Buddy The Buddy Holly Story Auditions

RAVE ON! Come along and audition for GREAT Theatre’s production of Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story! Buddy is a biographical musical that celebrates the meteoric career of the late Buddy Holly, a musical pioneer and vital contributor to the American rock n’ roll scene in the late 1950s. Much of Buddy’s story is told through the music of the era and will be performed live by actors onstage.

Buddy’s America was grappling with the civil rights movement and this musical does not shy away from an important discussion of the racial and social politics of the 1950s. We are seeking a racially and ethnically diverse cast of performers to tell this story justly and truthfully.    

Do you play guitar? A banjo? Percussion? Perhaps a harmonica? Maybe you and your bandmates have been looking for a chance to act and jam onstage? We are seeking a variety of musician-actors to bring this story to the stage and all instruments are welcome. In addition to Buddy Holly and The Crickets, this show boasts The Hayriders, a country-western band, the Apollo Theatre orchestra, and Surf Ballroom house band. We welcome individual musicians and small groups or bands to audition!

Please refer to the Roles section below to learn more about the variety of parts in Buddy.

Learn all about the story, the vision, and the auditions for Buddy by attending our jam session on Sunday, January 13th at 7:30pm at the Helgeson Learning Lab Theatre, 710 Sundial Drive, Waite Park, MN 56387. Bring your instrument, if you play and click on the following titles to see sheet music for "Oh Boy", "That'll Be The Day" and "Shout." Please sign up today by clicking here!

To be considered for any role you must audition in one of the following slots:

Sunday, February 3rd:

Monday, February 4th:


The link to sign up for audition date/time will be live Monday, January 21st. Please check back to sign up.  If you play with a small group or band that would like to audition, please sign up individually during the same audition slot.

Auditions will take place at GREAT World Headquarters, Helgeson Learning Lab Theatre 710 Sundial Drive, Waite Park. Lots of close free parking available.

Plan for one hour to audition. At auditions, we’ll sing some songs from the show and do readings from the script. A drum set, electric guitar amp, bass guitar amp and small PA will be provided.

Musicians and singers, please choose from one of these songs to showcase your abilities or prepare 16-32 measures of a familiar 1950s song. If the song’s music doesn’t include your instrument, you are invited to improvise or arrange your own part for your instrument.

Rose of Texas - Measures 28-43

Shout- Measures 2-37

America the Beautiful

Why Do Fools Fall In Love - Measures 13-27

If auditioning for Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, the Big Bopper, please choose from one of these selections:

Buddy Holly (guitar and vocals)That’ll be the Day - Measures 1-18

Richie Valens (guitar and vocals) La Bamba - Measures 208-231

Big Bopper (vocals) Chantilly Lace - Measures 21-37

Callbacks will take place on Wednesday, February 6th, 2019, if needed.

Please make special note of any conflicts with the posted rehearsal schedule. You must be able to attend all technical rehearsals and performances to be considered for an onstage role.

You will be asked to let us know which role(s) you would like to be considered for on your audition form. If you don’t accept a role (and drop from the cast) that you have indicated you will play that could be a factor in future casting.

Please email Dennis@GreatTheatre.org or call at 320.258.2787 with any questions.

DIRECTOR: Aimee Miron


STAGE MANAGER: Michelle Hommerding

REHEARSAL SCHEDULE: Music rehearsals will be held on Wednesdays and Sundays in February and March. The entire company will begin rehearsals on Monday, April 1st. We will rehearse Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 6:00-9:30pm and Saturdays as needed. Not every actor will be called to every rehearsal.

Rehearsals will take place at the Helgeson Learning Lab in Waite Park.

Attendance is required for all technical rehearsals (Sunday, April 21st - Thursday, April 25th, 2019) and all performances. Technical rehearsals are scheduled from 5:00pm until late Monday - Thursday.


Friday, April 26th at 6:00pm

Saturday, April 27th at 6:00pm

Sunday, April 28th at 4:00pm

Friday, May 3rd at 6:00pm

Saturday, May 4th at 6:00pm

Sunday, May 5th at 4:00pm

Friday, May 10th at 6:00pm

Saturday, May 11th at 6:00pm

Sunday, May 12th at 4:00pm

Friday, May 17th at 6:00pm

Saturday, May 18th at 6:00pm

Sunday, May 19th at 4:00pm

We are seeking an ethnically and racially diverse cast of older teen and adult actors for this production.


Buddy Holly (tenor) A bright, eager, young singer-songwriter from Texas. Actor-musician role, guitar and vocals.

Joe Mauldin (tenor-baritone) A member of Buddy’s band The Crickets. Actor-musician role, bass and vocals.

Jerry Allison (tenor-baritone) A member of Buddy’s band The Crickets, who marries Peggy Sue, the muse for the song “Peggy Sue.” Actor-musican role, percussion and vocals.

Hipockets Duncan (non-singing role) A radio disc jockey from Buddy’s hometown of Lubbock, Texas.

Maria Elena Santiago (non-singing role) Born in Puerto Rico, Maria Elena is a receptionist at a New York recording studio, and falls in love and marries Buddy.

Big Bopper (baritone) Boasting an exuberant personality and a Rockabilly style, the Big Bopper performed his final rendition of “Chantilly Lace” at the Winter Dance Party with Buddy Holly and Ritchie Valens.  

Norman Petty (non-singing role) A record producer who recorded many of Buddy’s greatest hits.

Ritchie Valens (tenor) A 17 year-old Mexican-American singer-songwriter who sang his hit “La Bamba” for the final time at the Winter Dance Party with Buddy Holly and the Big Bopper. Actor-musician role, guitar and vocals.

Vi Petty (Alto) Norman Petty’s brassy, quick-witted wife. Actor-musician role, keyboard and vocals.

Mr. Tyrone Jones (tenor) An African-American performer who is skeptical of Buddy Holly’s appeal at the historic Apollo Theatre.

Miss Marlena Madison (Alto): A feisty African-American woman who wows the crowd at the Apollo Theatre with her vocal belt.


Buddy abounds with character cameos and featured moments for actors to shine onstage, including a country-western band, The Hayriders, the acapella group with male and female singing parts, Jack Daw and the Snowbirds, a pageant queen who sings “America the Beautiful,” house band musicians at the Apollo Theatre and Surf Ballroom, not to mention a throng of smooth-talking radio disc jockeys. Actors who are cast in the ensemble can expect to play more than one role in the show. There are roles for non-singers and roles for actor-musicians in the ensemble.

Please reach out to Dennis Whipple at 320.258.2787 or dennis@GreatTheatre.org with any questions about auditions.