Directors turn to TikTok to cast hit musical Dear Evan Hansen for nationwide tour

ITV News reporter Ben Chapman sat down with the director hoping to 'democratise' the audition process

Casting directors are hoping to find a fresh, young cast for one of Broadway's biggest musicals - on TikTok.

Dear Evan Hansen follows the socially anxious and depressed teenager through high school, and was at home at the West End's Noël Coward Theatre for nearly three years from 2019 to 2021.

Now, the play is going on tour, and in collaboration with social media platform TikTok - on which you can post short or long-form videos with effects or filters - the casting directors have appealed to aspiring performers across the country.

Anyone over 18 in the UK and Ireland can audition, as long as they include the hashtag aptly named after the musical's hit song, #YouWillBeFound.

'There's proof with my career that this can be completely life-changing by just posting one TikTok,' said performer and TikTok star Hannah Lowther

"Select a song from the show that suits your range and shows off your vocal abilities," the open casting call reads.

"We are looking for performers of all gender identities.

"You don’t have to be trained professionally to enter because today, at least you're you. And well, that's enough!"

Thousands have already posted hoping for a callback before the casting call closes on February 11.

It proves an innovative new way to introduce fresh talent to the UK's theatre scene, opening doors for those who otherwise may not have had the opportunity.

"What I really hope we find is somebody who is a raw talent - they might not have had formal training," director Adam Penford told ITV News.

"What we're doing is democratising the audition process."

Hannah Lowther has nearly one million followers on TikTok. During lockdown, while working at Tesco, the performer began posting clips.

Hannah now posts behind-the-scenes of her theatre career on TikTok, including from her time as robot Karen in The Spongebob Musical (Credit: @hannahlowther)

Soon, she found herself going viral, and landing auditions for some of the West End's biggest musicals, including Heathers.

"I can absolutely thank TikTok for the start of my career," Hannah told ITV News.

"I've worked really hard and hopefully have the skills and the training to back that up, but it's definitely helped me get my foot in the door."

Hannah now stars in Six The Musical - a performance about Henry VIII's infamous wives - at the Vaudeville Theatre in central London, after a stint in Heathers and as Plankton's robot wife Karen in The Spongebob Musical.

She said that being able to audition on TikTok could transform the industry.

"I've waited in line all day before, in the wind, in the rain, and then got to the front of the queue and they've stopped the line right in front of me.

"So being able to audition from TikTok, you can do it at your home, from your bedroom - you don't need to pay to get the train to London, and I think that's an amazing thing.

"There's proof with my career that this can be completely life-changing by just posting one TikTok."

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