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The Wizard of Oz Auditions

Updated: Sep 13, 2021

Hi,

First of all, thank you to everyone who attended The Wizard of Oz readthrough at Pratts Bottom Primary School last week. It really was an excellent turnout and good to see so many people – children and adults – enthusiastic to get back into amateur dramatics again after such a long time away because of the pandemic.

I do apologise that I was unable to attend in person myself. Like Stacey, our choreographer, I had tested positive the week before for Coronavirus and we were both in self-isolation though, fortunately, I didn’t have any symptoms which must be proof the vaccines work! I believe that Stacey had been a little poorly, sadly, but I can assure you that – like the rest of the team – we are both much better now and raring to go once we are cast! So I look forward to meeting you – and hopefully lots of others – at our auditions next week!

A quick word about myself as most of you won’t know me. I’m a member of both Beckenham Theatre and Bromley Little Theatre locally and direct regularly at both theatres. As many of you will know, sadly Beckenham Theatre had to close last week and the theatre building and land has been sold for redevelopment though the theatre group hopes to continue and is currently looking for a new location. I have directed 4 pantomimes there since 2012 – the last was “Aladdin” in 2019 – as well as the Christmas comedy play, “The Flint Street Nativity” in 2017. Had the theatre stayed open, I might have been directing “The Sleeping Beauty” there next year so you can imagine how flattered I was when PBDS asked me if I would like to direct “The Wizard of Oz” for them for January 2022. I haven’t been attached to the project much longer than yourselves so it’s all quite new to me as well but I’m lucky that I will be co-directing this pantomime with Joy Jordan, who has a long history with Pratts Bottom and knows most of you pretty well. Hopefully, together, we’ll make a formidable – but extremely fun – team!

Auditions will take place this coming Monday, 13th and Wednesday, 15th September at Pratts Bottom Primary School in Hookwood Road, Pratts Bottom BR6 7NX. The audition notice put out on Facebook and on the website said that these would start at 7.30pm but, as the school term has now started and I don’t want the younger children in particular being out to late, I propose to start auditions from 7pm with the 18’s and under age group coming first and everyone over 18 coming at 8pm (which will hopefully give you a chance to have your dinner beforehand!). There will be an overlap, I’m sure, but this could be useful if I want to audition both children and adults together. But it also means that we should be able to finish all children by 8.30pm and can then concentrate just on the adult auditions which will be finished by 10pm and, hopefully, much sooner.


I very much believe that auditions should be fun and you should enjoy them whether you get the part you want or not. However, as I don’t know most of you and you don’t know me, I will spend a little time with each of you just asking questions about yourself and what you have done and trying to get to know you a little bit better and we will also be asking you to do a little bit of homework in preparation for the additions before you come. This will be on songs rather than on the script as I haven’t set any audition pieces from the scripts as most of the scenes are pretty short so – if you have specified a particular character you would like to audition for – I will probably be asking you to read from more than one scene involving that character. I may also ask you to read for a different character that you haven’t chosen if I think you might also be suitable for that part. And I may also ask you to act out a scene rather than just read it. And , if I am feeling particularly cruel at the time, I may even ask you to improvise a scene without a script! But it will depend on the numbers attending the auditions and the time we have available as it’s important that everybody gets their chance to be seen.

We also want you to sing so the homework is going to be to choose a song from the following list and prepare to sing a verse or two and the chorus, if there is one. This will be done from a screen, karaoke-style, with the words highlighted in front of you though I have also attached lyric sheets for all the songs to this email for you to work from. If you prefer to use these on the day instead of reading from the screen that’s fine too. Some of you may even prefer to learn the words which will be even more impressive!

You can choose any song you like – just one – though 2 of the choices are aimed at female voices and 2 are aimed at male voices and I’ve added a unisex one as well which is suitable for both male and female voices. There is also one other song. Gary Barlow’s Sing which was written for The Military Wives Choir, which is meant for group voices. I’d like you all to look at that one as we may use it to sing together in unison at some point during the audition. That’s at the end of the list. In each case, I’ve given you links to the original video for the song, the song being sung with the lyrics displayed and the karaoke version with lyrics but no voices apart form your own. This is obviously the track we’ll be using at the auditions. And for the younger children who might be auditioning for the chorus rather than a main role, I’ve added Baby Shark which will drive everyone mad but hopefully you all know! Older children, up to the age of 80, will be banned from singing this one!

Here's the list:

Female Voices:

Over the Rainbow (from the Wizard of Oz):

Video

Lyrics

Karaoke


From a Distance (Bette Midler):


Official Video


From a Distance (Bette Midler)

Lyrics


From a Distance (Bette Midler - piano version: probably better for auditions)

Karaoke


From a Distance (Bette Midler - with backing vocals)

Karaoke


Let It Go (from Frozen):

Video

Lyrics

Karaoke

Male Voices:

Be Our Guest (from Beauty and the Beast):

Video

Lyrics

Karaoke

Rule the World (Take That):

Video

Lyrics

Karaoke

Children Only:

Baby Shark (Ping Fong):

Video and Lyrics

Karaoke

Anyone:

Forever Young (Becky Hill/Alphaville):

Video

Lyrics

Karaoke

Everyone:


Sing (Gary Barlow and the Military Wives Choir):

Video

Lyrics

Karaoke

As I said, you can choose any song you like (except Baby Shark if you are over 12!, children you don't have to choose baby shark.) plus look at Sing as it will be used as a group song.

In addition to the song sheets, I’ve also attached a copy of the script though please be aware that it is in Book form and ready for printing so the two pages on each page are not consecutive - it needs to be printed using a duplex (double-sided) printer then folded into an A5 book to make sense! https://13095dc2-1ba3-3ada-a581-263b59419c6f.filesusr.com/ugd/cd6d76_7833637a725c4bc780e175978b4de5d0.pdf

Hopefully most of you will have already picked up a script from the readthrough or visited the website and printed it off from there. There will be a few spare copies at the auditions of of both scripts and song sheets but if you can, please bring your own.

That’s about it for now from me. If you have any questions, Jack’s email and mobile number are the website at https://www.prattsbottomdramatics.com/auditions but you can also contact me or Joy direct if it’s anything specific you would like to ask at michael@thedarbons.com or on mobile no. 07802 914917 Joy: Jordan_classacts@hotmail.co.uk 07775 514386

I look forward to meeting you all properly next week.

Best Wishes and Good Luck!

Mike




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