A look into how students prepare for their Audition for Tuscarora’s Musical: The Hunchback of Notre Dame


LEESBURG VA: With Tuscarora’s fall play, Lord of the Flies, coming to a close, the theatre arts department has started to prepare for the spring musical, Hunchback of Notre Dame.  


Mr. Justin Daniel, the theatre teacher at Tuscarora High School will be directing the musical. Auditions will be held after school on December 13th and 14th, with callbacks on the 15th. 


The Hunchback of Notre Dame is a story about a misshapen man named Quasimodo that was adopted by the archdeacon of the church, Judge Claude Frollo. Quasimodo was locked up in the church until he left and met Esmeralda, a Romani and later of the guard captain Phoebus.


“I feel like the story has a very dark feel to appearance, race, and day to day struggles that happened back then and now,” Bullock said, “Disney put that very well this one we are doing has a darker impact on it.” 


The auditions will have two parts: dancing and singing. For the dancing, auditioners will learn a dance from choreographer, senior, Dillan Vanzego. Then in small groups, they will perform the dance for her, her assistant, junior, Joelle Aheto, and dancing instructor Ms. Gabby Rojtman.


“For the dance audition, I knew everyone was expecting me to use Topsy Turvy Part One. So, I changed things up, and used Topsy Turvy Part Two. I really enjoyed making this choreo, it is very fast paced with sharp movements, and quick jumps. I’m excited to see how everyone performs it,” Vanzego said. 


For the singing portion, auditioners will prepare a one minute song. Since there is no acting audition, during the song portion, it is encouraged to try and bring some acting technique into it. 


“My advice is to find a song that fits your voice. Especially if this is your first time, you shouldn’t be focusing on finding a song that’s specifically for the character you want. You should find a song that fits your voice and research acting techniques,” sophomore MacArthur “Mac” Maryn said. 


Auditioners have several ways of preparing, motivated by achieving their dream role or just having fun.


“I prepare for my audition by trying not to be stressed, which is easier said than done, but I realized when you stop being stressed, it helps you focus,” D’Andre Bullock, sophomore, said. 


Many auditioners are nervous and use different techniques to calm themselves down. Such techniques include talking to others about it, bringing in confidence and breathing.  


“I am a little nervous,” Peyton Gull, freshman, stated, “I deal with the nerves by faking it. Confidence. If you believe it, you’ll feel it.” 


One of the main roles people are going for is Quasimodo. Quasimodo is counted as the main character so there will be many people, including senior Michael Anthony who played Ralph in Lord of the Flies, auditioning for him. 


“Quasimodo’s songs are all so beautiful. I love singing them, and playing all of his emotions is fun. I’d love to take on the challenge of the role,” Anothony stated. 


Esmeralda is the main female role of the musical. Esmeralda is a Romani dancer who wishes to help the outcasts which include herself and her people. Being such a complex character, the role has attracted many people, including Vanzego. 


“One of the main reasons I am drawn to Esmeralda is because she battles with being seen as an outcast to her community,” Vanzego said, “There are some similar feelings I can dig into that I think could really bring the character to life.” 


Phoebus is the Captain of the Guards who was called in to help capture the Romani people but he ends up falling for Esmeralda.There are plenty of people from all grades going for him,


“I am going to audition for Phoebus. He is a soldier and has a lot of charisma there,” Gull stated. 


Judge Claude Frollo is the main antagonist and he was the one who locked Quasimodo up in the church. Frollo’s role has excited many of the students who wish to bring out the villain sides of themselves. 


“Claude Frollo is who I am auditioning for, specifically,” Maryn said, “There are many different ways to depict him. In the musical show and in the Disney movie, they are two slightly different characters but overall he is kind of all evil. He uses his authority and his status to justify his evil means.” 


Another competitive role will be Clopin. Clopin is the King of Roma, and a jester who led the Festival of Fouls. He is a fun character and an important dancing role.


“I want to be Clopin because it’s just such a fun character. I love that Clopin is the King of the Romanis and gets to sing all the super fun group songs like Topsy Turvy,” Emma Marfia, junior, stated, “I think Clopin’s character gives you the best of both worlds. Having more of a serious and fun side to him. It’s also very promising when this is one of the few characters that is comfortably in my vocal range.” 


There will be different ensembles including the gargoyles who live in the bell tower with Quasimodo, the villagers of Paris and the Romani. 


“I plan on being, hopefully a romani, Not like Esmeralda, but a romani who has very complicated dances because I feel like it’s more my strong suit and it’s really fun,” Amira Noutcha, sophomore, stated. 


After winter break ends, everyone will be ready to jump right into the show.


“My first play was a musical. It really changes you. I’ve had a new way of seeing things. I am so proud of everybody who decides to do theatre because it takes a lot of dedication and work, but it’s also very fun,” Noutcha said.