CHRISTMAS OF SWING at HISTORY THEATRE

 

 

History Theatre

Auditions for CHRISTMAS OF SWING: THE ANDREWS SISTERS USO SHOW 

By Bob Beverage and Ron Peluso

In collaboration with Jan Puffer and David Lohman

With additional contributions by Ernest Briggs

History Theatre is excited to return to creating main stage productions that reflect the diverse voices and experiences that make up our shared history as a region and country.  Over the past year, our board and staff with assistance from community consultants has focused internally to identify where and how we need to change our programs, policies, and practices in order to become a more anti-racist and equitable organization. Currently, we are compiling input received from 88 theatre artists who recently responded to our survey sent to artists who have worked with History Theatre over the past 5 years.  We will incorporate insights and recommendations into a specific DEI plan that provides a road map for immediate and ongoing change at every level of the organization.  This work is intended to honor our mission and foundational values; to ensure accountability; and to deepen relationships with artists, audiences, and community partners.

In the local and national theatre community, History Theatre has a unique mission, and it comes with great responsibility as we commission and produce new work. We strive to provide a forum to uncover and learn from history, to launch important conversations and spark dialog around difficult topics, to celebrate the people of our region, and to do it with the highest level of artistic excellence. As we return to the theatre, HT is committed to becoming a more anti-racist and equitable organization, onstage and off.

CHRISTMAS OF SWING Artistic Team

Stage Direction.                  Ron Peluso

Assistant Direction            Ernest Briggs

Music Direction                   David Lohman

Choreography                      Jan Puffer

Dramaturgy                            Richard D. Thompson 

Artistic Associate                 Laurie Flanigan Hegge

Assistant Choreographer    A.C. Johnson

 

CHRISTMAS OF SWING is a musical tribute to the Andrews Sisters and the men and women who served in WWII. Featuring music of the era, this new version of a beloved holiday show weaves letters and stories from real men and women in the armed forces into a rehearsal of the Sisters’ USO tour. With cameos from Bing Crosby and Abbott & Costello, this show blends the Andrews Sisters infectious music with heartfelt stories from characters grounded in a history representative of the many diverse groups of Americans who served in WWII.

IMPORTANT DATES

Because of the complex nature of the Andrews Sisters’ music and choreography, the three sisters will be contracted one week earlier than the full company.

Rehearsals for the three Andrews Sisters begin 10/19/21

Full company begins 10/26/21

Opens 11/20/21 

Closes 12/19/21

COVID-19 GUIDELINES

The safety of our performers, technicians, staff, and audiences is of primary importance. History Theatre will follow all up-to-date City, State, and Federal guidelines related to COVID-19, as well as guidelines set forth by Actors Equity Association for fully-vaccinated production teams. 

This production will be rehearsed in-person, indoors at History Theatre in St. Paul.

CHARACTER BREAKDOWN

Seeking AEA and non-AEA performers with strong musical theatre skills. 

History Theatre is committed to equity throughout our organization, and we strongly encourage performers across diverse backgrounds to audition.

WOMEN: 

THE ANDREWS SISTERS in 1944. Sisters need to sing tight harmonies and have solid dancing skills.

PATTY ANDREW—age 26, vocal range F#3–E5, the youngest of the sisters, comic/clown. 

MAXENE ANDREWS—age 28, vocal range F#3-G5, married to Lou Levy, independent. Legit soprano. (This character will be asked to sing “Oh Holy Night” at callback.)

LAVERNE ANDREWS— age 33, vocal range F3–C#5, big sister, more serious/cautious than her younger sisters. 

FLORENCE (WOMEN AIRFORCE SERVICE PILOT aka WASP) / ENSEMBLE, age 26, vocal range flexible. Comic range. (May double as Lou Costello.)

MEN:

BING CROSBY / SOLDIER / ENSEMBLE: Will appear as American Singer Bing Crosby at age 41. Vocal range F2–F4. Dance skills.  

MINURU MASUDA (MEDIC) / ENSEMBLE: Age 28, married. Vocal range flexible. 

LOU LEVY / BUD ABBOTT / ENSEMBLE: Age range 34-47, vocal range Bb2–E4. Comic range.

LOU COSTELLO / ENSEMBLE: Age 38, Vocal range Bb2–E4. Comic range. (May double as WASP.)

HAROLD BROWN (TUSKEGEE AIRMAN) / ENSEMBLE—Age 20s-30s. Vocal range flexible.

HANK (POSTMAN) / TUSKEGEE AIRMAN #2 / ENSEMBLE—Age 20s- 30s. Vocal range flexible. Dance skills. 

ERNIE (STAGE MANAGER) / NATIVE AMERICAN SOLDIER / ENSEMBLE—Age 20s-30s, Vocal range flexible.

ARMANDO FLORES (PARATROOPER) / ENSEMBLE—Age 20s to 30s. Vocal range flexible.

SALARY

History Theatre operates under a SPT Contract (Tier 6) agreement AEA (minimum $523/wk.) AEA Actors for this production will be offered $625/wk plus P&H. NON-AEA actors will be paid a minimum of $15/hour.

HOW TO SUBMIT 

Initial auditions are being held by video submission. Submissions are due no later than August 5, 2021. Your submission will be used for casting purposes only.

WHAT TO SUBMIT

  1. Please fill out an audition form here: https://forms.gle/nmvu4Rm5paQddEXo8
     
  2. Send a photo, resume, and a video submission to [email protected] using the subject line: Your Name / Christmas of Swing

You may either embed your video into your email or include a link to your video submission from Dropbox, Vimeo, or YouTube. (Private link recommended.)

AUDITION MATERIALS

Please choose one of the following songs for your audition video based on a character for which you would like to be considered (see “reference tracks” for information of what to sing based on specific characters). No monologue required.

You will find sheet music and corresponding piano tracks here: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/5rlzi4oymnnv85x/AACwMgIhOWY_NHieYMSMqgPfa?dl=0

RECORDING YOUR VIDEO

  • Slate with a simple hello, your name, your height, your voice range, and the role(s) for which you would like to be considered.
  • Find a neutral space to record. Natural light is best, but if that’s not possible, make sure you’re well lit. You might find moving a lamp or two into your space helps to illuminate you.
  • Record with your device in landscape (vs. portrait) if possible with 3/4 body framing.
  • Record yourself singing with the piano track as if you were in the room with an accompanist. No acapella please.

REFERENCE TRACKS:

If you are auditioning for the Sisters or Bing, we are not looking for carbon copies of them. You are each artists in your own right, and we do not expect you to simply recreate their performances. However, we need to believe that you have captured their essence. One step towards that goal can be through mimicry. Listen to their original performances. Really listen, and notice tone, vibrato, how they treat consonants, vowels, and diphthongs, where they breathe, if they slide up into notes or fall off them, etc. Then sing along with the recordings. Once you’re comfortable, sing with the provided audition tracks.

Sisters:

Tuskegee Airman:

Bing Crosby:

Ensemble (other than Tuskegee Airmen):

 
CALLBACKS

Callbacks will be held in-person on the evenings of Saturday, August 14 and Sunday, August 15 at History Theatre in Saint Paul following AEA guidelines for in-person auditions. 

If you are called back, you will be provided with additional materials in advance of the callback, and you will also be asked to dance at that time.

NEED HELP?

We understand that auditioning in this manner is unusual and could be stressful, but encourage you to have fun. We want you to know we’re happy you’re submitting and appreciate the effort it takes to record a video audition. If you need help or have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us here: [email protected].

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Contact information

History Theatre
Laurie Flanigan Hegge
612-720-0912
Email/contact
Web site

Respond by
Thursday, August 5
Posted July 21