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Spotlight Acting School Official Blog

The Spoonbread Festival Talent Show

Entry Form – Spoonbread_Talent_Show_Form

  1. The Talent show will begin at 9am and will run no later than Noon on Saturday, Sept 22nd.
  2. All entry forms must be submitted by Thursday Sept 20th with a $10 entry fee.
  3. Forms may be returned to the Berea Chamber of Commerce on Chestnut Street, Mrs. Hembree’s Choir Room at Madison Southern HS,  Mrs. Newland’s  Music Room at Shannon Johnson Elementary School, Mrs. Donna New’s 2nd-grade room at Silver Creek Elementary, or the Spotlight Playhouse at 214 Richmond Road next to Family Dollar.
  4. All ages are welcome to apply.
  5. Group or solo acts are welcome to apply.
  6. Acts requiring more than 8 FEET of ceiling height will not be allowed.
  7. Acts will be allotted no more than FIVE (5) MINUTES to set up, perform, and tear down.
  8. Acts will be PENALIZED if this time is exceeded.
  9. Participants may only perform ONE time during the show. Any participant who participates in more than one performance will disqualify BOTH acts.
  10. NO profanity or vulgar lyrics in any vocal performance or dance music. This is a family show.
  11. Keep attire at a respectable and tasteful level.
  12. NO pyrotechnics, open flames or any other dangerous additions.
  13. A Sound Technician and microphone(s) will be provided. Acts MUST provide their own recorded music, instruments, props, etc., if needed. Recorded music MUST be on a standard audio CD.
  14. Participants will have the opportunity for a mic check starting at 7:30am and will run as long as time permits.
  15. Winners should allow at least 3 WEEKS for prize checks to be disbursed.
  16. Prizes will be awarded to winners with the amounts being dependent on the number of entry fees collected. A minimum amount of $100 will be awarded to the 1st  place overall winner.
  17. questions may be directed to 859-661-0600 or

Rules are subject to change at the sole discretion of the Talent Show organizers. Participants are chosen by many factors, including the number of entries, type of act, age group, and festival appropriateness.

So, you think you can write a play? – The Spotlight Festival of Short Plays

Short plays and musicals that are no more than 15 pages in length with an average runtime of less than 30 minutes.

Writers may submit only 1 play, including plays they have co-authored.

Each nomination must submit a separate Submission Form.

Plays must be typed. See the format guide attached.

Plays presented in previous Spotlight Festivals are not eligible for re-submission.

Poetry and short story readings will not be accepted.

The Spotlight Acting School, Inc. Festival Committee, in its sole and absolute discretion, shall select plays for participation in the 2018 Spotlight Festival from among all entries, and its decisions are final.

All submissions must be submitted by the Author[s] of the Play.

The author is responsible for co-producing the play in the event that the work is selected as a Festival participant. The responsibilities of the Producer include, but are not limited to, assisting in or suggesting casting; our 2018 festival is a non-equity festival; working with the appointed director or self-directing the work, assisting technical personnel; attending rehearsals; and assisting with costumes.

Script submissions will be accepted in digital format only. Each submission should be submitted as a single PDF or Microsoft Word Compatible (.doc, .docx) document. Documents must be labeled as follows: PlayTitle_Author’s Last Name.pdf (or .doc/.docx). Email the completed document as an attachment to .

All portions of the application must be complete.

Submission Form link

Spotlight Acting School, Inc. will announce the winners at the performance of Alice in Wonderland February 10th 2018 followed by posting the results on its website.

Chad & Letha Hembree Annual Christmas Open House

All friends and Spotlight supporters new and old are welcome to attend. We know it is a busy time of year, so come and go as you please. For over 15 years we have opened our home to family/friends, (and even friends of friends) for a joyous celebration of our favorite season. Come see the Christmas Village with over 200 structures now, sample delicious treats, and eat all the chocolate you can stand while sharing in great fellowship and conversation.

Dec. 22  –  6:00pm – 10:00pm

207 Elkin St.
Berea, KY

Season Closing Celebration

season closing featuredThe end of another season is here, but instead of being sad it is gone, we are happy for having the experience.  Join us as we celebrate our many successes and gather with our friends to look forward to the next exciting season.

Location:  Berea Campus (The Spotlight Playhouse)

Date: July 8th

Time: 11am-2pm

We will have grills rolling with lots of food, so plan on lunch with us.

Activities for all ages.

Newcomers and guests are welcome.  Shorts tours and informational sessions will be held on a rotating basis for all three hours.

Fairy Tale Day

From the farthest reaches of Scotland, to the depths of the bottomless blue…

Come meet some of your most favorite and memorable characters! Join us for a day of magic and happily ever afters as Princes and Princesses make their royal debut at the Spotlight Playhouse in Berea, KY. There will be story time, crafts, dancing, and photo opportunities that will end with a glamorous ball!

Some of our guests who have already scheduled to attend are: Princess Aurora, Princess Belle with the Beast, Princess Cinderella with her Prince Charming, Princess Rapunzel and Flynn Ryder, Princess Ariel, Princess Merida, Alice and the Mad Hatter.
Our young attendees will have plenty of opportunities to interact with our guests from 3-6 pm on May 15th, 2016. Activities will be planned in a rotation with Craft Time with Rapunzel, Story time with Belle, Singing time with Ariel, and target practice with Merida. We will end the exciting day with an individual photoshoot with the characters done by Pretty Pixels Photography  and some dancing!

-Deanna Burns

Little Mermaid Characters

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There are so many amazing roles in this show!
Character Breakdown
Casting Cast Size: Flexible
Cast Type: Children
Dance Requirements: Standard

Ariel: the heroine of our story, is a little mermaid who longs to be human. Cast a strong singer and dynamic performer in this role. Ariel has some beautiful solos but must be able to convey meaning through gesture once she loses her voice.
Gender: female
Vocal range top: Eb5
Vocal range bottom: Bb3

Prince Eric: is the adventurous prince who captures Ariel’s heart. Look for a charming performer with a sensitive nature. Prince Eric has a few small solos, but it is more important to cast a strong actor in this role.
Gender: male
Vocal range top: D5
Vocal range bottom: B3

Sebastian: is the meticulous and anxious crab who tries to keep Ariel safe while getting to lead some of the most memorable songs in the show! Look for a strong singer who can also handle Sebastian’s emotional range. Sebastian can be played by a boy or girl.
Gender: both
Vocal range top: D5
Vocal range bottom: A3

Flounder: is Ariel’s sincere and sensitive best friend who is loyal to the end. This spunky fish also has a show-stopping solo in “She’s in Love.” Flounder can be cast with a girl or a boy with an unchanged voice. This may be a wonderful role for a younger performer who is ready to take the next step into the spotlight.
Gender: both
Vocal range top: Db5
Vocal range bottom: G3

KING TRITON: rules the sea and is a force to be reckoned with. This non-singer needs to command the stage as a strong leader but also show the tenderness of a parent. Cast a mature performer who feels comfortable playing father to Ariel and the Mersisters.
Gender: male

The Mersisters: (Aquata, Andrina, Arista, Atina, Adella, Allana) are Ariel’s siblings and full of personality and sass. These are great roles to showcase talented singers and dancers who can create and play six distinctive characters.
Gender: female
Vocal range top: G5
Vocal range bottom: G3

Ursula: is the manipulative sea witch who tries to overthrow King Triton. She is cunning and devious and will stop at nothing to get what she wants. Cast a mature performer who can bring out this villain’s humor while finding texture in Ursula’s complexity. Ursula’s songs can be challenging, so look for a singer who will feel comfortable with these solos.
Gender: female
Vocal range top: C#5
Vocal range bottom: F3

The Tentacles: are extensions of Ursula, perhaps the poor unfortunate souls who are now trapped in her lair. Look for six or eight performers who work well together and can move as a unit.
Gender: both
Vocal range top: C#5
Vocal range bottom: C4

Flotsam and Jetsam: are Ursula’s slippery spies. These electric eels are sinister and sneaky, so look for performers who can be underhanded and devious while still being heard on stage. Flotsam and Jetsam can be played by boys or girls.
Gender: both
Vocal range top: C#5
Vocal range bottom: C4

Scuttle: is the know-it-all seagull who serves as Ariel’s expert on humans. He is funny and off-beat. While a good singer will rock “Human Stuff,” this song can easily be spoken in rhythm. Look for a performer with good comedic timing who is willing to have fun with Scuttle’s eccentricities.
Gender: both
Vocal range top: E5
Vocal range bottom: B3

The Gulls: are Scuttle’s flock of zany “back-up singers” who help explain human stuff to Ariel. While there are three principal gulls written in the score, feel free to add as many as you need to best serve your production. The Gulls’ solos can be spoken if necessary.
Gender: both
Vocal range top: G5
Vocal range bottom: B3

Grimsby: is Prince Eric’s prim and proper valet. He is rigid in personality and constantly trying to guide Prince Eric towards the throne. While Grimsby does have some singing to do, strong acting trumps singing ability for this role.
Gender: male
Vocal range top: C5
Vocal range bottom: E4

Chef Louis: is the over-the-top head chef in the palace. He is always wild and frenetic. This is an excellent featured role for a comedic performer.
Gender: male
Vocal range top: C5
Vocal range bottom: A3

The Chefs: are Chef Louis’s assistants. The music in “Les Poissons” can be challenging, so good choral singers are a plus for this group. Your Chefs can also double as members of the Sea Chorus.
Gender: both

Carlotta: is the headmistress in Prince Eric’s palace and Ariel’s greatest human ally. This non-singing role needs to be warm and maternal to make Ariel feel welcome.
Gender: female

The six Princesses: try everything they can to win the heart of Prince Eric. Since none of them possesses the voice Prince Eric is searching for, cast actresses who can create an exaggerated and comedic personality through song. The six Princesses can double as the six Mersisters.
Gender: female
Vocal range top: G5
Vocal range bottom: E4

The Pilot: is the head sailor on Prince Eric’s ship. This nautical expert who entertains the sailors with wild tales of the sea presents an opportunity to highlight a developing performer. The Pilot has a few speaking lines, but his singing voice is most important.
Gender: male
Vocal range top: C5
Vocal range bottom: Bb3

The Sailors: are the crew of Prince Eric’s ship. They are eager for adventure and ready to tackle a storm. The Sailors can be played by boys or girls and can double as Sea Chorus.
Gender: both

Seahorse: The Seahorse is the court herald for King Triton. This non-singing part is a good role for a young performer with a clear speaking voice.
Gender: both

Sea Chorus: The Sea Chorus is responsible for creating each world within the show. Look for performers who can move gracefully and are capable of being part of a scene without drawing focus. This can also be an opportunity to showcase some of your more skilled dancers. The Sea Chorus can double as Merfolk, Sea Creatures and Lagoon Animals.
Gender: both

Sea Creatures: The Sea Creatures are the ensemble under water animals in King Triton’s court. They can include as few or as many performers as your production permits. There are several moments to showcase both dancers and singers in “Under the Sea.”
Gender: both

Merfolk: The Merfolk of King Triton’s Court and can double as Sea Creatures.
Gender: both

Lagoon Animals: The Lagoon Animals try to convince Prince Eric to kiss Ariel. This ensemble can double as the Sea Creatures.
Gender: both000378_hero


Auditioning is something that makes everyone nervous. It is often the hardest part about putting on a production. To help make the process easier, we want you to know exactly what to expect!

There are 3 parts of an audition for a musical (usually in this order)

  1. Vocal
  2. Cold Reading/Monologue
  3. Choreography

None of the audition parts are more important then the others. You must be able to sing, act, and dance the part!

If you come prepared, YOU’LL BE FINE!




Let’s start at the beginning!

1) The first thing you will be asked to do is SLATE. What is a Slate?  And Why is it So Important? A “slate” is essentially an introduction when you audition for a project.

“My name is…. and I will be singing…..”

After you have told the judges your name and what you will be singing you will sing about 16 bars of a song that shows off your range.

Here are a few examples of good vocal auditions-

Matthew Nassida: Take A Chance On Me (Little Women) & On The Street Where You Live (My Fair Lady)


Jessie Lawson


NEXT: Cold Reading/ Monologue– Depending on your age and what you are auditioning for you will be asked to do a cold reading or perform a monologue. Children ages 4-11 will not be expected to perform a monologue for Spotlight Acting School Productions. For those 11- adult, I would strongly advise preparing a monologue!

Cold Reading- Theatrical cold reading is reading aloud from a script or other text with little or no rehearsal

Monologue- In theater, a monologue is a speech presented by a single character, most often to express their mental thoughts aloud, though sometimes also to directly address another character or the audience.


LASTLY: Choreography- The choreographer will spending 5-10 minutes teaching a portion of a song. You will then be asked to perform what you were taught. This is mainly for the judges to see how well you can move and how quickly you pick up new material.





  1. Confidence- It sounds simple but it takes practice. Walk in the door with your held head high. Be wary of shuffling feet. You don’t get sympathy points if you’re nervous, not feeling well, or having a bad day. Leave it outside the door.
  2. Come Prepared– Know the story of the show you are auditioning for. Be familiar with the characters. Rehearse your slate, vocal audition, and monologue. PRACTICE.
  3. SMILE- This shows that you love what you do and that you will be a pleasure to work with. No one wants to work with a grouch.
  4. Don’t apologize. Ever. For anything.
  5. Always Audition- The best way to master auditioning is just like everything else.  Do it over and over.  You’ll get numb to the nerves.  You’ll be able to be yourself.  And you’ll get free practice!

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Get Creative!

As many of you know- our motto is DO SOMETHING CREATIVE EVERY DAY. Here are a few ways Spotlight and our students have been creative recently!

Student, Caraline Perkins, spent her snow day building Snoopy!



Dance classes at Spotlight have officially begun! Check out a short clip from our first jazz class.



Ryan Peters and his wonderful creative family spent their snow days building confetti canons for Beauty & The Beast!




Director Sarah Bucknam made a WHO HABITAT for Spotlight’s upcoming production of TO BROADWAY WITH LOVE. This flower will be used in a number from Seussical.




To Broadway With Love directors have spent many hours creating karaoke tracks.

We promise to continue sharing the fun and creative things we are up to!