The Best Audition Songs for Ragtime – by Character

Do you have an upcoming audition for Ragtime? Well unless you have specifically been asked to sing a song from the show that you’re auditioning for, it’s generally best not to. That said, you should still show off similar vocals and personality. So here’s our list of audition songs for Ragtime, broken down by character.

Since Ragtime is a musical from the 1990s, the songs below are from musicals between 1980-2010. In addition, there are lots of passionate, dramatic, and 1920s/1930s vibes below in order to match the style of the show.


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Step 1: Read your audition details

Please read your audition details carefully, as they sometimes specify the type of song they’d like to hear (a ballad, something uptempo, etc.). Make sure to select a song that’s appropriate for your specific casting call. Also, as you’re picking out a song, these links may be helpful:

Backing Tracks for the Songs Below

The “Ragtime Audition Songs” Spotify Playlist


Step 2: Get to know the show

In casting calls, they often ask for you to be “familiar with the show”. And even if it’s not requested, it’s generally assumed. One way to do this is to listen to the Ragtime cast album➝ while reading through the synopsis.


Step 3: Pick an audition song

Next, based on your personality and vocal type, decide whether you’d like to audition for the ensemble or a specific character. Just keep in mind that if you audition for a specific character, you still might not be chosen for that particular role.

There’s usually a spot on the audition form asking if you are open to being in the ensemble or accepting a different role. I would suggest ticking that box and taking whatever you are offered. Every role is important, and you will earn valuable experience in a show.

And on that same note, even if you audition for the ensemble (and not a specific character), there’s always a chance you might get chosen for a leading/supporting role!

To summarize, keep an open mind and try not to take the process too seriously. And when you’re ready, choose the song that you feel most comfortable with from the list below.


Coalhouse Walker, Jr

Farewell, Good Angel” – Jane Eyre

Sarah” – The Civil War

They Live in You” – The Lion King

Where’s the Girl?” – The Scarlet Pimpernel


Evelyn Nesbit

As We Stumble Along” – The Drowsy Chaperone

I Want to Go to Hollywood” – Grand Hotel

Jazz Time” – Marguerite

Show Off” – The Drowsy Chaperone


Father

Barrett’s Song” – Titanic

In Every Age” – Titanic

The Life That You Wished For” – Chaplin

Where Are All the People?” – Chaplin


Mother

Children of the Wind” – Rags

Do It Alone” – Parade

Living in the Shadows” – Victor/Victoria

You Don’t Know This Man” – Parade


Sarah

Beautiful” – Marie Christine

He’s No Good” – The Life

I Wish I Could Forget You” – Passion

Tell Me” – Marie Christine


Tateh

Happy/Sad” – The Addams Family

I’ll Be Here Tomorrow” – The Grand Tour

The American Dream” – Miss Saigon

You Can Get Away With Anything” – The Woman in White


Younger Brother

If the World Were Like the Movies” – My Favorite Year

The Man I Used to Be” – The Count of Monte Cristo

To Be a Captain” – Titanic

Yankee Boy” – Rags


Ensemble (Altos)

A Lovely Day to Be Out of Jail” – The Life

Black Is a Moocher” – The Wild Party

Brand New World” – Rags


Ensemble (Baritones)

Pretty Music” – Parade

Reflection” – A Tale of Two Cities

What’s Left of Love?” – Marguerite


Ensemble (Basses)

Funny” – City of Angels

I Waltz Alone” – Grand Hotel

The Greatest Star of All” – Sunset Boulevard


Ensemble (Contras)

God Help The Outcasts” – The Hunchback of Notre Dame

My Child Will Forgive Me” – Parade

What You Need” – Grand Hotel


Psst… Here’s where you can find out your vocal type!


Ensemble (Mezzos)

All Things to One Man” – Grind

Blame it on the Summer Night” – Rags

How Bout a Dance?” – Bonnie & Clyde


Ensemble (Sopranos)

Around the World” – Grey Gardens

I’m Leaving You” – The Life

Will You?” – Grey Gardens


Ensemble (Tenors)

Big News!” – Parade

My Daddy Always Taught Me to Share” – Grind

What Is It About Her?” – The Wild Party


Step 4: Select a monologue

If requested, here are a few audition monologues for Ragtime:

• “I Can’t Write” from The Genius➝

• “Little Victories” in Solo!: The Best Monologues of the 80s – Women➝

• “Something Like This” from Call of the Revolution➝

• “Very Well➝” from Enemies➝  (She)

• “What Truth?” from The Cherry Orchard➝


Final Step: Prepare for your audition

After collecting your materials and getting familiar with the show, it’s time to move forward with the actual preparation. If you’re in need of some guidance on this step, you can always go through this FREE audition prep checklist!


Want more songs? Check out these DIY Rep Books for EVERY vocal type!

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Ragtime Song List

Here’s a list of the musical numbers in Ragtime, along with which characters sing in each of them. Unless you have been asked to, do not choose from the below songs for your audition! The following is more intended to be used for character research purposes.

* That said, if you’ve specifically been asked to sing a song from the show, you can find the sheet music for the best possible audition songs below.


Act 1:

“Prologue: Ragtime” – Company

Goodbye, My Love” – Mother

“Journey On” – Father, Tateh, Mother

“The Crime of the Century” – Evelyn Nesbit, Younger Brother, Mother, Ensemble

“What Kind of Woman” – Mother

“A Shtetl iz Amereke” – Tateh, Little Girl, Ensemble

“Success” – Tateh, Ensemble

“His Name Was Coalhouse Walker” – Coalhouse, Ensemble

“Gettin’ Ready Rag” – Coalhouse, Ensemble

“Henry Ford” – Henry Ford, Coalhouse, Ensemble

“Nothing Like the City” – Tateh, Mother, Edgar, Little Girl

Your Daddy’s Son” – Sarah

“The Courtship” – Coalhouse, Mother, Ensemble

“New Music” – Father, Mother, Younger Brother, Coalhouse, Sarah, Ensemble

Wheels of a Dream” – Coalhouse, Sarah

“The Night That Goldman Spoke at Union Square” – Younger Brother, Emma Goldman, Ensemble

Gliding” – Tateh

“Justice” – Coalhouse, Sarah, Ensemble

“President” – Sarah

“Till We Reach That Day” – Sarah’s Friend, Coalhouse, Company


Act 2:

“Coalhouse’s Soliloquy” – Coalhouse

“Coalhouse Demands” – Coalhouse, Ensemble

“What a Game” – Father, Ensemble

“Atlantic City” – Evelyn Nesbit, Father, Mother, Ensemble

Buffalo Nickel Photoplay, Inc.” – Tateh

“Our Children” – Mother, Tateh

“Sarah Brown Eyes” – Coalhouse, Sarah

“He Wanted to Say” – Younger Brother, Emma Goldman, Coalhouse, Ensemble

Back to Before” – Mother, Ensemble

“Look What You’ve Done” – Booker T. Washington, Coalhouse, Ensemble

Make Them Hear You” – Coalhouse

“Epilogue” – Company


Which of these audition songs for Ragtime did you choose?

And what role are you auditioning for? We would love to hear all about it in the comments! And in the meantime, you can check out our database of best audition songs for other musicals.


Need extra help? Just go through this free audition prep checklist!

Sign up for your free audition prep checklist.


Stacy Karyn, author of Audition Songs for Ragtime.
Author: Stacy Karyn

Stacy Karyn is the founder of Theatre Trip, author of The Thespian’s Bucket List, and creator of The Cast Album List. She has a TESOL drama certificate, a BA in theatre, and has worked and interned with Broadway and Off-Broadway theaters.


 

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