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NB: as of 23 September 2008, all new artSMart articles are being published on the site news.artsmart.co.za.

HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL (article first published : 2008-06-2)

Since M-Net announced the new reality series High School Musical: Spotlight South Africa, the broadcaster has been inundated with queries from aspiring musical theatre stars who want to be South Africa’s own “Troy” and “Gabriella”.

According to Carl Fischer, M-Net’s Head of Original Productions, the interest in the show has been overwhelming. “The phones have been ringing off the hook and the High School Musical: Spotlight SA video-promo on the website has already been viewed more than 5,000 times. We trust that all this interest will lead to high-quality contestants and we encourage all young South Africans to showcase their talents at the open auditions.”

The good news is that the search is now officially on. The Open Day auditions kick off in Port Elizabeth on June 6 from where the High School Musical: Spotlight SA team will travel the country.

Open auditions will be held in Durban on June 27 at the BAT Centre, Victoria Embankment. Other dates (see website for details) include Cape Town (June 13) and Johannesburg (June 19 and 20).

These auditions are open to anyone between the ages of 16 and 25 who think they have a future in musical theatre. Those interested should present themselves at the venues on the stated day to register, and remember to bring their ID documents. Contestants under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. Anyone who fails to register on the first day will not be able to audition later on, so it’s crucial to get there early! The auditions will commence at 09h00 in each city.

Those registering will be asked to audition for a panel of industry professionals in three categories: singing, dancing and acting. Auditionees can sing any popular song they feel comfortable with and perform any dance routine. Upon registration they will be given a piece from Disney Channel’s original Movie High School Musical to prepare for the acting audition. Every contestant must audition in all three categories to qualify.

Those talented youngsters who make it through the initial audition on the Friday will be asked back for the next round of auditions on the Saturday and the Sunday. It will be a long, hard weekend for all involved, so it is recommended that all participants bring along everything they need to stay comfortable - something to eat, to keep up the energy levels, enough water to drink, and enough jackets, scarves, wraps and beanies to keep those muscles warm!

The M-Net website will remain up to date with all the latest information with regards to the auditions. Visit www.mnet.co.za

HSM: Spotlight South Africa starts on M-Net on August 2, and will be broadcast on Mondays and Saturdays at 19h00.




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