For the first time in its 86-year history, the Apollo Theater’s Amateur Night auditions will be conducted exclusively through online submissions, as the nonprofit fills the coveted slots for the summer and fall 2020-21 season.

The series, which has run consecutively through some of America’s most challenging times, will switch to an online only format as the country is in the midst of social distancing and all of New York’s and the nation’s cultural institutions closed their doors to protect the safety of staff, performers, and audience members.

Starting today, contestants who can sing, dance, rap, play an instrument, and perform stand-up or spoken word can submit a pre-recorded audition up to five-minutes in length in the hopes of being selected to perform on the world-famous Apollo stage later this year and compete for the Grand Prize of $20,000.

Those under the age of 17 can also submit their digital audition for a spot to compete in the Child Star of Tomorrow category and a $5,000 prize. More details on the online audition process can be found at

The previously scheduled in-person open audition for the spring season on April 18 has been canceled.

Beginning in 2017, the Apollo Theater incorporated online submissions into its audition process to extend access to artists around the globe and diversify the talent featured in the original, large-scale talent show, and is now receiving thousands of online auditions annually.

“Digital technology has enabled us to stay more connected than ever before, and during these uncertain times it is incredibly vital for the Apollo Theater to continue to engage with artists and audiences around the world,” said Kamilah Forbes, Apollo Theater Executive Producer. “We’re devastated by the loss the pandemic has had on the arts community, and we want to celebrate the talent and hard work artists have put into their craft. Amateur Night represents this, and we want to keep the spotlight shining on these talented individuals.”