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Artist Guidelines & Resources

The Application Process 

We are currently seeking new innovative and professional-level artists to join this celebrated program. Submissions will be evaluated by a panel of Madison community leaders and Overture Center staff. 
Applications for the 2014/15 season are due by 5 PM, Friday, March 14, 2014.  Use this checklist to ensure your submission is complete:

  • Complete application form (download below)
  • Include links to online videos demonstrating experience as a children’s performer 
  • Include any other relevant materials (reviews, biographical information, etc.) 



Download 2014-15 Kids in the Rotunda Artist Application

Questions may be directed to the Kids in the Rotunda Coordinator

Mail or email your application to:

Kids in the Rotunda Coordinator 
Overture Center for the Arts 
201 State Street 
Madison, WI 53703


About the Program
Kids in the Rotunda is a family-oriented performance series offering free shows on Saturdays during the school year. Each scheduled artist is expected to play three 40-45 minute shows on his or her contracted Saturday. Shows start at 9:30 AM, 11 AM and 1 PM. The 1 PM show is sign language interpreted.  Artists with complicated content or foreign words may be asked to provide a script for our interpreters.
Although many of our performers incorporate educational components into their programs, Kids in the Rotunda differs from a school performance in its relaxed and entertaining character.

The Performance Space
The Rotunda Stage is an indoor amphitheater with circular bench seating surrounding an elevated thrust stage, putting performers in close contact with their audiences. The stage is located in the lower level of Overture Center, and its position under the central dome leaves it partially open to the floors above. As such, performances can be seen and heard from the main entry level of Overture Center.
The stage offers an intentionally "live" acoustic space, with an angled ceiling sending the sound out to the audience. A fully integrated sound system with CD and cassette tape functions is provided, along with an experienced sound technician. Additionally, a standard rep light plot provides general stage washes from various angles. Only minimal changes or adjustments to this light plot are available for Kids in the Rotunda shows.
The stage dimensions are 20' x 13'8" with a 12-foot ceiling.

The Audience

Audience size ranges from 125 to 350 children and adults. The children vary in age from preschoolers to 13 years old, with the majority between 3 and 7 years old.
Children at Kids in the Rotunda shows are always very energetic and noise levels in and around the amphitheater can become quite loud. Performers are expected to be able to hold the children’s attention throughout each 45-minute show and may need to adjust content according to the age group.
Successful Rotunda performances are tightly paced, interactive and dynamic. Audience participation is essential.


  • Rotunda shows are geared toward children and should be free from political, controversial or inappropriate content. 
  • The use of open flame and sharp objects such as knives or machetes is strictly prohibited.
  • Children should not be made the object of jokes or ridicule.  If a gag requires poking fun at a volunteer, an adult volunteer should be chosen instead. 
  • Artists or assistants may sell show-related merchandise before or after the performances.  Each artist is fully responsible for complying with all applicable laws, including collecting appropriate sales tax on purchases. Though sales assistance may be provided at times by Overture staff, artists are fully responsible for the management of sales including the security of merchandise and money.
  • Performers should plan to arrive no later than 8:30 AM on the day of the performances.  Artists must enter/unload at the Henry Street stage door entrance. Parking is available for $5/day in the Overture Ramp on W. Dayton Street.