Indulge Your “Inner Thespian” This Summer (Update1)

May 20, 2010 by  
Filed under Columnists

When alone in the house, you’ve proclaimed “Tomorrow is another day…” just like Vivian Leigh in “Gone With The Wind” or yelled out a Jack Nicholson inspired, “You can’t handle the truth!” from “A Few Good Men.” You might have belted out a song from the latest Broadway musical while in the shower, or perhaps have done a little “old soft shoe” step across the parking lot when nobody was looking.

You’ve done it and there’s no need for embarrassment.  This summer, local theater groups are offering several opportunities for you to take your secret performance fantasies and turn them into reality:

theatreTuesday, May 25th and Thursday, May 27th, 6:30-8:30pm, at Fletcher school at 1055 Cornell in Ypsilanti, the Ypsilanti Youth Theatre will be auditioning young folks ages 8-18 for its July 16-18 production of “No! No! A Million Times No!” (She Was Only The Farmer’s Daughter). The show is an old-time, turn-of-the-century, music-hall style production that will encourage audience participation.  Characters include a chorus of singing milkmaids, “wrasslin'” farm boys,  and a mustache-curling villain.  Those auditioning are encouraged to over-act, be extremely dramatic and create big, wild, characterizations.  Ypsilanti Youth Theatre charges a $40 participation fee per child with a discounted $25 fee for additional children in the same family.  Sponsorships are available.  It is the philosophy of YYT to give every child a role, some behind the scenes. The Ypsilanti Youth Theatre was formed to provide a quality theater experience for youth in the Ypsilanti area.  For more information, visit

PTD Productions is holding auditions for their Sept./Oct. production of “‘Night Mother.” This Pulitzer-Prize winning drama by Marsha Norman is a brutally honest dialogue between a mother and daughter on the evening daughter “Jessie” is contemplating suicide.  Director Amanda Grazioli is looking to cast Jessie as in her late 30’s with a “haunting quality.”  The part of Mama should be portrayed by a sturdy type in her late 50’s.  Auditions will be held at Riverside Arts Center, 76 North Huron Street, Ypsilanti, Sunday, June 20 & Monday, June 21 at 7:00 pm.  Callbacks will be by invitation Tuesday, June 22 at 7:00 pm.  For more information contact Amanda Grazioli (617) 470-1242 or email [email protected]

Dynamic Stage Productions presents “BARE”; a pop-opera, and dramatic story of five high school seniors at a Catholic boarding school. When two of the boys find joy in each others companionship, and their affair becomes public, events spin their lives out of control.  Director Jami Krause and Music Director Paul Clark are looking to fill the following roles:

JASON: Handsome golden child of St. Cecilia’s senior class. (BARITONE)

PETER: Introspective, socially awkward. Jason’s clandestine boyfriend. (TENOR)

IVY: Pretty, popular, insecure. (SOPRANO)

NADIA: Jason’s pudgy, twin sister, describes herself as “Plain-Jane-Fat-A**”. (SOPRANO)

MATT: Studious, pious, Jason’s rival. (TENOR)

LUCAS: The school’s fun-loving “bad boy”. (BARITONE & MUST BE ABLE TO RAP)

CLAIRE: Peter’s mother. (SOPRANO)

SISTER CHANTELLE: African-American nun, wise, no-nonsense. (SOPRANO / GOSPEL)

PRIEST: St. Cecilia’s headmaster. (BARITONE)

TANYA: Lucas’ girlfriend. (BACK-UP SINGER)

KYRA: African-American student,confident & smart. (BACK-UP SINGER)

DIANE: Quiet and innocent.  Not the brightest student, very naive,

RORY: Sarcastic student.

ZACK: Jock-type student.

ALAN: Nerdy student.

The show contains drug references, swearing, and adult themes. Due to the nature of the subject matter, only those 18+ may audition.

Those auditioning should prepare two contrasting songs, a 32 bar up-tempo and 16 bar ballad either from contemporary musical theater or a pop or rock song that best shows off your voice. Accompanist will be provided.  Auditions will also consist of cold readings from the script.  Auditions for “Bare” will be held in the upstairs studio at the Riverside Arts Center located at 76 N. Huron St. Ypsilanti, Sunday, June 20th and Monday, June 21st at 7:00 PM.  Registration begins at 6:30 PM. Callbacks will be Wednesday, June 23rd at 7:30 PM.  Performances August 19-22.  For more information email Jami at [email protected]

Also being held at Riverside Arts Center, auditions for Center Stage Productions’ musical, “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels” August 3 & 4.  Rehearsals will begin August 22nd with performance dates of October 28-31, 2010.  To be cast, you must be at least 18 years old.  Applicants are instructed to prepare a 16-measure song of their choice.  There will also be a cold reading from the script.   In addition to this adult theater opportunity, Center Stage is offering two youth summer drama camps Mondays through Fridays, 9am to 3pm.  Center Stage Drama Camp is a three-week adventure for actors in grades 9-12, runs July 12-30, and will be presenting “Bye Bye Birdie”.  Drama Camp Jr. is a two-week camp for actors in grades 3-8, runs August 2-13 and will presenting “Aladdin Jr.” There is a cost of $400 per camper ($450 after 6/1) for Drama Camp and $300 per camper ($350 after 7/1) for Drama Camp Jr.  Scholarships are available.  For more information visit

If calling the shots is more your style, PTD Productions has issued a “Call For Directors!” for their 2011 season.  The season will consist of four plays and run from January through December of 2011.  Submissions must be in by June 15, 2010.  To qualify directors must have prior directing experience with any company, or have been an assistant director for a PTD Production.  Visit for application process.

To make your summertime theater experience a family event, keep in mind that most theater organizations are always looking for behind the scenes volunteers.  Helping to build sets, sew costumes or design posters are just a few of the ways to get involved and support the Ypsilanti theater scene.

Update 1: 5/21/10 00:27 Corrected location of Ypsilanti Youth Theater. New location is Fletcher School. The incorrect information is still posted on the YYT website.


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