The Producers - Information for Cast
This section will be updated as and when we issue updates to the members and alumni mailing lists.
Initial Rehearsal Schedule
Once we get underway, the rehearsal schedule updates will be published in a members-only area; please ensure that you have registered for access. For now we have produced a first rehearsal schedule that details when the company and principal auditions will be.
There are a few changes to the normal run of things, with in particular more rehearsal/audition slots in September. This is to enable us to have the cast in place as quickly as possible, to allow maximum rehearsal time.
At the first rehearsal the production team will be going through the show, and more importantly, detailing what will be required from the cast and in particular the principal parts (e.g. characterisation).
This year, you will need to sing a song of your choosing (no more than 3 minutes, and we might cut it if we are short on time), preferably from memory, preferably "acted" as well as sung. You will also be asked to read a nursery rhyme or a simple piece of text which you will be given on the night, in a selection of different styles for example, "Happy Birthday" in the style of Marilyn Monroe. There will be no dance audition.
There are two nights of auditions, Thursday 11th September and Monday 15th September, both starting at 7pm. We'll open booking for the slots at the first rehearsal, but if you are not able to make a particular day (for holidays, for example), please let us know now.
The principal roles will be auditioned in three sets; firstly for the five main male roles (Max, Leo, Roger, Franz, Carmen); secondly for the two female leads (Ulla, Hold-Me Touch-Me); and then finally for the minor parts and the tap-dancing girls. Preparation for the dance auditions will be held at the start of September (see rehearsal schedule). Please note, that this will include prep for Leo, Roger and Stalin and Churchill, all of whom need to be able to tap.
Here is a document outlining the characterisation that we are looking for in the main principal parts, along with a guide to vocal range, and a list of audition pieces. This document outlines the remaining characters and audition pieces. There are over 30 other parts to cast, so theres plenty to do...
If you are planning on auditioning for one of the parts, and would like to get your hands on the audition material in advance so you can commit it to memory, please contact the production team (see below for details) and we'll make arrangements to get it to you, otherwise it will be available at the first rehearsal on the 8th September.
Rehearsals will take place on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, and the usual division between chorus, dancers and principals is NOT likely to apply the more detailed timetable that will be published soon will give an idea of what is required, but please bear in mind that you may be called to attend any of the three evenings. We will try hard to minimise unnecessary waiting around, so the rehearsals will take a more fragmented approach than has been the case in recent years i.e. rehearsing parts of scenes which have the same characters in, rather than calling 12 people to do parts of one scene.
Sunday rehearsals will begin in January for the principals; the full cast will be called for the Sundays in February. Please note these rehearsals will be on Sunday AFTERNOONS (from 2pm).
We have received the draft plans for the new set for the show it looks fab with lots of complex scene changes, a grand staircase, folding filing cabinets, singing puppet pigeons, and a tilting mirror.
Flyers for the show have now been printed; tickets will be on sale via the website by September; and we will be only the third amateur production of the show in the country, the other two both being on the South Coast... so we have the potential for a fantastically large audience if we can sell it to them! Please start spreading the word get the show dates (3rd 7th March 2009) in people's diaries now.
This is a membership form for 2008/9 season. If you could complete this and bring to the first rehearsal don't forget you will need to become a member before you are permitted to audition for the company.
Books will be available from the first rehearsal, for a deposit of £25. This will be refunded when you return the book mark free.
|First rehearsal||Monday 8th September at 7.30pm|
|Company auditions||Thursday 11th and Monday 15th September 7pm (TBC)|
|5 Men:||Sunday 21st September 3pm|
|2 Women:||Wednesday 24th September 7pm (TBC)|
|Minor Parts + Tap:||Thursday 25th September 7pm (TBC)|
Pre-rehearsals - Dance
There are several key roles in the show which involve a high level of dancing, and specifically tap dancing. These are:
- Tap Girls "show-girl" style dancers, who amongst other things will emerge from filing cabinets during the "I Wanna Be A Producer" number, and be tap-dancing storm-troopers. There will be between 6 and 10 of these, and they will take the lead in all the major dance routines. They will also need to sing in harmony as well.
- Leo taps in the same number as above, and also does a "Fred and Ginger" routine with Ulla in "That Face".
- Roger taps in the "Springtime for Hitler" sequence. This takes the form of a "challenge tap" with Stalin and Churchill (below), and he wins.
- Stalin & Churchill as above, take part in the "challenge tap" with Roger, and lose.
- Ulla sambas in "If you got it, flaunt it" and also does a "Fred and Ginger" routine with Leo in "That Face". She also leads the dance in the "Prisoners of Love" number, and is a key dancer in the "Springtime for Hitler" number.
- Franz leads the Bavarian dance in "The Guten Tag Hop Clop", which Max and Leo mimic.
There are also a (large) number of (large) company numbers, so everyone will (have to) dance. Though maybe not quite as many routines as last year. But more props.
As you can see, there is a lot of tapping required. There will be one tap prep session before the principal auditions (Leo and Roger), and one further one before the minor parts and tap girls audition (everyone else). The audition piece will be set at both sessions everyone can attend both.
We recognise that not everyone learns tap dancing from age 3, so Rachael will be running a couple of preliminary sessions on the following dates. These sessions are aimed at those who are intending to audition for one of the parts requiring tap above, however, please note that these sessions will be focussed on basic tap steps. Therefore, if you are a competent tapper already these sessions will NOT be of benefit to you, so please make the most of your holidays. Rachael would strongly advise anyone planning to audition for Leo, Roger, Stalin or Churchill to attend these sessions.
The dates are: Wednesday 20th and 27th August, at 7.30pm. The venue will be confirmed closer to the date, but will NOT be the usual United Reform Church, Forester Street, Netherfield - there's building work going on.
What to wear: tap shoes, if you have them. If not, a good pair of shoes with leather soles and heels. (You don't need to buy tap shoes just yet).
Please reply let Rachael know if you plan to attend, so that we have some idea of numbers.
Pre-rehearsals - Singing
Chris will be running free 1 to 1 sessions again this year to help prepare everyone for the company auditions. These will be informal sessions of about 45 minutes, on a first come first served basis. We will go through your audition song, and discuss how best to present it. This time the venue will be Chris & Rachael's house near Nottingham City Hospital we'll provide the details when you sign up!
Don't worry if you don't know what you are going to sing for your audition we can find a piece for you at the session.
Please contact Chris to book a time slot. These are available at 7, 7.45, 8.30 and 9.15pm on each Thursday in August (7th, 14th, 21st, 28th) and the 4th September. If there is more demand, we will try to fit you in on extra days.
During this session you can also go through any of the principal audition pieces, if you wish to.
There are six main characters, 5 men and 1 woman.
The 2 leads must be good singers and very good actors, possess very good comic timing, and be able to do slapstick comedy. Leo, a baritone, must be able to tap dance. Physically the script implies a Laurel & Hardy style contrast between the two, and Max, also a baritone, must be older than Leo. Franz, Roger and Carmen must also be very strong actors and singers, with good movement. Franz also does slapstick, and Roger must be prepared to wear a dress...
Ulla, the only female lead, must dance and sing, and have a convincing Swedish accent.
For the chorus, there are a lot of dances, with varying styles. The girls will have tap numbers, show girls (a la follies), and a Zimmer-frame routine; the guys have the storm troopers, accountants (desks and typewriters, again) the Hitler auditions, and another scene (think YMCA). The whole chorus then has the opening number, several crossovers, and a Fiddler-esque routine. There are 13 numbers with dancing or chorus singing (most dancing).
You can read the synopsis of the show here.
The original Broadway Cast Recording (not the film soundtrack) is the closest you'll find to the show we are doing. The recent movie version (Nathan Lane, Matthew Broderick and Uma Thurman) is a very good representation of the stage show a few scenes and numbers have been shortened or cut, and obviously a film set allows for more realism, but structurally it is very close to the show and also very funny to watch.
This year your production team is
- Director Sarah Warnsby
- Musical Director Chris Rees
- Choreographer Rachael Rees
You can contact us using the address productionteam at carltonoperatic.com. Please don't hesitate to ask any questions you might have about the show, your involvement in it, the audition format, or anything (as long as it relates to the show!) We are here to help, and make the season a fun and enjoyable one again this year.