so when you try out, you are given a cutting?  Or do you get to choose the part yourself that you want to try out with?

Well, SarahsD It’s been my experience that when people go to audition, they
have a rough idea of the part they would like to play — so they will
put that down on their audition sheet.  They may be very specific in
that they are not interested in playing any other parts.  OR they may
be so determined to be cast that they will play ANY part.  So when the
director starts having them read, he’ll call for all the women who are
interested in playing the part of, say “Tessie,” to go on stage, as
well as whatever other parts are in the “cutting” that is being read. 
And he’ll try different combinations of actors reading that short bit
to see who can nail the characters the best and what combination of
actors produces the best overall scene.  It’s really not an easy job,
and I don’t envy directors one bit … we had some FABULOUS people read
last night and he’s going to have a tough time figuring out who will be
best in each role.

There will be one actor in this play with a VERY tough role to play … actually THREE roles.  The actor plays “Christina/Anytime/Honey Lake” — three different characters, but all played by the same actor.  And get this — at different times, this actor will be required to speak in a normal accent, a Brooklyn accent, and a RUSSIAN accent.  And amazingly, we had a woman try out last night who NAILED all of them.  She was great, and if she’s not cast in that part, I will be extremely shocked.  I’m anxious to see what the final decisions are regarding the cast.  My daughter read last night and the night before.  I think she did VERY well … the only thing going against her is that she is a little old for the part, but too young for any others in the cast.  She’s already preparing herself for the possibility of not being cast — she was in the last two summer productions and knows that you don’t ALWAYS get to be the star (or part of the ensemble …)

Stranger things have happened, though.  Last year she was a little too old for the part and got it anyway, and the year before she was a little too YOUNG for the part and got it anyway.  She’s got incredible stage presence (IMHO) and can project her voice with the best of them.  The first time I heard her do this, I almost fell over.  I was in the back of the theater and when she said her lines I heard her as clear as a bell.  And she was not yelling!  I was very impressed.  But I’m her mom, so I suppose I am a little biased. 

I hope this gave you a little glimpse into the audition process … another Xangan who has vastly more theatrical experience than I is FKIProfessor.  He has been extremely active in his community theater, although I’m not sure how active he is right now.  He and his wife are about to embark upon a kitchen remodel and those can be somewhat time-consuming (is that an understatement, or what????) 

I’ll be seeing ya’ll around later — my girl has her piano recital this evening and so I’ll be getting her ready for that and squeezing a window blind consultation in the middle of it all.  No rest for the weary!

7 thoughts on “A Faithful Reader asks ….

  1. Thank you so much for explaining all of this, as you can tell I know NOTHING about it all, but didn’t want to read your post and pretend like I did lol.I think as a mum there are two types of knowledge about our kids. That which is puffed up, inflated out love for our kids and that which is based on reality.  Yours sounds more reality based.Fingers crossed then for your daughter.Enjoy your day even in it’s busyness.x

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  2. LOL. I was cruising my sub list and read this gem so I just had to stop by. I would be more than happy to chat about community theatre to anyone willing to listen. Hehehe. I’m not going to be doing any shows for a little while. I’m helping my wife next to put on Bang Bang You’re Dead in August/September. I was hoping to do Sleepy Hollow this fall, but now I don’t know if that will happen. Our theatre is doing Fiddler in July and right now Odd Couple is playing. I tried out for Odd Couple but didn’t get a good part so I didn’t do the show. I’m glad I didn’t – too much else happening right now. I’m also on the board at the theatre so I get to know all the dirt behind the curtains.

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  3. @FKIProfessor – I do not know HOW ya’ll manage to do as many shows a year as you do.  Right now, we are doing very well to do our summer production each year.  We are envisioning a time when we will be doing a holiday production and a spring production, but for now we are very pleased to be doing what we do.  I’m hoping this show reaches a different segment of people than the last two shows did … it’s totally different.  (The last two shows were based on classics in literature … this is a “modern” who dunnit.)

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  4. @TXMom2Jami – We do 5 full productions per season (usually starts in August), plus Haunted Theatre and at least one children’s workshop. This year we’re doing two workshops – my wife’s play is the workshop for the older kids and it involves subject matter appropriate for that age group. For us the number of productions is a necessity to keep the lights on. We rely heavily on grants and donations and sometimes we wonder which bill to pay. We find that although straight plays are easiest to pull off, musicals do a LOT better pulling in crowds. If its something people have heard of and it is ‘clean’ we do well. In our case cycles vary. We usually do something like Dracula or Sleepy Hollow or maybe a mystery in the fall. We always do something Christmas related in Nov/Dec after the Haunted Theatre. The other three plays could be anything, but we try to mix comedy, drama, and musicals. Dramas do the worst unless its the October (Halloween) show. 

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  5. @FKIProfessor – I guess we’re under a little less pressure to “keep the lights on” … our “theater” is actually the old, remodeled auditorium of what was the Brazoria 1933 Elementary School, and the BHF (Brazoria Heritage Foundation) rents out the facility to LOTS of groups.  Last week a 30-member men’s singing group performed there, and in a couple of weeks a comedy/magic show will be performing there.  There’s a local “beauty” pageant that rents it each year for their contest.  So events like those help to bring in revenue aside from the theater guild.  The theater seats about 400 – 450 people (I can never remember).  We don’t have tons of space backstage, so that limits the kinds of shows we are able to do (we’ve actually figured out a way to have our cast members wait in a “green room” that’s off to the side, but they must exit the building and re-enter at a door just off stage … it’s a real logistics challenge!  Silence is golden during a performance!  LOL

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  6. @FKIProfessor – Well, remember … it was originally an elementary school auditorium that drew children from the surrounding areas.  The town itself has a rip-roaring population of ……….. 2,900 (approx.)  LOL  We were very pleased with our turnout the last two years.  First year, I think we ran about 150 attendees per show more or less (a total of just under 800 over the four performances).  Last summer probably around 600 or so.  Both shows had quite a few kids in them so lots of family members showed up.  🙂

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