Newnan theater seeking talent for slate of shows

By Joan Doggrell
Special to The Citizen

NCTC is offering auditions for three new shows. “All experience levels are welcome,” said Artistic Director Paul Conroy. “If you think you’d like to be in a show, you should just take the chance and audition. You might win a part in a chorus or even a lead role.”

“We have a talented group of regular performers,” added Conroy. “At the same time, we’re always looking for new faces. It’s good to have as wide a pool as possible to cast your net.”

Auditions for the four characters in Edward Albee's “Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” will be held Tuesday, January 3, and Wednesday, January 4, at 7 p.m. in the Black Box. Performances are scheduled for February 16 - 26, 2012. Paul Conroy is directing this classic, mature drama. “We’re asking people to come to auditions prepared with a monologue from another Albee play,” said Conroy. “Albee is so distinct in his style that I really want to hear what people can do with his work.”
Auditions for “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, will be held Sunday, January 8, and Monday, January 9, at 7 p.m. on the Main Stage. Performance dates are March 15 - 25, 2012. Lamar Payne is directing this family-friendly musical along with Becky Clark, musical director, and Rachel Shaw, choreographer. There are multiple roles for all ages, including children who will sing and listen to a narrator telling the Bible story.

NCTC's improv comedy group NITWITS, led by Robbie Kirkland, is auditioning new talent on Saturday, January 7, at 3 pm on the Main Stage. The NITWITS are looking to add five men and five women of all types, ages eighteen and older. Shows will begin in February. “This is the show for people who’d like to get up and think on their feet,” said Conroy.

In staging “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf,” NCTC is celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of the original production, which opened on Broadway at the Billy Rose Theater on October 13, 1962. Author Edward Albee has been writing plays since the late ‘fifties and is still writing them. He has won a long list of awards, including Pulitzer Prizes for “A Delicate Balance,” Seascape” and “Three Tall Women.”

A movie version of “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf” was released in 1966. Elizabeth Taylor won the Oscar for Best Actress (her second) for her role as Martha, and Sandy Dennis won Best Supporting Actress for her role as Honey. The film was directed by Mike Nichols and also starred Richard Burton as George and George Segal as Nick.

“This is a very intense drama,” said Conroy. “There is language. There could be some uncomfortable situations that are violent. So it’s not for the weak of heart. We’re performing it in the Black Box in the round, so the audience will be seated on all sides of the stage, making the experience that much more intimate.”

Each show requires a different level of commitment. Rehearsals for “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf” will continue for five and a half to six weeks. All four actors should be prepared to rehearse for several hours four nights a week.

“Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” is NCTC’s biggest show of the year. “It’s a huge musical with lots of roles for children and people of all ages,” said Conroy. “If you’ve ever wanted to be in a show and just sing in an ensemble, this is a good one for you.” Rehearsals will take place over a two and a half month period. Except for the major roles, “Joseph” demands the least amount of time. Most rehearsals will focus on specific areas such as music or dance.

Being selected for NITWITS means a commitment of five to six months, with a rehearsal every Saturday afternoon from 3-5 p.m. and shows on Saturday nights in February, March, and April. Possibly a Friday show will be offered as well, as a training experience for the “Halfwits,” the new performers.

“What’s really interesting about these three events is that they show the diversity in our program,” said Conroy. “You have this famous, very intense drama, a big family-friendly musical, and then our improv comedy group – all virtually in the span of a week. As our audience has already experienced, there is something for everyone. Just get out there and do whatever you want.”

Looking ahead, “Dangerous Liaisons,” directed by Jennifer Dorrell, will audition in February, followed by auditions for the screwball comedy “Epic Proportions,” which is about the making of a Bible epic. “It will fun to do following a real Bible epic,” commented Conroy.

In March, NCTC starts summer program auditions for 14 to 20 year olds. They will be performing “City of Angels,” a very jazzy 1930s Hollywood musical, as well as “The Laramie Project,” a true story told in first account monologues about the murder of a gay college student.

“The purpose of this program is to give this age group an opportunity to do things they couldn’t do in high school and likely would not have the opportunity to do in college,” said Conroy.

For more information, check out NCTC’s newly designed web site at http://newnantheatre.org. Or call 770-683-6282. Newnan Community Theatre Company is located in historic downtown Newnan at 24 First Avenue.

If you have questions regarding the content of these or any NCTC show, email Artistic Director Paul Conroy at paulpatrickconroy@yahoo.com.