August 03, 2010

As the time draws near

Hello all!
I am feeling so much excitement coming from many different directions right now: returning Footlighters, incoming freshmen, production staff, Case staff, Footlighters enthusiasts, Footies alumni, and (of course) myself! I would just like to thank you all in advance for being a part of this humongous undertaking. A few last notes before the games begin:

1) Go to the Footlighters website (footlighters.case.edu) and look at all we have accomplished in just a few years. Very inspirational.
2) While on the Footlighters website, note the names and positions of the club officers. They are wonderful people who can make your wildest dreams come true.
3) If anyone needs information about the show, about Case, needs their computer fixed, needs to vent, or anything else, please let me know and I will do everything I can to be helpful :)

Keep the energy up, it's only gonna get more exciting from here!

July 28, 2010

Pit Auditions

Hello all and thank you for taking interest in the orchestra pit for Thoroughly Modern Millie! I am the Pit Director (I believe Eric has already introduced me somewhat) and I would like to tell you a little bit about how I'd like to run my auditions. But before I do that, here's a very abridged biography: I'm going to be a Junior at Case Western this upcoming year majoring in Music and Chemistry and I play saxophone, among other things. I'm a Cleveland local (well, about twenty/thirty minutes outside the city) and this will be my...tenth(?) musical I have been involved in, and the fourth with Footlighters.

Now down to some business. Below is all the information I think you will need for the audition process. If you have any questions for me feel free to send me an email at saf38@case.edu and I will get back to you as fast as I can.

How Auditions will work:

There will be a single audition for pit members on 28-29 August between 12:00pm and 5:00pm. These auditions do not need to be scheduled, just show up with your instrument(s) and I'll be waiting to hear you. If there are any conflicts I will be glad to hold a separate audition as needed. I would like each person auditioning to play the range of their instrument (as high/low as you can get with a good sound) and to have two excerpts of pieces, each no more than one minute long, one fast/technical and one slow/lyrical (please don't go too insane over these and for both our sakes keep them short). In addition to these excerpts I would like you to sight read a very small portion from the book for which you are auditioning.

I would like to cover as many parts as possible using the instruments written for, so if you can play multiple instruments that would be amazing (this is mostly involving reed parts). For those playing multiple instruments, I'd ask you bring all the instruments you wish to play to your audition. You will not need to prepare two pieces for each instrument (just your primary instrument); however, I would still like to hear your range as well as the sight reading for each instrument on which you choose to audition.

Instrument list:

Strings:
Violin 1
Violin 2
Cello
Bass

Woodwinds:
Reed 1 (Piccolo, Flute, Clarinet, Soprano Saxophone, Alto Saxophone)
Reed 2 (Flute, Clarinet, Soprano Saxophone, Alto Saxophone)
Reed 3 (Oboe, Clarinet, Soprano Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone)
Reed 4 (Flute, Baritone Saxophone, Bass Clarinet)

Brass:
French Horn
Trumpet 1 (Trumpet, Flugelhorn)
Trumpet 2 (Trumpet, Flugelhorn)
Trumpet 3 (Trumpet, Flugelhorn)
Trombone 1
Trombone 2 (Trombone, Tuba)

Percussion:
Drums (Set)
Percussion (Auxiliary percussion, basically everything except the kitchen sink)
Piano (Celeste, Piano)
Harp
Guitar (Acoustic Guitar, Banjo, Ukulele)

Notes:

General:
Right now I'm trying to have my orchestra pit set up like a big band, with brass behind the woodwinds, a string section off to my left and the percussionists behind and to the right of the wind instruments. We will see how that works out later...

Strings:
The score for Millie calls for a string quartet (sort of); however, due to the nature and style of the music, I have a feeling the wind instruments will completely overpower if there are only four of you. As a result I think I would like at least two players per part on Violin 1, Violin 2, and Cello. If you're a violist I'm really sorry but to my knowledge there is not a Viola part, if you'd really, really like to play I am sure we could have you double the Violin 2 part so go ahead and audition.

Woodwinds:
There are multiple instruments divided into four reed books. I'll try to have as many people to play as would like; however, I may need to give preference to those that can play multiple instruments (because I'm not sure Eric would like the orchestra pit being larger than the stage). Also, the score calls for three soprano saxophones usually playing in harmony, so I need at least three people to play soprano saxophone.

Brass:
Most of the brass parts are pretty straight forward, there's one book per part that I've listed. Trumpet 1 is going to be a bit of a handful, lots of jazz, lots of high notes, lots of wailing, really fun, but not so easy (just as a warning) so, if you are a trumpet player, this part is wicked fun, but be prepared.

Percussion:
This show has a ton, a TON, of auxiliary percussion. It's really fun, but I need a lot of hands, so if you're an octopus or know a percussionist, have them audition please, please, please, please, please. If you can play (or know someone who does play) Guitar, Banjo and Ukulele not only are you amazing, but you'd be very valuable to this pit (if you can't play all three audition anyway and we'll have more people). If you are a harp player I might just bake you a cake if you audition. Please audition harp players!!!

I think that pretty much covers the auditions for me. Again, if you have any questions feel free to email me, and good luck.

Stephen Frollo"

May 13, 2010

Callbacks

Hey ya'll!

As a followup to my entry about auditions, this is the information about how callbacks will work:

First off, you will get an email from me telling you whether you are called back or to invite you to be otherwise engaged with the show.

You will be informed of the date(s) for callbacks, usually a week or so after first auditions, and the location, usually Denison again. You will also be informed for what part you are called back, and given music/reading to be prepared for your callback. Please be prepared for your callback.

We will do a variety of tryouts at callbacks. This will vary depending on the part for which you are called back. There will be some solo singing and some small and large group singing, to get an idea of how well you blend with others. There will be group dancing, tap dancing, and some duets. Once you are done with your required sections, you will be free to go. Some people will be there longer than others. Such is life.

(Hopefully) within a week the staff will have gotten together to decide on the cast. I will call you to tell you what part you have gotten, and you will tell me whether or not you want this part or can commit the time to it.

And that's all. It sounds really intense, but the process is good fun! I'm really excited about this whole thing! So have fun with it!

Auditions

Hello everyone!
I have a very exciting entry for you this time. I will now share with you the (current) vision of the audition process, as it will run for Millie. I will be using a lot of conditional language. This is because I do not want to present any information as fact until I am absolutely sure it is. However, most of the information has an extremely high chance of being true. Now then!

First of all, auditions will take place on the first week of classes. It will likely be on the first day of classes (as is Footies custom). We will advertise the date and time. They will likely take place in Denison hall, the music building attached to Wade Commons in the North Residential Village. It can be entered only via a door opposite the Wade Commons door(s). When you get there, you will fill out a quick questionnaire, with questions something like:

1) Who the heck are you?
2) For what part are you auditioning?
3) Do you have dance experience? If so, what flavor?
4) What makes you right for this show?
5) Draw a picture.

The first audition is a very relaxed process. We just want to see what you can do. There is no reason to be nervous. I firmly believe that if someone is right for this show, it will be very obvious. Just be yourself.

Auditions will happen in two waves. First will be the initial audition. All people interested in being in this show (cast, singer, dancer, lead, ensemble, you get it) should be there. The pit will have a separate audition, similar in style. More to come later.

You will be expected to come with an audition piece prepared. This is a 30-second to one-minute snippet of song that you may have accompanied by our pianist, Chloe Schultz, if you bring music for her. Now, what song you choose is up to you. However, use your judgment to pick a song that will best display to the people watching your audition that you are right for this production.

Which brings me to my next point: who will sit at your audition. There will be three people watching singing/playing auditions:
1) me, the director, Eric
2) our Vocal Director, Grace
3) our Stage Manager, Bronwen

We will then meet to discuss auditions and choose whom to call back for...call...backs...anyway, the main things we will be looking for:
1) You can sing/play the style of music in Millie
2) You are available to rehearse and perform the show
3) You are someone we can work with

So good luck to everyone auditioning for this show. I am unspeakably excited to see all the lovely Footies I know and all the new ones we'll meet next year. Break a leg!

NOTE: There are TONS of ways to be involved in this show without being a cast member. Many members of this organization have worked crew, helped with set building, costuming, *Promotion*, and the MANY other elements that go into a show. Remember: Footlighters is a club. We must all work together to make the show as successful as it can be. So please, please get involved in the show. It's an awesome process of which to be a part.

May 10, 2010

What you need for the show

Hello ya'll!
I have been asked a couple times now what people will be expected to buy for themselves for this show. THESE ARE NOT REQUIRED FOR AUDITION! Tap shoes will be provided for audition. The purpose of this is so people who intend to buy shoes can get the right ones. Anyone who is confident that they will be getting an item whether they make the show or not can also have that for audition. Cast members will need the following:

For tapping characters:(Men's and Women's ensemble, Millie, Dorothy)
MEN:
Black jazz shoes
Black tap shoes

WOMEN:
Tan character shoes (1.5"-2" heel recommended)
{Tan character shoes with taps(1.5"-2" heel recommended)
OR
Tan tap shoes (1.5"-2" heel recommended)}
Recommended: one pair of black spankies or hot shorts

For non-tapping characters(Jimmy, Grayden, Bun Fu, Ching Ho, Mrs. Meers, Muzzy):
MEN:
Black jazz shoes

WOMEN:
Tan character shoes (1.5"-2" heel recommended)
Recommended: one pair of black spankies or hot shorts


Wondering where such things come from?
http://www.discountdance.com/index.php
There. The way you do this is:
1) Go to a real dance store. Capezio is the closest one to Case.
2) Try on the shoes you want.
3) Remember the brand and size.
4) Go home and order online.

Another note:
I have been recently informed of places where dance shoes can come with a decent group discount. If anyone is interested in this, I would be glad to coordinate some group buying. Please let me know ASAP if you're interested. My goal is to be in shoes for rehearsals by the 4th week in the semester.

Cast

Hey everybody!
Another little snippet of information that may be important to those interested in the production of Millie: what are the parts? Well here they are:

Cast:
Leads (By Voice Type):
Millie Dillmount Belter: mezzo-soprano
Dorothy Brown Soprano
Mrs. Meers Contralto
Muzzy Van Hoffsmere Jazz mezzo/contralto
Mrs. Flannery Belter: mezzo
Jimmy Smith Tenor/high baritone
Trevor Grayden Bass/baritone
Ching Ho Bass/low baritone
Bun Fu High baritone/tenor

Ensemble:
Women(6-13):
Alto, mezzo, soprano
Men(6):
Bass, baritone, tenor

Pit
Reed: 6-8
Brass: 6-8
String: 6-8
Piano: 1-2
Percussion: 3-6

So start thinking about what part you'd like to play! You could also look on http://www.mtishows.com/show_detail.asp?showid=000242 to learn more about the characters. Get ready!

Production Staff

Hey!
The time has come to introduce the team of people that will combine their powers to make Millie the best it can be. The production staff is(drum roll please):

Director - Eric Yarham
Choreographer - Charlotte Ghigliazza
Pit Director - Stephen Frollo
Technical Director - Henry Snow
Stage Manager - Bronwen Watkins-Pitchford
House Manager - Justin Fisher
Costumer - Grace Elliott
Tap instructor - Mallory Koons
Rehearsal Pianist - Chloe Schultz

We've had our first meeting already, and I am SUPER EXCITED about this group of people. We're like the kids on Captain Planet, coming from all walks of life, combining our unique talents and abilities to make one perfect entity. No green mullet here though.

Anyway, this is the team. We are awesome.