The Apollo To Hold Auditions For Amateur Night At Its Historic Theater In Harlem

March 15, 2023

Since 1934, aspiring performers from Harlem to Harare have come to The Apollo to “Be Good or Be Gone!”

On Saturday, March 25 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., The Apollo, 253 W. 125th Street in Harlem, will hold live auditions for its signature program, Amateur Night at The Apollo, the quintessential talent competition and one of the longest-running events in the world. 

Taking place at The Apollo’s Historic Theater on a first-come, first-served basis. Amateur Night producers will audition the first 250 vocalists, rappers, dancers, instrumentalists, comedians, spoken-word artists, and other performers vying for a coveted spot on The Apollo’s stage, where they will compete for a chance to win the $20,000 Grand Prize.

Contestants between the ages of 5 and 17 will audition for a spot in the “Child Star of Tomorrow” category and a $5,000 prize. The chosen artists will compete in front of the famous live–and very vocal–audience at The Apollo. Additional in-person auditions to take place later this year, and online auditions are open on an ongoing basis.

The Apollo’s signature Amateur Night continues to have a global impact on entertainment, launching the careers of thousands of performers and attracting audiences from all over the world. Amateur Night has long been revered by artists as a transformative experience where up-and-coming talent feel the power of the legendary performers who have come before them, and where audience responses can help make or break a career.

Legendary performers who launched their careers on The Apollo Amateur Night stage have included Ella Fitzgerald, Luther Vandross, Lauryn Hill, H.E.R, and Machine Gun Kelly, among many others.

The current Amateur Night season opened on Wednesday, February 22, 2023 and continues each Wednesday night through November 22, 2023. Tickets for 2023-24 Amateur Night season are on sale now at

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Audition Information

Saturday, March 25 from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. EST

The Apollo’s Historic Theater – 253 W. 125th Street between Frederick Douglass Blvd. and Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd.

For a complete list of audition guidelines, please visit

For online submissions please visit

Sign up for audition updates and tips at the link here.


The Apollo’s season is made possible by leadership support from Coca-Cola, Citi, Sherman Fairchild Foundation, Ford Foundation, Howard Gilman Foundation, the Jerome L. Greene Foundation, The New York Community Trust, and The Mellon Foundation.

Amateur Night at The Apollo is sponsored by Coca-Cola.

Apollo Education Programs are made possible by generous support from BNY Mellon, Apollo EmpowHER, Steve and Connie Ballmer, ConEdison, The Walt Disney Company, William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust, The Ella Fitzgerald Charitable Foundation, the Moore Charitable Foundation, The Neuberger Berman Foundation, The Pinkerton Foundation, Sony Global Justice Fund, and the Verizon Foundation.

Public support for The Apollo Theater is provided by the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature, and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, with special support from New York City Council Members Julie Menin, Kristin Richardson Johnson, and Shaun Abreu.

The Apollo

The legendary Apollo Theater—the soul of American culture—plays a vital role in cultivating emerging artists and launching legends. Since its founding, The Apollo has served as a center of innovation and a creative catalyst for Harlem, the city of New York, and the world. In 2023, The Apollo will open The Apollo’s Victoria Theaters, which will include two new theater spaces, and begin the renovation of its Historic Theater, marking the first ever expansion and renovation of The Apollo in its nearly 90-year history. Read more about the project here:

With music at its core, The Apollo’s programming extends to dance, theater, spoken word, and more. This includes the world premiere of the theatrical adaptation of Ta-Nehisi Coates’s Between the World and Me and the New York premiere of the opera We Shall Not Be Moved; special programs such as the blockbuster concert Bruno Mars Live at The Apollo; 100: The Apollo Celebrates Ella; and the annual Africa Now! Festival. The non-profit Apollo Theater is a performing arts presenter, commissioner, and collaborator that also produces festivals, large-scale dance and musical works organized around a set of core initiatives that celebrate and extend The Apollo’s legacy through a contemporary lens, including the Women of the World (WOW) Festival as well as other multidisciplinary collaborations with partner organizations. Since introducing the first Amateur Night contests in 1934, The Apollo has served as a testing ground for new artists working across a variety of art forms and has ushered in the emergence of many new musical genres—including jazz, swing, bebop, R&B, gospel, blues, soul, and hip-hop. Among the countless legendary performers who launched their careers at The Apollo are Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Billie Holiday, James Brown, Stevie Wonder, Gladys Knight, Luther Vandross, H.E.R., D’Angelo, Lauryn Hill, Machine Gun Kelly, and Miri Ben Ari; and The Apollo’s forward-looking artistic vision continues to build on this legacy.

For more information about The Apollo, visit

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