Our Artistic Director Scott Michaels kicked off the new year with the 2020 audition tour. Each winter, he sees between 1,500 and 2,000 young professionals for the twenty to twenty-four casting positions in the summer season.

Scott started the audition season in New York City at the A1 Audition Conference and saw 1,200 actors over the four-day audition process. About fifty other theatres from across the nation were present for these auditions including Disney World and several popular cruise lines. While in the city, Scott was also able to see some shows including Come From Away and Hadestown and even got to see Wagon Wheel alumni Erika Henningsen (2012, Roxie Hart in Chicago) star in Mean Girls.

Scott will also hold three private auditions for some of the top BFA Musical Theatre programs in the nation at Florida State University, Texas State University, and the University of Michigan. All three schools have invited Scott to attend and audition their students due to the experience and growth their previous students have received under Scott and the Wagon Wheel’s direction.

Previous actors from Florida State University include Conner Olney (2019, Cosmo in Singin In the Rain) and Aaron McKenzie (2019, Sky in Mamma Mia!). Previous actors from Texas State University include Bella Coppola (2019, Mrs. Wormwood in Matilda) and Grayson Samuels (2018, Horton in Seussical). Previous actors from University of Michigan to the Wagon Wheel include Leanne Antonio (2019, Norma in Hands on a Hardbody and 2018, Lorraine in All Shook Up) who is currently understudying Nala in The Lion King National Tour, and McKenzie Kurtz (2017, Ariel Moore in Footloose) who was just announced as the new Anna in Frozen on Broadway.

“We are lucky that the Wagon Wheel has such strong relationships with these top audition conferences and universities with some of the best theatre programs in the country. The talent I see each year succeeds the years before and I am proud to bring some of the most skilled performers to Warsaw each summer,” said Scott.

In March, Scott will wrap up the audition tour with a casting call in Chicago where many young professionals will audition. A local audition at the Wagon Wheel is also held for professional actors and college students in March. The final audition is a local youth audition for the child roles in the summer season. Youth ensembles will be present in half of the shows this season: The Wizard of Oz, The Music Man, and Big: The Musical.

Following the final audition in March, Scott will start to make calls out to the young professionals and hire the 2020 Summer Season cast. For a few, coming to the Wagon Wheel will be their first professional job and the experience and professional standard held will open new doors for their career and future.

If you are a professional actor or college student interested in learning more about auditions for the Professional Theatre, visit our audition page.

For youth under the age of 18 interested in learning more about the youth ensemble opportunities, please visit our audition page as well.