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two actors singing from the musical Into the Woods

Performing Arts

Upcoming Auditions

INITIAL AUDITIONS for Fall 19 Productions:

MISS JULIE

by August Strindberg

a new version by David Eldridge

from a literal translation by Charlotte Barslund

 

SWEET CHARITY

music by Cy Coleman

lyrics by Dorothy Fields

book by Neil Simon

Will be held:

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 6 5:00-8:00pm

Venable Theater, Venable Building, 2nd Floor, 375 Church Street, North Adams, MA

If you would like to audition, but are not able to make the initial audition time, please contact Laura Standley at Laura.Standley@mcla.edu to inquire about an alternative time.

With callbacks on:

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 7

Venable Theater 2:00-11:00pm

More information about individual show call-back times will be announced on Friday’s call-back list.

AUDITION REQUIREMENTS

ACTORS

Please prepare:

2 contrasting one-minute contemporary monologues. You may not be required to perform both monologues, but be prepared to do so. Choose pieces that are important to you; we are looking for honesty and a strong commitment to what you are doing. At the audition itself, you may be asked to work on your pieces improvisationally, so be sure to memorize your monologues in an exploratory way rather than by rote.

1 musical theatre song. Should be cut up to 16 bars, though should not exceed 45 seconds in length and must be memorized. In addition, please have the full version of your audition song as well as any other performance-ready musical theatre songs in your repertoire. An accompanist will be provided. You may not sing with your own accompanist, a cappella, or with recorded accompaniment.

Tips for singers:

  • Choose songs which fit comfortably within your range so that you can present yourself at your best vocally, and if you are using a transposition of a song be sure that you have correctly printed the melody, lyrics, and accompaniment in the new key.
  • Select material that is suitable for your age and experience.
  • Work with a skilled accompanist before you begin your audition, making sure that all elements of your printed music are presented clearly and correctly.
  • Even though a 16-bar song is very short, do as much as you can to give the song a progression. Choose songs with which you can communicate a specific situation in a clear context with an objective (goal). Make the situation as honest and specific as possible.
  • Your music should be in a binder, double sided, on good stock paper works. Either in a sheet protectors or taped corners.
  • Mark cuts clearly. Include a 2-bar or 4-bar introduction for your song and mark it clearly in the music, making sure that the introduction leads naturally to your entrance. The measures of introduction do not count in the 16-bars you will be singing.

MUSICIANS

Please prepare:

1 minute selection from any song you like, performed on the instrument of your choosing. If you play more than one instrument, please let us know.

We are looking for musicians of all kinds for Sweet Charity… Seriously, whatever you play, we would like to hear it. Whether you are an actor who plays an instrument, or a musician who wants to get a chance to play, you are welcome.

If you would like to audition as a non-actor musician, you do not need to prepare a monologue. Just let us know at the beginning of your audition.

A piano/keyboard will be provided. If you do not have your instrument with you at school, come and talk to us anyway.

**Please note that performers of all ethnicities, gender identities, ages, and abilities are encouraged to attend. 

 

ABOUT THE PLAYS 

MISS JULIE, by August Strindberg. A new version by David Eldridge. From a literal translation by Charlotte Barslund. The Count's beautiful daughter, Miss Julie, feels trapped and alone, while his handsome and rebellious footman, Jean, feels frustrated with his position. In the course of an evening, a passion is ignited that soon spirals out of control. Strindberg's 1889 masterpiece which caused such a scandal when first produced that it was banned, is now hugely popular for its viscerally honest portrait of the class system and human sexuality.

 

SWEET CHARITY, music by Cy Coleman, lyrics by Dorothy Fields, book by Neil Simon. The diehard romantic dancehall girl, Charity Hope Valentine, navigates her way through misfortune in life and love in this musical adaptation of the Federico Fellini film The Nights of Cabiria. Director, Laura Standley, brings a modern perspective to Cy Coleman's classic, highlighting the emotional predicament that women in poverty face as they strive for a life of personal freedom, dignity, and respect.

CASTING BREAKDOWNS

MISS JULIE

Cast of 5-8

Miss Julie — Headstrong daughter of the Count in which whose home the action takes place. Her desire to dance on the precipice of acceptable social norms for her class and station becomes a dangerous and consequential game.

Jean — Ambitious and full of dreams, Jean aspires to ascend beyond his station of valet. His fervor leads him into ethically questionable territory.

Christine — Betrothed to Jean, Christine fulfills her duties of cook in the household with a posture of pragmatism. 

Ensemble — Townsfolk taking part in the Midsummer Night’s revelry.

The production will require actors to explore themes of intimacy and sexuality which will be played out on stage.

SWEET CHARITY

Cast of 16-20

Musicians — More like a rock band than an orchestra. Think Lou Reed and Velvet Underground rather than big musical theatre. We would love to find guitar, bass guitar, drums, keyboard, violin, viola, cello, trombone, trumpet… Seriously interested in whatever you’ve got, bring it!

Charity Hope Valentine (Mezzo) — Role for a powerhouse actress who is an outstanding dancer and singer. Charity is a dance-hall hostess with an insatiable spirit: as vulnerable as she is tough and as funny as she is heartbreaking. The eternal optimist, she is desperate to be loved for who she really is, not who she appears to be. She longs for a better life but is unskilled in labor and unlucky in love. A very demanding role.

Charlie (Baritone) a lowlife-thief. Must be excellent dancer.

Oscar Lindquist (Baritone) — An educated, well-spoken young man, shy, repressed and gawky. Works as an actuary (the most boring job in the world). A reluctant romantic, he meets Charity, falls in love with her but then struggles to come to terms with Charity's past.

Vittorio Vidal (Baritone) — Very handsome, international film star. Italian. Knows his place in the world. Charismatic and authoritative. Madly in love with Ursula.

Helene and Nickie (Alto/Mezzo) — Charity’s best friends and confidantes who are also dance-hall hostesses. They, too, long for a better life than their current situation allows but they seem both more worldly-wise and realistic than Charity – even as they dream along with her. Wisecracking but sincere, both ladies should be excellent dancers and singers.

Carmen: Bold and brassy dancer at the Fandango Ballroom. Very sarcastic. Good comedic actress. Must be a good dancer.

Herman (Tenor) — Owner of Fandango Ballroom. Works his girls hard but secretly cares for them. A tough task master.

Ursula March. Beautiful, hot-headed and jealous wife of Italian movie star, Vittorio Vidal. A flair for the dramatic.

Daddy Brubeck (Tenor) A true hippie, founder and leader of the Rhythm Of Life Church. Primarily a singing role. A spiritual, enigmatic but laid back kind of guy.

Some of these roles may be doubled.

Ensemble — Strong character actors who can play multiple and varied featured roles with ease. Must also be excellent singers and movers. Will dance in Big Spender, Rich Man's Frug, Rhythm of Life, and I'm a Brass Band, among others.

GENERAL INFORMATION 

Auditions for FPA Theatre productions are open to all MCLA students and community members.

Students who audition and are cast in our season productions must register for 3 credit of Theatre Practicum THEA 379. This is the course for all season performance and production related activities for the semester. Theatre Production operates on the company model, which means that students who participate on one show are expected to work in some capacity on the other show. Students may repeat this course for credit.

For music students who play live music in season shows, FPA will waive 3 credits of the MUSI 350 requirement with 3 credits of THEA 379.

Theatre Program students who are not cast are expected to participate in a production capacity on these productions. We are looking to cover all positions in the production process. Even if you feel you don’t have enough experience or knowledge in technical production, there is still a place for you!

The Theatre Program is committed to inclusive casting which promotes diversity in the casting of roles where race, ethnicity, gender, age, and the presence or absence of a disability is not essential to the development of the play or characters. All students are encouraged to audition. Theatre Program students are not given preference in casting decisions.

The audition process is part of the students’ theatre training, and all best efforts will be made to inform students of the director’s process, and to encourage them to maximize their preparation and participation. The aim of casting is to select the most able student for a particular role, while also taking into consideration the relevance of the nature of the role to the student’s continuing development as an actor.

The Theatre Program tries to audition all shows for a semester at one time. The directors for each show, together with the Theatre faculty decide on casting.

Guest artist actors are occasionally used in some roles and are always pre-cast. Guest artist actors enhance the training process by providing professional level models for students to learn from through observation. Pre-casting of students in roles will not occur.

Auditions are usually held in Venable Theater on the second floor of Venable Building. Break a leg!

HOW TO SIGN UP

Sign-up Sheet. On the Thursday of audition weekend, in the morning, a sign-up sheet will go up on the Theatre Program call-board across from Venable Theater. Performers, sign up for an initial audition slot as soon as possible.

Audition Forms. Audition forms will be provided for you at the initial audition.

Day of Auditions. Arrive at least 15 minutes prior to your scheduled audition time to check in with the monitor and fill out an audition form. Returning actors, please bring a headshot and resume.  For questions about this, please contact Laura Standley. 

ALL ACTORS. You will be auditioning for BOTH shows. Prepare material that will best represent you, in terms of both age and type.

Call-Backs. If called back for a role, you will be asked to come to a show-specific group audition. These group auditions will consist of cold-readings from the script, and perhaps (depending on the show) movement, dance, singing and/or improv auditions. Persons called back will be posted on the Theatre Program call-board with detailed directions about what to prepare.

Cold reading. A cold reading is when you are handed a script and asked to perform a scene. In call-backs you will be given a side, paired with a partner and allowed a short amount of time to rehearse together. To prepare for cold-readings, be familiar with the plays (read the whole thing!) and study the characters you think you are right for.

Clothing. For the initial audition, standard audition attire is required. Come dressed for an acting audition, considering the role you are auditioning for and dressing with the essence of the character in mind. Remember the audition is to showcase your acting talent, not your wardrobe! Stay away from clothing that will distract from your audition. During call-backs, for the movement audition you will be asked to dress in clothing appropriate for participating in physical activity.

NOTE. All auditions are private. During initial auditions, performers are brought into the audition room one at a time. We find that students do their best and most honest work when parents and guests are not watching. In the room will be the directors and designers, as well as any stage management, assistant director or design students.

Questions? Need access to scripts for preparation?

Contact: Laura Standley Laura.Standley@mcla.edu