Crossville’s Cumberland County Playhouse starts its “Golden Anniversary Era,” recalling events and people who inspired and launched the rural theater in 1963-'65, with a new season of plays and musicals featuring one of the South’s first authorized professional productions of Les Misérables and much more.
Auditions for Les Misérables and all 2013 shows will be Wed, Dec. 20, by appointment, beginning at 4 p.m. in CCP’s Adventure Theater, accessed from the main lobby. The schedule of CCP productions is available online at www.ccplayhouse.com, and rehearsals for each project begin a month before opening. For more details or to schedule an appointment, call Meka at 484-4324 (leave message on weekends).
Les Misérables is now released to regional professional companies after 25 years of national and international touring, as the movie prepares to open. CCP’s Les Mis stars Nathaniel Hackmann, direct from the final national tour of the show, as Jean Valjean. Hackmann’s past CCP roles include Lancelot in Camelot, Emile in South Pacific and Curley in Oklahoma! A veteran of San Francisco Opera’s prestigious Merola program, Hackmann has been a CCP resident company member since 2008’s Flight of the Lawnchair Man and South Pacific, prior to appearing in the national tours of Beauty and the Beast and Les Mis.
All other roles are open, with CCP resident actors competing, but a large, diverse company is required. CCP Producing Director Jim Crabtree will direct Les Mis, assisted by Britt Hancock and Weslie Webster, with musical staging by Leila Nelson. Children for the youth roles in Les Mis (Gavroche and his gang, young Cosette, ages 8-11) and The Miracle Worker’s young Helen Keller and multicultural kids 8-13 will be a future audition.
Separate teen/youth and adult volunteer auditions are also being held Dec. 16 by appointment for roles in Footloose, the Broadway musical inspired by the 1984 film starring Kevin Bacon and which generated a new movie version in 2011. Footloose is about a big city — small town “culture clash: the story of teenaged Ren (who lost his dad), as his single mom moves them from Chicago to a small, conservative town where styles, rules and even laws are different. In Chicago, Ren was popular, but he misses dad, and he’s now an “outsider.” The Oscar nominated-score is infectious and exciting in a show about families with kids growing up in the U.S.A.
Professionals and experienced volunteers (teens to seniors) may audition for all shows. All are asked to prepare 16 bars of a song and a 30-45 second monologue, with second selections if requested or called back. Ring of Fire, the Johnny Cash musical, calls for several actor/musicians. Bring instruments if interested in Ring of Fire. CCP music director Ron Murphy asks that all bring sheet music in the proper key or a cued-up cd/cassette instrumental accompaniment. CCP works in rotating rep, each show plays 2-4 times per week, with actors in one or more projects, as available. Schedules are at www.ccplayhouse.com. Sometimes double casting permits wide participation.
CCP will kick off its 2013 season with Steel Magnolias, sponsored by Dr. Stanley Bise and directed by Donald Fann (Duck Hunter, Lilla Barton, Dearly Departed). It will open Jan. 19 and feature CCP leading women Weslie Webster, Carol Irvin, Patty Payne, Lindy Pendzick, Lauren Marshall and 2012 newcomer Anna Baker (Golden Boy, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat). Les Mis will begin rehearsals in early February, with a March 8 opening.
Now playing at CCP through Dec. 22 and 23 are Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, sponsored by M. Stewart Galloway, MD of Cumberland Eye Care, and A Sanders Family Christmas, sponsored by Stonehaus Winery. Call 484-5000 or visit www.ccplayhouse.com for schedules, details and tickets.