'Bedtime Stories' auditions setThe Arts Center is kicking off a new Community Theater season with auditions for “Five Politically Correct Bedtime Stories” June 10 and 14 at the Arts Center.
By: Toni Pirkl, The Jamestown Sun
The Arts Center is kicking off a new Community Theater season with auditions for “Five Politically Correct Bedtime Stories” June 10 and 14 at the Arts Center.
Susan Lester is the Community Theater’s new director. She has adapted stories from the book, “Politically Correct, The Ultimate Storybook,” for the stage as the season’s first effort. Two of the stories will be done as skits and three will be presented as readers’ theater.
“Susan got permission to stage this from the author, James Finn Garner,” said Taylor Barnes, Arts Center director. “It’s a fun way to start the theater season.”
This production, which Lester said is entertaining for all ages, is the first Community Theater performance in more than a year and a half. The performance will be July 30. Lester follows Jamestown College professor Rick Walentine as director and she said she wanted a production that was fun. Who wouldn’t want to be part of the story of “The Farm Fowl of Shorter Than Average Height,” also known as Chicken Little, or “Sleeping Person of Better Than Average Attractiveness?” Guess.
“We wanted something family friendly to kick off the season,” she said. “The kids will like the voices and the action. The adults will get the humor.”
The auditions will focus primarily on adults taking the roles, but there’s a part for nearly any age, Lester said. Auditions are from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday and 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. Sunday, June 14. Lester said if neither of those dates works, call her at 269-3078 to schedule an audition.
“The parts can be played by either adults or youth,” she said. “I’ll use whoever I can get.”
Lester is also very much aware of the lack of time most people have. It’s one of the reasons she chose this production. There won’t need to be a lot of rehearsals.
“These are short skits — not a lot to memorize and not a big time commitment,” she said. “The rehearsal schedule will be short. I don’t want to take more of people’s time than I need to.”
Lester has been involved in theater for most of her life, she said, and she’s looking forward to being the resident director. Her latest theater experience was in the LaMoure County Summer Musical Theatre production, “Godspell,” last summer.
“I enjoyed it, but it’s too far away,” she said.
Instead, she decided Jamestown was large enough to host its own community theater. Walentine launched the Arts Center’s community theater program several years ago, but eventually the time commitment was too much for him. Now, Lester is revamping the program and looking for more diverse productions appealing to different participants and audiences.
“This is the beginning,” she said. “We’re looking at about four performances a year.”
Lester and the Arts Center’s theater committee are looking for people who want to be involved in Community Theater in a variety of ways. There are all kinds of jobs.
“It’s not just actors, it’s makeup, sets, costumes,” she said. “It’s everybody putting this on.”
For Barnes and the Arts Center, the theater component is an important piece of the arts. In the area of performing arts, this is another avenue of expression for the community. A portion of the renovation plans includes upgrading the equipment and lighting system at the Arts Center to better accommodate the performing arts.
“We’re continuing to develop local talent, in this case in our community theater,” Barnes said. “The board of directors is committed to bringing the arts to all parts of the community and all ages.”
Sun reporter Toni Pirkl can be reached at (701) 952-8453 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org