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Wednesday, 14 September 2011 16:03

Little Theatre still gets big response to audition calls

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By Jessi Gowan — This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Swift Current Little Theatre held auditions this week for its fall production of Wendy Lockman’s What Hides Beneath Your Muu-muu?

“We had a lot of veteran people show up for auditions on Sunday, with one new girl looking for a backstage position,” explained Ken Johnson, who will be directing the upcoming production. He has been involved with Swift Current Little Theatre for nearly 20 years.

While there are a number of parts available for the production, Johnson noted many of the roles are bit parts that could be played by one person, or several, depending on how much interest there is from the community. Mainly, they are looking to fill four male parts, and three female parts.

“We have been fortunate, recently, to have as many as half a dozen new people show up,” noted Johnson. “We will work with whomever comes out and wants to participate. Sometimes, we have a situation where people show up who haven’t had any experience in theatre, and with small parts you can take a chance on people like that.”

He explained it is different with larger roles, where they prefer to cast people who have been involved with theatre in the past. Occasionally, they will place newcomers in positions with less responsibility, to see if that individual is dependable enough to take on a more major role.

“When I first started with Swift Current Little Theatre, we would cast anywhere from nine to 11 people for a production,” said Johnson. “It was really easy to get into the group. Now, it’s much more limited, unless we are working on a larger production. We try to stay at about six or seven in a cast, but it really depends on what the director picks for a script.”

The current production is by Wendy Lockman and has been performed only twice in Saskatchewan. The story follows a record store employee who accompanies an aging musician on a trip to Las Vegas to inspire him to write a comeback album. In addition to looking for actors to fill the available roles, Johnson is also hoping to recruit a few more volunteers to work behind the scenes.

“We are always looking for people to run sound and lights, work on costumes and props, help out in the green room, or prompters,” he said. “We can never get enough help.”

Recently, Swift Current Little Theatre won a technical merit award for their behind the scenes work, and were runner-ups for best actor and actress at TheatreFest 2011 in Regina. The group has managed to stay active and competitive in the theatre community, and has even been able to upgrade its equipment. Last year, they had to spend more than $50,000 to renovate, and upgrade the lighting system. Support from the community has been invaluable to Little Theatre.

“Participation really comes and goes in cycles,” explained Johnson. “It’s always good that we have a consistent audience, between 800 to 1,300 people for our productions. It’s nice to see that kind of support from the community.”

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