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Auditions

You: I am not throwing away my shot.

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Ragtime

May 8th and 9th, 2017

Monday, May 8 and Tuesday, May 9
6 p.m. - children auditioning for Little Girl and Little Boy
7 pm - all others
Callbacks: Wednesday, May 10 at 7 p.m.

Show Dates:
July 28 to August 20
Friday and Saturday evenings, Sunday matinee

Director: Marty Bussert
Choreographer: Dana Margulies Cauthen
Music Director: Betsy Forrest

Please prepare 32 measures (approximately 1-2 minutes) of music from a Broadway musical. Please bring sheet music to the audition; an accompanist will be provided. The song does not have to be from the show, but it should show off your voice in the best possible way. After singing auditions, there will be a movement audition (fear not, not everyone has to dance in this show). But we would like to see your ability to move onstage. Please wear appropriate footwear (no sandals or crocs).

At callbacks, we will do readings from the script, and there will be some singing from the show. Music will be provided.

Synopsis

Based on the novel of the same name by E.L. Doctorow, Ahren’s and Flaherty’s Ragtime is a compelling epic capturing the American experience at the turn of the 20th century. Tracking three diverse families in pursuit of the American dream in the volatile “melting pot” of turn-of-the-century New York, Ragtime confronts the dialectic contradictions inherent in American reality: experiences of wealth and poverty, freedom and prejudice, hope and despair. Over the course of the show, the worlds of a wealthy white couple, a Jewish immigrant father and his motherless daughter, and an African American ragtime musician intertwine. Together, they discover the surprising interconnections of the human heart, the limitations of justice and the unsettling consequences when dreams are permanently deferred. Featuring many of the historical figures that built and shaped turn-of-the-century America, including J.P. Morgan, Emma Goldman, Harry Houdini, Evelyn Nesbit and Henry Ford, this musical sweeps across the diversity of the American experience to create a stirring show that captures the beats of the American experience: the marches, the cakewalks and - of course, the ragtime.

Cast

Coalhouse Walker Jr. (look should be low to mid-30’s, powerful rich baritone with strong high notes. Low Ab to high A): The actor who seeks this role must exhibit polish, charisma, intelligence, and strength. Coalhouse is truly the driving engine behind the show. He reflects the unbridled rage experienced by vast numbers of African Americans at the hands of an oft unjust society.
Sarah (Look should be 18 – 25, alto): She’s got to be quite an amazing young woman. Sarah is uniquely strong-willed for her age and race in this time period. The actor who seeks to play this role must embody that of an innocent. She is young, passionately idealistic, naive, and beautiful. I want to see this character come alive.

Mother (look should be 25 – 35, mezzo-soprano with a strong belt): Mother is a remarkable character. She very much represents the changing ideals and cultural norms at-play within the country during this era. The actor who seeks to take this role will display quiet strength. Mother is a reserved woman, and is the epitome of elegance and social conditioning. She should reflect polish and formality, but not suggest a sense of being elitist or unapproachable. She displays warmth, kindness and grace.

Father (Look should be 30 – 45 years old, baritone with good high notes, low A to high F): He makes the decision to go off to explore the North Pole, leaving his family behind. Upon his return he tries, unsuccessfully, to reconnect with the world he left behind before his journey. He should be played as a sympathetic, albeit somewhat short-sighted person.
Younger Brother (Look should be 20 – 30, baritone): Younger Brother is a bit of a lost soul. He is quite intelligent, very idealistic and very gifted in his trade, but lacks direction and focus. He needs to be identifiable with his social standing, and played somewhat reserved and awkwardly.

Tateh (Look should be 30 – 40, tenor): Father to the Little Girl, Tateh is a wonderful character. He displays the struggles of the newly arrived to this country during the turn of the century. He progresses from naive optimism, to misery in the face of stark poverty, to a rise and rebound of absolute success as a pioneer in the early days of the motion picture industry.
The actor who seeks this role must convey the undeniable sense of showmanship
and charisma.

Emma Goldman (Look should be mid to upper 30’s to low 40’s, alto): A fascinating firebrand, Goldman must be played as a tremendously passionate human being. She must speak with the vigorous enthusiasm and influence that would command the masses to take action. A staunch anarchist, she must present a commanding presence.
Booker T. Washington (Look should be mid to late 40’s, baritone): One of the story's historical figures come to life. He must speak with great conviction and authority. He must be convincing.

Evelyn Nesbit (Look should be 18 – 25 years old, mezzo-soprano): She is the iconic sex symbol in America during the time in which the story is set. Evelyn was a remarkably sharp young woman. Yes, she must portray the outward appearance of clichéd mindless beauty, but I also want to see the truth of her personality revealed.

Grandfather (Look should be 50 – 65, baritone): He’s really written as very simple, clichéd. Grandfather is a crotchety old man. He is thoroughly irritated by everything. However, he has some of the best one-liners in the show.

Little Boy (Look should be 7 – 10, tenor): The young, inquisitive, slightly unique son in our story's core family. He's intelligent, has sharp diction, is creative, and somewhat clairvoyant. Must have a solid sense of comedic timing for the delivery of some wonderful one-liners.

Little Girl (Look should be 8 – 12, soprano): Tateh’s daughter is a young Eastern European immigrant. She is quiet and reserved, but not shy. She is intelligent and raised by her father to be a cautious participant in a world of struggles.

Henry Ford (Look should be 35 – 45, tenor): One of the best character descriptions of Ford describes him as "folksy. Full of himself." He is an innovator. His passion for his business is felt and reflected in every waking second of his life. I want to see this reflected in his stage time.
Show me the energy and enthusiasm this man embodied.

Houdini (Look should be 20’s to early 30’s, baritone): He’s a magician who gains worldwide
notoriety for his feats as an escapist. In the show he embodies the story of an immigrant's success in America.
J.P. Morgan (Look should be 60 – 65, baritone): He is a shrewd financier; however, he is oblivious to the plight of the common man.
Willie Conklin (Look should be 25 – 40, tenor): Conklin is the spark that ignites Coalhouse’s mini-revolution. He is the very epitome of racial intolerance. His lack of intelligence and utterly palpable displays of racial superiority echo the deep divisions that existed between
the various races, creeds, and ethnicities within the country both at the time of the show and nowadays. I want the actor who seeks this role to be brash, brazen, abrasive, offensive, and just plain ugly. He’s not really a guy with whom anyone can empathize. A rare character indeed!
Ensemble Roles: These roles will be cast out of the ensemble. People can have
multiple roles depending on the size of the ensemble

Sarah’s Friend (F)
Conductor (M)
Policeman (M)
Admiral Perry (M)
Houdini’s Mother (F)
Coalhouse Follower (M)
Harlem Man (M)
Harlem Woman (W)
Kathleen (F)
Fireman (M)
Bridget (F)
Henson (M)
Man (M)
Town Hall Bureaucrat (M)
Welfare Official (M)
Baron’s Assistant (M/F)
Coalhouse Follower #1 (M)
Coalhouse Follower #2 (M)
Coalhouse Follower #3 (M)
Second Bureaucrat (M)
Stanford White (M)
Judge (M)
Fan 1 (M)
Fan 2 (M)
Fan 3 (M)
Fan 4 (M)
Solo Woman (F)
Clerk (M)
Coalhouse Follower #4 (M)
Doctor (M)
Henry K. Thaw (M)
Mrs. Whitstein (F)
Newsboy #1 (M/F)
Newsboy #3 (M/F)
Newsboy #3 (M/F)
Newsboy #4 (M/F)
White Attorney (M)
Jury Foreman (M)
Various Chorus Groups

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Note: the audition form is set up for Sun/Mon auditions. Ragtime is Monday May 8 and Tuesday May 9.

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General Info

Audtioning at Peninsula Community Theatre

Generally, Auditions are held for each show during the run of the previous show. They are held on stage at our Theatre at 10251 Warwick Blvd. Newport News, Virginia, usually on Sunday and Monday evening. You only need attend one of the two audition dates. Different shows will have different call-back requirements, usually completed in the week following the audition.
Audition forms will be available at the theatre, but you can print and fill-in the form ahead of time as well.

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Note: the audition form is set up for Sun/Mon auditions. Ragtime is Monday May 8 and Tuesday May 9.

Peninsula Community Theatre

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