NBYT Classes, Homeschool and Auditions

New Britain Youth Theater continues its eighth season with January classes, homeschool programs, and auditions for children and teens. New this year is an all-inclusive class open to children and teens of all abilities.

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Classes in acting (ages 5-14) and improv (ages 10-16) begin on Saturday, January 20. Each eight-week term ends with a class performance open to family and friends. Younger children will stage Scandinavian Stories. Drama games and scenes based on tales from Norway, Sweden, and Denmark will be used to teach the basics of theatrical story telling, character development, voice, and movement. Older students will focus their study on Movement and Physical Choices in Stage Performance Skills, which will include sessions in musical theater dance and stage combat. The theater’s popular Improv class welcomes new students and challenges returning students to build new skills.

Homeschool enrichment programs begin on Tuesday, January 23, and include a new program for young actors ages 5 to 8, a performance program for ages 7 to 14, and classes in music (ages 8-16) and improv (ages 8-16). This term, the performance class will learn about and create a Vaudeville show including scenes, songs, and slapstick comedy from the popular entertainment form of the early 20th Century.

A new Stage Performance for All class begins on Monday, January 22, for ages 8 to 18 that will specifically welcome, engage, and challenge each student to their own physical, mental, sensory, and emotional abilities. The theater’s new all-inclusive programming is funded by a grant from the Community Foundation of Greater New Britain.

Classes and homeschool programs are held at NBYT’s Studio Theater space at the New Britain-Berlin YMCA Program Center at 362 Main Street in the Kensington Center of Berlin.

Also this month, NBYT is holding auditions for two upcoming productions in a season sponsored by Liberty Bank Foundation. Children ages 6 to 12 may audition for The Brothers Grimm: The Gnome, and children and teens ages 12 to 18 may audition for Peter and the Starcatcher.

The Gnome logoBased on a fairy tale by the Brothers Grimm, the story of The Gnome includes three princesses, three knights in armor, a five-headed dragon, a king and queen, a jester, and a gnome named Gnathan who causes hilarious mischief for them all! The original script features comedy styles from vaudeville to slapstick to improv, and is reminiscent of comedy legends from the Three Stooges to Monty Python. Auditions for actors ages 6 to 12 are on Monday, January 15, and Wednesday, January 17. Monday auditions will be held at NBYT’s space at the New Britain-Berlin YMCA Program Center at 362 Main Street in Berlin. Wednesday auditions will be held at Holmes Elementary School in New Britain at 2150 Stanley Street. Audition times both days begin at 6:00 p.m.

Peter squarePeter and the Starcatcher is a swashbuckling play with music, described as a “grown-up’s prequel to Peter Pan,” that tells how a nameless, angst-ridden orphan became the immortal Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up. From marauding pirates and jungle tyrants to unwilling comrades and unlikely heroes, this coming of age tale playfully explores the depths of greed and despair—and the bonds of friendship, duty, and love. Auditions for actors ages 12 to 18 are on Monday, January 22, and Wednesday, January 24, at NBYT’s space at the New Britain-Berlin YMCA Program Center at 362 Main Street in Berlin. Audition times both days begin at 6:00 p.m.

For both productions, boys and girls of all levels of experience are welcome, and auditions are open to children from any town. No audition preparation is necessary, but those auditioning will meet as a group with the directors, will participate in some introductory activities, and will be asked to take direction and read from the play. For more details and to register for a class or schedule an audition for either production, visit www.NBYT.org. Questions may be directed to info@nbyt.org or call (860) 515-8115.

Auditions for PETER AND THE STARCATCHER

Peter squareLoop the loop and up to the stars!

This spring, the NBYT Teen Company will present the Tony Award-winning play Peter and the Starcatcher. This swashbuckling play with music described as a “grown-up’s prequel to Peter Pan” tells how a nameless, angst-ridden orphan became the immortal Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up. From marauding pirates and jungle tyrants to unwilling comrades and unlikely heroes, this coming of age tale playfully explores the depths of greed and despair—and the bonds of friendship, duty, and love through the limitless possibilities of imagination. The origins of Captain Hook, Tinkerbell, the Lost Boys, and even Neverland itself are also revealed!

NBYT will hold auditions on Monday and Wednesday, January 22 and 24, at NBYT’s space at the New Britain-Berlin YMCA Program Center at 362 Main Street in Berlin. In addition to free street parking, space is available at the bank parking lot adjacent to the facility. Audition times both days begin at 6:00 p.m. Rehearsals will also be on Monday and Wednesday evenings. The production will be performed on May 18, 19, and 20 at a venue to be determined.

Actors ages 12 to 18, from any town and with or without prior experience, both singers and non-singers, are welcome to audition. Actors auditioning should expect to do a cold reading from the script and sing Happy Birthday. Throughout the show, over 100 characters are portrayed, so there are many featured and ensemble roles for both males and females. In addition to actors, the company also seeks a high school or college student interested in assisting with musical direction. Teens may also contact NBYT with interest in helping backstage. The production will be directed by Angela Klimaytis.

To schedule an audition, use NBYT’s new online registration, email auditions@nbyt.org, or call (860) 515-8115. Pre-scheduled auditions are preferred, but walk-ins are welcome. Those cast will be asked to pay a participation fee of $150, but partial financial waivers and payment scheduling are available.

 

Auditions for THE GNOME

The Gnome logoWhat do a lemon tree, a dank closet, and a five-headed dragon have in common? All three are important to the plot of The Gnome!

Based on a lesser known fairy tale by the Brothers Grimm, and adapted by the writers of NBYT’s Unlocked and Penny and the Pirates, The Gnome tells the story of three princesses, three knights in armor, a five-headed dragon, a king and queen, a jester, and a gnome named Gnathan who causes hilarious mischief for them all! The original script features comedy styles from vaudeville to slapstick to improv, and is reminiscent of comedy legends from the Three Stooges to Monty Python.

NBYT will hold auditions for The Gnome for young actors ages 6 through 12 on Monday, January 15, and Wednesday, January 17. Monday auditions will be held at NBYT’s space at the New Britain-Berlin YMCA Program Center at 362 Main Street in Berlin. Wednesday auditions will be held at Holmes Elementary School in New Britain at 2150 Stanley Street. Audition times both days begin at 6:00 p.m. Rehearsal days are scheduled for Monday and Wednesday evenings from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. The production will be performed at Holmes Elementary School on April 20, 21 and 22.

All levels of experience are welcome, and auditions are open to children from any town. No audition preparation is necessary, but those auditioning will meet as a group with the directors, will play some introductory drama games, and will be asked to take direction and read or repeat lines from the play. To schedule an audition, use NBYT’s new online registration, email auditions@nbyt.org, or call (860) 515-8115.

Pre-scheduled auditions are preferred, but walk-ins are welcome. There is no cost to audition. Those cast will register and be asked to pay a participation fee of $150 after casting, but partial financial waivers and payment scheduling are available. Older children age 13 and up may also call with interest in helping backstage.

Short Play Festival Actors Sought; Tall Actors Welcome Too

SPF 2017UPDATE: The NBYT Short Play Festival is being postponed to later this season. New audition dates will be announced when scheduled.

 

NBYT will hold auditions for its first Short Play Festival on Monday and Wednesday, September 18 and 20, at NBYT at the Berlin YMCA Program Center at 362 Main Street in Berlin. Auditions both days are at 6:00 p.m.

Rehearsals will be held on Mondays and Wednesdays, and on some Thursdays as needed. The production will be performed on November 16 through 19 at the same location.

The Short Play Festival will consist of several original short comedies and dramas submitted by young NBYT participants and by new and established playwrights from around the country and the world. Nearly five hundred plays in total were submitted, and fewer than forty will be selected for production. Actors who are cast will rehearse and perform the plays as an ensemble piece, with performers assisting backstage for those plays in which they don’t appear onstage.

Participation is open to 12 to 19 year-olds from any town, and a diverse cast is sought. Actors auditioning should prepare a 30-60 second monologue of any type. To schedule an audition, call (860) 515-8115 or email auditions@nbyt.org. Pre-scheduled auditions are preferred, but walk-ins are welcome. Those cast will be asked to pay a participation fee of $150, but partial financial waivers and payment scheduling are available.

Roles in ANNIE JR

Annie auditionsAuditions for Annie Jr are open to anyone age 6 to 18, and we need all of you to bring the orphanage, Daddy Warbucks’ mansion, and the streets of New York City to life!

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.

ANNIE is a tough, streetwise urchin who is nevertheless vulnerable when she thinks she might lose what has become most important to her: a newfound “family” who loves her. She has to be motherly in scene one, independent in scene two, overwhelmed in scenes four and five, needy in scene seven, and hopeful for the future in scenes ten and eleven. Although she is at times aggressive or crafty, the audience should never doubt Annie is a friendly and caring child; she will go to any extent to gain the love of a family to which she can belong. The actor who plays Annie must be strong vocally and musically. She also needs a good understanding of subtext so she can act appropriately during the various scenes between Warbucks and Grace, and Miss Hannigan and Grace. Physically, Annie must look young enough to play a small girl next to the actors playing the adult roles.

The Orphans—MOLLY, TESSIE, JULY, DUFFY, KATE and PEPPER—are gritty, neglected, and vulnerable, yet basically honest and lovable. The actors portraying them must be able to have mischievous fun with each other. Each actorshould be able to create and shape her own character. Children auditioning for these roles need to have vocal strength and be visually expressive. All of their blocking and movements must appear motivated and strong.

MISS HANNIGAN is definitely a “has-been.” Her distaste for her job and the children that are part of it should be obvious in every line she speaks, every song she sings and every move she makes. The actor who plays her must have an excellent sense of comic timing. The acrid delivery of her lines and the torch-like rendition of her songs must distinguish her from the other characters in the show.

GRACE FARRELL is mature, calm, cool, and “together.” She is classy and businesslike when dealing with Miss Hannigan and Warbucks, yet maternal toward Annie. The actor playing Grace can set herself apart from the other characters simply by the sophisticated way she walks. Grace should seem ready with an answer for just about anything. Each dramatic situation should seem to come “under control” the moment she glides into a scene.

ROOSTER and LILY are quite the team—”team” being the operative word, as the characters play off each other constantly. Rooster is flashy and self-assured. His “moves” should be as smooth as a gambler’s, as should be the message he sells in “Easy Street.” Lily is always distracted, although she manages to pick up on any conversation involving money. She never acts as the leader, always bringing up the rear while tripping over her own feet (for it’s difficult to walk and check your makeup in a compact at the same time). “Easy Street” is the most challenging number in the show, in terms of vocal range.

WARBUCKS may be the most challenging role for a young actor. He must appear middle-aged, self-assured and confident. At first awkwardly affectionate toward Annie, he soon finds himself completely charmed by her. He begins his transformation when he views “N.Y.C.” through Annie’s eyes and falls in love with the city again…and with her. The actor who plays Warbucks will need to be extremely focused throughout the show. His posture, walk and speech patterns are very important.

DRAKE, MRS. GREER, MRS. PUGH, CECILLE and ANNETTE—servants in the Warbucks mansion—should have their presence, posture, and speech suggest the most professional of domestic help from the moment these characters enter the acting area. Their heads are always held high and they rarely show their emotions.

Important supporting roles with lines include BUNDLES McCLOSKEY (the laundry man), the APPLE SELLER, the DOGCATCHER, LT. WARD (a policeman), the STAR TO BE, BERT HEALY (the radio personality), PRESIDENT FRANKLIN ROOSEVELT, and his assistant LOUIS HOWE.

Additional ENSEMBLE will include ORPHANS (both boys and girls), SERVANTS, NEW YORKERS, RADIO STATION STAFF, and additional ASSISTANTS to the President.

Auditions are on September 11 and 13. NBYT is also looking for teenagers to help backstage and as spotlight operators. Email auditions@nbyt.org or call 860-515-8115 with interest.