The Best Audition Songs for Rent – by Character

Do you have an upcoming audition for Rent? 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 Rent, broken down by character.

Since Rent is a musical from the 1990s, most of the songs below are from musicals between 1990-2010. In addition, there is an angsty pop/rock vibe to many of the following songs 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 “Rent 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 read through the synopsis or libretto➝ while listening to the Rent cast album➝. Or you can watch the live recording➝.


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.


Angel Dumott Schunard

Left Behind” – Spring Awakening

Not My Father’s Son” – Kinky Boots

There’s a World” – Next to Normal

Wig in a Box” – Hedwig and the Angry Inch


Benjamin Coffin III (Benny)

Another Pyramid” – Aida

Breeze Off the River” – The Full Monty

I’ll Be Here” – The Wild Party

Prayer of the Comfort Counselor” – The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee


Joanne Jefferson

Change” – A New Brain

Fabulous, Baby!” – Sister Act

Something Bad Is Happening” – Falsettos

We Had a Dream” – The Life


Mark Cohen

All That’s Known” – Spring Awakening

If I Didn’t Believe in You” – The Last Five Years

I’m Not That Guy” – Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson

The Schmuel Song” – The Last Five Years


Maureen Johnson

An Old-Fashioned Love Story” – The Wild Party

It’s a Woman’s World” – The Full Monty

Look At Me Now” – The Wild Party

The Life of the Party” – The Wild Party


Mimi Márquez

It Won’t Be Long Now” – In the Heights

Portrait of a Girl” – Bare

Saturday Night In The City” – The Wedding Singer

Whispering” – Spring Awakening


Roger Davis

I’m Alive” – Next to Normal

Radames’ Letter” – Aida

Say It To Me Now” – Once

See Her Smile” – Tick, Tick … Boom!


Tom Collins

How Glory Goes” – Floyd Collins

Make Them Hear You” – Ragtime

They Live in You” – The Lion King

Wheels of a Dream” – Ragtime


Ensemble (Altos)

A Quiet Night At Home” – Bare

Come to Your Senses” – Tick, Tick…BOOM!

Lying There” – Edges


Ensemble (Baritones)

Don’t Do Sadness” – Spring Awakening

The Origin of Love” – Hedwig and the Angry Inch

Why” – Tick, Tick … Boom!


Ensemble (Basses)

Aftershocks” – Next to Normal

Father How Long?” – The Civil War

Wicked Little Town” – Hedwig and the Angry Inch


Ensemble (Contras)

30/90” – Tick, Tick … Boom!

Amazing Journey” – The Who’s Tommy

My Body Wasn’t Why” – The Glorious Ones


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


Ensemble (Mezzos/Sopranos)

He’s No Good” – The Life

I Can Do Better Than That” – The Last Five Years

Infinite Joy” – Elegies: A Song Cycle


Ensemble (Tenors)

Endless Night” – The Lion King

He’s Not Here” – Next to Normal

We’re Not Gonna Take It” – The Who’s Tommy


Step 4: Select a monologue

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

• “At the Table” in The Best Men’s Monologues from New Plays, 2019➝

• “Big Scary Animals” in The Best Men’s Monologues from New Plays, 2019➝

• “Bread and Circuses” in Audition Arsenal for Women in Their 20s➝

• “NYC 523” in The Best Men’s Monologues from New Plays, 2019➝

• “Queer Theory” in The Best Men’s Monologues from New Plays, 2019➝


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!

DIY Rep Book Page Ad.


Rent Song List

Here’s a list of the musical numbers in Rent, 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:

“Tune Up #1” – Mark, Roger

“Voice Mail #1” – Mrs. Cohen

“Tune Up #2” – Mark, Roger, Collins, Benny

“Rent” – Mark, Roger, Joanne, Collins, Benny, Company

“You Okay Honey?” – Angel, Collins, Ensemble

“Tune Up #3” – Mark, Roger

One Song Glory” – Roger

“Light My Candle” – Mimi, Roger

“Voice Mail #2” – Mr. Jefferson, Mrs. Jefferson

“Today 4 U” – Mark, Collins, Roger, Angel

“You’ll See” – Benny, Mark, Roger, Collins, Angel

“Tango: Maureen” – Mark, Joanne

“Life Support” – Steve, Gordon, Ali, Pam, Sue, Paul, Angel, Collins, Mark

Out Tonight” – Mimi

“Another Day” – Mimi, Roger, Ensemble

“Will I?” – Steve, Ensemble

“On the Street” – Mark, Angel, Ensemble

“Santa Fe” – Collins, Angel, Mark, Ensemble

“I’ll Cover You” – Angel, Collins

“We’re Okay” – Joanne

“Christmas Bells” – Collins, Angel, Mark, Roger, Mimi, Benny, Ensemble

“Over the Moon” – Maureen

“La Vie Bohème A” – Waiter, Roger, Mark, Collins, Maureen, Benny, Angel, Mimi, Joanne, Company

“I Should Tell You” – Mimi, Roger

“La Vie Bohème B” – Maureen, Joanne, Mark, Angel, Collins, Company


Act 2:

“Seasons of Love” – Company

“Happy New Year” – Mimi, Roger, Maureen, Mark, Joanne, Collins, Angel

“Voice Mail #3” – Mrs. Cohen, Alexi Darling, Mark

“Happy New Year B” – Maureen, Mark, Joanne, Roger, Mimi, Collins, Angel, Benny

“Take Me or Leave Me” – Maureen, Joanne

“Seasons of Love B” – Company

“Without You” – Mimi, Roger

“Voice Mail #4” – Alexi Darling

“Contact” – Collins, Maureen, Mimi, Angel, Roger, Joanne, Company

I’ll Cover You (Reprise)” – Collins, Company

Halloween” – Mark

“Goodbye Love” – Mimi, Roger, Benny, Maureen, Joanne, Mark, Collins

“What You Own” – Mark, Roger

“Voice Mail #5” – Roger’s Mother, Mimi’s Mother, Mr. Jefferson, Mrs. Cohen

“Finale A” – Mark, Roger, Collins, Maureen, Mimi, Joanne, Ensemble

Your Eyes” – Roger

“Finale B” – Roger, Mimi, Company


Which of these audition songs for Rent 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 Rent.
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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