Calling All Actors: Yes, This Means YOU! Upcoming Auditions for COD Summer Repertory Theater Performances

Tessa Morton, Reporter

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“The wonderful thing about our department, and any department that has a sense of community, is that once you are in a class, or cast in a play, suddenly you know everybody’s name,” said Amelia Barrett, a professor of theater at College of DuPage (COD), “You spend so much time with them that you become part of something.”

This is one of the many benefits students participating in theater programs performances, can gain at COD. This summer new opportunities await students who want to get involved in performance. The COD theater department is hosting auditions for this summer’s repertory theater productions. Everyone is welcome to try out. The auditions will occur at the Studio Theater in the McAninch Arts Center at COD, on Saturday, April 21, from noon until 3 p.m. and on Sunday, April 22, from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m.

Barrett will direct “Goldie’s Next Big Adventure!” It is an improvisational piece that follows Goldie as she leaves the home of the three bears and embarks on her next great adventure. This play is part of a 40-year tradition of putting on improvisational works for children and families around DuPage County. Students will not only be cast to perform in the piece, but they will also participate in the writing and crafting of the story. Barrett has worked on a foundational premise and message for the story, but the script itself will be created from scratch during the rehearsal process.

Performers will take the play around DuPage schools, libraries, YMCAs and will also perform here on campus at the MAC and in a courtyard. They will set up the stage, manage their own costume and makeup requirements, perform and then interact with children in the audience. Barrett is seeking actors with excellent teamwork and listening skills, who can think on their feet and outside of the box.

“I’m casting an ensemble,” Barrett said. “And because we are making it up, we can go almost anywhere with it.”

Auditions will include participation in performance-based challenges where those auditioning can showcase their ability to work with others and to say, “Yes, and…”

The other performance students can audition for include: “The Addams Family – A New Musical.” Barrett said cast and crew for that performance must have “an enormous amount of commitment because it’s choreography and singing and the script itself.”

 

Connie Canaday Howard will direct “The Addams Family – A New Musical.” She is the director of Theater at COD. It will tell the story of the well-known, “creepy” family as they meet and dine with the “respectable” family of Wednesday’s new love interest. Auditions will involve students singing 16-32 bars of a prepared musical theater song and learning and performing a movement combination with the musical’s choreographer, Kyle Donahue. After the initial auditions, callbacks for “The Addams Family” will occur on Monday, April 23, at 7 p.m., where those selected will begin cold readings of the script.

“I would say that these are equivalent to extreme exercise, both of them,” explained Barrett. The physical work involved, along with the time commitment, is part of why participation in the production involves enrollment in Theater (THEAT) 2211, a repertory acting class that is worth three credit hours. This class can count towards an Associate in Arts degree, or as humanities credits for a general education program. Outside of the credits acquired, students have found participation to have enormous benefits.

“I’ve had so many students say, ‘This was invaluable to me as I move forward in my career,’ even if they never become actors,” said Barrett.

The theater department at COD also presents opportunities and classes for students interested in stage management, stage craft, directing, acting and improvisation.

The auditions will run from the 21st to the 23rd of April, and the planned date for posting cast lists is the 24th of April. “Goldie’s Next Big Adventure!” is scheduled to perform up to 13 shows over three weeks in the summer. “The Addams Family – A New Musical” will perform eight shows over two weeks in the summer.

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