Audition Call (Miracle on 34th Street)


Miracle on 34th Street

To download the audition document as a pdf, click here.

Auditions for Adults and Children in August: See below for details

What is ACT1?
ACT1 is a community theater with a focus on wholesome entertainment.  Now in our 20th year, we’re proud to bring you top-quality theatrical productions.  You’ll find us in performance in several major productions each year.  Among our many full-length shows have been Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, It’s a Wonderful Life, The Importance of Being Earnest, The Wind in the Willows, Annie, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and many others.  Our most recent musical was Once Upon a Mattress.

ACT1 is the proud recipient of several Metropolitan Atlanta Theater awards, including 5 for our production of Fiddler on the Roof.  We are sponsored and supported by Alpharetta Presbyterian Church, and provide entertainment to the community without religious bias.

In addition to using many experienced theater folks, one of the objectives of our work is to provide a venue for those who have never been involved with theater before.  We enjoy seeing new folks discover a love of theater – whether that’s performing on the stage; building sets; making costumes; or working as a stage hand, lighting technician or sound technician.  As new cast and crew members “learn the ropes” and become seasoned pros, they may decide to try their hand at stage managing or directing.  All of our cast, crew, and management are volunteers.  But, no matter what role you choose, this will be the most fun that you have had in a long time.

Can I Review the Script in Advance?
Not for this show.

What will auditions be like?
We’ll have you sign in, get an audition number, and fill out an audition form to tell us about yourself.  Don’t worry if you’ve never done this before – experience is not required.  If you have a headshot, bring it along.  If not, we’ll take a picture to help us remember who’s who after you’re gone.

Everyone who auditions will start together in one room, and you’ll be asked to do some cold readings.  It’s known as “cold reading”, because you’re not expected to memorize anything in advance.  The material you need will be given to you. The Director and Stage Manager will run the auditions, and you’ll be asked to come forward a couple of times to read with a variety of other actors.  We’re all friendly and promise that it won’t be intimidating.  You may be asked to read a part that you’re obviously not suited for, or that you have no interest in.  It doesn’t mean you’re being considered for that part but rather helps us gauge your flexibility and range.

Next, we will take a quick break and break out into groups and rotate groups through the singing and dancing portions of the audition. First, we’ll have you sing something for us. If you are 16 or older, you will need to pre-prepare a song to perform for us; actors under 16 years old will be taught a song on-site.  Finally, we’ll have the choreographer teach you a short dance and watch you perform it in small groups.

Among the things we’ll be looking for are:
•          Speaking voice quality – Can you project, so that you’ll be heard from the back of the auditorium?
•          Energy – can we hear the interest and excitement in your voice?
•          Facial Expression – Does it match the words you’re reading?
•          Character – Can you “be” the person you’re reading?
•          Willingness – Can you follow instructions and give it your best shot?

How will you pick the cast?
Many things go into putting a cast together.  Of course, your performance at the audition is important, but so are other things that are not in your control.  The script dictates, to a large extent, who will be cast.  As an example, characters playing members of a family should look like they could be family.  So casting is a process of finding good actors of an appropriate age who fit in combination with the other actors. No parts are pre-cast, and everyone who gets a part will have auditioned at one of the 3 scheduled times, unless special arrangements are made in advance.

When will I know if I’m cast?
If we are able to cast you, we will call you no later than the day after the last audition.  For this show, that means we’ll call by Monday, August 29th.  If you don’t hear from us, we were not able to use you this time.  The number of people who audition prevents us from calling everyone.  But remember, that doesn’t mean you did a poor job, and please – come back to audition for another show.

What am I committing to?
By coming to auditions you’re not committing to anything.  Come try us out and see what you think.  If we offer you a part, and you accept, then you are making a commitment to attend every rehearsal possible.  That means you can’t miss a rehearsal unless it’s absolutely necessary and you’ve told the Stage Manager in advance.  No absences are allowed during the last two weeks of rehearsals.  Even if you have your part learned down pat and don’t feel you need to be there, remember that your fellow actors are dependent on you being where you’re supposed to be.  If someone has a line to deliver to you and you’re not there, it makes it very difficult to stay in character and keep the scene running smoothly.  A major factor in a production not getting to a polished, professional level, is a cast that is erratic in attendance.  OK, enough preaching – just want you to understand the importance of being at rehearsals.

Tell me about this play!

A holiday classic from the writer of the musical theater classic The Music Man! Based on the movie of the same name, Miracle On 34th Street features a book and score by none other than Meredith Willson. Single mother, Doris Walker, doesn’t want her six-year old daughter Susan’s head filled with romantic notions. Their neighbor Fred Gailey tries to woo Doris by charming Susan and taking her to see Santa Claus at Macy’s, where Doris works. Doris is not impressed -but when it turns out Macy’s Santa may in fact be the real Kris Kringle, a wave of love spreads across New York City that melts even the most cynical hearts. Filled with humor, spectacle, and such beloved songs as “Pinecones and Hollyberries,” “It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas” and “My State, My Kansas,” this joyous, heart-warming musical is pure family entertainment, wholesome without being cloying. A star-vehicle for a female actress that features great roles for children, the show is a cast and crowd pleaser. With its built-in audience base, Miracle On 34th Street The Musical is the perfect holiday treat for any theatre!

What are the roles available?

This show requires children ages 6 and up and adults. Ages listed are what the actor needs to be able to portray convincingly. Note that the actor should LOOK the age listed… actual age does not matter. We need talented and enthusiastic actors with a well-rounded ability to sing, dance and act. Cast size may vary, but includes about 30 actors.  Key roles exist for especially talented lead singers and dancers!  We also need actors with tumbling, cirque and circus tricks in their repertoire. Many actors will play two or more roles.

Character Breakdown

Females:

Doris Walker – a very sharp young career-woman and free thinker

Susan – her 6-yr-old daughter

Miss Crookshank, Secretary to Mr. Sawyer

Clara – a legal secretary

Miss Sims – a nurse

Mrs. Finfer – a shopper

Henrika – a Dutch girl

Henrika’s Adoptive Mother

Shoppers

Store Clerks

Parade Spectators

Toy Ballet Dancers

Tall Dame Girl Scout

Mrs. Beeler – the housekeeper

Males:

Fred Gailey – a handsome Marine captain, mustering out into civilian life

Kris Kringle – the real McCoy

Marvin Shellhammer – an aggressive but somewhat bungling junior executive

R.H. Macy – the boss

Mr. Sawyer – the store psychologist

Judge Martin Group

Tammany O’Halloran – a political boss

Thomas Mara, Sr. – the District Attorney

Alvin – Marine Friend of Fred’s

Whitey – Marine Friend of Fred’s

Climber – Marine Friend of Fred’s

Bailiff

Murphy – a night watchman

A Drunk Santa

Miss Muffett – a clown

A kid

A Balloon vendor

Harry Finfer – a 6-yr old

Shoppers

Clerks

Governor of New York

Mayor of New York City

Tommy Mara – a 7 yr old

Mr. Gimbel

Two Policemen

A Mailman

Parade Spectators

Toy Ballet Dancers

There are unnamed ensemble roles for both children and adults integral to the telling of the story. Strong voices, confident motion and enthusiasm are desirable for these roles.

Audition dates and options

There are three set audition dates, separated by age group.

  • Tuesday August 23, 7 pm is for adults only.
  • Thursday August 25, 7 pm is for adults, teens over 15, and families; children under 15 are welcome only if they are auditioning with an adult.
  • Sunday August 28 2 pm is only for children 15 and under whose parents are not auditioning or who elected to audition without them on the 23rd  or 25th. Adults are discouraged from auditioning on this day.
  • For college students and others who are unable to attend these auditions please email the stage manager (see “Who Is Working On This Show” below).

The general format of the audition will begin with cold readings, conducted with the entire group present. Following a short break/warm-up period, we will break into small groups. Each group will start with the singing portion of the audition, and then cycle through choreography instruction and performance.  Sides will be made available as you arrive; you may be asked to read from any of the sides regardless of suitability of the role, and you may be asked to perform multiple readings .

Children under 16 are not expected to bring their own music or song; we will teach them several bars as a group at the beginning of the audition then have them sing in small groups and individually. Actors age 16 and up are expected to prepare 16 bars of a song for their singing audition. Act1 will provide a backing track for a select list of songs (see below); other audition songs are welcome, but actors must provide their own backing track by CD or USB stick prior to the start of auditions.

Supported Audition Songs (we will identify the song versions to be used closer to audition dates):

Men:
76 Trombones from The Music Man, First Verse

Dancing Through Life from Wicked.  First verse and chorus.

Women:

Goodnight My Someone from The Music Man First Verse.

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas. First verse and chorus.

If auditioners choose to perform a number not listed above, prerecorded music must be provided on a memory stick or CD. Headshots appreciated but not required.

What about rehearsals?

Our schedule calls for 3 rehearsals a week, for 11 weeks, followed by 4 weekends of performances. Our first rehearsal is scheduled for Tuesday, August 30th. Rehearsals are normally on Tuesday and Thursdays evenings at 7:00pm and Sundays at 2:00 PM. Not everyone is scheduled at every rehearsal – at least in the beginning.  As we work individual scenes, only the actors in those scenes need to be there.  We take very seriously your commitment and your time.  The schedule will be laid out in advance, and only vary rarely deviated from.  You will never be expected to hang around waiting for the director to get to your part.  PLEASE NOTE:  there are rehearsals during school holidays…these are NOT optional! The very first rehearsal will be a “read-through” and will include the entire cast.  It’s just what it sounds like – we’ll all sit around and read the script.  It’s the time to meet your fellow actors, hear the Director’s vision for the show, begin to assimilate your character, work on any tricky pronunciation, etc.  We’ll give you your copy of the script, the schedule, and any other material you’ll need. We will also take costume measurements at this time. After that, the next set of rehearsals will be broken down, scene by scene, and we’ll learn individual songs and do the “blocking”.  Blocking is the term used for any stage movement – crossing from one side to the other, sitting down, standing up – all the stuff that supports your lines.  Bring a pencil and make notes in your script as you work. Once everything is blocked, the next few rehearsals we will go back through those scenes and work on them some more.  By this time, you need to have your lines memorized for the scenes that we’re working that day.  Once we’re through these “working” rehearsals, we’re now about 4 weeks in, and we’ve worked on every scene for at least 3 rehearsals, and it’s time to combine them, and run the full act, and later the full show, fine-tuning as we go.  Expect about 40 rehearsals in all.  The last two weeks have reserved every day for rehearsals, which will be scheduled on an as-needed basis.

When are Performances?
Currently, there are plans for 15 performances of this show November 25th to December  18th. Here’s the performance schedule:

  • Nov 25– 8 pm
  • Nov 26– 8 pm
  • Nov 27 – 2 pm
  • Dec 1 – 8pm
  • Dec 2 – 8 pm
  • Dec 3 – 8 pm
  • Dec 4 – 2 pm
  • Dec 9 – 8 pm
  • Dec 10 —4pm
  • Dec 10 —8pm
  • Dec 11 —2pm
  • Dec 16 – 8pm
  • Dec 17—4pm
  • Dec 17 – 8 pm
  • Dec 18 – 2 pm

Tickets prices haven’t been announced, but you can have all your fans book tickets atwww.ACT1Theater.com call the box office at 770-663-8989 to make their reservations. Each cast member will get two tickets free. In addition, cast members may buy more tickets at a discount, for family and friends.

Who Will Be Working on This Show?

LisaKay Matchen will direct this show (lkmatchen@gmail.com).

will be Music Director.

Paul Komorner will be the stage manager (prk146@bellsouth.net).

What about….?

For any other questions, please call artistic director, LisaKay Matchen, 678-371-3079,lkmatchen@gmail.com .