Audition Songs for Big River – By Character

Do you have an upcoming audition for Big River? Well unless you have specifically been asked to sing a song from the show that you’re auditioning for, it’s generally best not to. That said, you should still show off similar vocals and personality. So here’s our list of audition songs for Big Riverbroken down by character.

Since Big River is a 1980s musical, most of the following songs are from between the 1960s-1990s. In addition, there are lots of country and gospel vibes below in order to match the style of the show.

Please note: This post contains affiliate links. This means that if you choose to make a purchase through one of the following links, we may earn a small commission on the sale at no additional cost to you. See our disclosure for more info.

Step 1: Read your audition details

Please read your audition details carefully, as they sometimes specify the type of song they’d like to hear (a ballad, something uptempo, etc.). Make sure to select a song that’s appropriate for your specific casting call.

Step 2: Get to know the show

In casting calls, they often ask for you to be “familiar with the show”. And even if it’s not requested, it’s generally assumed. One way to do this is to read through the synopsis while listening to the Big River cast album.

Step 3: Pick an audition song

Next, based on your personality and vocal type, decide whether you’d like to audition for the ensemble or a specific character. Just keep in mind that if you audition for a specific character, you still might not be chosen for that particular role.

There’s usually a spot on the audition form asking if you are open to being in the ensemble or accepting a different role. I would suggest ticking that box and taking whatever you are offered. Every The role is important, and you will earn valuable experience in a show.

And on that same note, even if you audition for the ensemble (and not a specific character), there’s always a chance you might get chosen for a leading/supporting role!

To summarize, keep an open mind and try not to take the process too seriously. And when you’re ready, choose the song that you feel most comfortable with from the list below.

Huck Finn

“Mamaw” – Pump Boys and Dinettes Music➝

“Never Met a Man I Didn’t Like” – The Will Rogers Fallies Music➝

“I’ll Never Pass This Way Again” – The Civil War Music➝

“The Only Home I Know” – Shenandoah Music➝


“Make Them Hear You” – Ragtime Music➝

“That’s What He Said” – Parade Music➝

“The Bus” – Caroline, or Change Music➝

“Wheels of a Dream” – Ragtime Music➝

Mary Jane Wilkes

“Asheville” – Bright Star Music➝

“Nothin’ Up” – The Robber Bridegroom Music➝

“Sleepy Man” – The Robber Bridegroom Music➝

“That’s What You Call a Dream” – Bonnie & Clyde Music➝

Pap Finn

“Big Fish, Little Fish” – Purlie Music➝

“It’s a Boy” – The Will Rogers Fallies Music➝

“Serve Yourself” – Pump Boys and Dinettes Music➝

“The Sidestep” – The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas Music➝

Tom Sawyer

“Give a Man Enough Rope” – The Will Rogers Fallies Music➝

“Museum Song” – Barnum Music➝

“The Colors of My Life” – Barnum Music➝

“There is a Sucker Born Ev’ry Minute” – Barnum Music➝

Ensemble (Altos)

“Doatsy Mae” – The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas Music➝

“Dyin’ Ain’t So Bad” – Bonnie & Clyde Music➝

“White Milk & Red Blood” – Dessa Rose Music➝

Ensemble (Baritones)

“Colorado, My Home” – The Unsinkable Molly Brown Music➝

“Ink” – Dessa Rose Music➝

“Tell My Father” – The Civil War Music➝

Ensemble (Basses)

“Father How Long?” – The Civil War Music➝

“Good Old Girl” – The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas Music➝

“Look Around” The Will Rogers Fallies Music➝

Ensemble (Contras)

“Dusty Plays the Saw” – The Burnt Part Boys Music➝

“Steal With Style” – The Robber Bridegroom Music➝

“Virginia” – The Civil War Music➝

Psst… Here’s where you can find out your vocal type!

Ensemble (Mezzos/Sopranos)

“Something of My Own” – Dessa Rose Music➝

“Tell Me” – Marie Christine Music➝

“The Pricklepear Bloom” – The Robber Bridegroom Music➝

Ensemble (Tenors)

“How Glory Goes” – Floyd Collins Music➝

“Love Stolen” – The Robber Bridegroom Music➝

“River Jordan” – The Civil War Music➝

Step 4: Select a monologue

If requested, here are a few audition monologues for Big River:

• “I Can’t Write” from The Genius

• “Jugger’s Rain #1” in Audition Arsenal for Women in Their 20s

• “Jugger’s Rain #2” in Audition Arsenal for Women in Their 20s

• “Something Like This” from Call of the Revolution

• “Wilderness of Mirrors” in Audition Arsenal for Men in Their 20s

Final Step: Prepare for your audit

After collecting your materials and getting familiar with the show, it’s time to move forward with the actual preparation. If you’re in need of some guidance on this step, you can always go through this FREE audition prep checklist!

Want more songs? Check out these DIY Rep Books for EVERY vocal type!

Big River Song List

Here’s a list of the musical numbers in Big River, along with which characters sing in each of them. Unless you have been asked to, do not choose from the below songs for your audition! The following is more intended to be used for character research purposes.

* That said, if you’ve specifically been asked to sing a song from the show, you can find the sheet music for the best possible audition songs below.

Act 1:

“Do Ya Wanna Go to Heaven” – Miss Watson, Company

“The Boys” – Tom Sawyer, Ensemble

“Waitin’ for the Light to Shine➝” – Huck

“Guv’ment➝” – Pap

“Hand For the Hog➝” – Tom

“I, Huckleberry, Me➝” – Huck

“Muddy Water” – Jim, Huck

“The Crossing” – Ensemble

“River in the Rain” – Huck, Jim

“When the Sun Goes Down in the South” – Duke, King, Huck, Jim

Act 2:

“The Royal Nonesuch” – Duke, Company

“Worlds Apart➝” – Jim, Huck

“Arkansas/How Blest We Are” – Fool, Alice’s Daughter, Company

“You Oughta Be Here With Me➝” – Mary Jane Wilkes, Susan Wilkes, Joanna Wilkes

“How Blest We Are (Reprise)” – Alice, Alice’s Daughter, Bill

“Leavin’s Not the Only Way to Go” – Mary Jane Wilkes, Jim, Huck

“Waitin’ for the Light to Shine (Reprise)” – Huck, Ensemble

“Free At Last➝” – Jim, Ensemble

“Muddy Water (Reprise)” – Company

Which of these audition songs for Big River did you choose?

And what role are you auditioning for? We would love to hear all about it in the comments! And in the meantime, you can check out our database of best audition songs for other musicals.

Need extra help? Just go through this free audition prep checklist!

Sign up for your free audition prep checklist.

Stacy Karyn, author of Audition Songs for Big River.
Author: Stacy Karyn

Stacy Karyn is the founder of Theater Trip, author of The Thespian’s Bucket List, and creator of The Cast Album List. She has a TESOL drama certificate, a BA in theater, and has worked and interned with Broadway and Off-Broadway theaters.

Leave a Comment