By Eleanor Crowder
What are the joys of being in a musical? Songs you’ve known forever thrumming through your body, the plot coming alive in GNAG’s Main Hall and iconic moments played for your family and friends – joining the large team needed to stage The Wizard of Oz brings you the sheer bubbly delight of being live in front of an audience.
Maybe you have done this before. Maybe this will be a first experience. The GNAG Theatre team encourages you to audition for the musical to be performed next April!
Share the pleasure of Tuesday night rehearsals with songs to learn, choreo to master, characters to develop. Fall rehearsals focus on learning the music and your part. Music director Lauren Saindon will guide each actor through the melodies, adding harmonies as singers are ready, offering new stretches for your voice and maybe even coloratura heights you have been aching to reach. Lauren brings her rich experience to the job. As associate music director for the US national tour of Mamma Mia, she toured across North America. A performer herself, she toured Japan with Disney, singing with the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra.
After Christmas, we add Wednesday night rehearsals to “block” the show. Actors learn maps of movement and put dialogue and songs in place on the set. Two Sunday afternoon rehearsals start to put the show on its feet. Our unique central staging offers all sorts of fun possibilities. Learning to play to an audience on three sides is just the first step.
I will direct this year’s musical adventure as I have for 20 years of GNAG shows. You may know my work from Shakespeare in the Park with Bear & Co. (sword fights and fire-dancers!) or, most recently, from my solo performance onstage at The Gladstone when I brought Shakespeare’s Will, by Vern Thiessen, to Ottawa. I love working with the range and size of our casts at GNAG.
Lauren Kirk will wrangle the team as stage manager, working with our professionals and volunteers and with our costume, sound and light designers, keeping rehearsals organized and steering us to “show ready”.
And what a week in April that is! Just when winter seems like it may go on forever, Scotton Hall erupts in music and dance as we tell the classic story of The Wizard of Oz.
To book an audition, go to gnag.ca and click on the “Wizard of Oz Auditions” button.
Principal roles will be asked to post a two-minute video to introduce themselves before an audition on September 8. Chorus roles are invited to audition in groups on September 7. Callbacks will take place September 13 to match you to a part in this year’s musical!
Eleanor Crowder has directed musicals and large casts for GNAG Theatre for 20 seasons. Maybe you also caught her solo show in May onstage at The Gladstone as she brought Shakespeare’s Will, by Vern Thiessen, to Ottawa.