Auditions open for youth performance of “Scrooge’s Christmas” |

Auditions open for youth performance of “Scrooge’s Christmas”

Scott Parker changes the marquee at the Chief Theater in downtown Steamboat Springs.
John F. Russell

If you go:

What: Auditions for the Chief Theater's youth holiday production of "Scrooge's Christmas"

When: 4 to 6 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 2

Where: Depot Arts Center, 1001 13th St.

Who: Students in sixth to 12th grades

More information:

— The holiday season wouldn’t be complete without the portrayal of miser-turned-benefactor Ebenezer Scrooge.

This year, Chief Theater will present its second annual youth holiday production and the show will be “Scrooge’s Christmas” by Ken Jones.

But before the curtain can go up on the Dec. 2 production, actors, stage managers and crew need to be in place.

Students in sixth through 12th grade will have the opportunity to audition for this year’s production from 4 to 6 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 2 in the baggage room of the Depot Arts Center in Steamboat Springs.

According to director Sabrina Stewart, the ensemble cast will be comprised of nine male youth and six female youth parts with each actor playing three to four roles.

“So we’re looking for kids who are comfortable memorizing and moving around on stage and working with other actors,” Stewart said.

Auditioners will be asked to prepare one of two monologues: the character of Fran — Scrooge’s love interest — for the females, and the character of Scrooge for the males. Both monologues can be found on the Chief Theater’s website, according to Stewart.

Although Stewart said she is looking for talent from area middle and high schools, younger students may audition and apply for an acting role or one of the many behind-the-scenes roles, which include props, tech, lighting, set or costume crew.

Stewart is also looking for a youth stage director to work with the production’s assistant director Katie Carroll.

“Katie is going to have an apprentice stage manager to help with staging the production, helping with warmups and following Katie around to help her keep everything under control,” Stewart said.

Except for the actor playing Scrooge, actors will assume the roles of multiple characters in the production.

“The actors need to be versatile, shifting from one role to another,” Stewart said.

For example, the actor who plays Bob Cratchit will also play Marley, and the actor who portrays Scrooge’s nephew Fred will also play the Ghost of Christmas-Yet-to-Come.

“What we’re looking for are actors who are willing to go outside a normal acting experience to play multiple roles and be willing to jump from personality to personality,” she said.

Stewart explained this production of the classic tale is different than a traditional staging of Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol.”

“There are some songs in it, and actors are seldom off the stage,” she explained. “They also make sound effects like doors closing or chains clanking.”

All sound effects are created by the actors, either with their voices or small sound effects props such as wooden blocks and chains. The changing of locations is represented by props and simple furniture pieces carried on and off stage by the actors.

To see how well actors can handle the demands of multi-tasking as multiple characters and crew, Stewart said the audition process will entail “warm-up exercises” that incorporate movement.

“The best thing they can do to prepare is to memorize that paragraph, be energetic and be willing to play and have fun interacting,” she said. “It’s challenging but rewarding.”

Rehearsals for “Scrooge’s Christmas” will take place twice a week at 4 p.m. Sundays and at 6 p.m. Tuesdays during October and November. Show dates are Dec. 2, 3 and 4 at the Chief Theater.

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