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Charles Burr on putting together the season

As soon as the curtain descended on Alone Together Again last summer, I began thinking about what shows we would do for the 2016 season. Many factors go into the final selection of plays:Charles Burr
• Cast size
• How the potential shows mesh with other possible plays and musicals for a balanced season
• New show availability
• Audience appeal
• What kind of productions work from season to season.

Once some of the above are answered, I make up several different slates of possible shows and submit them to the Tibbits Board of Directors. Once they have approved the slate of shows, we announce the season.

When I return to Coldwater in February, it is time for the first major audition. This is the United Professional Theatre Auditions held in Memphis, TN. To even qualify for this audition, actors have to have a Master’s degree or about three professional productions to their credit. For this audition, they have 90 seconds to show themselves off. Usually they sing about 16 bars of a song and do one or two monologues.

I then call back the people I am interested in that night. It seems to work at about 10%. If there are 250 people a day, I talk to 25 or so that might be right for this season. I explain more about the Tibbits, the schedule, living arrangements, etc. I might have them do another piece for me or request them to send me a link to more musical material.

I also attend the Midwest Auditions in St. Louis, MO. These are similar—but the actors get to do two whole minutes of material. Then I watch them all dance. Once again, I talk to the ones I like at the end of the day.

This year, for the ballet in Oklahoma, director and choreographer Kevin Halpin also saw dancers in NYC.

Then the casting process begins. It is a HUGE jigsaw puzzle. Cast members have to be good for more than one show. Does this actor have the variety? Does this actress have the notes to sing this role? What am I going to do with this person between the first show and the last? The list is endless.

And it takes many, many weeks to sort out. Your first choice has a wedding in June where she’s singing… Someone else has a great offer to go somewhere else this year… Or they’ve just moved to NYC and don’t want to leave… Number 4 can do the first three shows, but not the last… THIS list is endless, too.

But eventually a group of talented actors begins to emerge…..

Charles Burr
Tibbits Summer Theatre Artistic Director

Stay tuned as we begin to highlight some of this season’s company

Design and Technical Positions

Tibbits Summer Theatre is still searching for the following technical positions:
• Technical Director
• Carpenter
• Scenic Artist
• Properties Assistant
• Lighting Designer
• Master Elec/Board Op,–with some design
Complete listings are available on: offstagejobs.com Search Tibbits.
All positions are paid and no cost housing is provided. June 5 to August 13.
Resumes may be sent to Charles Burr at: charles@Tibbits.org

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