Children & ‘Eden’: things to know

An ensemble of kids will be part of this fall’s production of Children of Eden at Near West Theatre. A big musical with actors of all ages is a great place for children to meet new friends, find mentors, learn about themselves, and be part of a fun, hard-working, satisfying project. If you are a kid who wants to audition Aug. 21, 22 or 23, or if you’re the parent of one, here are a few tips.

  • Have fun and let loose. Our director, Bob Navis Jr., and musical director, Jordan Cooper, aren’t looking for professional voices or dance moves. They’re looking for real people who can listen well, loosen up, work as a team, and help tell a story with their bodies, faces and voices. There’s no right or wrong way, as long as your personality shines through. So have fun! Let your light shine!
  • Wear clothes and shoes you can move in. You will be moving all kinds of ways: spinning, crouching, reaching high, crawling on the floor. Sneakers or other comfortable shoes are fine. Leave sandals and flip-flops at home.
  • Arrive 15 minutes early. You’ll need to register before we start. If you’re 7 to 12 years old, get there at 5:45 p.m. If you’re 13 or older, arrive at 7:15 p.m. If you show up after the audition starts, you’ll have to come back another day.
  • No need to prepare anything. You will be led through singing, movement, and acting exercises in a group — and Bob and the staff will want to hear you speak up and sing out. But there’s no need to prepare a speech or song in advance. Also, you don’t have to make an appointment. Just show up, on time, at one of the three auditions.
  • If you get in the show, will you have time? Can you come to all the rehearsals in September, October and November, plus 11 performances, Nov. 18 through Dec. 2? Rehearsals are Sunday afternoons and evenings and Monday through Wednesday evenings. There’s an every-night “tech week,” Nov. 11-17, before the first weekend of performances. The show will be performed on various Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings and Sunday afternoons, and you’ll need to be at all of them. If any rehearsal or performance times don’t work for you, you’ll need to write down those conflicts when you come to audition.
  • Kids’ roles are ensemble roles. Children in the Children of Eden cast will have important acting and singing to do and much to learn, but as part of the larger company. The principal roles in the show — the ones with lots of lines to speak, solos to sing, etc. — are almost entirely for teens and adults. To read a list of roles, download this news release and go to Page 2.
  • Auditions have no audience. To keep everyone feeling as free and comfortable as possible, the director and his staff will be the only people in the hall with those who are auditioning. Parents who have brought a kid to audition can wait in the first-floor lobby, explore Ohio City, run errands, etc.; just please be on time to pick up your child.
  • If you’re not in the cast, don’t give up. At Near West Theatre we typically get many, many more people at auditions than we have room for in the cast. Example: for our summer production of Hairspray, 102 young people auditioned; we had a cast of just over 40. So if you audition and then get that letter saying you didn’t make it into the show, don’t be discouraged. There will be more opportunities. Consider our 2013 summer children’s theater program, Kids Loud and Musical Organic Revue, which has auditions in April. Or volunteer at performances of Children of Eden or our other shows this season.

Audition times for Children of Eden on Tuesday, Aug. 21, Wednesday, Aug. 22, and Thursday, Aug. 23, 2012, are:

  • For ages 7 through 12:  6 to 7 p.m. (arrive at 5:45 to register)
  • For ages 13 through adult:  7:30 to 10 p.m. (arrive at 7:15 p.m.)

We hope to see you there!

NWT audition Sept. 6, 2011

Children work on movement with Assistant Director Kelcie Dugger at a 2011 audition for Oliver! Photo by Hans Holznagel

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About Near West Theatre

Our Mission Statement: "Near West Theatre builds loving relationships and engages diverse people in strengthening their sense of identity, passion, and purpose, individually and in community, through transformational theatre arts experiences." View all posts by Near West Theatre

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