Do you have an upcoming audition for The Color Purple? 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 The Color Purple, broken down by character.
Since The Color Purple is an early contemporary musical, the following songs are from musicals between 1990-2020. In addition, there are lots of pop and gospel 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 (something gospel, uptempo, etc.). Make sure to select a song that’s appropriate for your specific casting call.
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 The Color Purple 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.
“Beautiful” – Marie Christine
“I Got Four Kids” – Caroline, or Change
“My Child Will Forgive Me” – Parade
“Your Daddy’s Son” – Ragtime
“Don’t Take Much” – The Life
“She’s My Sister” – Memphis
“That’s What He Said” – Parade
“The Bus” – Caroline, or Change
“I Hate the Bus” – Caroline, or Change
“Something of My Own” – Dessa Rose
“The Human Heart” – Once on This Island
“Waiting for Life” – Once on This Island
“Ain’t Nothin’ But a Kiss” – Memphis
“Colored Woman” – Memphis
“I Didn’t Plan It” – Waitress
“White Milk & Red Blood” – Dessa Rose
“Are You a Believer?” – Ghost
“Tell Me” – Marie Christine
“The Oldest Profession” – The Life
“You Can’t Get to Heaven” – The Life
“Dig a Little Deeper” – The Princess and the Frog [2000s film/non-theatre]
“Lot’s Wife” – Caroline, or Change
“Twelve Children” – Dessa Rose
“I’ll Be Here” – The Wild Party
“Ink” – Dessa Rose
“The Man I Used to Be” – The Count of Monte Cristo
“Friends on the Other Side” – Princess and the Frog [2000s film/non-theatre]
“They Live in You” – The Lion King
“Wheels of a Dream” – Ragtime
“Let It Sing” – Violet
“Shadowland” – The Lion King
“Woman” – The Pirate Queen
Psst… Here’s where you can find out your vocal type!
“I’m Leaving You” – The Life
“The Sea of Life” – The Pirate Queen
“We Had a Dream” – The Life
“Big Love” – Memphis
“Endless Night” – The Lion King
“Say a Prayer” – Memphis
Step 4: Select a monologue
If requested, here are a few audition monologues for The Color Purple:
• “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” in Solo!: The Best Monologues of the 80s – Women➝
• “Moon Man Walk” in The Best Men’s Monologues from New Plays, 2019➝
• “That’s All I Got➝” from Other Desert Cities (Trip)
• “The Colored Museum” in Solo!: The Best Monologues of the 80s – Women➝
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!
The Color Purple Song List
Here’s a list of the musical numbers in The Color Purple, 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.
“Mysterious Ways” – Celie, Nettie, Sofia, Ensemble
“Somebody Gonna Love You” – Celie
“Our Prayer” – Nettie, Celie, Pa, Mister, Ensemble
“That Fine Mister” – Ensemble
“Big Dog” – Mister, Celie, Young Harpo, Ensemble
“Mister” / “Nettie & Lily of the Field” – Celie, Nettie, Mister
“Dear God – Sofia” – Celie
“A Tree Named Sofia” – Doris, Darlene, Jarene
“Hell No!” – Sofia, Celie, Ensemble
“Brown Betty” – Harpo, Squeak, Celie, Ensemble
“Shug Avery Comin’ to Town” – Mister, Celie, Ensemble
“All We Got to Say” – Celie, Mister, Doris, Darlene, Jarene
“Dear God – Shug” – Celie, Shug
“Too Beautiful for Words” – Shug
“Push da Button” – Shug, Harpo, Ensemble
“Uh-Oh” – Sofia, Celie, Mister, Harpo, Buster, Squeak, Ensemble
“What About Love?” – Celie, Shug
“African Homeland” – Nettie, Celie, Ensemble
“The Color Purple” – Shug, Celie
“Church Ladies’ Easter” – Doris, Darlene, Jarene
“Celie’s Curse” – Celie, Mister
“Mister’s Song – Celie’s Curse” – Mister
“Miss Celie’s Pants” – Celie, Shug, Sofia, Ensemble
“Any Little Thing” – Harpo, Sofia
“What About Love? (Reprise)” – Celie, Shug
“I’m Here” – Celie
“The Color Purple (Reprise)” – Celie, Company
Which of these audition songs for The Color Purple 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!
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 holds a BA in theatre, a TESOL drama certificate, and has worked and interned with Broadway and Off-Broadway theaters.