Archive for Wednesday, January 2, 2002

Auditions set for ‘West Side Story’

January 2, 2002

Voices will have to be warmed up a little earlier this year.

Auditions begin Saturday, a couple months earlier than they usually are, for the Baldwin City Theatre annual summer production, sponsored by CLEAR, Baldwin's theater and fine arts education organization.

But there's a good reason for the early auditions, said Kathy Davis, executive director of CLEAR.

This year Baldwin City Theatre is tackling "West Side Story," a musical adaptation of William Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet" where a Puerto Rican girl and an American boy fall in love amidst fighting street gangs. It features the music of Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim.

"West Side Story" is a production that will take a lot of work and a large cast, Davis said.

"This is a show that once you commit to it, you're married to it," she said. "It's that kind of commitment."

Auditions are 2 p.m. Saturday and Jan. 12 at the Baldwin Junior High School. Call backs are 2 to 6 p.m. Jan. 13. Show dates are June 20-24 and June 27-30.

Davis said 15 to 30 men and women ages 14 to 30 years old are needed as well as four men and one woman ages 30 to 60 years old.

Those auditioning must come prepared with a two-minute monologue and be able to sing a selection of songs from "West Side Story."

Davis said there are ways to prepare if people are not familiar with the musical.

"They need to rent the movie," she said. "Or find somebody that has the album or sheet music."

Because the musical features a number of dance routines, she said auditions will also include some time with a choreographer. While dance experience would be helpful, she said choreographers would work on the dance routines with those chosen.

Davis said she is excited to be working on the musical and she has heard other people are as well.

People from surrounding communities including Olathe, Ottawa, Lawrence, Wellsville and Paola have auditioned for and been in past productions, but she said she knows there is a lot of talent in the area.

"I am amazed at the talent Baldwin City has within its own little perimeter," she said, "but it's getting them to recognize it."

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