Apollo Takes Amateur Night On The Road
HARLEM, NY - Since the legendary Apollo Theater opened in 1934, its signature live show, Amateur Night, has been a definitive career-making opportunity for new talent. Amateur Night at the Apollo sponsored by Coca-Cola has launched the careers of countless world-famous artists, including James Brown, Stevie Wonder, Lauryn Hill, Dionne Warwick, Billie Holiday, Luther Vandross, Gladys Knight & the Pips, and Sarah Vaughan, and has occurred virtually every Wednesday night since the Theater opened. A place in the Amateur Night line-up is a highly coveted opportunity for up-and-coming artists hoping to be discovered.
This fall, to extend that opportunity to a wider range of performers, the Apollo will expand beyond its Harlem home in the search for new talent. Auditions will take place in Brooklyn on October 2nd and in Harlem at the Apollo on October 3rd. Amateur Night producers will also hold regional auditions in Atlanta on October 16th.
To attract performers on a national scale, the Apollo will also introduce online “virtual” auditions for the first time in the non-profit Theater’s 76 year history. Beginning October 16th, after the Atlanta auditions, applicants from across the country will be able to upload performance videos onto a customized Apollo micro-site. Amateur Night producers will chose contestants from among the uploaded performances to compete live on the Apollo stage alongside contestants chosen from the regional auditions. Contestants chosen from the live and virtual auditions will secure a coveted spot in the Amateur Night 2011 season line-up and have a chance to compete for the $10,000 grand prize.
“The Apollo is truly the world’s stage and, as such, we want to make sure we are getting the best possible talent to compete. This audition cycle is our first major effort to reach a national talent pool. There is talent in New York and in Atlanta and, through the online universe, the rest of the country as well. We want to see them all and put the best of them on our stage” said Amateur Night Executive Producer and audition judge, Marion J. Caffey.
The Apollo Theater’s Amateur Night is revered as one of the most celebrated platforms where up and coming performers can showcase their talent and feel the power of the legendary artists that have come before them. It is also known as one of the only venues in the country where a live audience response can make or break a career. Through its partnership with the Coca-Cola Company, Amateur Night was retooled at the beginning of the 2010 season and features several new programmatic elements including theme nights, a DJ driven pre-show party and, of course, the expanded auditions. These specialized auditions are a part of the Theater’s plans to raise the level of talent for the show, which has launched the careers of countless stars from Ella Fitzgerald to James Brown to Stevie Wonder.
Saturday, October 2nd 10am until 6pm
Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation, Room 2
1368 Fulton St.
Brooklyn, New York 11216
The Apollo Theater in conjunction with the Brooklyn Arts Council will hold open auditions on October 2nd for a special theme night - Amateur Night at the Apollo: Brooklyn Night planned in February during the 2011 Amateur Night season. The collaboration between the Apollo and BAC is in celebration of BAC’s year-long initiative Black Brooklyn Renaissance: Black Arts + Culture, 1960 - 2010, sponsored by MetLife Foundation. This event marks the first time that the famous Harlem landmark will play host to an all-Brooklyn night of performances. The Apollo Theater and BAC seek Brooklyn-based singers, dancers, rappers, comedians, spoken word artists and performing groups to audition for Amateur Night at the Apollo: Brooklyn Night. All genres of music - Caribbean, hip hop, ska, reggae, etc. are welcome.
Sunday, October 3rd 10am until 6pm
The Apollo Theater
253 West 125th St.
New York, NY 10027
For many years, auditionees have lined up as early as the night before just for the chance to audition at the Theater, with the hope that that they will win a highly coveted spot in the Amateur Night line-up.
Saturday, October 16th, 10am until 6pm
The Rialto Center for the Arts
Georgia State University
80 Forsyth Street NW
Atlanta, GA 30303
Following the great success of Atlanta auditions held in 2009, Amateur Night producers are returning to tap into the considerable talent in this southern city. Atlanta native Clark King, a contestant chosen from last year’s audition circuit, has made it all the way to the final Super Top Dog competition and will compete for the $10,000 grand prize on October 27th at the Apollo Theater.
To Launch on Saturday, October 16th at 5pm following Atlanta auditions
For the first time in the Theater’s history, the Apollo will launch online auditions on a customized micro-site. Only the first 300 applicants to upload their video auditions will be accepted online. One online hopeful will be chosen for each of the approximately 35 Amateur Night regular shows. The deadline for submissions is Saturday, October 23, 2010. Auditions are open to residents of the United States.
About the Apollo Theater
Celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2009, the Apollo Theater is one of Harlem’s, New York City’s, and America’s most iconic and enduring cultural institutions. The Apollo was one of the first theaters in New York, and the country, to fully integrate, welcoming traditionally African-American, Hispanic, and local immigrant populations in the audience, as well as headlining uniquely talented entertainers who found it difficult to gain entrance to other venues of similar size and resources. Since introducing the first Amateur Night contests in 1934, the Apollo Theater has played a major role in cultivating artists and in the emergence of innovative musical genres including jazz, swing, bebop, R&B, gospel, blues, soul, and hip-hop. Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Billie Holiday, Sammy Davis, Jr., James Brown, Michael Jackson, Bill Cosby, Gladys Knight, Luther Vandross, D’Angelo, Lauryn Hill, and countless others began their road to stardom on the Apollo’s stage. Based on its cultural significance and architecture, the Apollo Theater received state and city landmark designation in 1983 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
About Brooklyn Arts Council and Black Brooklyn Renaissance
Brooklyn Arts Council (BAC) is the leading organization supporting and connecting Brooklyn’s arts community. Brooklyn’s cultural anchor since 1966, we’ve also been the catalyst helping the arts community grow. BAC serves artists and cultural organizations, and ensures residents of all backgrounds and ages have access to affordable arts experiences. We give grants, present arts events, train artists and arts professionals, teach students, incubate new projects, and promote artists and cultural groups across the borough. Brooklyn Renaissance: Black Arts & Culture, 1960-2010 (February 2010 – February 2011), sponsored by MetLife Foundation and presented by Brooklyn Arts Council in partnership with Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation.