|Cast members begin rehearsals for the musical Evita at Memorial Auditorium in June 2015 under direction of Linden Little. Little will agin direct PCT’s summer musical, Gypsy, one of three shows that comprise the 2016 season. Photo by Andra Stefanoni.|
In the world of the performing arts, only one thing is as exciting as the curtain going up on a show: Starting work on a show. And that begins with auditions.
Pittsburg Community Theatre’s 2016 season kicks off unofficially at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 19, and Wednesday, Jan. 20, with auditions for Junie B. Jones, The Musical.
The PCT season typically is comprised of three shows — spring, summer, and fall — that are proposed by individuals who want to direct and are approved by our board.
In recent years, our spring show has had a tie to literature to the benefit of area schools. To Kill a Mockingbird (2013), Grapes of Wrath (2014), and Yours, Anne (Frank) (2015), for example, introduced young audiences to theater and to two classic novels and an enduring autobiography.
This year, PHS Theatre Director and PCT board member Greg Shaw proposed Junie B. Jones, a musical based on a popular children’s series of books by the same name, for our spring production. He plans to cast teens and adults as first graders, and as Junie B.’s mom, dad, teacher, and lunch lady.
A daytime performance for schools is slated for March 24, and the usual evening performances for the public will be March 25-26.
Here’s what you should know about auditions if you’ve never been before:
Don’t be scared. PCT is a friendly group and we welcome newbies. Each one of us was a newbie once upon a time.
Dressing up isn’t necessary. In other words, directors don’t judge appearance. So wear what’s comfortable to you to learn in and perform in. If that’s something dressy, then by all means, go for it. But if it’s jeans and a sweatshirt, that’s cool, too.
When you arrive, you’ll be asked to fill out an audition form and I’ll snap a quick photo of you so we keep track of who is who, then Shaw will make introductions and welcome everyone.
You’ll be given an excerpt from the script to read, and by the end of the evening, you may have been asked to read several characters.
You also will learn a song from the show and will be asked to sing at least a bit of it. No worries — everyone has to, and everyone is supportive of one another.
Directors typically announce the cast by the end of the week. In Shaw’s case, once he wraps the PHS musical, “Shrek,” on Feb. 20, rehearsals will get under way. If he doesn’t cast you, that doesn’t mean you stink. It means he just had a specific vision for what each character would look and sound like, and you just didn’t happen to fit that vision — or someone else fit it better than you did. Don’t despair: We will welcome you back to auditions for a future show!
If you are cast, know that you will have evening rehearsals several days each week, depending on your role, how often you appear, and how many songs you’ll be part of singing. They generally start at 7 p.m. The week of the production is tech week, which means you’ll be at the auditorium each evening for dress rehearsals, media night, and then the show!
Later this season
Not interested in Junie B., or perhaps your schedule won’t allow? There are two more shows this season to consider:
Our summer show is always a big musical. The Wizard of Oz (2013), Annie (2014), and Evita (2015), for example, feature large casts and a grander scale of the technical side of theater, including sets, lighting, sound and occasional special effects. This year, Director Linden Little chose a show special to him for our 35th anniversary: Gypsy. It was the first PCT show he acted in as a youth in 1991, and it’s a theater classic.
Little is on the faculty of the Pittsburg State University Theatre Department and has been a fixture at Memorial Auditorium for more than two decades. He’ll hold auditions at 7 p.m. on May 23-24. The production will run July 28-31.
Our fall show follows no formula. Last year, we paid tribute to Frank Sinatra’s 100th birthday with a musical dinner theater. The year before, we produced Clue, an original script based on the movie by the same name. This year, we’ll produce Neil Simon’s classic hit The Odd Couple for the first time under the direction of longtime PCT actor and board member John Mazurek. He’ll hold auditions at 7 p.m. on Aug. 22-23, with the show to run Oct. 13-16.
For those who have children ages 6 through 12, mark your calendars for “Jr. Starz,” a children’s theater workshop PCT has hosted for many years. It will be held weekdays June 13-24 from 1 to 5 p.m. culminating in a free show for the public at 7 p.m. on June 24.
We’ll announce more details about each of these as they are finalized, and the best way to stay up to date as a possible cast member, crew member, or audience member is to follow us at www.facebook.com/pctinfo or at www.pctinfo.org.
On with the show!
Andra Stefanoni started out in children’s summer theater and is now a PCT board member and frequent cast member, as are her sons and husband.