RISING STAR PROJECT offers students the chance to develop professional skills through the process of producing and performing a show on The 5th Avenue Theatre mainstage.  Beyond being entirely student-performed, the 2016 Rising Star Project production of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying will be run by a student technical crew and supported by a team of students who have taken on roles in the marketing, development, producing and casting departments.  All participants are trained and mentored by dedicated theater professionals at The 5th Avenue Theatre. 

AUDITION APPOINTMENTS:  We are currently booking audition appointments for all students interested in being cast in the Rising Star Project production of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.  To book an appointment, call our casting hotline, (206) 625-1418 x262, open Monday-Friday, 3:30PM - 6:00PM.  Please review audition requirements in our application packet before calling.  General auditions will take place on October 12, October 13, and October 19.  Appointments are limited, please contact us as soon as possible.

DOWNLOAD the 2015/16 Rising Star Project Application Packet




Rising Star Project is an educational program offered tuition-free to Washington State students. Please note that participants are responsible for expenses associated with day-to-day transportation and meals. 

Rising Star Project is made possible by a generous grant from The Sheri and Les Biller Family Foundation and with additional support from The Herman and Faye Sarkowsky Charitable Foundation, The Boeing Company, Susie and Phil Stoller, Safeco Insurance, Washington State Arts Commission, GM Nameplate, Nichols Foundation, and the Jean K. Lafromboise Foundation.



This program is available to all Washington State students ages 14-19.  Eligible participants are within this age range for the majority of the project timeline.



September 25 (EXTENDED)
Application Deadline for Arts Admin Teams, Stage Management Teams, Theater Design & Technology Teams, Directing, Choreography, and Orchestra

October 12 - 19
General Auditions and Application Deadline for Performance Team (prospective cast)

November 13 (EXTENDED)
Orchestra Video Audition Deadline (see application packet for submission process)



2015/16 Rising Star Project TEAMS & ROLES Photo Gallery

Rising Star Project focuses on career exploration and the development of professional skills.  Participants are embedded within a working department at The 5th Avenue Theatre.  Professional mentors work with students to learn skills and execute tasks that are crucial to the day-to-day operations of a regional theater company.  Students have the opportunity to apply for vocational teams in the following areas:


A professional musical would not be possible if not for dedicated teams who cast, produce, secure funding for, and market the production.

THE PRODUCING TEAM is mentored by the Casting Associate, Associate Production Manager, and Company Manager,  Projects include facilitating general auditions and casting, producing the Rising Star Project cabaret fundraiser, and attending to the needs of the Rising Star Project cast and company,  Strong candidates have a strong interest in the theater industry or business (thespians, FBLA), are good collaborators, have leadership experience (student government, team athletics), and are comfortable working under deadlines.

THE DEVELOPMENT TEAM is mentored by members of the theater’s Development department and is responsible for raising funds for the Rising Star Project production.  This team will set a fundraising goal and then create and execute various campaigns to reach their goal.  Strong candidates are interested in professional networking and Arts advocacy, are involved in fundraising and service clubs (Key Club, ASB), and are passionate about the Arts and its impact on our community.

THE MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS TEAM is mentored by the Senior Marketing Manager and the PR & Communication Manager—with opportunities to shadow graphic designers and production photographers.  Projects include writing press releases, designing marketing, and coordinating social media campaigns. Strong candidates are interested in marketing and advertising careers, are involved in marketing clubs (DECA), and are strong writers or have graphic design, photography, and digital video production skills.  Specific roles on this team include:  Production Photographer, Graphic Designer



Behind the scenes, professional musicals require the technical expertise of dedicated craftspeople who take on the additional role of mentoring Rising Star Project participants.

HAIR & MAKEUP TEAM will learn essential skills and industry best practices for hair, wigs and makeup. In addition, Hair & Makeup students will put wigs and makeup on actors and perform changes during performances.

COSTUMES & WARDROBE TEAM will learn how to fit costumes on actors, alter pieces and “rig” them for quick changes as well as have the opportunity to analyze costume designs and learn about the design process. Students will also iron and prep costumes for the show, assist with quick changes, and “run” the wardrobe aspects of the show backstage during performances.

THE STAGE CREW will learn industry safety standards and best practices need to run all technical aspects of a professional musical.  Specific roles on this team include:

  • Deck Carpenter
  • Props
  • Light Board Operator / Electrics
  • Automation
  • Flyrail
  • Sound



THE CAST will be mentored primarily by theater professionals working on the Rising Star Project creative team—with opportunities to work with members of the professional cast of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.  General auditions for student performers will take place October 12-19.  Strong candidates will demonstrate commitment to the project schedule and a passion for collaboration.

THE ORCHESTRA will be mentored by musicians who play for the professional production of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.  Students will rehearse and perform the score for the Rising Star Project production.  Ideal candidates are interested in professional music careers, have experience playing in advanced ensembles, and have an interest in learning diverse musical styles. Musicians should submit a complete application.  Strong candidates will be invited to also submit a video audition or to audition in person.

How to Succeed instrumentation:  piccolo, flute, clarinet, all saxophones, oboe/English horn, trumpet, french horn, trombone, bass trombone, violin, keyboard, percussion, drum set, bass

THE CREATIVE TEAM will by mentored by members of the Rising Star Project creative team.  Strong candidates will have specific interest in pursuing a career in their respective field as well as developed knowledge and expertise, and demonstrated experience in a leadership position.  Interested students will apply for one of the following roles:  Choreography, Directing

STAGE MANAGEMENT TEAM will be mentored by a professional 5th Avenue stage management team and will be responsible for rehearsal preparation, coordinating rehearsals, running technical rehearsals, and overseeing technical aspects of performances. Ideal candidates are passionate about being organized, experienced leaders, detail-oriented, and interested in learning one of the most crucial roles of putting on a show.


The Rising Star Project uses the resources and professional knowledge that exist at The 5th Avenue Theatre to help every young person achieve a fulfilling career, a stronger sense of self, and confidence in their ability to inspire positive change in the world.

Within this mission, we endeavor to:

  1. take a proactive role in creating  a theater community which is inclusive and representative of our region;
  2. provide students with direct mentorship from working theater professionals, introducing them to the diversity of viable careers in the theater industry;
  3. create a collaborative and authentic learning environment in regard to professional practices and expectations;
  4. connect students to American musicals not only as vehicles for self-expression, but also as significant artistic achievements, rich texts, and unique expressions of our nation’s history and heritage; and
  5. support classroom learning by providing quality arts-based education experiences for students—both at The 5th and in-residence throughout the community and in areas where opportunities for arts education are limited.

In March 2015, following the professional production, local students (ages 14-19) presented an all-student production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Carousel on the 5th Avenue stage.

The Rising Star Project production was entirely student-performed by a student cast and student orchestra, and run by a student technical crew under the mentorship and guidance of theater professionals.  The production was also coordinated, marketed, developed and produced by a student administrative team under the coaching of 5th Avenue Theatre staff. 

A study guide for Rodgers and Hammerstein's Carousel is available for download.

The Rising Star Project is made possible through a generous grant from The Sheri and Les Biller Family Foundation.


Workshops for High School Students

Especially for high school students with an interest in musical theater, these workshops give students the opportunity to create the characters, sing the songs, learn the choreography, and meet with the cast and crew for the productions on our stage. At each workshop, the participants enjoy a pizza party, see the show, and attend a talkback with the cast after the evening's performance--all for only $25!

Fridays at The 5th: Waterfall

Friday, October 9, 2015, 3:30PM – 11PM

Dance: From Tradition to Romance!

Based on the novel Behind the Painting, WATERFALL is set amidst the rich cultural landscape of Thailand and Japan in the 1930s. Immerse yourself in the beauty of this thrilling new musical, which tells the story of a forbidden romance between Noppon, a young Thai student and Katherine, the American wife of a Thai diplomat.  This engaging movement-focused Fridays at the 5th workshop will explore the popular dances of the pre World War II Era.  Participants will move to the modern styles of the time, plus get an introduction to traditional Thai dance! 

No dance experience is necessary, just a willingness to have fun, jump in and try something new.

Click here to register 


  • Waterfall - October 9, 2015
  • The Sound of Music - December 4, 2015
  • How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying - January 29, 2016
  • Assassins - March 11, 2016
  • Sleeping Beauty Wakes - April 8, 2016
  • Paint Your Wagon - June 17, 2016
  • A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder - July 15, 2016

Registration for each workshop opens one month prior the workshop date. 



Announcing our newest
Musical Theater Class!

Song Interpretation with Laura Griffith

Monday, Nov. 9, 2015
For Intermediate to Advanced High School Students (Ages 14-18)

The 5th Avenue star of Waterfall and well known Broadway performer, Laura Griffith is offering this dual opportunity for students to work in a true master class setting, opening new insights into their favorite musical theater pieces.  A limited number of students will work their vocal selections “hands-on,” with Laura’s direct coaching and technique building suggestions.  Additional students will be allowed to attend to simply observe and absorb Laura’s ideas to apply to their own work.

$40 – Work with Laura
$20 – Observe Class Only

Register now to take advantage of this unique learning experience!

LAURA GRIFFITH has been a favorite at The 5th, playing leading roles in Waterfall, Carousel, Spamalot, A Room with a View, The Music Man, Candide,and more. Seattle audiences also recently saw her at ACT, playing Maggie the Cat in Cat On A Hot Tin Roof.  Laura has been seen on Broadway in South Pacific, The Light In The Piazza, Sweet Smell Of Success, and Oklahoma!  She has also performed at Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Mark Taper Forum, Signature Theatre, Goodspeed Opera House, Utah Shakespeare Festival, and California Music Theatre. She can be heard on three original Broadway Cast Recordings and has appeared on Late Night With David Letterman, Live From Lincoln Center, and on three Tony Awards broadcasts. 

Hone your musical theater skills!
Monday, January 11, 2016 



Workshops for High School Students


How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying

Tuesday, January 26, 2016 – How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying

If you are a high school student with a strong interest in technical theater, then TECH TUESDAY is for you! 

Join us as we step back into the past to watch this crowd-pleasing musical take shape on The 5th Avenue stage. We will take you on a backstage tour, you will observe a working technical rehearsal and meet our 5th Avenue Theatre professionals and technicians.  Top it off with a pizza party and receive a ticket to the July 9th or 10th preview performance of our mainstage production  of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying - all for only $25!

This workshop is for high school students, ages 14-18.

Registration will begin in mid December!

Workshops are for high school students, ages 14–18 only. Parents or chaperones who wish to attend the later performance with their students may contact the Box Office at 206-625-1900 to purchase tickets by phone or may purchase tickets online.

Registration forms for each upcoming workshop will be posted four weeks prior to the Tech Tuesday event date!

Upcoming Tech Workshops:

  • How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying  - Tuesday, January 26, 2016

After careful consideration, we have decided to cancel our 2015 summer programs for youth. Please check this page for details about summer programs in 2016.