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Welcome to the Children and Teen Theatre at the Ned R. McWherter West Tennessee Cultural Arts Center! For 50 years, the Children and Teen Theatre has been a beacon for fostering theatrical creativity among the youth of Jackson, TN, and surrounding areas.

Our theatre program offers a vibrant and inclusive environment where young performers, from beginners to aspiring professionals, can hone their acting skills, learn stagecraft, and grow in confidence.

Each season hosts several performances that showcase the incredible talent and dedication of our young participants. These productions rehearse for an average of two months with a weekend of performances. Participants learn about all aspects of theater production throughout the process under the guidance of the Ned’s Staff of seasoned educators and theater experts.

The Children and Teen Theatre serves as an introductory platform for many youngsters, providing them with their first taste of the arts. We strive to make these experiences both accessible and engaging, promoting a nurturing environment that emphasizes creativity, teamwork, and personal growth.

You are invited to join our ongoing journey to cultivate and celebrate the future luminaries of theater. Our doors are open to families eager to introduce their children to the performing arts and young individuals looking to polish their skills. At the Ned R. McWherter West Tennessee Cultural Arts Center, every young person is a budding star ready to shine!


Audition Information

The Ned auditions are open to the public, and there is never a fee to participate. Typically auditions are held in the upstairs rehearsal room in the Old City Hall; however, be sure to read the information on our Facebook or Instagram pages for each audition as they may on occasion be held elsewhere.

All actors participate on a volunteer basis. Typically, rehearsals take place three to four times a week, for six to 8 weeks. There will be anywhere from three to eight performances over a one to two week period, depending on the show.

Prior to or at auditions, actors will fill out an availability questionnaire. We request that you be upfront with any potential conflicts as availability may be a factor in final casting decisions.

The Ned does not pre-cast our shows. If any role in a show is pre-cast for a specific reason or need, that information will be made available prior to auditions. Final casting decisions will be made by the Director of the production and the Ned staff.

As per City of Jackson policy, all individuals interested in serving as volunteers, cast members, and contract staff must complete a volunteer application and orientation. The City of Jackson Human Resources will conduct background screenings for volunteers, cast members, and contract staff age sixteen and up.


Auditions for plays usually consist of cold reading a script; all you need to bring is yourself. No monologue is required except in specific circumstances.

It is a good idea to read the script and familiarize yourself with the show and characters. If you would like to read the script before auditions, or have any other questions, email us at [email protected].


Auditions usually consist of singing, a short dance combination, and reading from the script. You can use an audio track or YouTube clip cued to your starting note. We’ll provide a speaker. If an accompanist is available to play, we’ll ask you to bring sheet music. Please no a cappella. Also, bring clothes and shoes you can dance in. No monologue is required.

It is a good idea to read the script, listen to the music, watch some videos and familiarize yourself with the show and characters. If you would like to read the script before auditions, or have any other questions, email us at [email protected].

For the latest audition information, please follow us on social media and check our web site frequently for audition announcements.

The Ned Casting Policy

The Ned’s auditions are open to everyone. We welcome everyone to participate and are committed to providing an inclusive environment for all.

Auditionees’ availability and all known conflicts up to the closing day of the show should be provided to the Director at auditions. Please abide by the conflicts scheduled at time of casting. Additional conflicts must be approved by the director and stage manager and are subject to approval of the Executive Director of The Ned. No absences or tardiness will be allowed during tech week or performance weeks unless excused by the Director.

If a person has been cast in a role or has accepted any other responsibility in a production that conflicts with the Ned production, or has broken a previous commitment to another Ned production or to another organization, he or she might be replaced.  Each show deserves the full commitment of the cast and crew.

Cast members may also be asked to attend load in, strike, and/or at least one build day for their production unless excused by the Director.

Once auditions and background checks are complete, the Director will call those selected for the production to let them know they’ve been cast. All other auditionees will be notified of casting by email. The cast list will then be posted onsite at the Ned and on the official Ned Facebook and Instagram Pages. Please do not post anything regarding casting on social media until the Ned makes an official announcement of the full cast list.

Select the tabs below to see upcoming auditions for Children and Teen Theatre.

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