Kean Theatre Department To Host Rock Musical Audition Workshop

Actress Sheri Sanders, author of Rock the Audition: How to Prepare For and Get Cast in Rock Musicals, will offer a workshop at Kean University on Dec. 7.

Actress Sheri Sanders, author of Rock the Audition: How to Prepare For and Get Cast in Rock Musicals, will offer a workshop at Kean University on Dec. 7. (Photo courtesy of Kean University)

UNION – Kean University’s Department of Theatre will host a Rock Musical Audition Workshop with actress Sheri Sanders, author of Rock the Audition: How to Prepare For and Get Cast in Rock Musicals, and Meg Zervoulis, music director for Kean’s upcoming production of In The Heights, this Saturday, Dec. 7 from 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

The workshop will take place in the Little Theatre, located in Kean’s University Center at 1000 Morris Avenue. Admission is $25 for the general public, and free for current Kean students with I.D. Those wishing to participate in (rather than observe) the master class are asked to prepare a 16-32 bar selection of a rock song in one of the following styles: Motown, ‘70s folk/rock, disco, ‘80s pop/rock, contemporary pop/rock, or “faeries” (Regina Spektor, Rufus Wainwright, etc.).

“Rock musicals are dominating Broadway,” said Sanders in a prepared statement. “Where rock musicals were once written by musical theatre composers such as Andrew Lloyd Webber, Stephen Schwartz, Jason Robert Brown and Jonathan Larsen, they are now being written by authentic pop recording artists. Cyndi Lauper wrote Kinky Boots. Sheryl Crow is writing Diner. Regina Spektor wrote Beauty, Tori Amos’ The Light Princess is up and running in London, and Sting’s The Last Ship is on its way to Broadway as we speak. Motown and Carole King’s Beautiful are following in the footsteps of jukebox musicals such as Priscilla and Rock of Ages, using authentic Motown and ‘70s folk rock music.”

“This class is devoted to the relationship between musical theatre and popular music,” Sanders continued, “and what the expectations and responsibilities of performers [are] to thrive in the current marketplace. Everything you need to learn about what it takes to master all [the] elements of auditioning for a genre of music and musical theatre which has no formal training. Until now.”

Sanders coaches teachers, students, and aspiring actors on how to choose, cut, arrange, research, vocally style, and act songs on the radio to successfully audition for rock musicals. Her performance techniques have been utilized by students now appearing on Broadway and in regional and touring productions of Kinky Boots, Spiderman, Memphis, Rock of Ages, Sister Act, Mamma Mia, American Idiot, Wicked, Rent, Hairspray, and The Wedding Singer, as well as workshops of Sting’s The Last Ship and Regina Spektor’s Beauty. Her students have also appeared on television in The X Factor, American Idol, and The Glee Project. As the only coach to bridge the gap between popular music and theatre, Sanders’ book and workshops are changing the face of auditioning for musical theatre on the stage and screen.

Zervoulis returns to Kean University after serving as music director for the Department of Theatre’s well-received production of Hairspray in late February. Zervoulis works as an accompanist, arranger, synth programmer, and vocal coach when not music directing. She is currently serving as Associate Music Director to Craig Barna on Oliver! at Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn, and will begin rehearsals for Kean’s upcoming production of In the Heights (Feb. 21 – March 1, 2014) in the coming weeks.

To purchase tickets to Kean University’s Rock Musical Audition Workshop, call the Kean Stage Box Office at 908-737-SHOW (7469). For more information on the Department of Theatre, visit

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