Auditions: M-Net on the hunt for SA stars of Disney’s kids’ musical

2008-05-22 00:00

A LOCAL search for actors to star in Disney’s international smash hit High School Musical will be staged in South Africa and broadcast on M-Net, it was announced yesterday by M-Net’s head of local productions, Carl Fischer.

“This is different to Idols,” Fischer told The Witness from Johannesburg. “We’re not looking for the usual buffoons who audition. We’re looking for the next Troy and Gabriella [the show’s leads].”

M-Net will be working in close partnership with Disney and, starting in June, High School Musical: Spotlight South Africa will scour the country for South Africa’s own Troy and Gabriella as well as other talented young singers, dancers and actors for a local version of the theatrical production.

South Africa is the first country to host a talent search for the show. Auditions will be held in Port Elizabeth, Durban, Cape Town and Johanesburg for anyone between 16 and 25.

“We won’t be excluding professional people, but we are on the look-out for fresh, new faces,” said Fischer. The South Africans who make the final cut will have to adopt an American accent for the production, according to Fischer “because of contractual obligations with Disney”.

The show will feature a presenter who has not, as yet, been chosen. “The show’s host will have to be someone who appeals to both kids and adults. This is a great family show. It’s far removed from the ugliness, grit and grime that is so often associated with reality TV.”


Unlike any other talent search on South African television, the contestants for High School Musical: Spotlight South Africa have to be equally good on three fronts: dancing, singing and acting. This is a professional search for two talented individuals to work in the South African theatre industry, and the standards will be high!  Unlike other talent search shows, the contestants will be assessed by a Creative Team comprising of a producer, choreographer, a musical director and a vocal coach who will only provide positive feedback and encouragement.  

During the search they will select just 40 talented performers to go into the elimination rounds. Competitors will be set certain tasks every week by the Creative Team, and every week viewers will be able to vote for their favourites. In addition, the viewing audience will also be privy to the often conflicting opinions of the Creative Team who will debate the contestants’ fates each week.

Any talented young person between the ages of 16 – 25 may enter. There are no entry forms – performers simply have to turn up on the day and register. Details of each open day will be announced in The Witness and posted on the official website at Contestants must bring their ID books and contestants younger than 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

High School Musical: Spotlight South Africa begins on August 2 at 7 pm.

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