Assembly ACT to hold youth auditions for spring musical

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BURRILLVILLE – A town-based theater company will soon begin casting for a musical showcasing talented local youth scheduled to take place this May.

AssemblyACT and the Patrons of the Assembly will host auditions for actors ages 8 to 16 on Monday, Feb. 10 and Tuesday, Feb. 11, starting at 6:30 p.m.

Performers will take the Assembly Theater stage in May for Junie B. Jones the Musical Jr., an adaptation of four of Barbara Park’s best-selling books developed for young actors.

The show is the latest production on deck for AssemblyACT, a theater company launched last year at the once sleepy East Avenue venue. Efforts to revitalize the historic theater that began in 2018, continued in 2019 with the hiring of artistic and educational director Britany Dyer, and shows developed and rehearsed in-house for the 354-seat space.

Stage hopefuls are asked to arrive at 6 p.m. for the auditions prepared to sing no more than 32 bars from a song of their choosing. Would-be actors can sing acapella, or bring a track on a phone, iPod or iPad, and songs from the show are considered acceptable.

A brief dance audition and scene readings will take place following the vocal try-outs.  Attendance is required for only one night of auditions.

Rehearsals for the show will begin on Monday, Feb. 24 and will continue on Monday, Tuesday and Friday evenings from 6:15 to 8:45 p.m. Tech week is scheduled to begin in May, with performances scheduled for Friday, May 15 at 7 p.m. and Saturday May 16 at 7 p.m.

An additional school time show may be scheduled for Thursday, May 14, as well as a matinee sometime that weekend, depending on interest in the production.

Actors must pay a $100 fee for the experience, with families with more than one actor in the production to pay $75 for each sibling. Families with significant financial hardships are asked to email the director, and scholarships will be awarded on a case by case basis.

The musical depicts a spunky, intelligent girl who is starting the first grade.

“Determined and a bit impulsive, Junie B. finds herself at the center of many classroom antics,” notes a write-up on the production.

The theater is seeking an experienced female actor with a strong singing voice and excellent comedic timing for the lead role. Vocal range for the role is Ab3-E5, and the actor must be able to balance Junie B.’s charm and precociousness.

For the role of Daddy, the theater is seeking a male actor with a vocal range A2-D4, who can comfortably portray an adult figure in a world full of young school kids.

A female with a vocal range of A3-D5, also able to play a more mature person, is sought for the role of Mother. To portray Junie B.’s former best friend Lucille, casters hope to find a strong singer and confident actor with a vocal range of F3-C#5.

Two female performers with bright energy and a range of Bb3-C5 will be cast to play twin sisters Camille and Chenille. For the role of Grace, another one of Junie B.’s former best friends, the company is seeking a young performer who can portray a kind and laid-back character, and has a vocal range of C4-C5.

For a great singer who is new to acting, there’s the role of Shirley, featured soloist in a few of the school kids’ songs, with a vocal range of B3-C5. A young actor with humor and confidence, and a range of C4-C5 will portray May, the teacher’s pet.

A strong actor is also sought for the non-singing role of sweet old lunch lady Mrs. Gutzman.

Less experienced female performers are encouraged to try out for the roles of Bobbi Jean Piper and Shirley, with actors to show vocal ranges of B3-G4 and B3-C5, respectively.

For young male thespians, there are roles playing Mr. Woo, the supervisor on the kids’ school bus, and Herb, Junie B.’s new best friend. Herb’s role requires a strong singer and a very likable actor, with a vocal range of A3-D5.

Boys with good energy and nice voices, with a range of A3-C5, are sought to play Lennie and José, classmates and friends of Junie B. and Herb. A great singer with a range of B2-E4, who can bring out nerdy charm, will play Sheldon – a young man plagued by a myriad of allergies and a general clumsiness.

And for a less vocal-dependent male spot in the musical, there’s space for a mature and energetic actor to play teacher Mr. Scary.

Actors of both genders will also be cast for an ensemble consisting of Tickle the dog; the school kids; Lunch Student 1; kids on bus; students 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5; lunch server and cheerleaders.

Questions can be emailed to AssemblyACT@gmail.com.

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