Here is the first post from Paul Holmquist, the Director of our next production, The Robber Bridegroom. Remember this production opens in February. On the Shore of the Wide World is running for four more weeks--GO SEE IT! It's great. And we are on tour for Letters Home - in Indianapolis next week. Busy, busy fall.
"The auditions for The Robber Bridegroom have come to a close and I've been fortunate to assemble quite a cast. Something my Musical Director Mark Elliott and I agreed over early on in discussing this project was that I cared less about having "pretty" voices than I did about having authentic and talented actors to play the characters. I have it all with this group and I couldn't be more thrilled.
Each show I direct (heh, all five of them now) has had a different audition focus for me: auditions for The Island of Dr. Moreau involved groups of 8 - 10 at a time for a two hour movement and vocal lab, The Constant Wife required straight on reading of sides for scenes, for The Flight of the Dodo I asked actors to sing a ditty, experiment with bird movement and perform a short group scene.
For The Robber Bridegroom I simply had them sing - sixteen bars in the style for the initial audition and selections from the score for the callback. While the audition process was going on, Mark and I were listening to their voices and watching them for infusing character into their singing. As important to me however was observing the personalities in the room. Watching the way they interacted and treated each other, watching how they asserted themselves while balancing the competitive nature of the evening graciously. The fact that they are incredibly talented singers and skilled actors felt to me to come hand in hand with being excited to work with these people for the sheer joy of sharing a creative process with them.
Part of the beauty of this play is the nature of it's storytelling, a group shared experience with the audience. From the moment the audience walks into the theatre there should be something special in the air and the fact that the entire ensemble will be onstage for almost the entirety of the 90 minute show will add to community feeling the show is meant to produce.
There are a slew of co-existent dualities in the story. Jamie Lockhart has two faces, the clean cut gentleman and the robber stained with berry juice. Rosamund is spoiled but bored and lonely. Salome wants money and gets it but can never be satisfied. Further themes contrast passion and violence, love and lust and actor and audience. We see the actors are audience as they act and as audience we participate in the performance. This dual shared role will bind us in the experience of performance - for 90 minutes we share the support of the tale and it's telling. Hence my interest in the inherent charm and grace of the actors I've cast - this concept can only be produced by a generosity of spirit."
And here they are:
Rosamund - Caroline Fourmy
Jamie Lockhart - Cameron Brune
Salome - Amanda Hartly
Clement Musgrove - Dan Loftus
Little Harp - Steve Best
Big Harp - Michael Kingston
Goat - Kyle Gibson
Goat's Mother - Darrelyn Marx
Airie (Goat's Sister) - Kate McGroarty
Ensemble/Raven - Julie Nichols
Ensemble/Narrator/Banjo - Dylan Lower
Ensemble/Violin - Hilary Holbrook
Ensemble/Salome Understudy - Katie Swimm
Ensemble/Jamie Understudy - Eric Lindahl
Ensemble/"Deeper in the Woods" soloist - Sean Dean Effinger
Ensemble/Rosamund Understudy - Jennifer Tjepkema