St. Marys Journal Argus
If you’re an aspiring actor or actress hoping to one day play one of the “Leading Ladies” — either the female or male variety — in a stage production, you might want to keep the weekend of Jan. 10-12 open on your calendar.
That’s when St. Marys Community Players SMCP hosts an audition call for its upcoming production of the Ken Ludwig comedy, Leading Ladies. It’s the story of two Shakespearean actors down on their luck, who hatch a plot to scam an elderly woman out of her fortune. Romantic entanglements abound.
Maggie Whitcroft, a first-time producer who has worked in promotion and other activities for past SMCP productions, says the play “is not classified as a farce, but it certainly has many elements of farce.”
Rehearsals for the production, directed by Stratford’s Jim Hill, will begin in February. Production dates at the St. Marys Town Hall Theatre run from April 24 to May 4.
Ludwig’s award-winning playwriting credits include the original play Lend Me a Tenor, the book for the musical Crazy for You (with songs by George and Ira Gershwin), and Moon Over Buffalo, a comedy that brought the legendary Carol Burnett back to Broadway after a 30-year absence.
Leading Ladies is set in Ludwig’s hometown of York, Pennsylvania, in 1958. For their upcoming production, Whitcroft noted, SMCP is hoping to draw on the skills of veteran stage manager Patti Muma-Cook — who served the same role for last fall’s highly-successful Anne of Green Gables — to recreate that era on stage.
“A really important part of this play will be the sets,” the first-time producer explained. “Whereas, with Anne of Green Gables, it was all about the costumes and the music, for this one it’s going . . . to require some fairly elaborate settings.”
Hill, meanwhile, is coming off directing the Stratford Community Theatre production of Seussical (the musical), which was nominated as Best Musical by the Toronto chapter of the Broadway World organization.
For next weekend’s audition call, director Jim Hill of Stratford will be looking for eight cast members: five males and three females. Audition times are available Friday, Jan. 10 from 7-9 p.m. and Saturday, Jan. 11 from 1-4 p.m. Call-backs will be scheduled for Sunday, Jan. 12 from 2-4 p.m.
All auditions will take place at St. Marys United Church, 85 Church Street South. Please use the rear entrance off the parking lot.
Hopefuls are asked to register upon arrival and they’ll receive a script for “cold reading.” Appointments are required for all auditions. Contact Whitcroft at Maggie@reiddundas.com, or 519-301-6771.
This year marks the 40th anniversary of the St. Marys Community Players, and the upcoming production of Leading Ladies is the final play of its 40th season.
Also as part of its 40th season, the local troupe is currently hosting a series of sessions about improv comedy. The 12-week course, which is running Thursday evenings at the Town Hall Theatre, took a break over Christmas but is set to resume through January and February.
Course participants will then perform a a pair of public improv shows at the Town Hall on March 7 and 8.