Steven Sabel's Twist on the Trade: To see what I have seen, "The Auditions"

Here it is, as promised. The auditions version of some of the strangest, most outlandish, and downright horrible things I have seen. In preface, after producing and/or directing 138 productions, I have watched thousands of auditions. Some simple math puts it at around 10,000 monologues I have witnessed. Many of them were well prepared, well delivered, and led to many great casting choices. Many did not. O, the things that I have seen…

As I wrote at the end of last month’s column, I think I’ll lead with the guy with the banana. There I was conducting auditions in the theatre of a favorite colleague of mine, watching slates and monologues, taking notes, and shuffling head shots. A young actor came into the room looking disheveled, in a 90s grunge sort of way, with his hair in his face, and his hands in his pockets. He slated. I honestly don’t remember his name. He told us what his monologue was from - a film script, if I recall – and he began. Midway through, he reaches into his pocket, pulls out a banana, takes a giant bite, peel and all, and tosses the rest on floor. My colleague, who has a very strict rule about food in his theatre, almost leaped from his chair. The kid finished his monologue, picked up his banana, and left. That’s when my colleague turned to me and said: “What the (*#@$) was that?”

It's bananas to bring props into an audition!

Needless to say: Don’t bring props to an audition. In fact it is best to choose audition monologues that have no need for props. It is just never effective to “pretend” to be on the phone, or to “need” to look through your purse during a monologue. It isn’t it a comedy sketch. It’s an audition monologue. Don’t make it about the props. Make it about you and your talent delivering the text with emotional truth, not faking it with a prop. Besides, don’t forget props hate people. You don’t want to bring a potential adversary into the audition room with you.

The only prop I have ever seen used effectively in an audition is a simple piece of paper or a book. The best use of a piece of paper I have seen has been as a “note” for Julia’s monologue from “Two Gentlemen of Verona.” That piece can be a very effective piece for auditioning for a classical comedic role, if it is executed well. That requires plenty of rehearsal with plenty of pieces of paper, and even then, you are taking a risk that the prop won’t cooperate the way you want it to in the audition room.

Worse than props, are costumes. Yes, I’ve seen plenty of costumed auditions. I have had actors called from the lobby to the audition room who had to scramble in from the restroom because they were changing into their costume. From period clothing to Halloween attire, each and every time an actor comes into audition wearing a costume, it makes me think of that famous story about Sean Young and Cat Woman. Epic. Legendary. Infamous. Don’t do it. I really don’t need to see you in tights to learn whether or not you can deliver effective classical text in character.

Here’s a piece of paper you definitely don’t want to walk into the audition room with in your hands: the text of your monologue. If you don’t have it memorized, stop wasting everyone’s time. It’s not a side you have just been handed. It’s supposed to be your well-chosen, properly thought out, fully rehearsed, and peer reviewed best foot forward work. If you can’t come into the audition room off book, then don’t come into the audition room at all.

It saddens me to recollect how many times I have watched an actor walk into the room with their monologue on a sheet of paper in their hands, but this one takes the cake. Once I had an actress come into the audition room with several sheets of paper stapled together. There were visible pencil scribblings and highlight markings on the pages, and it was evident that it was some pages of a script. After the actress slated, and I asked her what she was going to perform, she handed me script, and asked if I would read in the other characters for her to perform the scene she had prepared for the audition.

“I don’t know any monologues,” she told me. “But I know this scene from a play I was in at my college. It’s on my resume.” And so it was, but I wasn’t about to become her scene partner for the evening. Unbelievable.

Here’s a good hint: Look like your head shot. I can’t tell you how many double takes and triple takes I have had in an audition room while holding a head shot in my hands, but looking at someone completely different standing in front of me. Don’t be the cause of double takes. Come in looking as close to the head shot you submitted as you possibly can. Once we had a trans-gendered person submit a very male head shot, but then arrived to the audition in very female appearance. The actor told us they could “change back” if necessary for the role. Now that’s an extreme example, but if your head shot shows you with blonde hair, and you decided last week you wanted to become a brunette for a while; well then you better get new head shots.

As I have admitted in this column before, my head shot is way outdated, and I am way over due for a new one, except that I so hardly ever use my head shot, that I just haven’t made it a priority. I don’t have time to audition for other people’s projects. I’m a producing artistic director. I barely have time to get on stage at all, and when I do, I pay for it dearly. But that’s another column for another day.

Clothing. O, boy, the clothing. I’ve seen three-piece suits, pant suits, and zoot suits. I’ve seen shorts, shorter shorts, and “Dear Lord, what were you thinking” shorts. There have been jumpers, rompers, and overalls; baggy pants, skinny jeans, and jeans of every color. I have seen dresses, gowns, and skirts of every length, as well as shirts, blouses, tops, and sweaters of every sort. I once had an actress come in wearing a bikini top, and I’ve seen muscle shirts galore. Please just remember this great word of advice we were all taught by early acting teachers and coaches: dress like it is an important job interview. Great practice, but with this caveat: make sure you are comfortable, and make sure you can make proper physical choices in what you are wearing. I’ve seen more than one breast flop out of a top during a vigorous call back.

Take off your coat or jacket, no matter how cold it is in the audition room. I have seen so many auditions destroyed by a heavy coat or constricting jacket. On occasion I have stopped actors to ask them to remove theirs coats and start their monologue over again. I want to see you physicality as an actor. It’s called “acting,’ and it is 90 percent what you do. Only 10 percent what you say. But you can’t effectively say anything, if you can’t do what you need to do as an actor. And you can’t do that underneath a heavy coat, unless you are in the cast of “Almost Maine,” or something like it.

As more and more casting directors turn to video submissions for their first round of auditions, the landscape for audition monologues will continue to change. Just as you should have at least four worthy monologues prepared and available to you at any given time (comedic contemporary, dramatic contemporary, comedic classical, dramatic classical), it is a good idea to line up a good camera with a good operator, book some time, and have all four of your monologues recorded to video files you can easily share or upload for any audition. Don’t wait until it is asked for, and then you have to scramble to find a friend through social media posts to help you with your “self-tape” by holding your smart phone for you while you recite your monologue. Plan ahead. Select the proper back drop, the proper lighting, the proper clothing. Clean yourself up. Prepare for the shoot date. Do a practice run, and look at the footage. Make corrections. Do a final cut, and have them all in digital files on the desktop of your computer, ready and waiting to land you that call-back.

Or you can just walk into the audition room with a banana….


AUDITION: The Wedding Singer

Book by Chad Beguelin and Tim Herlihy
Lyrics by Chad Beguelin
Music by Matthew Sklar

Directed by Kristie Mattsson
Music Directed by Daniel Koh
Choreography by Niko Montelibano
Produced by Spencer Johnson

SYNOPSIS

Based on the hit Adam Sandler movie, The Wedding Singer takes us back to a time when hair was big, greed was good, collars were up and a wedding singer might just be the coolest guy in the room.

It's 1985, and once a rock star wannabe, Robbie Hart, is now New Jersey's favorite wedding singer. He's the life of the party until his own fiancée leaves him at the altar. Shot through the heart, Robbie suddenly starts making every wedding as disastrous as his own. Enter Julia, a winsome waitress who wins his affection. But Julia is about to be married to a Wall Street shark, and, unless Robbie can pull off the performance of a decade, the girl of his dreams will be gone forever.

The Wedding Singer features a wacky ensemble with a dizzying array of fun, featured roles for actors who sing and dancers who act.

AUDITION DATES

Saturday, April 13, from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m (Stage)
Sunday, April 14, from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. (Rehearsal Hall)

No appointment needed. Actors only need to attend one day of initial auditions.

CALLBACKS on Monday, April 15, from 6:00 to 11:00 p.m. (Stage)

You will be notified by email if you will be needed for callbacks.

PREPARE

For the vocal audition, please prepare two 16-32 bar musical theater selections, at least one of which needs to be in the style of the show (i.e. 80's pop.) Please bring sheet music in the correct key with cuts clearly marked; an accompanist will be provided. Auditionees may be asked to only sing one selection based on time constraints. For this show, all singers must be comfortable singing in 80's pop styles.

Dance audition will take place on the day of callbacks. A combination will be taught.

LOCATION

Santa Monica's Morgan-Wixson Theatre, 2627 Pico Boulevard, Santa Monica, CA 90405. Street parking available. Venice Family Clinic's parking lot is available on weekends and on weekdays after 6 p.m. Do not park at our neighbors AAMCO/Viking Motors or SGI or you will be towed.

PERFORMANCE DATES

June 29 through August 3, Fridays & Saturdays at 8:00 p.m. and Sundays at 2:00 p.m. Please note that actors MUST be available for all performances.

REHEARSAL DATES/TIMES

Rehearsals begin Sunday, May 12 and are held Monday through Thursday evenings from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm, Saturdays from 1:00pm to 6:00 pm and Sundays from 6:00 to 10:00 pm. Actors are not called for all rehearsals - only rehearsals when they are being used for a scene.

BRING

Picture, resume and list of all conflicts for the rehearsal period (May 12 - June 29). All conflicts MUST be submitted prior to callbacks. If additional conflicts arise after casting, it may result in an actor being replaced.

CHARACTER DESCRIPTIONS

In reference to the character descriptions that follow—most characters we encounter currently are on the binary and are written with he/him or she/her pronouns and you will see that in the following descriptions. But, however limiting the descriptions are, our casting seeks to be as inclusive as possible and we invite gender non-conforming, gender fluid, transgender and non-binary actors to submit for the roles they most identify with.

We will also list race/ethnicity when specific to the character but are otherwise seeking all races and ethnicities; we encourage Arab, Asian, Black, Caucasian, Latino, Native, and Multiracial actors to audition for all roles. In addition, we will list disability when specific to a character, but are otherwise seeking actors with disabilities as well as non-disabled actors for all roles. Please let us know if you have any questions, concerns, or if there are any accommodations we can provide.

We are actively committed to casting an inclusive show that reflects the community.

CHARACTER BREAKDOWNS

This is a high energy show with many upbeat numbers. Accordingly, all cast will be expected to perform some degree of movement and dance.

Ensemble
We are seeking a wild, eclectic, brilliant assortment of brides, grooms, bridesmaids, groomsmen, banquet servers, wedding guests, parents, strippers, Wall Street executives, club goers, bartenders, waiters, priests, old folks, maitre'd, best men, bums, shopkeepers, engaged couples, airline agents, valets and Las Vegas impersonators including Cyndi Lauper, Mr. T, Billy Idol and others. The ensemble is a vital part of this show, chock full of hilarious, scene-stealing potential. Everyone is encouraged to audition and bring your most hilarious character choices.

Robbie Hart
The charismatic lead singer of the in-house wedding band in a chintzy wedding hall in New Jersey. A truly 'nice' guy that has the classic lead singer aura and personality. Also a bit of a dreamer. A true romantic at heart until his fiancée, Linda, leaves him at the altar and shatters him to pieces. Movement required.
Gender: Male
Age: 25 to 35
Vocal range: very strong, HIGH tenor (B2-A4, falsetto to C5) Note: Ability to play the guitar is a plus, but is not necessary.

Sammy
The bass player in the wedding band and one of Robbie's best friends. The epitome of a Monster Ballad, Sammy is a total guy's guy. However, beneath his bad boy bachelor antics, he is actually sensitive and very in love with Holly. Movement required, dancing ability a plus.
Gender: Male
Age: 25 to 35
Vocal range: Tenor/High baritone (C3-G4)

George
The wedding band's keyboardist and one of Robbie's best friends. He is sensitive, flamboyant and endearing. Out of all the characters, he is living life to his truest self. The perfect counterpart to Sammy's super guy attitude. Movement required, dancing ability a plus.
Gender: Male
Age: 25 to 35
Vocal range: Tenor, including comfortable falsetto; must also be able to rap (C3-A4)

Julia Sullivan
A starry-eyed waitress at the banquet hall, she is a sweet and quirky “girl next door" in looks and personality. So in love with the idea of love, she gets engaged to her long term boyfriend, Glen, but, ultimately, truly falls for Robbie and is conflicted as to who to choose. Movement required.
Gender: Female
Age: 25 to 35
Vocal range: Strong and flexible Mezzo/Alto, must have versatility between belt and lighter head voice (A3-E5)

Holly
Julia's cousin and also a waitress at the banquet hall. Holly is sassy, in control of her body and mind, and always up for a good time. Deep down she dreams of romantic fulfillment, but for now she's having fun in looking for love in all the wrong places. She ultimately reignites the flames with her ex, Sammy. Dancing required.
Gender: Female
Age: 25 to 35
Vocal range: Mezzo/Alto, must belt high (A3-E5)

Glen Guglia
Julia's fiancé. A Wall Street broker. Sexy, seductive, and charming. He is rich, shallow, and materialistic. He is a bit of a womanizer. Movement required, dancing ability a plus.
Gender: Male
Age: 30 to 40
Vocal range: Tenor/High baritone (D3-G4)

Rosie
Robbie's grandmother who raised him. Motherly but adventurous and always trying to remain "hip" regardless of her age. Movement required, some dancing ability a plus. Performs a rap number with George.
Gender: Female
Age: 55 to 75
Vocal range: Alto, must be able to rap (C4-C5)

Linda
Robbie's fiancée who leaves him at the altar. Keeps Robbie around as a back-up plan. Is more in love with the idea of Robbie being a rock star than she actually is with Robbie.
Gender: Female
Age: 20 to 30
Vocal range: Alto/Mezzo, maybe with a rock edge; must belt high (A3-D5)

Questions or requests for additional information should be directed to Kristie Mattsson at [email protected]

OTHER

Non-Equity, no pay


AUDITION: RICHARD III

A New Richard III from theatreANON
April 2019 will see the premiere of Richard III: Hour of the Tyrant, edited by David MacDowell Blue from Shakespeare's play about the last Plantagenet King (with additions from several other of Shakespeare's works). Auditions are scheduled for Saturday, January 26 starting at 11am until 3:45pm, on OMR, 6468 Santa Monica Blvd. (four blocks west of Vine), Hollywood CA 90038. Anyone wishing to try out should contact Mr. Blue at [email protected] to schedule a time. An overwhelming response has filled up all the blocs for January 26, so a second bloc is available on Sunday February 3,  at 1pm, 2pm, 3pm, and 4pm at Studio 100, 900 East 1st Street Los Angeles, 90012. This lies just east of Little Tokyo Gold Line Station.
Actors of all ages groups, genders and ethnic types are welcome. Everyone may be considered for any role. At least two performances will involve all the understudies and the leads switching roles!
Blue, a graduate of the National Shakespeare Conservatory in NYC, has been writing a successful blog reviewing Los Angeles Theatre since 2012. His past directing credits include Heartbreak House by George Bernard Shaw and The Public Eye by Peter Shaffer. He also helped co-direct (with well known actor-writer-reviewer Mark Hein) his own adaptation of Sheridan Le Fanu's Carmilla. He was recently interviewed by the New York based podcast The Stage Door at BlogTalkRadio.com.
Richard III: Hour of the Tyrant makes for a radical edit of Shakespeare's most popular play about a “bad king.” Blue cut the almost- four hour play in half, removing extraneous characters, fusing other characters together, re-arranging some events, even introducing speeches and lines from other plays such as Romeo and Juliet, Henry V, Julius Caesar, and Titus Andronicus. His avowed purpose in the edit was to emphasize the story as a tragedy of a man who destroyed himself as well as all around him.
This marks the first full scale production by theatreANON, a new company aiming to bridge past and present into the future by re-imagining classics, while fostering original works which echo the classics in some way. Had they been produced today, theatreANON would have produced Eugene O'Neill's re-telling of the ancient Greek Oresteia, titled Mourning Becomes Elektra. Others works in development are a modern, politically aware tale a la the works of Edgar Allan Poe, and a (hopefully) mind-blowing version of Shakespeare's most controversial comedy.
Right now theatreANON has found a home at Oh My Ribs Theatre, on Theatre Row, next to the Complex. It stands at 6468 Santa Monica Blvd. , Hollywood CA 90038


John Glines Dies, Casting For Performers Ages 10-18, Theatre For Exercise, And More Local, National, and International News to Inspire, to Stir, and to Entertain

LOCAL

Audio Interview: Benjamin Scuglia author of "The Man Who Saved Everything" at Theatre West

A timely, compelling and absorbing exploration of hoarding, family and memory, our possessions and the connections that bind us together.*

Enjoy this interview about Benjamin Scuglia's “The Man Who Saved Everything” at Theatre West, running until Sep 23rd. You can listen to this interview while commuting, while waiting in line at the grocery store or at an audition, backstage and even front of the stage. listen to it here


AUDITION: 42nd Street

The ultimate show-biz musical, 42ND STREET celebrates Broadway, Times Square, and the people who make the magic of musical theatre. Aspiring chorus girl Peggy Sawyer comes to the big city from Allentown, PA, and soon lands her first big job in the ensemble of a glitzy new Broadway show. But just before opening night, the leading lady breaks her ankle. Will Peggy be able to step in and become a star?

The score is chock-full of Broadway standards, including “You're Getting To Be A Habit With Me,” “Dames,” “We're In the Money,” “Lullaby of Broadway,” “Shuffle Off to Buffalo” and “Forty-Second Street.”

***Please note: this casting call is for our annual Youth Musical. Only performers ages 10 through 18 will be considered.*** read more here


Photo by Monique A. LeBleu - Heather Keller of Chemo Barbie at her home in Los Angeles, California, July 22, 2018.

PODCASTS: An Interview with Heather Keller of Chemo Barbie Now in Edinburgh

I interviewed Heather Keller of the “Chemo Barbie Show” which has made its journey from the Hollywood Fringe Festival to this year's Edinburgh Fringe Festival, now currently underway until the end of the month.

In this series of five podcasts, Keller talks on her cancer diagnosis, the ups, downs, and side effects of treatment, “cold-capping” (to keep her hair), healthy living, the enduring and lost relationships (the other side effects of cancer), workshopping at Samuel French and Johnson's Soaring Solo, woman power, the desire and plans to raise a family with her husband Brian McCarthy, and motherhood and planning for Edinburgh Fringe. read more here


New Immersive Pop Culture, Pop-Up Art Experience Comes to the Santa Monica Promenade

Early this fall the Santa Monica Promenade will welcome a cool new immersive art exhibit; The Decades Experience .

Visitors will be transported through six decades of American pop-culture, 1950 – 2000. The pop-up will delight guests young and old with creative thematic backdrops filled with color, texture and interactive engagement. The experience opens in October for a limited 3-month exhibit and will run six days a week from 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. read more here


Cabaret Con-Sensual and Issues of Duality in the Quest for Queer Visibility

The performance room at Three Clubs is, in essence, a side closet in a straight bar. But it is not the closet of shame and doubt that imprisoned LGBTQIA individuals during The Gay Dark Ages; it is a new closet with cocktails, performers, celebrated sex positivity, and the opportunity for queers and their allies to convene without fear of judgment while enjoying a variety show called Cabaret Con-Sensual.

To be wholly candid, “safe spaces” such as these are something that I tend to criticize, even as a member of the queer community; the obsession with politically correct language, the vigilant and angry exclusivity, the hypocrisy of gathering oppressed people who ultimately wish to oppress their oppressors — it all feels like a recipe for stagnancy. And after all, a closet is a closet. But after speaking with Bitsy La Bourbon, founder of sexual assault activism group, More Than No, and producer of Cabaret Con-Sensual, it is plainer to recognize how difficult it is to play a part in increasing queer visibility, and how any attempt to gather the community can inspire projects for more focused systemic change. read more here


NATIONAL

A scene from Soft Power. Photo: Craig Schwartz

Howard Sherman: US theatre is increasingly flipping the straight white perspective

The US will cease to be a majority-white populated country between 2040 and 2045 according to several reports on census population projections. But some recent plays may already be giving white audiences the feeling of what it's like to be a minority, and receiving a lot of attention for their efforts. read more here


Stacy Keach at the Goodman Theater in Chicago, where he is starring in “Pamplona,” a play that had an abortive run in 2017. Credit Whitten Sabbatini for The New York Times

Stacy Keach Had a Heart Attack Onstage. Now, the Show Goes On.

CHICAGO — Jim McGrath and I first met during the filming of the second Mike Hammer series in the 1990s in California. Jim has always been a wonderful writer, and we discussed the possibility of doing a one-man Hemingway show together. Ever since playing Papa in a mini-series in the late '80s, I found myself reading his short stories for audiobooks, and I wanted to continue to explore his unique persona. read more here


Tony-Winning Torch Song Trilogy Producer John Glines Dies at 84

Mr. Glines was the first person to thank a same-sex partner in an acceptance speech at a major awards show.

John Glines, a Tony Award-winning producer who, with his theatre company The Glines, helped foster such landmark queer-themed works as Torch Song Trilogy and As Is, died August 8 in Bangkok, Thailand, at the age of 84. His death, due to complications from a surgery for diverticulitis and long-term emphysema, was confirmed to Playbill by Steve Carpenter, Vice President of The Glines.

After graduating from the Yale School of Drama, Mr. Glines, born October 11, 1933, began his career in children's programming, writing for Captain Kangaroo (he would later write for Sesame Street as well). read more here


Seth Rudetsky, the host of Sirius XM's “On Broadway,” helped organize the trip for cast members of “Hamilton,” “Wicked” and other shows. Credit Erin Schaff for The New York Times

WASHINGTON — Wearing shirts that read “Now Showing: Truth” and with accordions in tow, the comedian Rosie O'Donnell and a cast of Broadway actors and musicians bused from New York to Washington on Monday for a musical protest just outside the White House.

The performance was part of a series of daily demonstrations that have taken place in front of the White House since President Trump's meeting in Helsinki, Finland, with President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia. Monday was the 22nd night of the protests, which have been named the Kremlin Annex. read more here


FROM AROUND THE WORLD

Going to the theatre can make your heart beat as fast as exercise

Swap a gym session for the theatre?

If you don't fancy getting to the gym this week, how about grabbing almost half an hour of cardio at the theatre?

Researchers have shown heart rates of audiences at the theatre spent an average of 28 minutes beating at an elevated range of between 50% and 70% of their maximum heart rate.

The research, commissioned by Encore Tickets, was conducted by scientists from University College London and the University of Lancaster. The discovery about heart rate was found as part of a wider study into why people go to live theatre when they could stay at home and watch shows more easily.


Ailin Conant: R&D in theatre matters when fictional stories can stick more than the truth

In a competitive landscape, where more productions are seeded with funding than can be brought to full production, ‘research and development' can mean almost anything – from verbatim interviews, to an artistic director reading books in the library, to a whole design team playing with materials for a week, to just some extra rehearsal time.

For us at Theatre Temoin, R&D most often means getting the real experts in the room, people with lived experience of our shows' themes – ex-soldiers, people who have experienced homelessness, mental health service users – and putting them in the director's seat.

It's important to get the relationship right. Many of the people we work with don't think of themselves as ‘experts', because it's so rare for them to be asked about their experiences. read more here


Revival of theatre necessary for a richer culture

In an epoch of film, TV and cinema; theatre has played a central role in educating and moulding dispositions as it is one of the oldest form of entertainment.

In prehistoric times; when human beings were struggling to form languages, physical actions were used to communicate instead of words. Before it was categorised as an art form, theatre, was a necessity for every developing society. In every age through cultural theatrical performances, human history has been played on wonderfully, from religious persuasions to heroic sacrifices, from villainous instigations to political brain-washings, from comedies to tragedies, from social satires to celebrations of the living. Theatre is a place where imagination thrives, scholastic skills are enhanced and the procedures of self-articulation are taught in a seemingly entertaining way. read more here


AUDITION: 42nd Street

The Morgan-Wixson Theatre's
YES (Youth Education/Entertainment Series)
announces auditions for
performers ages 10 through 18 for
the 23rd Annual Youth Musical

42nd Street

Music by Henry Warren
Lyrics by Al Dubin & Johnny Mercer
Book by Michael Stewart & Mark Bramble
Produced by Special Arrangement with Music Theatre International
Directed by ANNE GESLING
Music Directed by DANIEL KOH and ANNE GESLING
Choreography by KRYSTAL COMBS
Produced by TRACY SALTZMAN and MIRIAM BILLINGTON

SYNOPSIS
The ultimate show-biz musical, 42ND STREET celebrates Broadway, Times Square, and the people who make the magic of musical theatre. Aspiring chorus girl Peggy Sawyer comes to the big city from Allentown, PA, and soon lands her first big job in the ensemble of a glitzy new Broadway show. But just before opening night, the leading lady breaks her ankle. Will Peggy be able to step in and become a star?
The score is chock-full of Broadway standards, including “You're Getting To Be A Habit With Me,” “Dames,” “We're In the Money,” “Lullaby of Broadway,” “Shuffle Off to Buffalo” and “Forty-Second Street.”
***Please note: this casting call is for our annual Youth Musical. Only performers ages 10 through 18 will be considered.***
AUDITION DATES
Saturday, August 25, from 1:00 to 5:30 p.m (Stage)
Sunday, August 26 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. (Stage)
No appointment needed. Actors only need to attend one day of auditions.
CALLBACKS on Wednesday, August 29 from 6:30 to 10:00 (Stage)
You will be notified by email if you will be needed for callbacks.
PREPARE
32 bars of a song (verse and chorus) from standard musical theatre (no pop or rock, which means no song written after 2000, no Disney songs). Accompanist is provided. You may bring your accompaniment on IPhone or IPad or the Android equivalent as we do have playback ability for those devices. Be prepared to dance.
LOCATION
Santa Monica's Morgan-Wixson Theatre, 2627 Pico Boulevard, Santa Monica, CA 90405. Street parking available. Venice Family Clinic's parking lot is available on weekends and on weekdays after 6 p.m. Do not park at our neighbors AAMCO/Viking Motors or SGI or you will be towed.
PERFORMANCE DATES
November 10 through December 15, Saturdays and Sundays at 2:00 p.m., including Thanksgiving weekend. Actors will also perform in the Geoffrey Awards the evening of December 16. Actors must be available for all performances. NON-NEGOTIABLE!!
REHEARSAL DATES/TIMES
Rehearsals begin Saturday, September 8 and are held Monday through Thursday evenings from 6:30 pm to 9:00 pm, Saturdays from 1:00 pm to 6:00 pm and Sundays from 6:00 to 9:00 pm. Saturdays and Sundays are strictly dedicated to dance. More than 2 conflicts on those days may result in an actor not being cast. Actors are not called for all rehearsals, only rehearsals where they are being used for a scene/dance. Rehearsals will be worked around children's schedules as much as possible. As always, we consider homework a priority!
BRING
A picture (school picture or snapshot is fine), resume or list of shows done, and your conflicts for the rehearsal period. All conflicts MUST be submitted prior to callbacks. If additional conflicts arise after casting, it may result in an actor being replaced. Bring both jazz and tap shoes (if you tap).
CHARACTER DESCRIPTIONS
Male Roles
Julian March: 14-18, Baritone, a tough, frazzled, and tyrannical director. He is gruff but as the show progresses you see how Peggy's charm touches him. Keeps his thoughts and feelings close to his chest. This is a strong acting role, and the role underpins the whole show.
Billy Lawlor: 14-18, Tenor, a leading man type, cheeky and charming with an eye for the ladies, excellent singer/dancer, tap a plus.
Bert Berry: Character baritone, half of the writing duo, must sing and move well and be able to play comedy with vaudeville timing.
Abner Dillon: Non-singing role, the producer of the show and Dorothy's current boyfriend, pompous, throws his weight (and money) around.
Pat Denning: Baritone, Dorothy's suave ex-vaudeville partner and the love of her life. He likes to stir up trouble. A little bit of a “player” but obviously really loves Dorothy.
Female Roles
Peggy Sawyer: 14-18, Alto/Soprano, extraordinary tap dancer who can sing like a Broadway leading lady and play the ingenue believably. At the beginning of the show we must see Peggy is nervous and quirky but eager and keen. As the show progresses, we see her talent shine through and her inner steel and strength of character to remain true to herself stand out.
Dorothy Brock: 14-18, Alto, a past-her-prime Broadway diva. Must possess a strong send of comic timing. While very selfish and mean to everyone at first, she comes to understand what's really important in life after breaking her ankle and therefore unable to perform. The actress cast must be able to play age (40+).
Maggie Jones: 14-18, Character alto, half of the writing duo; must sing and move well and be able to play comedy with great warmth and charm, good dancer.
Anytime Annie: 14-18, Alto Belt, one of the girls in the "chorus;" must be a first rate tap dancer and natural comedienne.
Larraine, Phyllis: 12-18, Alto/Soprano, two other girls in the “chorus”, featured in “Go Into Your Dance” excellent singers/dancers (tap).
Male or Female Role
Andy Lee: 12-18, Non-singing role, the choreographer of the show, excellent tap dancer.
Ensemble
Ages 10 to 18, must sing and dance well. Strong tap skills recommended. The more you tap, the more you do. Great ensemble parts with lots of lines.
Musical Numbers
Audition: Ensemble (opening tap number)
Young & Healthy: Billy/Peggy
Shadow Waltz: Dorothy & Girls
Go Into Your Dance: Peggy, Maggie, Annie, Lorraine, Phyllis
You're Getting To Be A Habit With Me: Dorothy/Billy
Getting Out of Town: Ensemble
We're In The Money: Peggy, Annie, Lorraine, Phyllis and Ensemble
Dames: Billy & Ensemble
Sunny Side to Every Situation: Annie, Lorraine, Phyllis and Ensemble
Lullaby of Broadway: Julian and Company
About A Quarter to Nine: Dorothy/Peggy
Shuffle Off to Buffalo: Peggy, Billy & Ensemble
42nd Street: Peggy, Billy & Ensemble
42nd Street Reprise: Julian
OTHER
Non-Equity, no pay.
Questions? Email director Anne Gesling at [email protected]


AUDITION: She Loves Me

Book by Joe Masteroff
Music by Jerry Bock
Lyrics by Sheldon Harnick

Based on the play Parfumerie by Miklós László
Directed by BRANDA LOCK
Music Directed by DANIEL KOH
Choreography by MICHAEL MARCHAK

SYNOPSIS
Set in a 1930s European perfumery, we meet shop clerks, Amalia and Georg, who, more often than not, don't see eye to eye. After both respond to a "lonely hearts advertisement" in the newspaper, they now live for the love letters that they exchange, but the identity of their admirers remains unknown. Join Amalia and Georg to discover the identity of their true loves... and of all the twists and turns along the way!
AUDITION DATES
Wednesday, July 11, from 7:00 to 10:30 p.m (Stage)
Saturday, July 14, from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. (Stage)
No Appointment Needed. Actors only need to attend one day of auditions.
CALLBACKS on Sunday, July 15, from 6:00 to 10:00 p.m. (Stage)
You will be notified if you will be needed for Callbacks.
PREPARE
Please prepare two contrasting songs (16-32 bars each) from a standard musical theater repertoire in the style of the show. Please no pop/rock. You may only be asked to sing one song. An accompanist will be provided; please bring sheet music in the key you will be singing. Dance auditions will be done at callbacks if called back.
LOCATION
Santa Monica's Morgan-Wixson Theatre, 2627 Pico Boulevard, Santa Monica, CA 90405. Street parking available. Venice Family Clinic's parking lot is available on weekends and on weekdays after 6 p.m. Do not park at our neighbors AAMCO/Viking Motors or SGI or you will be towed.
PERFORMANCE DATES
September 22 through October 14, Fridays & Saturdays at 8:00 p.m. and Sundays at 2:00 p.m. Please note that actors MUST be available for all performances. This is non-negotiable!
REHEARSAL DATES/TIMES
Rehearsals begin August 10th and are held Monday through Thursday evenings from 7:00 pm to 11:00 pm, Saturdays from 12:00pm to 6:00 pm and Sundays from 6:00 to 10:00 pm. Actors are not called for all rehearsals, only rehearsals where they are being used for a scene.
TECH DATES
September 15 – September 21. Preview performance will be on September 21st.
BRING
Headshot/Resume, sheet music in appropriate key, and list of all conflicts for the rehearsal period. All conflicts MUST be submitted prior to callbacks. If additional conflicts arise after casting, it may result in an actor being replaced.
CHARACTER DESCRIPTIONS
Amalia Balash
(Female, 20 – 35, Soprano) The eager new employee at Maraczek's Parfumerie. Despite being a skilled saleswoman, she easily becomes intimated and nervous. Attractive, bright, spunky, and a lover of literature. Vocal range top: B5, bottom: C4
Georg Nowack
(Male, 25 – 35, Baritone) An established employee of Maraczek's Parfumerie, he resembles a hopeless romantic. Shy, intelligent, and soft spoken. Vocal range top: F4, bottom: B2
Ilona Ritter
(Female, 25 – 25, Mezzo) Employed at Maraczek's Parfumerie. She is sexy and learned in the ways of romance, but longing for something more from the game of love. Vocal range top: E5, bottom: F#3
Steven Kodaly
(Male, 25 – 35, Tenor) A well respected and liked employee at Maraczek's Parfumerie. Though he is considered dapper and occasionally charming, he is more of a shallow womanizer. Vocal range top: A4, bottom: B2
Ladislav Sipos
(Male or Female, 40 – 55, Baritone or Mezzo) Not the brightest employee at Maraczek's Parfumerie. A confidant to Georg, he or she is an optimistic family man or woman who looks like a huggable father or mother/everyman type. Vocal range top: E4, bottom: A2
Mr. Maraczek
(Male, 55 – 65, Baritone) Owner of Maraczek's Parfumerie. With a commanding presence, his dedication to the trade is rivaled only by his faithfulness to his wife.
Vocal range top: C4, bottom: B2
Arpad Laszlo
(Male or Female, 14 – 18, Baritone or Mezzo) Delivery boy at Maraczek's Parfumerie. His/her exuberance is infectious and commitment to his/her job is remarkable. He/She is ambitious and adorable.
Vocal range top: E4, bottom: Bb2
Waiter/Detective
(Male, 30 – 60, Tenor) Maître d' of the romantic Café Imperiale. Determined to keep a romantic atmosphere in the café despite a clumsy waiter and quarrelling patrons. Double as the Detective.
Busboy
(Male, 20 – 30) Busboy at the Café Imperiale. It's his first day on the floor and much to the chagrin of the Maître d his clumsy nature keeps ruining the romantic atmosphere of the café but he has a secret he is eager to reveal. Must be an excellent dancer.
Ensemble
Open to all genders and ages to fill out the cast and create dynamic, quirky, comedic, romantic, perfume shop customers, carolers, café patrons, etc. Looking to cast 3 women and 2 men. The Ensemble will be heavily featured in this production as rich fully developed characters that the audience will know as well as the perfume shop employees.
Questions or requests for additional information should be directed to Branda Lock at brandalock [at] gmail [.] com
OTHER
Non-Equity, no pay


Audition Notice for "Mary Poppins"

AUDITION NOTICE!

The Morgan-Wixson Theatre's Main Stage proudly presents
MARY POPPINS
The Broadway Musical

Original Music & Lyrics Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman
Book by Julian Fellowes
New Songs & Additional Music & Lyrics by Anthony Drewe and George Stiles
Co-Created by Cameron Mackintosh
A Musical based on the stories of P.L. Travers and the Walt Disney Film

Directed by Randy Brenner
Produced by Anne & Larry Gesling
Musical Direction by Amy Gillett
Choreographed by Jacob Krech

SYNOPSIS: The jack-of-all trades, Bert, introduces us to England in 1910 and the troubled Banks family. Young Jane and Michael have sent many a nanny packing before Mary Poppins arrives on their doorstep. Using a combination of magic and common sense, she must teach the family members how to value each other again. Mary Poppins takes the children on many magical and memorable adventures, but Jane and Michael aren't the only ones upon whom she has a profound effect. Even grown-ups can learn a lesson or two from the nanny who advises that "Anything can happen if you let it." Mary Poppins is an enchanting mixture of irresistible story, unforgettable songs, breathtaking dance numbers and astonishing stagecraft. This show is a perfect opportunity to showcase a strong, iconic female performer, as well as unique special effects and illusions.
AUDITIONS: Saturday, May 5, from 1:00 pm – 6:00 pm and Sunday May 6, from 6:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Advance appointments are not necessary. Actors only need to attend one day of auditions.
All auditions, and any necessary callbacks, will be held at the Morgan-Wixson Theatre, 2627 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90405
(Street parking available, or use the VENICE FAMILY CLINIC after 6 p.m.
DO NOT PARK in AAMCO/Viking Motors or SGI or you will likely be towed!)
CALLBACKS: Tuesday, May 8, from 7:00 pm – 11:00 pm
You will be informed by email if you are required for callbacks.
PREPARE: 32 bars of a ballad or up-tempo piece in a standard musical comedy style (no pop or rock). Actors should be prepared to dance and have clothing and shoes appropriate for a dance audition.
PERFORMANCE DATES: June 30 through August 4.
The first four weekends: Fridays & Saturdays at 8:00 and Sundays at 2:00.
Fifth weekend: No Friday performance; Saturday at 2:00 and 8:00, Sunday at 2:00.
Closing weekend: Saturday shows only, August 4 at 2:00 and 8:00
Please note that actors MUST be available for all performances unless otherwise negotiated with the production staff prior to casting.
REHEARSALS: Will begin in May. All rehearsals will be held Monday through Thursday from 7:00 to 10:00 pm, Saturdays from 1:00 to 6:00 pm and Sundays from 6:00 to 10:00 pm. Actors are not called for all rehearsals, only those rehearsals where they are being used for a scene.
BRING:
Picture, resume and your conflicts for the whole rehearsal period. We must have all conflicts no later than callbacks or you will not be cast in the show. If additional conflicts arise after casting, it may result in an actor being replaced
CHARACTER DESCRIPTIONS:
MARY POPPINS (Lead) 25-45 Female: Jane and Michael Banks's new nanny. She is extraordinary and strange, neat and tidy, delightfully vain yet particular, and sometimes a little frightening but always exciting. She is practically perfect in every way and always means what she says. A mezzo soprano with strong top notes, she should be able to move well. She can have a more traditional soprano sound, but precision and diction is the key. Vocal range: C6-Gb3.
BERT (Lead) 25-45 Male: The narrator of the story and a good friend to Mary Poppins. An everyman, he has many occupations, including hurdy-gurdy player, sidewalk artist and chimney sweep. He watches over the children as well as the goings on in Cherry Tree Lane. He has charm, speaks with a Cockney accent and is a song-and-dance man. Vocal range: F#4-B2.
JANE BANKS (Lead) 10-15 Female: The high-spirited daughter of Mr. and Mr. Banks, bright and precocious but can be willful and inclined to snobbishness. Playing “age” 12 years. Vocal range: F#5-A3.
MICHAEL BANKS (Lead) 8-12 Male: The cute and cheeky son of Mr. and Mrs. Banks. Excitable and naughty, he adores his father and tries to be like him. Both he and Jane misbehave in order to get the attention of their parents. Playing “age” 9 years. Vocal range: E5-A3.
GEORGE BANKS (Supporting) 35-55 Male: The father to Jane and Michael Banks; a banker to the very fiber of his being. Demanding "precision and order" in his household, he is a pipe-and-slippers man who doesn't have much to do with his children and believes that he had the perfect upbringing by his nanny, the cruel Miss Andrew. His emotional armor, however, conceals a sensitive soul. A baritone, he may speak-sing as necessary. Vocal range: Eb4-Bb2.
WINIFRED BANKS (Supporting) 35-55 Female: George's wife and Jane and Michael's mother. A former actress, she is loving and distracted homemaker who is busy trying to live up to her husband's desire to only associate with "the best people" as well as be the model wife and mother. She suffers from the conflicting feelings that she's not up to the job of "being Mrs. Banks," yet, she is, and more. She has great warmth and simplicity to her tone. Vocal range: D5-A3.
ADMIRAL BOOM (Supporting) 45-75 Male: A retired Royal Navy man and neighbor of the Banks family. A physically large man with a loud and booming voice, he speaks in Navy jargon and has a soft spot for his neighbor, Miss Lark. Can be any vocal range as needed. If Admiral Bloom doubles as the Banks Chairman, he can be a baritone.
MRS. BRILL (Supporting) 25-55 Female: The housekeeper and cook for the Banks family. Overworked and harassed, she's always complaining that the house is understaffed. Her intimidating exterior is a cover for the warmth underneath. Mrs. Brill doesn't have a high opinion of nannies in general and Mary Poppins in particular. She does not have to be a strong singer. Vocal range: D#5-F#3.
ROBERTSON AY (Supporting) 25-55 Male: the houseboy to the Banks family. Lazy, sleepy, and grumbling, he never gets things right and believes himself to be useless. He doesn't do a lot of singing, but his "Spoonful" solo can be a fun surprise. Vocal range: G#4-F3.
BANK CHAIRMAN (Supporting) 45-75 Male: the head of the bank where Mr. Banks is employed, is an Edwardian stuffed-shirt. He can speak/sing his lines if necessary. Vocal range: D4-C3.
BIRDWOMAN (Supporting) 25-75) Female: She is covered in a patchwork of old shawls, and her pockets are stuffed with bags of crumbs for the birds. She tries to sell her crumbs for the birds. She tries to sell her crumbs to passersby, who ignore her as if she doesn't exist. Sings "Feed the Birds." There can be a gruff, folksy quality to her voice that reflects the hardness of her life. Vocal range: C5-Gb3.
MISS ANDREW (Supporting) 25-55 Female: George's overbearing and scary nanny. With her bottle of nasty-tasting brimstone and treacle to keep naughty children in line, she is a bully who only knows one way of doing things - her way. A soprano with an alto belt, there can be some heaviness to her voice along with range. Vocal range: F5-Gb3.
ENSEMBLE Ages 15+ Male & female: All voice types and ages, must move well. The Ensemble will also play many different and varied characters.
Non-Equity, no pay.
Questions? Please e-mail [email protected]


Director needed for 5 Fringe tours of The Cardboard Countess

Thecardboardcountess.com
Rehearsals in April **Please note rehearsals are outdoors*
The Cardboard Countess explores the developing friendship between a troubled teen and a homeless woman who wears a gown of garbage bags and proclaims she is a Countess. United by concerns of conservation, and feeling isolated from their communities, their friendship grows.
The Cardboard Countess tackles many issues of women, including homelessness, over consumption, mental health, teen depression, and the difficulties of forging human connection in today's increasingly technological world.
At times tragic, at times hilarious, the ongoing battle between these two characters, both fighting to be heard in an ever hostile world, is a play audiences of all ages can relate to. As EVER's real world collides with the COUNTESS' imagined reality, EVER finds bravery and frees the COUNTESS in a heart wrenching open ending.
Ms. Goring received 2 residences to work on this play: Artist in Residence at San Gabriel National Monument, and at Hot Springs National Park.
For questions please contact: [email protected]


Audition notice: Little Women, The Musical

Little Women, The Musical

Book by Allan Knee
Music by Jason Howland
Lyrics by Mindi Dickstein
Based on the book by Louisa May Alcott
Directed by: ANNE GESLING
Music Directed by: DANIEL KOH
Choreography by: KRYSTAL COMBS
Produced by: MEREDITH WRIGHT

SYNOPSIS

This timeless, captivating story is brought to life in this glorious musical filled with personal discovery, heartache, hope and everlasting love. Based on Louisa May Alcott's life, Little Women follows the adventures of sisters, Jo, Meg, Beth and Amy March. Jo is trying to sell her stories for publication, but the publishers are not interested – her friend, Professor Bhaer, tells her that she has to do better and write more from herself. Begrudgingly taking this advice, Jo weaves the story of herself and her sisters and their experience growing up in Civil War America.
Little Women embodies a complete theatrical experience, guaranteeing a night filled with laughter, tears and a lifting of the spirit. The powerful score soars with the sounds of personal discovery, heartache and hope – the sounds of a young America finding its voice.

AUDITION DATES

Saturday, January 20, from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m (Stage)
Sunday, January 21, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. (Stage)
No appointment needed. Actors only need to attend one day of auditions.
CALLBACKS on Monday, January 22, from 7:00 to 10:00 p.m. (Stage) You will be notified by email if you will be needed for callbacks.

PREPARE

Please prepare two contrasting songs (16-32 bars each) from standard musical theater repertoire. Do not sing a pop/rock song. You may only be asked to sing one song, so do the “best one” first. An accompanist will be provided; bring sheet music in the key you will be singing. You may bring pre-recorded accompaniment on CD or Iphone/Android equivalent although we would prefer that you sing with the accompanist. Be prepared to dance at the initial audition.

LOCATION

Santa Monica's Morgan-Wixson Theatre, 2627 Pico Boulevard, Santa Monica, CA 90405. Street parking available. Venice Family Clinic's parking lot is available on weekends and on weekdays after 6 p.m. Do not park at our neighbors AAMCO/Viking Motors or SGI or you will be towed.

PERFORMANCE DATES

March 16 through April 14, Fridays & Saturdays at 8:00 p.m. and Sundays at 2:00 p.m.. Please note that actors MUST be available for all performances. This is non-negotiable!

REHEARSAL DATES/TIMES

Rehearsals begin Sunday, January 28 and are held Monday through Thursday evenings from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm, Saturdays from 1:00pm to 6:00 pm and Sundays from 6:00 to 10:00 pm. Actors are not called for all rehearsals, only rehearsals where they are being used for a scene.

BRING

Picture, resume and list of all conflicts for the rehearsal period. All conflicts MUST be submitted prior to callbacks. If additional conflicts arise after casting, it may result in an actor being replaced.

CHARACTER DESCRIPTIONS

Jo March: 18-26, Mezzo with strong belt, high belt & soprano range, E3 to A5, the story's protagonist, passionate, adventurous, and brave, ability to play comedic and dramatic scenes.
Amy March: 15-20; Mezzo, A3 to Gb5, the youngest, most energetic sister with a rather pompous air about her. She later marries Laurie. Doubles as Troll.
Meg March: 21-28, Soprano with strong low range, A#3 to Bb5, the world-weary, yet hopeful, oldest sister who yearns for a great life. Doubles as Clarissa.
Beth March: 17-24, Mezzo, A3-G5, the second youngest sister who tragically dies of scarlet fever, peace-maker, sweet, a homebody, and an optimist who is always encouraging her sisters to dream. Doubles as Rodrigo II.
Marmee March: 45-55, Mezzo, Eb3 to Eb5, the girls' mother, she is the strong backbone of the family, courageous in spite of the difficult odds she faces, she only breaks down when she is alone. Doubles as Hag.
Aunt March: 45-60, Contralto with soprano range, E3 to F5, a formidable, over-bearing matron and great-aunt to the March sisters, the wealthy socialite in town. Doubles as Mrs. Kirk.
Professor Bhaer: 30-45, Bari-tenor, G2 to F#4, a German Professor who exemplifies proper manners, he is a boarder in Mrs. Kirk's boarding house and eventually falls in love with Jo.
Laurie Laurence: 19-26, Tenor, Bb2 to Bb4, the bright-eyed boy-next-door with considerable charm, he is Jo's best friend but later falls in love with Amy. Doubles as Roderigo.
Mr. John Brooke: 30-40, Baritone, C#3 to F#4, Laurie's tutor and a rather stiff man who initially shows very little emotion, he later marries Meg and warms up considerably. Doubles as Braxton.
Mr. Laurence: 50-60, Baritone, C3 to E4, Laurie's grandfather, gruff and sour, but with a heart of gold. Doubles as The Knight.

CONTACT

Questions or requests for additional information should be directed to Anne Gesling at [email protected]

OTHER

Non-Equity, no pay

WEBSITE

www.morgan-wixson.org