Where(fore) art thou, Romeo…and Juliet and Tybalt and Mercutio and…

rj-logo-2

Flower power, doves and hawks, draft card burning, miniskirts, high society and counter-culture, and the Summer of Love will be the background for an upcoming production of William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet by the Teen Company of New Britain Youth Theater.

NBYT’s will hold auditions for Romeo and Juliet on Monday, February 20, and Wednesday, February 22, at NBYT’s new studio 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. Rehearsal days are scheduled for Monday, Wednesday, and some Thursday evenings.

Shakespeare’s teen tragedy about two feuding families will be performed on the grounds of the New Britain Museum of American Art on Thursday and Friday, June 22 and 23, and Sunday, June 25. An additional performance will be held on June 24 at Berlin Congregational Church. The production will be set in 1967 for the fiftieth anniversary of the “Summer of Love,” and will be inspired by the popular culture, counter-culture, and political and social turmoil of that time.

Prior to auditions, free Audition Preparation Workshops will be held on Monday and Wednesday, February 13 and 15, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. and also at 362 Main Street. Actors planning (or even considering auditioning) can attend either or both dates for audition tips and the chance to recite and receive feedback on their monologue prior to the auditions.

Auditions are open to 12 to 20 year-olds from any town, and a diverse cast with all levels of experience is sought. Those auditioning should prepare a 30 to 60-second Shakespeare monologue. Actors will also be given dialogue from the script to read at auditions. To register for auditions, call (860) 515-8115 or email auditions@nbyt.org. Those cast will be asked to pay a participation fee of $100. No one, however, will be turned away for inability to pay, so please ask about financial assistance if necessary. Teens may also call or email with interest in production and backstage positions.

* Yes, we do know that “wherefore” means “why,” but we couldn’t resist the pun!

Seeking Princes, Paupers, and one Mark Twain

pp-logoNew Britain Youth Theater will hold auditions for children ages 8 through 14 for Mark Twain’s The Prince and the Pauper. Auditions are on Monday, January 23, and Wednesday, January 25, at Holmes Elementary School at 2150 Stanley Street in New Britain (off Hartford Road (Route71) near West Farms Mall)). Audition times both days begin at 6:00 p.m. Rehearsal days are scheduled for Monday and Wednesday evenings. The production will be performed at the same location on May 5, 6 and 7.

The Prince and the Pauper, adapted by R. Rex Stephenson, is a theatrical version of the Mark Twain novel which takes place in the attic of Twain’s home. When a group of neighborhood girls and boys visit Twain, he narrates the story and passes out parts, and the children act out The Prince and the Pauper. Happening alongside this action, Twain meets with a person who he had selected to take dictation as Twain recalls the events of his life for his autobiography. The play will be directed by Rae Johnson.

Boys and girls between ages 8 and 14 are encouraged to audition. 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 and will read from the play. 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 $100. Older children age 13 and up may also call with interest in helping backstage.

In addition to the youth cast, NBYT is casting an an older teenage or adult actor for the role of Mark Twain, for which more limited rehearsal time will be required. Interested actors should email auditions@nbyt.org with a headshot and resume if available. Non-union actors only can be considered.

 

Open House at NBYT!

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!

Casting at NBYT

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!

Auditions for ELF!

LogoNBYT is kicking of its seventh season with auditions for Elf the Musical Jr, based on the film starring Will Ferrell as Buddy the elf.

The story of Elf 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 production will be directed by Darren Farrington, musically directed by Angela Klimaytis, and choreographed by Chelsea Derby. The Community Foundation of Greater New Britain is sponsor of the production.

All children and teens, ages 6 through 18, from any town and with or without prior experience, are welcome to audition. There are challenging roles for older actors, and many featured ensemble roles. Older children age 13 and up may also call with interest in helping backstage.

Auditions are on Monday and Wednesday, September 12 and 14, at Holmes Elementary School at 2150 Stanley Street in New Britain (off Hartford Road (Route 71) near West Farms Mall)). Audition times both days begin at 6:00 p.m. Actors auditioning should prepare an upbeat musical theater or holiday song and bring sheet music if possible, or they will be given a song to sing.Actors should also wear comfortable clothing and be prepared to learn a few dance steps. Rehearsals will also be on Monday and Wednesday evenings. The production will be performed at the same location on December 9, 10 and 11.

To schedule an audition, call (860) 515-8115 or email auditions@nbyt.org. Pre-scheduled auditions are preferred, but walk-ins are also welcome. Those cast will be asked to pay a participation fee of $100, but NBYT never turns away a child or family for inability to pay, and financial assistance is available.