The Audition
Reading Comprehension Activity

Author: Elizabeth Trach

Nancy has always dreamed of being an actress, so she can hardly wait to audition for the school play. How will she handle her nerves to land the perfect part? Students will read the passage and answer follow-up questions about the language and the plot.

Topic(s): Realistic Fiction. Skill(s): Summary, Figurative Language. Genre(s): Prose

Click for the passage & questions on one printable PDF.


“Don’t forget to finish your math homework tonight,” said Mrs. Falzone at the end of the school day. “And if you’d like to audition, or tryout, for the school play, be ready to sing a song for the director after school. Class dismissed.”

Nancy was very excited about the school play. She had always wanted to be an actress. Nancy put on performances in her back yard all the time for her family. She knew someday she would be a big star.

First though, she had to get a part. That meant singing a song in front of other people. Nancy wasn’t sure she could do it.

When she got home, Nancy found her mother in the garden. “How do you sing in front of people?” she asked.

Mom looked up from her garden spade. “Well, it can be hard. Do you feel nervous?”

“Yes,” said Nancy. “I like to act and talk, but singing makes my stomach feel funny.”

“That’s called having butterflies,” said Mom. “Sometimes when you get nervous, your stomach can feel like butterflies are fluttering around inside. The best thing to do is to practice your song as much as you can. When you get up on stage, don’t look at anyone in the audience. Just look at the clock on the back wall instead.”

Nancy went into her room to practice. She chose her favorite song because she knew it by heart. She practiced it a few times to make sure she knew all the words. Then she stood in front of her mirror and sang it louder. She made sure to smile, even though she felt nervous.

The next morning, Nancy did not feel like eating breakfast. She walked to school slowly, humming her song the whole way.

When she arrived in the auditorium after school, it was very dark. The only light was a bright spotlight that shone in her face. It made her eyes hurt, but Nancy realized she couldn’t see the director. That made her feel less afraid.

“Go ahead, Nancy,” said the director.

Nancy sang her song loudly and clearly. She didn’t forget any words.

Nancy wasn’t sure what part she would get in the play, but she felt very proud of her first audition.

Comprehension Questions

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