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Open House at NBYT!

September 7, 2016

Stage PerformanceOn Saturday, September 10, NBYT will have an open house for anyone who’d like to visit, ask questions, or register in person for classes or other programs coming up this fall! Hours will be 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

NBYT’s Executive and Artistic Director will be at the theater’s space at the YMCA at 50 High Street for the three hours. Questions and registrations can be for NBYT’s Saturday classes in acting, dance and improv (starting on September 17), homeschool classes (starting on September 13), or auditions for Elf the Musical Jr (on September 13 and 14).

Come by and say hi! We’ll have drinks and snacks available too!

Santa Wanted: Auditions for Elf the Musical

September 7, 2016

santaFor our holiday production of Elf the Musical Jr, we’ve decided to cast an adult actor as Santa Claus!

The story of Elf , based on the film starring Will Ferrell, follows Buddy, a human who grew up thinking he was an elf, on his adventure from the North Pole to New York City to find his family and help them remember the true meaning of Christmas! (The “junior” version of the musical is slightly adapted for young actors and audience.)

The role of Santa is in two scenes only, but one scene includes a song. Rehearsals will be on Monday and Wednesday evenings from 6-8 pm at Holmes Elementary School at 2150 Stanley Street in New Britain (off Hartford Road (Route 71) near West Farms Mall)). For the first several weeks, rehearsal time for Santa will likely be limited. The production will be performed at the same location on December 9, 10 and 11.

To schedule an audition or ask further questions, please email auditions@nbyt.org. Resumes and headshots may be attached if available.Non-union actors only can be considered, and the role is non-paying. Auditions will be scheduled by appointment. Actors auditioning should prepare an upbeat musical theater song and bring sheet music for the musical director.

Children and teens ages 6 through 18 will play all other roles, and audition details are posted here.

Casting at NBYT

September 7, 2016

With auditions for Elf the Musical Jr coming in less than a week, we’d like to let actors and parents know some of the factors that we do and don’t take into consideration when we’re casting a show.

Whenever possible, we try to cast every child who auditions. (The exceptions have been when an overwhelming number of children come to auditions, and when an actor’s conflicts would mean missing too many rehearsals.) The auditions then are used to determine which actor will get which role. Here’s a closer look at what we consider as we’re casting.

First, things that don’t matter are:

  • previous roles with NBYT or anywhere else
  • professional credits
  • donating to or volunteering for NBYT
  • actors’ “type,” looks and age (although we’ll get back to this one)

All of this goes to say that anyone can audition for and be cast in almost any role.

Things that do matter are:

  • the audition (both preparedness and cold readings from the script)
  • commitment, attendance, and behavior in prior programs (which is the only time we consider prior programs)
  • availability and conflicts (unfortunately, a large number of conflicts with rehearsal days will affect the role that we can offer)
  • how the actors fit as an ensemble (often, an actor may be right for more than one role, and the determining factor is how everyone fits into roles as a whole)
  • actors “type,” looks and age—sometimes a certain role just requires an actor of a certain type or age range to tell the story correctly, and that’s the only time that we’ll consider these things

At NBYT, we’re always willing to give feedback on an audition—although we won’t discuss individual casting or other actors’ auditions of course. Remember too to not measure a role by the number of lines or time on stage. In some shows , some lead roles—even title characters—have few or no spoken lines. (Our “Frosty the Snowman” didn’t speak; the “Wizard of Oz” himself is in only a few scenes.) Some professional actors have been awarded for roles that are only a few minutes on stage or screen. Whatever your role, do your best, be an important part of the ensemble, and have fun!

Beauty and the Beast

September 1, 2016

With summer nearly gone, we’re finally getting the last of our summer photos posted! Here are a just a few of the photos taken from our summer musical, Beauty and the Beast Jr. Photos are by Danielle Schnaufer, Ralph Sherman, and Darren Farrington. Thanks also to all of the staff and parent volunteers who helped to make this such an “enchanted” production! (Look back to also see summer photos from Our Town and our Enchanted Tea Party.)

Our next production, Elf Jr for ages 6 through 18, has auditions on September 12 and 14.

 

 

Teaching Assistant and Volunteer Positions

August 24, 2016

NBYT seeks resumes from Teaching Assistants for homeschool enrichment and after-school theater programs in New Britain for the 2016-17 school year. Assistants will assist with warm-ups, instruction, rehearsals, and other planned activities; will support “share day” performances; and will help to supervise program participants. Assistants should be available on Tuesdays mornings and/or Mondays and Wednesdays after school. Background checks will be required. Hourly salary is dependent upon experience.

NBYT also seeks Teen Volunteers, ages 14 to 18, to assist on productions and in educational programs on Tuesdays and/or Saturday mornings. Volunteers will assist with warm-ups, instruction, rehearsals, and other activities; will assist with performances as required; and will assist Directors, Stage Managers, Teaching Artists, and other adult staff in supervising younger program participants. Although these are unpaid volunteer positions, volunteers will gain valuable experience and—because NBYT is a nonprofit organization—may be able to receive community service credit hours from schools or other organizations requiring volunteerism.

All applicants must be reliable team players and be responsible for their own transportation.

To apply, please send an email to Executive Director Darren Farrington by email to jobs@nbyt.org. No phone inquiries please.

About New Britain Youth Theater

Founded in 2010, New Britain Youth Theater is a professionally-run community and educational theater for children and teens in Connecticut. NBYT provides educational programming to schools in and around New Britain, produces a season of performances by and for children and young adults, and offers drama classes, individual coaching and lessons, and summer programs. The theater reaches children and their families in Greater New Britain, Greater Hartford, the Farmington Valley, and throughout Connecticut. NBYT programs include “Kids on Stage!” and “Little Kids on Stage!” productions, the NBYT Teen Company, Stage Performance classes, in-school and after-school arts-integrated and arts-enrichment programming, community outreach programs, and more. NBYT is dedicated to enriching the lives of children and young adults by encouraging creative thinking and collaborative teamwork, fostering self-confidence and self-esteem, and developing social and academic skills through involvement in high-quality, low-cost programs in the performing arts. NBYT operates its programs in schools and community spaces throughout Greater New Britain. NBYT is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

Roles in ELF THE MUSICAL!

August 22, 2016

LogoAuditions for Elf the Musical Jr are open to anyone age 6 to 18, and we need all of you to make this a “sparklejollytwinklejingley” show!

Roles to be cast are listed below (thanks to MTI, the show’s licencing agency). More details about the show and music are on the MTI website too. Roles are listed in approximate order of appearance in the show.

Santa Claus has a lot on his plate during the Christmas season, and it is starting to show. He is annoyed with the Elves, tired of lying to Buddy and sad that people seem to be losing their Christmas spirit. He is still the same jolly old St. Nick underneath it all, but the job is getting to him. This is a great role for a character performer who can play an older (and somewhat cranky) man while trying hard to keep his holiday spirit.

The Elves are Santa’s special helpers who love their job making toys to meet their Christmas Eve deadline. The Elf Ensemble will open the show with a big song and dance number!

Buddy is the perfect elf! He’s good-natured, he means well, and he’s “happy all the time.” There’s only one problem. He’s not an elf; he’s an adult human. This role is perfect for a young man who is an excellent actor and good singer who has the energetic earnestness and comedic timing that Buddy needs.

Charlie is in charge of monitoring the other Elves, making sure every present is wrapped and every bow is tied. This is a role for a young performer with a good speaking voice, someone who is comfortable taking command of the stage and has authority over the rest of the Elves, but always remains friendly.

Shawanda is a dependable and caring elf. She will do whatever she can to help out others, including Buddy, even though she accidentally reveals that he is a human. This is a role for a good actor with a clear speaking voice for this very important moment in the story.

Sam is one of Walter’s Office Staff who is in a bind at the top of the show. A young performer with a good speaking voice and strong character choices will do the trick.

Walter Hobbs, Buddy’s real father, is so focused on keeping his job that he is not making time for his family. He can be stern and unemotional at times, but ultimately he learns to recommit to his family. This is a role for a great actor with a strong, authoritative presence, but who can also show his softer side.

Deb, Walter’s secretary, has the big responsibility of keeping her boss and the whole office happy. She does this by sharing her positive attitude with everyone. This is a plum role for a young woman with a pleasant demeanor, yet efficient work ethic, who is a solid comedic actor with a good speaking voice.

Emily Hobbs is Walter’s devoted wife who would prefer her husband to spend a little more time at home. She is a problem solver and an excellent mother who is doing everything she can to provide a positive family dynamic. This is a role for an excellent actress and singer who effortlessly conveys a sense of maturity and warmth.

Michael Hobbs is the smarter-than-average son of Walter and Emily. He quickly befriends his new adult brother, Buddy, and does everything he can to make sure Buddy becomes a permanent part of the family.

The Security Guards are a stern duo from Walter’s office, making sure everyone who enters has permission. These are roles for a duo that works well together and fits the bill for a tough pair. They’ll also join a song and dance number held in the office.

The Saleswoman is the first person to greet Buddy as he enters Macy’s. She’s the consummate sales person: smiling, overfriendly, and always trying to sell something. This is a great ensemble role for a young woman with some stage experience. She’ll also take part in the showstopping Macy’s song and dance number!

The Manager is a terrific featured acting role for a performer with good comedic timing. As the manager of Macy’s, she’s doing everything she can to make sure all the employees stay in line. She’ll also join in the Macy’s showstopper, and has an important scene with Buddy later in the show.

Jovie works as a store elf at Macy’s, but don’t be mistaken: she doesn’t quite exude the Christmas spirit. She’s kind of cynical, a bit tough around the edges, and now the target of Buddy’s complete adoration. This is a fantastic role for a young woman with a strong singing voice and acting chops.

Santa’s Helper works as a Macy’s employee and announces when each kid gets to visit with Santa. This is a good ensemble role for a comedic performer with a loud voice. Santa’s Helper also joins the Macy’s showstopping number.

Fake Santa is a poor replacement for the real Santa. He’s an employee of Macy’s who is a bit rough around the edges. Fake Santa should be played by a performer who is unafraid of being a little over-the-top and has good physical control of his body.

Police Officers are a friendly pair of cops who return Buddy to the Hobbs household. These are perfect featured roles for two ensemble members.

Sarah is a staff member at Walter’s office. This is a nice role for an actor with a good singing voice. She is part of the song and dance number held in the office.

Mr. Greenway is one of the crankiest businessmen around. He is the big boss, so this is a fun role for a strong actor with a commanding presence.

Chadwick and Matthews are staff members at Walter’s office who are doing everything they can think of to save the day and make their boss happy. These are roles for a pair of good character actors who work well with each other and are able to drive the action of scenes.

Charlotte Dennon is a TV reporter with a big personality. She does her best to keep her professional persona in public and doesn’t like being shown up. This is a great role for a young woman with professional charisma and someone who can make strong acting choices.

Darlene Lambert and Emma Van Brocklin are on the scene in Central Park and are convinced of Santa’s magic after Buddy reveals their past Christmas gifts. These are roles for two actors with nice singing voices and some acting experience to take on these small, but featured, roles.

The Ensemble includes New Yorkers, Macy’s Employees, shoppers, and some Rockefeller Center and Central Park scene-setters. A few ensemble members will have featured singing lines.

Auditions are on September 12 and 14. NBYT is also looking for teenagers to help backstage and as spotlight operators. Email auditions@nbyt.org or call 860-515-8115 with interest.

Photos from a Summer Tea

August 19, 2016

We’re still catching up on posting photos from our performances and events this summer! (See photos from the Teen Company production of Our Town here.) Back in July, NBYT hosted an Enchanted Tea Party just before our summer production of Beauty and the Beast.

Guests at the Tea Party—over forty children and parents attended—enjoyed tea and other beverages, sandwiches, and desserts. Many of them came for the other fun—meeting Belle, Lumiere, Cogsworth, Gaston, and other cast members from Beauty and the Beast. Children sang along with the cast, and director Brooke Ferguson read the “tale as old time.”

Thanks to all of the staff and volunteers to helped to make this enchanted event happen, especially to Board members Laurine Lynch and Lisa Rathbun.

This is also good time to remind everyone that New Britain Youth Theater offers Birthday Parties! You can book our space for an event, and you can even have NBYT staff lead the entertainment! Contact us for scheduling, pricing, and details.