Pay Rate: $500 stipend for main role, understudy stipend is $250 per role
Contact Person Email: sana.selemon@bohotheatre.com

National Merit
By Valen-Marie Santos

In National Merit, seven students embark on an intensive PSAT prep program in the hopes to become National Merit Scholars. As the pressure rises, these high school juniors question what it means to achieve National Merit status, who gets to achieve it, and what it costs. With humor and heart, playwright Valen-Marie Santos scrutinizes academic achievement, socioeconomic privilege, and racial injustice within a private school setting.


Enrico Spada…Director
Elizabeth Swanson…Artistic Director
Sana Selemon…Executive Director
Adam Hill & Molly Layton…Casting Associates

*Please read all information before submitting*


Please submit and upload your audition via the following link: National Merit – BoHo Theatre – General Auditions Form 2022. Audition videos must be received by Monday, May 23rd, 2022 by 11:59pm CST for consideration. Please send your video via an unlisted YouTube link or Vimeo video. If special access may be needed for your video submission, please include any required passwords/instructions when submitting. If you are experiencing technical difficulties with the online submission link, please email sana.selemon@bohotheatre.com for support.

*Please note, BoHo Theatre only offers non-AEA contracts.*

BoHo Theatre is committed to developing a diverse ensemble of artists. Actors of all ethnicities, gender identities and ages, as well as performers with disabilities, are strongly encouraged to audition.


All cast members must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to appear at an in-person callback and be cast in the show.  “Fully vaccinated,” as defined by the CDC, is more than 14 calendar days following receipt of a final dose of an FDA or World Health Organization authorized or approved vaccine.‍ You must also provide proof of vaccination card prior to engaging in in-person callbacks or rehearsals.


For the recorded video, please select one side from the pre-selected sides available at the following link: https://drive.google.com/drive/u/2/folders/1x14njgNhn2LNKyJiYL2mqd_Fun9Q4siq. If you’d like to be considered for an understudy role, please mention that in your submission and choose one of the sides of the character(s) you’re interested in. All sides are selections from the play itself. Once you have selected your audition side, please submit it via this form: National Merit – BoHo Theatre – General Auditions Form 2022.

Director’s Note: These characters always have something to say, even if they don’t always say the “right” thing; when preparing these sides, work with your reader to embrace the flow of the dialogue. And while these characters may be younger than you, I encourage you not to “play younger”—bring your natural voice to the character. Feel free to email Enrico at enrico.spada@bohotheatre.com with any questions.


$500 stipend for main role

Understudy stipend is $250 per role

*We are currently working on Pay Equity within our company and are dedicated to increasing our wages consistently each year. The current stipend is an increase from our pre-pandemic actor wages and will continue to rise as we get back to a typical producing year.*


BoHo productions typically rehearse Sunday-Wednesday evenings from 6:30-10:30pm and Saturdays from 10 am-2 pm, however if/when artists present potential conflicts, BoHo can adjust the rehearsal schedule, as needed. Performances will be at Theatre Wit (1229 W Belmont Ave, Chicago, IL 60657). Performances will be Thursdays-Saturdays at 8pm and Sundays at 2pm.

For understudies, we would expect you to attend the first rehearsal, any specialty rehearsals, and all scheduled understudy rehearsals, as well as watching one performance a week of the show. NOTE: We’d also like understudies to attend a final Workshop performance (if contracted by then) on Wednesday, May 25th from 6:30–10pm.


First Rehearsal: Tuesday, July 5, 2022

1st Preview: Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Press Night: Saturday, August 20, 2022

Closing: Sunday, September 25, 2022

Character Type/Restrictions:


CAMILA, 16, Latinx, junior at Westbrook Prep, doesn’t take anyone’s BS, impressively put  together, secretly loves to gossip.

CISCO, 16, Latinx, junior at Westbrook Prep, constantly performing, willing to settle for National Hispanic Scholar.

YASH, 16, South Asian, junior at Westbrook Prep, definitely thinks he’s popular, Jax’s right hand  man, stressed but wouldn’t dare show it.

U/S JENNY, 18, white, senior at Westbrook Prep, cheerleader, always says yes.

U/S CISCO, 16, Latinx, junior at Westbrook Prep, constantly performing, willing to settle for National Hispanic Scholar.

U/S to cover both  Melissa & Camila

MELISSA, 17, Black, junior at Westbrook Prep, valedictorian or bust, will do anything to get into Yale.

CAMILA, 16, Latinx, junior at Westbrook Prep, doesn’t take anyone’s BS, impressively put  together, secretly loves to gossip.