Auditioning for musicals takes a lot of courage and diligent practice, but it is also a very rewarding experience, regardless of the result.
The musical for spring 2014 was officially announced earlier this week to be Shrek! The Musical. It features predominantly male roles, but females planning to audition should not worry, as “the ladies will have plenty of opportunities in ensembles, and since many of the characters aren’t human, there is some flexibility in gender casting,” said Ms. Ranae Bettger (Visual and Performing Arts Dept.). She encourages students who plan on auditioning to be bold and courageous.
Ms. Bettger is considering many unique ways to embrace Shrek! and to make it distinctive from other performances. She has decided to take creative liberties with make-up, costumes and lighting. For make-up, she will be hiring professionals to help the Drama Department with air brushing and prosthetics. Special effects and fire throwing will be used to emulate the fire-breathing dragon. Bettger is also considering collaborating with the Robotics Club to create an animal prop. Her interesting ideas promise an entertaining and exciting show.
While the imaginative opportunities for the musical are endless, auditions are Bettger’s main focus at the moment. The audition process is a bit lengthy and very challenging. There is a mandatory audition workshop Friday, December 6 (tomorrow) at lunch in the Little Theater (223) during which Ms. Bettger will discuss the audition schedule, rehearsal calendar and additional audition tips. Auditions begin on Monday, December 9 and will continue until Friday, December 13.
Monday, December 9: Students select and perform thirty two bars of a song from any musical (besides Shrek!) for Mr. Justin Olvey (Visual and Performing Arts Dept.) and Ms. Bettger. The students will be evaluated based on pitch, tone quality, memorization and characterization.
Tuesday, December 10: Mr. Edward Johnson (Visual and Performing Arts Dept.) will teach students two sections of choreography. The students must learn the routine and perform it the same night. Their dance will be evaluated based on memorization, professionalism and characterization.
Wednesday, December 11: Students perform a short monologue from any play or musical for Ms. Bettger and will be judged based on characterization, memorization and professionalism.
Thursday, December 12: Call backs begin. Select students will be assigned monologues from Shrek! and will be asked to create characters and movement that is memorable and specific to the given roles.
Friday, December 13: Final day of call backs and the audition process. Select students will be asked to perform dance routines, scenes and challenging songs from Shrek! in order to determine chemistry between actors.
On Saturday, December 14, the cast list will be announced and rehearsals begin on Sunday, December 15.
Participating in the musical can help students alleviate stress, make new friends and expand their experience at University High School, making the experience of being in the musical fun and worthwhile. Good luck to everyone who plans to audition!
By RYAN CORNELLIER