Tips for RENT Auditions

Auditions for the 2017-2018 national tour of RENT are coming up soon! Here are some tips to help you craft a good audition.


be your authentic self.

dress casual and funky.

remember that the show is about Love, and choose material accordingly.

communicate the feel of your song to the accompanist.

choose material that reflects the world of the show and the characters

listen to the Spotify playlist we made of (mostly) all the songs we heard at last year’s Rent/Mamma Mia auditions. Every time we heard a song, we plugged it in; so if we heard “Creep” by Radiohead 10 times, so will you. Which songs do you think were successful, and which were not so successful? Which songs would YOU like to hear someone sing with a piano in an audition room?


wear a costume

try to fake a rock sound

sing a musical theatre song

sing “Alone” by Heart, “You Oughta Know” by Alanis, or “Smells Like Teen Spirit” by Nirvana.

Many people who don’t really know Rent or don’t understand it think that the show is about a bunch of angry people yelling at each other. It’s not. It’s about love, and it’s about family. Sometimes people who love each other get mad and fight; and sometimes life is shitty and you have to scream about it. But anger is not the heartbeat of this show; LOVE is. All aspects of love: Family, Friendship, Romance, Sex, Self-Love, Passion for your work, Passion for humanity. Those are good themes to work with when choosing audition material. Think about what character you would be in the world of the show and find material that encapsulates that character.

The most important question we need you to answer, musically, is how you handle the styles of music in the show. Each character enters their world through a specific musical style. Collins is Soul/R&B, Mimi is Rock & Roll w/a hint of 80s pop ballad, Roger is Grunge Rock, Mark is Alternative, Maureen is Blue-Eyed Soul, Joanne is Soul, etc. They mix it up, but they’re all rooted in something. Remember that essentially RENT is an opera. The stakes are high and the characters’ feelings are raw and amplified.

What we do NOT need to hear in your initial audition is how high and loud you can sing. We’ll get to that later in the process. The open call is about getting to know YOU, your authentic style, and your funky personality.