CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Nov. 19, 2014 – Children interested in singing, dancing and performing will have the opportunity to audition Dec. 2 for a role in the upcoming Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, “The King and I,” to be performed next spring at Southeast Missouri State University’s River Campus.
Auditions will be held from 4-6 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 2, in the Wendy Kurka Rust Flexible Theatre at the River Campus. Callbacks will be Dec. 2 from 6-10 p.m. Participants will be notified if they need to attend callbacks. Many children ages 6 through eighth grade are needed to fill the roles of the King’s children. The roles are of an ensemble nature, with the children singing and dancing in a few numbers.
In addition, two boys are being sought between the ages of 11 and 13. They will fill two roles in the musical, Louis, Anna’s son, and Prince Chulalongkorn, the heir to the throne of Siam. Both roles require acting, singing and dance abilities. Louis speaks in a British accent and Chulalongkorn should have an Asian accent, both of which will be taken into account during the auditions.
The audition process has several elements. Children need to be in the audition room and ready to audition by 3:45 p.m. They may leave after their audition, unless they are asked to stay for a callback.
The audition will consist of completing an audition information form. Singing will be required, and if a child has sheet music, it is recommended that he or she bring it. If not, children will be asked to sing a portion of “Getting to Know You” from the show. Participants may be asked to sing scales to determine their vocal range.
For the dance audition, children will be asked to learn and follow dance steps and moves from the choreographer. No preparation is required. It is recommended that children wear comfortable clothing they can move well in and closed toe shoes, such as sneakers or dance shoes.
Boys auditioning for the roles of Louis and Prince Chulalongkorn will perform a scene cut from the show. Participants will be given these scenes at the audition if the director feels a participant may be right for the parts. Children may be asked to read with a British or Asian accent.
Auditions will be rated based on singing ability for all singing roles and ensembles, characterization, ability to speak with an accent, rehearsal availability, dance ability if required for a role, stage presence, ability to convey emotions, articulation and dialogue understandability, and timing and rhythm.
Rehearsals will begin on Jan. 12, 2015, and will be held from 6-10 p.m. during the week and from noon to 7 p.m. on Sundays. There will be no rehearsals on Saturdays. “The King and I” will be performed at Southeast Missouri State University’s River Campus Feb. 27-March 1.
Depending upon the role, some cast members will not be required to attend all rehearsals. All cast members are required to attend all rehearsals during show week. Rehearsals during show week will be in the evenings. These rehearsals may last until 10 p.m. Attending rehearsals is mandatory. Casting preference will be given to those who can attend all required rehearsals.
Guest director for “The King and I” is Dennis Courtney. The choreographer is Michelle Contrino, Southeast instructor of dance. Joe Mason, Southeast instructor of musical theatre, will serve as musical director. Judith Farris, Southeast artist-in-residence, will be the vocal director.
The play revolves around a British teacher and the King of Siam in 1862. It’s 1862 in exotic Siam when an English widow, Anna Leonowens, and her young son arrive at the Royal Palace in Bangkok, having been summoned by the King to serve as a tutor to his many wives and children. With both keeping a firm grip on their respective traditions and values, Leonowens and the King grow to understand and respect one another in a truly unique love story in the grand style of Rodgers and Hammerstein. Themes the play addresses include cultural issues, life transitions, respect, love and cooperation.
For more information on auditioning, contact the Department of Theatre and Dance at (573) 651-2149.