, don't try.
Articulation: Be clear when singing the song. Do not run words together.
Pace/Rhythm: Stay with the music. Don't fall away from it.
Projection: Know your song and the room. A challenge is often remaining audible when singing quietly, stay sharp in your singing and don't forget all the other fundamentals. The same runs for projecting too loud, try not to get sloppy.
Breath Support: Practice this, be ready for the spots you know you need extra support.
Control: Remain in control at all times, don't let your voice slip.
Score (reading music)
Helpful Videos on Musical Theatre Singing Techniques
Musical expression that communicates and reflects the character's emotions and subtext.
Gestures, facial expressions, blocking, and movements/dance communicate the character's emotions and subtext.
Concentration and commitment to moment-to-moment choice; integration of voice, body, and emotions create a believable character/relationship that tells a story.
This category can often be forgot. This covers every element of your performance, so remember the following.
1. Be respectful and courteous from the moment you walk in the room until you leave. Judges are human and notice your behavior, don't allow anything to create a bad impression.
2. Focus on the rubric expectations.
3. Piece selections matter. You have two options when selecting your piece. Option 1 is to pick a piece that showcases your talent, take it and knock it out of the park and shine. Option 2 is to pick a piece that challenges you and challenges expectations. This is a risk, but when done well, can provide great rewards.
Also consider the piece when it comes to telling a story. A recent trend is more cabaret style songs in musical theatre, pick a song that tells a story and has well established objectives. What does your character want?
4. Commit and be consistent in your choices. Make choices, make bold choices. Safe choices and be ok, but are you really looking to just do ok?
5. Know your range. If you cannot sing the song, don't. If you can transpose, you are allowed to.
6. Ask for feedback and help from those who will be honest with you. You may think you are doing something, but it doesn't always show. Other people can give you feedback to improve your performance.