Tuesday, September 17, 2013

'Magi' Director Offers Audition Tips

Auditions for Slidell Little Theatre’s production of The Gifts of the Magi, directed by John Giraud, will be held October 6th and 7th at the theatre, beginning at 7 p.m.
Nov. 29 - Dec. 15
Poster by Cameron Metrejean

Music by Randy Courts, and lyrics by Mark St. Germain and Randy Courts, The Gifts of the Magi is a heart-warming, captivating musical treat, drawn from two short stories by O. Henry.  It is Christmas in New York, but for two young lovers, Jim and Della, the prospects are bleak, as both are out of work and penniless. But as those familiar with the famous O. Henry story are aware, their dilemma is solved when both part with their most precious possessions (she her beautiful long hair, he his heirloom pocket watch) in order to buy presents for each other thereby creating, at least for a magical moment, an aura of warmth and giving in the cold, impersonal winter city. In addition to their story there are glimpses of various city folk going about their holiday business, and the hilarious plight of a cheerful bum who wants only to get arrested so he can spend the night in a cozy cell, all gracefully enhanced by tuneful songs and neatly tied together by a newsboy-narrator, Willy, who adds his own melodious contribution and informative observations to the delightful proceedings.

Performance dates are: Nov. 29, 30, Dec. 1, 6, 7, 8, 13, 14, and 15.

The director is seeking to fill six roles, featuring two females and four males. John Giraud provided a brief description of the character roles he’s seeking to cast:

  • Willy (tenor)- teenage boy, able to sing sustained high G’s. Must be able to deliver lots of dialogue.
  • Soapy (baritone/tenor)- comedic male role, 40’s-60’s. Must be able to move well on stage and have good comic timing.
  • City Her (mezzo-soprano)-must be able to play many different characters and move well on stage while singing harmonies, 30’s-60’s
  • City Him (baritone)-must be able to play many different characters and move well on stage while singing harmonies, 30’s-60’s
  • Jim (baritone/tenor)- must be able to sing, act, and move well on stage, early-mid 20’s preferable.
  • Della (mezzo-soprano/soprano)- must be able to sing, act, and move on stage, early-mid 20’s preferable.

Please be prepared to sing one verse of song- either from musical theater or a Christmas carol. Also be prepared to read lines from the script (which will be provided at the audition).

We asked John to provide us with his Top Ten Tips to Prepare for Auditions. Here is his advice:

  1. Smile.
  2. Breathe.
  3. Don’t make faces if you mess up.
  4. Stay in character while you are auditioning.
  5. Don’t make yourself hoarse by over-singing before you reach the theater. Save a little for the audition.
  6. Practice your audition in front of a mirror.
  7. Practice in front of Maw Maw, the cat/dog, kids, anyone who will listen.
  8. Make a recording of your audition piece and then watch/listen to it.
  9. Even if you feel less than 100% on audition day, sing/act with the best voice you have on that particular day. If you participate in enough productions, you will eventually have to perform when you’re feeling a bit under the weather.
  10. Every one of the directors has auditioned many times. We know how you feel. So please remember that WE WANT YOU TO SUCCEED.

Slidell Little Theatre is located at 2024 Nellie Drive.

Monday, September 9, 2013

SLT Receives DAF Grant

Slidell Little Theatre is pleased to announce it has received a $5,250 grant from the Louisiana Decentralized Arts Fund (DAF) for fiscal year 2013-2014. The taxpayer-funded grant is utilized by the nonprofit community theatre to help defray expenses for utilities.

Administered locally by the St. Tammany Parish Commission on Cultural Affairs, DAF grants are awarded through a competitive application and review process. Not all grant requests were funded and no grant received full funding. Thanks to the efforts of SLT’s Grants and Fundraising Director Teresa Augustine; SLT received 14% of the grant money available.

"I cannot take all the credit for obtaining this award as it was a collaborative effort of all my fellow board members and SLT volunteers," said Teresa. “We appreciate every grant dollar we receive to help us keep the home lights burning on our various productions, programs and activities.

The Louisiana DAF program provides state tax dollars in the form of grants to artists, nonprofit organizations, community groups, and local government agencies in every parish. In recent years the pool of available money has shrunken dramatically. Just three years ago (FY 2010-2011) SLT received an $11,000 DAF grant to cover utility costs. Since that year, local arts organizations have seen the available grant dollars slashed by nearly 42 percent. The total DAF budget that year for St. Tammany Parish was $86,323, compared to today’s budget of $35,963.

Electrical bills at the community theatre can average as much as $1700 per month. Currently SLT is self-contained with its own water and sewer system, but if the proposal to tie into Slidell municipal utilities is approved later this year, the organization will face additional utility expenses for water and sewerage services.

While the grant is certainly appreciated and will enable the continued efforts of SLT to reach all ages of the Slidell community and beyond, the 48 percent cut in financial aid will mean that SLT must make up for the lost revenues in other areas.

One important way you can help is to become a member of Slidell Little Theatre, if you are not one already. Memberships are the financial lifeline of SLT. It is through this support that the Theatre can fulfill its mission to “engage, educate, and involve members of the community in high quality theatrical productions.”

If you are not already a member, we invite you to support the Performing Arts by investing in Northshore’s premier community theatre and becoming a valued patron of the Slidell Little Theatre.

The Northshore’s premier community theatre since 1963, Slidell Little Theatre is a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit, all-volunteer organization dedicated to engaging, educating, and involving members of the community in high quality theatrical productions. SLT is supported by a grant from the Louisiana Division of the Arts, Office of Cultural Development, Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism in cooperation with the Louisiana State Arts Council as administered by the St. Tammany Commission on Cultural Affairs.