July is a Hot Month for Area Auditions

At the Circle Theatre

Circle Theatre is holding auditions for its Dec 2016 Holiday Production A Charlie Brown Christmas. Performances run weekends December 2-17. Auditions will be held July 5 and 6th at 7:00p.m. at the  Urban Abby at 1026 Jackson Street in the Old Market.  The production calls for actors ages 8-50 who can sing and dance. Those auditioning will be asked to bring a prepared song to sing.  Auditions are by appointment only. To schedule an audition or for more info please e-mail dashmtheatre@gmail.com

At the Chanticleer Community Theatre

  • Elf – The Musical Jr.
  • Sunday, July 10 and Monday, July 11 @ 6:00 p.m.
  • Production Dates: September 16 – 25, 2016
  • Rehearsal Dates: Looking to begin Wednesday, July 13.
  • Bring sheet music and come prepared to sing 16 measures. Accompanist provided.  Wear shoes comfortable for dancing.  May be asked to read from script.
  • Show Summary: The Chanticleer Children’s Theater presents a modern-day holiday classic that’s sure to make you embrace your “inner elf”. This hilarious fish-out-of-water comedy follows Buddy the Elf in his quest to find his true identity.
  • Contact Information: 712-323-9955 or chanticleerthater@gmail.com
  • Director and/or Production Team: Denise Putman, Director, Jerry Gray, Musical Director & Ariel Ibsen-Bauer, Choreographer
  • Location:  830 Franklin Ave in Council Bluffs, IA

 

At Bellevue Little Theatre

Be a part of a time honored tradition!  Auditions for the Bellevue Little Theater’s production of The Music Man will be held on Sunday, July 10th and Monday, July 11th at 7:00 PM.

D. Laureen Pickle is the stage director with Chris Ebke serving as music director, Kerri Jo Watts as choreographer, and Jamie Jarecki as stage manager. Sandy Thompson, assisted by Kerri Jo Watts, is serving as producer.

Numerous roles are available for youth and adult singers, actors, and dancers, ages 8-108. Please prepare 16-32 measures of music with accompaniment. No acappella, please. An accompanist will be available for auditions. Also, bring clothing and shoes appropriate for dance auditions. Finally, please be prepared to list any conflicts during the rehearsal period. We will begin rehearsing July 17th, with productions on September 16th-October 2nd. Questions? Please email the director at laureen.pickle@cox.net. or call the BLT at 402-291-1554.

The Music Man is set in the small town of River City, Iowa, and follows the adventures of Professor Harold Hill, a fast talking traveling salesman,  as he attempts to convince town members to buy instruments and uniforms for a boy’s band he ‘intends to form’. Of course Hill intends to skip town with all the money and never form the band….a scheme the local librarian, Marian, suspects.

Before the play’s end Marian has transformed Hill and the boy’s band. You will see where it winds up as the Music Man concludes with a heartwarming finale.

Location:  203 W Mission Rd in Bellevue, NE

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Auditions for Mary Poppins at Chanticleer

Auditions for Mary Poppins

Chanticleer Theatre
830 Franklin Ave
Council Bluffs, IA 51503

When: March 13 & 14 (callbacks March 15th)
Time: 7:00 pm
Production Dates: Weekends May 13-22
Rehearsals beginning on Monday, March 21st

Stage Director: Meganne Storm
Music Director: Peggy Holloway
Choreographer: Kerri Jo Richardson

Audition guidelines:
1. Bring your calendar with all possible rehearsal conflicts.
2. Please prepare one verse or chorus of a song (around 32 bars) in the style of the show. Bring music for the provided accompanist – no a cappella, please.
3. All should be prepared to learn a short dance combination – dress comfortably and bring appropriate shoes.
4. You may be asked to do cold readings from the script.

Character Descriptions:
Mary Poppins – Michael and Jane Banks’s new nanny, who is practically perfect in every way. A mezzo-soprano with strong top notes and a traditional soprano sound; precision and diction are required.
Bert – The narrator of the story, and an “everyman” jack-of-all-trades. Requires a strong song-and-dance man with a baritone range.
George Banks – The father to Jane and Michael Banks, is a banker to the very fiber of his being who demands “precision and order” in his household. Baritone.
Winifred Banks – George’s wife and Jane and Michael’s mother. Mezzo-soprano
Jane Banks – The high-spirited daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Banks. Mezzo-soprano or strong child soprano
Michael Banks – The cute and cheeky son of Mr. and Mrs. Banks. Child soprano.
Ensemble– Multi-talented team players of all ages. A wide variety of roles will come from the ensemble and there are many opportunities for solos and small speaking parts. Ensemble members must have strong voices and good musicianship and move well. We are also seeking a small corps of featured dancers comfortable with all musical theatre styles, including tap. Smaller roles include: Katie Nanna, Policeman, Miss Lark, Admiral Boom, *Mrs. Brill, *Robertson Ay, Park Keeper, **Neleus, Queen Victoria, **Bank Chairman, **Miss Smythe, **Von Hussler, **John Northbrook, *Bird Woman, **Mrs. Corry, *Miss Andrew, Annie, Fannie, **Valentine, **Teddy Bear, **Mr. Punch, **Doll, Chimney Sweeps, Toys, Parkgoers. (*denotes significant singing role; **some solo lines or featured dancer)

Please email mrhstorm@gmail.com or peggy.holloway5@gmail.com with questions

Auditions for Sweeney Todd at Chanticleer

Auditions for Sweeney Todd  at  Chanticleer Theater 
January 10th & 12 7:00 PM

Location:  830 Franklin Ave, Council Bluffs, IA

Production Dates March 11-30
Rehearsals begin Sunday, January 17

Audition Material Needed (ex: cold readings, contrasting monologues, prepared song, dance, etc.)
Please prepare 16-32 bars of a song and  bring music for the accompanist – no a cappella, please , no dance audition is required

Show Summary
One of the darkest musicals ever written, Sweeney Todd: A Musical Thriller is the unsettling tale of a Victorian-era barber who returns home to London after fifteen years of exile to take revenge on the corrupt judge who ruined his life. When revenge eludes him, Sweeney swears vengeance on the entire human race, murdering as many people as he can, while his business associate, Mrs. Lovett, bakes the bodies into meat pies and sells them to the unsuspecting public. Perhaps composer/lyricist Stephen Sondheim’s most perfect score, Sweeney Todd is lush, operatic, and full of soaring beauty, pitch-black comedy and stunning terror. It’s one of the signal achievements of the American musical theater of the last fifty years, and it’s the high water mark of Sondheim’s six remarkable collaborations with director Harold Prince.

  • Contact Information:   Please email  laureen.pickle@cox.net  with questions

    Stage & Music Director: D. Laureen Pickle
    Asst. Director: Mark Reid
    Stage Manager: Jamie Jareke

    Detailed Character Descriptions:
  • Sweeney Todd/Benjamin Barker (Bass/Baritone F2 – Gb4, 30 – 50) A man consumed by revenge after his wife is kidnapped and raped, and he is wrongly convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment.
  • Mrs. Nellie Lovett (Alto/Mezzo G3 – E5, Cockney accent, moves well, 30 – 50) An amoral, pragmatic seller of meat pies. She lusts after Todd. A very high-energy role.
  • Joanna Barker (Soprano C3 – Bb5 , 15 – 25) Benjamin Barker’s daughter, a ward of Judge Turpin. Beautiful and pure-hearted.Anthony Hope (Tenor or Bari-tenor, Ab2 – F#4, 18 -30) A good-natured, optimistic& naive young sailor.
  • Beggar Woman/Lucy Barker (Soprano or Mezzo-Soprano Ab3 – F5, 25 – 40) Barker’s wife, who he believes to be dead. Schizophrenic personality ranging from pathetic to crudely suggestive.
  • Judge Turpin (Bass/Baritone E2 – F#4, 40 – 60) A lustful, immoral, power-hungry man. Twists the law to suit himself.
  • Beadle Bamford (Tenor D3 – D5, 35 – 50) Judge Turpin’s partner in crime. “A bully with a thin veneer of gentility.”
  • Adolfo Pirelli/Danny O’Higgins (Tenor B2 – C5, 30 – 50) A charlatan who claims to be “the king of the barbers, the barber of kings.” Must be able to use both rich Italian and rough Irish dialects. A very high operatic style tenor role.
  • Tobias Ragg (Tenor or unchanged voice Bb2 – A4,  looks 13-25) Pirelli’s young, simple, and kind-hearted assistant.  Will hear both younger boys aged 12 and older, or men aged 17 and older
  • Ensemble: A wide variety of roles will come from the ensemble. Ensemble members must have strong, trained voices and good musicianship. The Ensemble is the key to success for this production, and many solo opportunities are available.

Tepid, Tiresome Tale Dooms Dracula

When Dr. Seward’s daughter, Lucy, begins exhibiting the same symptoms that preceded the death of her friend, Mina, Dr. Seward calls in his old friend, Professor Van Helsing for help.  Van Helsing suspects the work of a vampire and it is up to the two doctors and Lucy’s fiancée, Jonathan Harker, to discover the vampire and save Lucy from certain doom.  This is the plot of Dracula by Hamilton Deane and John L. Balderston, adapted from the novel by Bram Stoker and currently playing at the Chanticleer Theater.

This is, quite possibly, the dullest script I have ever seen produced on a metro area stage.  Even by the standards of the year this play was written, 1924, it isn’t scary.  It’s a sitting room melodrama and that is not suited to a gothic tale like Dracula.  Aside from the lack of scares, Deane and Balderston have done the cast and audience no favors by leaping straight into the action with no sense of build and eliminating 3 crucial characters from the story though the presence of one, Mina Murray, is felt throughout the play.  The tension is nearly non-existent and the resolution is anti-climactic.

I tip my hat to Daena Schweiger and her group of actors for a valiant effort in trying to do something with this script, but it hates them with a passion and practically defies them to do anything with it.  It truly is a pity as Ms Schweiger’s direction is of very good quality.  The show is well staged, well paced, and Ms Schweiger has guided her actors to mostly very good to excellent performances.

Andy Niess shone in the role of Renfield, Dracula’s insane servant.  Arguably the most well developed character in the play, the script still tries to hamstring the actor by making Renfield the clichéd slavering lackey.  Niess turns the tables on the script with a deep, multilayered performance.  He demonstrates great understanding of Renfield’s nature by leaping from sane to insane and back again at a moment’s notice.  Sometimes even within the same sentence.  When he laughs it is with purpose and it is sinister and scary.  When he begs to be restrained and sent away to protect Lucy, he is strangely sympathetic.  The only flaw in Niess’ performance is that he needs to commit more fully when Renfield physically attacks  others.  He was obviously holding back during those moments of violence.

Amanda Vyhnalek does remarkable work with the relatively one note character of Lucy Seward.  Ostensibly, she is the stereotypical damsel in distress and Dracula has already begun attacking her as the play opens.  Ms Vyhnalek communicates Lucy’s fear and sickliness well with a weary, fearful delivery and stooped body posture.  She truly gets her moment to shine when her vampiric nature begins to dominate her.  She is sultry and coy as she tries to pry the group’s plans for Dracula out of Jonathan.  Ms Vyhnalek’s diction is some of the best I’ve heard out of a local performer and she is also capable of a bloodcurdling scream guaranteed to send chills down one’s spine.

Mark Reid is pretty effective in the role of Professor Van Helsing.   I thought his soft spoken approach to Van Helsing worked especially well as it made the character’s intelligence and strength of will more pronounced.  This Van Helsing is clearly a step ahead of everyone else intellectually and it is that crucial step that makes one believe that he will defeat the evil Count.  Reid does need to be careful with his accent as it seemed to come and go and sometimes sounded more British than Dutch.

Adam Haverman does good work with his interpretation of Jonathan Harker.  Haverman has a nice, natural delivery style well suited to the earnest Harker.  He is brave and he is determined.  Haverman also reacts well to others.  A sterling example of this talent is his determination not to reveal the heroes’ pursuit of Count Dracula to Lucy despite his body language clearly indicating he wants nothing more than to do just that.

Alfred Salanitro is fairly solid in the role of Dr. Seward.  I liked the clinical air he brought to the psychiatrist as it made it very believable that this man would be very logical and not open to the idea of a supernatural beast hunting his daughter.  However, I did think he overused it a bit as, even after he accepted the reality of a vampire, he still seemed very clinical towards Lucy’s plight and I did not sense a great deal of concern for his daughter’s well-being.  Salanitro also needs to step up his volume.

Matthew Kelehan seems a bit out of his element in the title role.  He lacked the regal presence needed for the Count and he had difficulty with Dracula’s Romanian accent.  Kelehan’s interpretation also needs to be nuanced as it came off a bit stiff and wooden.

The technical pieces of the show were some of its strongest assets.  Particularly impressive was Michael Taylor Stewart’s set, the imposing stone edifice of Purley Sanitorium and Dave Podendorf’s sound design with its intense bass beats, creepy music, and haunting cries being the perfect support for a gothic story.

I’ve long said that bad writing will sink good acting each and every time and this particular story seems to support that belief.  The cast deserves much better than what this play gives them, but they certainly do give their all to the tale.

Dracula plays at the Chanticleer Theater through November 1.  Showtimes are Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30pm and Sundays at 2pm.  An additional 10:30pm performance will be given on October 30.  Tickets cost $20 for adults, $16 for seniors, and $10 for students.  For reservations, contact the Chanticleer at 712-323-9955.  The Chanticleer is located at 830 Franklin Ave in Council Bluffs, IA.  Dracula is a horror show and parental discretion is advised.

Classic Horror Opens at Chanticleer Theater on Oct 23

Chanticleer is proud to present Dracula based on the novel by Bram Stoker with dramatization by Hamilton Deane and John L. Balderston This adaptation is of the classic thriller that marvelously balances the menace of the horror tale with sophisticated satire. Perfect for Chanticleer, given our predilection for housing bats. Performances on Friday and Saturday nights at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday matinees at 2:00 p.m. A special additional showing will be on Friday, October 30 at 10:30 PM

The production is directed by Daena Schweiger.

Dates:  Oct 23-Nov 1

Tickets:  $20 for adults, $16 for seniors, $10 for students

The cast features:  Matthew Kelehan in the title role, Andy Niess (Renfield), Adam Haverman (Jonathan Harker), Amanda K. Vyhnalek (Lucy Seward), Alfred Salanitro (Dr. Seward), Mark Reid (Van Helsing), Geana Schneider (Miss Wells), and Michael Taylor-Stewart (Mr. Butterworth).

Dracula is presented by special arrangements with Samuel French, Inc. 235 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 1003

For more information contact the box office at 712-323-9955 or email chanticleertheater@gmail.com

Auditions for “Children of a Lesser God” at Chanticleer Theater

Children of a Lesser God
Chanticleer Theater

Audition Dates: October 25 & 26 @ 7:00 p.m. at Chanticleer

Production dates are January 8 – 17, 2016
Director – Tyler Orvis

Cast:  Includes 3 men and 4 women.
James Leeds – thirty-ish.  A speech teacher at a State School for the Deaf.
Sarah Norman – mid-twenties.  Deaf from birth
Orin Dennis – in his twenties.  Has some residual hearing; a lip reader.
Mrs. Norman – Sarah’s Mother
Mr. Franklin – anywhere from his early thirties to his mid-forties.  The Supervising Teacher at the Deaf School.
Lydia – in her late teens.  Has some residual hearing; a lip reader.
Edna Klein – thirty to forty.  A lawyer.

Story Line
After three years in the Peace Corps, James, a young speech therapist, joins the faculty of a school for the deaf, where he is to teach lip-reading. He meets Sarah, a school dropout, totally deaf from birth, and estranged both from the world of hearing and from those who would compromise to enter that world. Fluent in sign language, James tries, with little success, to help Sarah, but gradually the two fall in love and marry. At first their relationship is a happy and glowing one, as the gulf of silence between them seems to be bridged by their desire to understand each other’s needs and feelings, but discord soon develops as Sarah becomes militant for the rights of the deaf and rejects any hint that she is being patronized and pitied. In the end the chasm between the worlds of sound and silence seems almost too great to cross…but love and compassion hold the hope of reconciliation, and a deeper, fuller understanding of differences that, in the final essence, can unite as well as divide.

For information contact theater at 712-323-9955 or chanticleertheater@gmail.com.

Auditions for Dracula at Chanticleer Theater

Auditions for the second production of the Chanticleer Community Theater 2015 – 2016 season, Dracula, by Hamilton Deane and John L. Balderston, will be held on Sunday, September 13 at 6:00 p.m. and Monday, September 14 at 6:00 p.m. at Chanticleer Theater (830 Franklin Ave, Council Bluffs, IA).

Those auditioning will be asked to read from the script.  Please bring a calendar and a list of ALL conflicts from September 16 – November 1, 2015.  Cast read-thru tentatively scheduled for audition week with rehearsals beginning week of September 21.

Dracula opens October 23 and runs through November 1, 2015.  Performances are Friday and Saturday evenings and Sunday afternoons for two weekends. For this production we will be including an additional midnight performance on Halloween!

Show Summary
Lucy Seward, daughter of the physician in charge of a sanatorium near London, is mysteriously anemic. Doctor Van Helsing, a specialist in obscure diseases, suspects a vampire which, according to legend, is an ugly soul that, grave-bound by day, roams the earth at night, and sustains its earthly life by sucking the blood of approachable victims.

The Players
Dracula: A tall, mysterious man. Polished and distinguished. Continental in appearance and manner. Age 40 – 60.

Harker: A young man age 20 – 30; handsome in appearance; a typical Englishman of the Public School class, but in manner direct, explosive, incisive and excitable.

Dr. Seward: Age 50 – 65; intelligent, but a typical specialist who lives in a world of text books and patients; not a man of action or force of character.

Van Helsing: Age 50 – 65; Clearly a man of resourceful action; nervous, alert manner; an air of resolution; incisive speech, always to the point; raps his words out sharply and quickly.

Renfield: Repulsive young man age 20 – 30; repulsive; face distorted, shifty eyes, tousled hair.

Lucy Seward: Daughter of Dr. Seward; A beautiful young girl age 20 – 30; her face is unnaturally pale and she walks with difficulty; fiancée of Harker.

Maid: An attractive young girl age 20 – 30; possibly to double in non-speaking role of Mina.

Attendant: Young man of 20 – 30; Sanatorium worker for Dr. Seward.

Dracula will be directed by Daena Schweiger and is produced by special arrangement with Samuel French. For more information or to check out a script please contact the Chanticleer Community Theater at (712) 323-9955