Friday, December 18, 2009

Cast List for The Music Man

Thanks to everybody who tried out. There simply wasn't enough room on our stage to include all the wonderfully talented students who came out for auditions.

The Music Man Cast List

First Rehearsal for all cast: January 4 from 3:15 – 5 PM. MANDATORY PARENT MEETING follows 5:00 – 5:30 PM. For ongoing production and rehearsal information please go to the Music Man page at

CONDUCTOR – Kolin Morgenstern
HAROLD HILL – Brian Hirsch
MRS. PAROO - Sydney Slovisky
AMARYLLIS Annie - Kate Raglow
MAYOR SHINN - Alex Biats
GRACIE SHINN - Kiarra Anderson
ZANEETA SHINN - Hallie Heffernan
TOMMY DJILAS - Brandon Kline
ALMA HIX - Leah Strusaker
MRS. SQUIRES - Rhuna Wall
MRS BRIT - Kelcie Brahce
OTHER LADIES: Zoe Domonkos, Lexi Hanson, Joanna Lutman, Shauna Oldaker
EWART DUNLOP - D’Angelo Sanders
OLIVER HIX - Gavin Markowitz
JACEY SQUIRES - Matt Williams
OLIVER BRIT - Aidan Matney
NEWSPAPER READERS: Mason Scott, Kevin Billips

TRAVELING SALESMEN: Matt Williams, Aidan Matney, Gavin Markowitz, Alan Pickett, Mackenlie Bolyard-Pizana

WON TON YE GIRLS: Hallie Heffernan, Sarah Hineline, Alyssa Haley, Reilly Dougherty, Alli Semans, Corinne Magons

RIVER CITY DANCERS: Kevin Billips, Mackenlie Bolyard-Pizana, Mackaulie Bolyard-Pizana, Reilly Dougherty, Charlie Gruhler, Alyssa Haley, Spencer Heffernan, Amanda Hemminger, Sarah Hineline, Tajzon James, Marissa Kartler, Corrine Magons, McKae Matthews, Klaire Morgenstern, Kolin Morgenstern, Natlie Noble, Olivia Nosel, Lee Paolcci, Alan Pickett, Alli Semans

RIVER CITY TOWNSPEOPLE & KIDS: Carly Ameling, Desirae Anderson, Emma Antal, Kofi Boakye, Christina Brode, Carly Chelovitz, Grace Curlee, Wyatt Daulbaugh, Ariana Davis, Haley Dickerson, Olivia Doria, Brooke Francis, Kayla Hanlon, Montana Hollis, Bichelle Jeffries, Brina Jeffries, Rachel Kunz, Samantha Lewis, Morgan Lett, Emma Markowitz, Sophie Niekamp, Hope Roberts, Lydia Rogers, Mason Scott, Erin Siegfirth, Chloe Richards, David Testa, Charay Trice, Sam Warro, Rheagan White, Kayla Whitley, McKenna Wolfe, Maddi Yaceczko

Monday, November 30, 2009

Music Man audition info

Calling all triple-threats! Leading roles available in the Music Man for grades 4 - 8, but you must be able to sing, dance and act. We are also looking for super dancers and great singers who can join the various singing and dancing ensembles.

Click on the image below to get a larger view:

Monday, November 9, 2009

Auditions -- Pride & Prejudice at Weathervane

Young Actor Series production for actors 12-21.

Based on the novel by Jane Austen, Adapted by John Jory
Directed by Melanie Pepe
9 performances March 4 - 14.
Rehearsals begin in January and are scheduled Sun- Thursday from 5 - 7 PM.
Script work will be scheduled Dec 22 & 29.

Auditions are by appointment only:

Dec 13, 2009 5 - 7 pm
Dec 14, 5 - 7 pm.

call 330-836-2626 to schedule an audition.

Please prepare

A one minute classical monologue
A British RP accent
One fun fact about the Regency period in England.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Gulliver's Travels - pictures

In Lilliput, Gulliver found himself to be twelve times the size of ordinary Lilliputians. To achieve that ratio, we chose to show only parts of the giant Gulliver. We were thrilled when the legs finally walked across the stage!

Below are the ten Brobdingnagg puppet heads that took weeks to make. Each head was sculpted using paper and cardboard, then laminated with layers of newspaper, paper towels and gesso. They were mounted on bamboo poles which were cut to fit the actors and the characters they were portraying.

Our cast party was at Stonehedge on Friday night. A good time was had by all!

Mackauli enjoying himself at the party.

Below, Lemuel Gulliver confronts his author, Jonathan Swift.

Monday, October 26, 2009

The very important work of the adult rehearsal assistants

We used to call them "Shush Moms," with the occasional "Shush Dad" or "Shush Grandparent." I like to call them Rehearsal Assistants, because without this much needed help, rehearsals often grind to a halt while noisy actors are called out and lectured to by the director.

I wish there were a way to wave a wand and make every child actor suddenly realize that talking backstage and in the auditorium during rehearsals is not a good thing. They are told this and many of them do their very best, by bringing a book to read or homework to finish. However, there is always a group of students who think the auditorium is a place for racing around and talking loudly to their friends. No matter how many times I tell them this, they will forget after two minutes and the noise returns.

We need quiet during our technical rehearsals so that the crew can take instructions from our Tech Director, Buffo. The actors on stage deserve quiet so they can concentrate on developing their parts. The director needs quiet so she can concentrate on all the things that need to be fixed.

This is where you, the adult rehearsal assistant comes into play. You are my roaming eyes and ears and when necessary, you give them the same directions I would give them:

No talking backstage.
Talk very quietly in the halls outside the theatre.
No running.
No eating or drinking anything other than water.
No fooling around.
No Public Displays of Affection! (This is always a problem during the musical, for some reason!)

Should a student (usually an 8th grader, because they think they know it all) roll their eyes and give you an attitude, please tell me right away. This kind of attitude must be stamped out if the students really wish to succeed in the theatre. Most theatre people I know are kind, generous and cooperative. That should be the goal of all of us working on every production.

It's a difficult job, but absolutely essential -- so please sign up to help us on this and every show!


4/5 drama students explore Stan Hywet

Gorgeous fall weather arrived for our visit to Stan Hywet on Tuesday, Oct 20th. The 4th and 5th grade drama students researched the house, gardens and the people who lived, worked and played in and around the house. They were to view everything they saw as a possible theatrical set, prop, costume and character.

They will be creating a performance piece inspired by Stan Hywet which will be performed there some time next spring.

Here the students are following a path through the woods.

We found enchanted lagoons and charming bridges as the autumn leaves began to show their colors.

Here the 5th graders are posing as if they owned the mansion. All photos here were taken by Wyatt Daulbaugh's grandmother, Bev Brown.

Would love it if someone emailed me a jpg of the 4th graders pictures!

The group climbed down the steep slope from the tea gardens to the lagoons:

Monday, October 19, 2009

Auditions 8 and up for a short film - no pay, but good experience

Auditions for a movie:

World of Difference,
Ltd. in partnership with Little Beth Entertainment will hold auditions for a short, 30 minute film, currently entitled "Flight to India," that is scheduled to shoot on weekends in February or March of 2010. The auditions will take place on Saturday, November 14th from 11am to 2pm at the Salvation Army Akron Citadel located at 190 South Maple St., Akron, Ohio, 44302

We are looking to cast the following roles:

age 12 to 13

age 10 to 13

age 8-10

age 8-11

age 30s - 40s

We are especially interested in child actors from different ethnic
backgrounds and highly encourage them to attend.

Filming and rehearsals will take place in the Akron area.

If interested in auditioning, please email resume and headshot to

For the audition, you may bring a short monologue of your own if you like. We will also have you read a portion from the script.

There is no compensation for any of the roles, but it is an excellent opportunity to practice your craft and gain further experience and exposure. The film will be submitted to film festivals world-wide as well as released on DVD and sold through

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Audition info for The Great White Hope at Weathervane

Auditions for a very important 20th century play. This one has ensemble roles for students 12 and up:

Auditions by APPOINTMENT

for Howard Sackler's Classic


SUNDAY, NOV. 8, 3 – 5 p.m.

TUESDAY, NOV. 10, 7 – 9 p.m.

Weathervane Playhouse


Call 330-826-2626 for an appointment

Run Dates: April 1 – April 18, 2010

Dir. Terrence Spivey

Be familiar with the script.

(You may present a monologue.)

Cast Requirements:
(See character breakdown below)
15 Women ages 20s – 50s
20 Men ages 20s – 50s
10 Boys ages 12 – 16
5 Girls ages 12 20- 16

Set in the early 1900s, The Great White Hope is loosely based on the life of African American boxer Jack Johnson, renamed Jack Jefferson in the story. After becoming the first Negro heavyweight champion of the world in 1908, the play follows his tumultuous career and explores the nature of racism and racial conflict in American society. In collaboration with Weathervane Playhouse, Karamu House Theater and Ensemble Theatre comes one of the most dynamic plays ever written for the American stage. The Great White Hope won the Pulitzer Prize, Tony and Drama Desk Award for Best Drama. Once it closes at Karamu, the production and some of the cast moves to Weathervane Playhouse.

Time: Before and During World War l
Place: Parchman, Ohio, San Francisco, Nevada, Chicago, London, Paris, Berlin, Budapest and Havana

JACK JEFFERSON: African American Ma le, Early to late 30’s. Based on boxer Jack Johnson, who became the first black heavyweight champion in 1908 from Galveston, Texas and was nicknamed “Galveston Giant.” He is larger than life, keen, confident and “bragadocious. Lives life to the fullest. He feels he is his own man and not ab out proving anything to any race-including his own. Note:
All actors auditioning for this role should wear a tank top underneath your dress shirt. Be prepared to move around and shadowbox.

ELEANOR BACHMAN: Caucasian Female, late 20s-Early 30s. A loving, defiant Desdemona to Jack Jefferson’s twentieth century Othello.

TICK: African American Male, Late 50s. He is Jack’s no nonsense trainer.

BRADY: Caucasian Male, Late 30s- Early 40’s. A heavyweight champion living in Parchman, Ohio.

GOLDIE: Caucasian Male, Early to late 40s, Jack’s Jewish manager.

SMITTY: Caucasian Male, 40s-50s, famous sports writer.

CAP’N DAN: Caucasian Male, late 50s, Brady’s manager, a champion of earlier days.

CLARA: African American Female, 30s. One of Jack’s longtime lovers from Detroit who thinks she is his common law wife. She is sexy and very sassy.

CAMERON: Caucasian Male, 40 s-50s. Chicago District Attorney.

MR. DIXON: Caucasian Male, 30’s-50’s. A Federal Marshall

MRS. BACHMAN: Caucasian Female, 40’s -50’s. Ellie’s Mother

MRS. JEFFERSON: African American female 50s-60s. Jack’s mother. Faithful to the church and supports her son.

EL JEFE: 40’s-50’s.

MEXICAN BOY: Young boy to teen

SCIPIO: African American Male, 30s. Very colorful character who is imbedded within the culture of his people. He is a thorn in Jack’s side about setting an example for his race.

ENSEMBLE: Additional supporting roles are available for more than thirty African American and Caucasian male and female actors of all ages, 20 who will perform multiple roles in the play; Pop Weaver, Promoters, Reporters, Deacons, Boxing Handlers, Trainers, Photographers, Weigh-In, Bettor, Roller, Civic Marchers, Church Sisters, Policemen (American/German), Deputies, Detectives, Pastors, Government Agent, Fight Fans, Jugglers etc.

About the Director

Terrence Spivey has won numerous accolades and received local and national acclaim since arriving as Artistic Director at the historical Karamu House in October 2003 after residing for eighteen years in New York City. His directing credits includes the critically acclaimed “bee-luther-hatchee,” “for colored girls who have considered suicide when the rainbow Is enuf,” “Dream on Monkey Mountain,” “Permanent Collection,” “Bourbon at the Border,” “The Fire Inside: The Story and Poetry of Nikki Giovanni.” “The Blacks: A Clown Show” and “A House With No Walls” just to name a few.

He has been featured in local media, Ebony magazine, profiled in Back Stage, Artist and Influence, TCG’S American Theatre February 2009 issue and was elected as a 2009 member of the prestigious National Theatre Conference, joining members such as Robert Falls (Goodman Theatre), Lou Bellamy (Penumbra Theatre) Ed Stern (Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park), Woodie King (New Federal Theatre) , James Bundy ( Yale School of Drama) and many more. Spivey serves on the board of trustees at Community Partnership for Arts and Culture (CPAC) and Ohio Alliance for Arts and Education (OAAE) based in Columbus. He looks forward to this exciting collaboration.

He is a theatre graduate of Prairie View A&M University in Texas.

1301 Weathervane Lane
(In the Valley off Merriman Rd)
Akron, OH 44313

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Podcasting from the Little Theatre

Podcasting is something I have been wanting to investigate for a number of years. Thanks to our principal, Mrs. Altwies, this week staff members have been able to work one-on-one with APS technology experts. They helped me set up a sound-recording system that utilizes our eMacs, a device known as an MBox 2 Mini and a very nice studio microphone designed for voice-recording. (The MBox, microphone and mic stand were purchased using DPA funds, so thank you Drama Parents!)

The MBox plugs into an eMac. The microphone plugs into the MBox, which digitizes the sound from the mic and imports it into the computer. We are using GarageBand podcasting software for our voice-over and podcasting work. It is a simple program to learn, yet allows the students to become familiar with the basics of sound editing.

All drama students will be learning how to use this recording set-up. Along with recording techniques, students will learn how to use their voices in a variety of ways. They will experience straight reporting as well as trying out a variety of character voices. The best way I have found to improve one's voice is to actually listen to it played back. Then the young actor can hear for herself if her articulation is effective or his tonal qualities are appropriate for the character being portrayed. All actors can begin to work with rhythm and timing, utilizing underscoring music to enhance the mood and tempo.

The podcast player will always appear at the top of the sidebar on this blog. You can subscribe to our podcasts via iTunes. Once I figure out how to do that, I will put a subscription link on this blog.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Gulliver's Travels Cast List

Gulliver’s Travels Cast List

Appearing throughout:
Lemuel Gulliver – Jordan James
Jonathan Swift – Tony Maggio

Act One:
Voyage 1

The Guard – Tanner Baker
The Farmer – Evan Pol
The Wife – Hope Roberts
The Emperor – Charlie Kapper
Royal Advisor – Corbin White

Voyage 2

Reaper – Nathan Testa
Reaper’s Wife – Chelsea Miller
Daughter – Kenidee Zentiska
Son – Mackauli Bolyard-Pizana
Neighbor – Kayvin Tyler
Queen – Paige Krejci
Royal Ladies in Waiting: Bianca Kontra,
Morgan Lett
Royal Expert – Gavin Van Winklebright
Royal Dwarf – Edward Suber

Act Two:
Voyage 3

Pirate Captain – Sam Puglia
1st Laputian – Sarah Whitaker
2nd Laputian – Matt Daulbaugh
King of Laputa – Terrell Grant
Dean of the Academy – Haley Calhoun
Scholars: Erin Siegferth, Xaverie Baker,
Francine Parr, Desirae Smith,
Chris Humbert, Adi Haas
Governor of Glubbdubdrig – Jordan Euell
Native 1 – Mackenzie Sandor
Native 2 – Jalia Head

Voyage 4

Yahoos: Souj Geib, Grace Thanasiu,
Morgan Kell, Emily Markuz, Rachel Kunz, Kiara Anderson,
Jack Roher, Sam Michael
Dapple Grey – Morgan Csejtey
Brown Bay – Brooke Francis
Gulliver’s Wife – Ivori Balas
Gulliver’s Son – Alontae Alexander
Gulliver’s Daughter – Tyra Decatur

First Rehearsal for the entire cast:
Friday, September 4, 2009
3:15 – 5:00 PM in the Auditorium
followed by a
Mandatory Parent/Guardian meeting from 5 PM to 5:30 PM
In the Dining Hall.
Rehearsal schedules and scripts will be given out on Friday.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Auditioning for a Miller South play or musical

No matter what your interest area, you are welcome to try out for our fall play and spring musical. This school is full of multi-talented students at every grade level. We do our best to involve as many students as possible, but unfortunately we can't cast everyone who tries out. This essay is an attempt to address a number of issues involving casting the school productions at Miller South School for the Visual & Performing Arts.

Your audition begins the moment you enter the auditorium. Above all, I am looking for student actors who respect the performance space and the other actors. So if you enter chewing gum, chattering away to others, running around the aisles of the theatre, drinking anything other than water or eating a snack, you are not doing yourself any favors. Your behavior at an audition tells me what your behavior will be like during the rehearsal period.

Remember that a rehearsal period is about 8 - 10 weeks long of rehearsals that last for two hours or more each. I am looking for students who are serious about being in a play. I am looking for students who are on time and prepared for every rehearsal. I am also looking for students who know the importance of listening to instructions rather than talking with their neighbor.

Sometimes students ask me if they can try out for a particular role. Most directors prefer to make the casting decisions based upon what their own idea of what that character should be. Because so many students try out for our productions, it is best that you do not ask if you can try out for a particular role. The director's job is to cast according to her/his own artistic vision for the play.

Sometimes a particular play has very specific casting demands. For example, the musical "Annie" has a cast that features many female roles and very few male roles. Some plays require more older actors and other plays require more younger actors. I always publish an audition notice that lists special cast requirements including gender and size. At Miller South with a school population of 4 - 8th grade students, I have found that we can do most plays utilizing our more mature 6/7/8th grade students playing "adult" roles, while the shorter 4/5/6 students can play the role of "children." Some plays that feature animals or other imaginative beings may not be so strictly cast by grade level and size.

At Miller South we practice what is known as non-traditional or color-blind casting. That means that it doesn't matter what your ethnic/cultural background is in terms of casting. The only time ethnicity becomes important is if the play deals with the subject in a very specific way. For example, the musical Steal Away Home was about the underground railroad leading up to America's Civil War. In that particular production, we honored history by casting African American actors in parts that were written to be played by African Americans. Likewise, gender only becomes an issue in playing a role when the part demands that we cast a part the way it is written. Charlie in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory will be played by a boy. Alice in Alice in Wonderland will be played by a girl. But parts that have nothing to do with gender may be cast as "either." For example, a character labeled "doctor or "scholar" and so on, may be male or female.

Another aspect of the director's job is to make sure that the opportunity to be in a school play is extended to all. I may not cast you this time, but if you keep showing up at auditions, eventually you will get cast. I tend not to cast the same people over and over again in leading roles. We have so many talented students that it is very easy to find new leads for each production. On the other hand, there are certain students who are such a joy to work with that I find it difficult to not cast them. These are the student actors who are capable and willing to play a variety of roles of any size.

When casting a play, I tend to go with the best suited for the main parts and then divide the remaining roles among the lesser experienced actors. Some students start with non-speaking roles and over the years work their way up to more substantial parts.

One final thing to consider before you try out -- remember that once you accept your part, you have made a commitment to the productions. Directors don't like it when you accept a part and then try out for something else hoping to get a bigger role and then drop the first part that you already accepted. Be honest and upfront with your directors. Often times, you can work out overlapping rehearsal schedules. But if it won't work for either of your directors, be willing to make a choice and abide by it.

If you have any questions, post them here in the comment section and I will be happy to answer them.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Audition opportunity for Hispanic kids 8 - 13

This was posted on the NEOhioPal list. The Talent Group is a professional talent agency based in Cleveland:


The Talent Group is seeking Hispanic kids ages 8-13 for submission for a
major commercial. No experience necessary. Please send three digital
pictures to <> if
interested in submitting.


**Eric Roland Baker Carlson**

The Talent Group

2530 Superior Ave. Suite 6C

Cleveland, OH 44114


Saturday, August 15, 2009

Commedia at University Arts in the Park

Wow! What a great afternoon of commedia. The summer troupe performed four scenarios today at Grace Park as part of the celebration of the arts. All the hard work this past summer have paid off big time! These young actors met for two hours every week all summer long in order to develop as actors and as an ensemble. I am very proud of what they have accomplished.

We spent a lot of time working on physicalizations of characters, mask techniques and working as a group to "tell the story." Tell it they did, and well! Our audiences today were into it. When I wasn't photographing, I was laughing at all the delightful interplay between the actors. They have learned to adjust to changing circumstances as well as becoming very comfortable addressing the audience and interacting with them.

In the photos, you will notice a new actor in the summer troupe. Making his commedia debut, Hamlet the Sheltie pup, did an awesome job as official "dog in the crowd." Three actors took turns "handling" the pup, who is 6 and a half months old. He has attended most of our training sessions this summer and all thanks to the troupe members who have helped him learn to socialize with young people. I have been working with Terry Cranendonk, an actor and a dog trainer, with the goal of teaching Hamlet some skills that will enhance our scenarios. We've been using positive training techniques, which have helped young Hamlet focus on his role as "extra" this summer. Look for him to become more involved in the actions next summer!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Are you getting ready for school?

There's something about August that makes one begin to think about school days once again. I've been digging into my piles that needed to be turned into files for the new school season ahead.

Here you see that Ophelia and Hamlet have decided to help me out with the filing. Hamlet has just filed Ophelia under C for C A T. She prefers O for Ophelia!

Looking forward to hearing about your summer fun when we meet for the annual Drama Picnic, Tuesday August 18th at Hardesty Park on West Market near Hawkins.


Thursday, August 6, 2009

Akron Arts Expo pix!

We arrived at Hardesty Park for the Akron Arts Expo on a windy, rain-threatening Saturday. Fortunately, Parks and Recreation had us scheduled to perform on their portable stage, with very convenient cover from rain drops. By the time we were ready to start, the rain stopped and workers began hauling out chairs for our audience.

The troupe shows great improvement in this, only their second performance of the summer. We've had great attendance and dedicated focus at our weekly training sessions. The photos reveal that the actors are paying more attention to each other and to their own characterizations. Each character has his or her own "shape" -- like a cartoon drawing in that the characters are exaggerated and should never appear to be standing around in a relaxed body.

Keep up the excellent work, troupe!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Auditions -- Magical Theatre 2009-10 season

Casting Call 2009-2010 Season

Auditions for young performers, ages 7-18, will be held on August 11th at 6:30pm. If you have questions and/or would like to schedule an audition, call (330) 848-3708. Please do not email.

For more info go here.

Audition notice for A Christmas Story at Cleveland Playhouse

The Cleveland Play House will hold an open call for children who wish to appear in A Christmas Story. The production will begin rehearsals Tuesday, November 3, and perform November 27-December 20. Rehearsals will be after school, except for some technical rehearsals in the last few days prior to opening. There will also be a few student matinees. A full schedule will be
set prior to rehearsals.

There will be no rehearsals on Thanksgiving, but there will be work the day before and the day after. There is also the possibility of an extension week December 21-27, with no performances December 24 or 25. The theatre will decide on whether to perform the extension week as far in advance as possible.

The theatre is looking for boys and girls of any background who can pass for 9 years old, and one boy who can pass for 5 years old. Any child fitting this description who wishes to audition is welcome to do so. The Cleveland Play House is a professional theatre. The child actor will sign a contract and be paid a weekly salary for rehearsals and performances. No children will sign Actors' Equity Association contracts. To be eligible to audition the child actor cannot reach the age of 14 on or before December 27, 2009.

For the audition, the child actor should prepare three minutes of anything they wish. Most children do two monologues. There is no singing in the production, and there will be no pianist at the audition, but children who wish to do so are welcome to sing. Please bring an up to date headshot and resume to your scheduled audition. The picture does not have to be professionally done or in a high resolution. However, please make sure that your face can be clearly seen.

Auditions for A Christmas Story will be on Monday, August 17 and Tuesday, August 18 from 4:00 until 8:00 at the Cleveland Play House, 8500 Euclid Avenue. They will be by appointment only. To schedule an appointment, please reply to this email with the names of the child and at least one parent or guardian, contact information (email, phone, address) with an indication of which phone number is best and who the phone belongs to, and an appointment date and approximate time preference. You can also reply to this email with any questions. You will receive an email back with a specific time.

Please contact below to schedule an appointment or with any questions.
Sam Skove
The Cleveland Play House
8500 Euclid Avenue Cleveland OH 44106

Auditions for adult roles in A Christmas Story are not being held at this time. to Host Shrek the Musical Competition

NEW YORK—Part talent search, part publicity stunt, the producers of Shrek the Musical have partnered with, the online arm of children’s cable network Nickelodeon, to launch a competition aimed at giving two girls a chance to perform alongside Sutton Foster in the Broadway production of Shrek. The girls will perform as “Young Fiona” and “Teen Fiona” in the musical.

To enter, girls must upload a video of their performance of the song “I Know It’s Today” from Shrek the Musical at the Web site. Entries must be received between Tuesday, July 28 and Sunday, August 16. Entrants must be aged 6 to 14. All entries will be viewed by the casting department for the show, with finalists’ entries viewed by Jason Moore (Director), David Lindsay-Abaire (Lyricist), Jeanine Tesori (Composer) and Sutton Foster.

The winners will be flown to New York to rehearse with Sutton Foster and members of the show’s creative team, have a costume fitting, and appear in a performance of Shrek the Musical on Broadway. The winners will be announced on September 10 and the finalists’ videos will be featured on for three weeks. At the September 19 evening performance the winners will perform their roles on Broadway.

More information and a complete set of rules can be found at

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Commedia Troupe at the Italian Fest

The summer troupe got off to a roaring start at Lock 3 this summer. We will be at the Akron Arts Expo on Saturday, July 25th from 10 to 11 AM.

Here are some pictures from their first performance of "Funny Folk Tales From Around the World."

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Botanical Gardens

While students are already enjoying summer vacation, the hard-working staff at Miller South spends a week planning for next year and immersing ourselves in professional development experiences. Today we went to Cleveland to take a workshop on folk art at the House of Blues. We toured the extensive collection of southern rural art, mostly by African Americans, and then were given materials and instructed to create our own piece of art inspired by what we had seen.

In the afternoon, staff had the choice of visiting the museum of art, the natural science museum or the botanical gardens. Here are some pictures of my visit to the gardens.

In the children's garden, we find some great ideas for creating unique garden plots. Why not use an old umbrella?

Two exotic indoor environments house collections of plants, insects, lizards and birds. Madagascar provides the flora and fauna for the Spiny Garden.

And in the Cloud Garden from Costa Rica, butterflies are released every day at 2 PM.

Here you see the butterfly keeper with his butterfly crate made of netting! The vibrant butterflies are quite friendly!

This marvelous music-themed garden inspired by Harlem's Cotton Club was an unexpected extension of our morning at the House of Blues:

Everywhere we wandered throughout the Botanical Garden's ten acres, we found amazing growing things, giddy colors and tantalizing textures.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Drama Show Case -- May 17!

The Drama Department is pleased to present a stunning array of student work, from grades 4 - 8, on Sunday, May 17th at the downtown library on Main Street. We will meet at 1 PM for warm-ups and then present the performances starting at 1:30 PM.

The schedule looks like this:

1 PM -- students arrive at Main Library for warm-ups.
1:30 PM -- 4th and 5th grade perform selections from Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats
1:45 -- 6th grade movie
2:00 -- 7th grade movie
2:20 -- 7th grade scenes from A Midsummer Night's Dream
3:00 -- 8th grade directing projects
3:30 -- Playmaker Winning plays performed
4:00 -- Thespian Induction/8th Grade Drama Recognition.* (For 7/8 students only)
5 PM End

The Thespians are planning a dinner out at Spaghetti Warehouse after their induction.


Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Comedia D'arte brings laughs with "History of Theater"

Comedia D'Arte brought the past to life with "History of Theater" during the annual Taste of Italy Fundraiser at Miller South.

Here's a sample of their great performance: