Archive for December, 2010

Auditions – THE SCARLET PIMPERNEL

All roles are available for Plaza Theatre Company’s upcoming production of THE SCARLET PIMPERNEL. An open audition is being held at Plaza Theatre Company to cast the show on January 10th and 11th, 2011. THE SCARLET PIMPERNEL is being directed by JaceSon and Tina Barrus with musical direction by Dick Helmcamp and choreography by Jill Baker. Auditions are by appointment only which can be made by visiting:

http://www.appointmentque…st.com/provider/2040169233?schedule=auditionsforthescarletpimpernell

AUDITION REQUIREMENTS:

Those who choose to audition are asked to come prepared to sing 32 bars of a showtune in the style of the show. An accompanist or CD player will be provided but each auditioner will be asked to provide their own sheet music or CD. A brief cold reading will also be required at the initial audition. A head shot and resume are requested.

Should the production team to take a further look at an auditoner, they may be invited to a Call Back audition on Saturday, January 15th from 9am to 1pm.

PRODUCTION INFORMATION:

THE SCARLET PIMPERNEL will open at Plaza Theatre Company on March 18th and play thru April 16th, 2011. The show plays every Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening at 7:30pm with Saturday matinees at 3pm. Rehearsals will commence on Tuesday, January 18th. Double casting of some roles MAY be available to accommodate scheduling.

ABOUT THE SHOW:

It’s the height of the bloody French Revolution when a dashing English aristocrat dares to enter France to save innocents from the guillotine. Through trickery and disguises, the Pimpernel and his band of Bounders save the day. Based on the acclaimed novel by Baroness Orczy, this grand musical vividly portrays the romance, intrigue and horrors of one of the most tumultuous periods in history, mixing historical fact with dramatic adventure.

ROLES AVAILABLE:

Sir Percy Blakeney – male- tenor – 30 to 40- lead
Marguerite St. Just – female – mezzo – 25 to 35 – lead
Citizen Chauvelin – male – baritone – 30 to 40 – lead
Marie Grosholtz – female – mezzo – 25 to 35 – supporting
Ozzy – male – baritone – 21 to 42 – supporting
Farleigh – male – baritone – 21 to 42 – supporting
Dewhurst – male – baritone – 21 to 42 – supporting
Elton – male – baritone – 21 to 42 – supporting
Hal – male – tenor – 21 to 42 supporting
Armand St. Just – male – tenor – 16 to 27 – supporting
Ben – male – tenor – 21 to 42 – supporting
Philippe Tussaud – male – 23 to 35 – cameo
Robespierre – male – 45 to 65 – cameo
Mercier – male – 21 to 50 – cameo
St. Cyr – male – baritone – 25 to 45 – cameo
Prince of Wales – male – tenor – 40 to 55 – cameo
Coupeau – male – 21 to 50 – cameo

2010 in Retrospect – a year in the life of PlazaCo

It has been a spectacular 2010 at PlazaCo! A year full of wonderful events, accolades, achievements and growth. Here’s a taste of life in 2010 at Plaza Theatre Company.

December 31st, 2009 – PlazaCo rings in the New Year with a Sold-Out performance of WILL ROGERS FOLLIES. It is the 29th show produced by Plaza Theatre Company and the 3rd annual New Year’s Eve Party.

January 31st, 2010 – PlazaCo is honored to receive 32 nominations for the 10th annual Column Awards. In all, AIDA gets 12 nominations, CASH ON DELIVERY gets 10, BEAU JEST gets 5, SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN and DON’T DRINK THE WATER get 2 each and WILL ROGERS FOLLIES gets 1. It is an exciting evening to hear Plaza’s name called 32 times at the nominating event.

February 14th, 2010 – PlazaCo presents it’s 3rd annual Valentines Party. The evening is highlighted by a meal at The Lemon Sisters and a performance of THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLIE.

Last week of February, 2010 – Plaza Academy is pleased to host 0ver 40 students and chaperones on a trip to New York City. While there, students watch 4 Broadway shows, take 7 tours of major NYC landmarks and participate in 4 talk-back events with working or aspiring performers. The tour is arranged and led by Stefanie Glenn.

March 8th, 2010 – Plaza Theatre Company is the honored recipient of 10 Column Awards for it’s 2009 productions (all non-Equity). CASH ON DELIVERY receives a Best Featured Actor nod while AIDA receives 9 Awards including Best Directors, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actress, Best Featured Actress, Best Musical Director, Best Sound, Best Stage Managers, Best Costumes and BEST MUSICAL OF THE YEAR! All told, Plaza ties Uptown Players for the most Awards of the night with 10. It’s quite a magical night for Plaza.

April 20th, 2010 – PlazaCo hosts it’s annual THANK YOU PARTY for Actors, Staff, Crew Members, Designers,Volunteers and Board Members. The event features performances from the previous year’s shows as well as the unveiling of the next year’s season of shows. It also marks Plaza Theatre Company’s 3rd birthday.

May 18th, 2010 – Guild Appreciation Night – Plaza hosts an appreciation event at The Liberty Hotel to honor Plaza Guild Members. Nearly people attended to enjoy the event and to witness the creation of the Volunteer of the Year Award. The recipients of the 1st year’s Award were Jim and Elaine Garvin for 2007, Sherry Clark for 2008 and Judy Barnett for 2009.

June 8th, 2010 – PlazaCo hosts it’s 1st annual “Fund-Razor” Murder Mystery. The event served as a fundraiser for Plaza’s Annual Fund and treated guests to an evening of Murder Mystery, karaoke style. The successful event insured the return of the Murder Mystery for Plaza’s 2011 fundraiser.

June 21st, 2010 – Plaza Academy embarks on it’s 3rd annual SUMMER SHOW CAMP. The 2010 camp has nearly 60 students who take part in Plaza’s summer 2010 production of ALL SHOOK UP. The performances of ALL SHOOK UP become Plaza’s most successful production in Plaza history selling our every single performance for it’s 6 week run.

Summer 2010 – Plaza Theatre Company is proud to be named “Best Live Theatre in Johnson County” by the Star Group newspapers.

July 14th, 2010 – Two of Plaza’s co-Producers, Tina and JaceSon Barrus welcome a son into their family. Little Jonah Jaxon Barrus is born and joins the Plaza team on stage for A CHRISTMAS CAROL at the tender age of 4 and a half months.

September 15th, 2010 – PlazaCo holds it’s 3rd annual Season Ticket holder appreciation night. It’s the first night tickets for 2011 were available and nearly 400 Season Ticket holders renewed that night. They were treated to performances from some 2011 shows and some delicious snacks as well.

December 15th, 2010 – Lastly, as a terrific Christmas present, Plaza Theatre Company was humbled to receive several mentions in the annual “Best of 2010” publication from The Column By John Garcia critics. This included 3 mentions for “Best Musical of the Year” (non-Equity) for INTO THE WOODS and 1 mention for “Best Play of the Year” (non-Equity) for A CHRISTMAS CAROL. In all, INTO THE WOODS received 19 mentions, SEVEN BRIDES FOR SEVEN BROTHERS received 8, A CHRISTMAS CAROL received 4 and STEEL MAGNOLIAS received 3. All told Plaza Theatre Company had eight of it’s ten 2010 productions mentioned and received 41 total mentions in the publication. We’re humbled and honored by this kind recognition and we congratulate our theatre brethren in the DFW Metroplex for their excellence during 2010.

So, it has been a triumphant year at PlazaCo. We’ve played over 200 performances, made new friends and enjoyed some wonderful successes. From our families to yours, may your holidays be merry and safe and we’ll look forward to seeing you in 2011.

The Cast List for Plaza Theatre Company’s production of ANNIE GET YOUR GUN

We were so honored by the number of amazing performers who came to share their talents with us at auditions for ANNIE GET YOUR GUN. Though we wish we could use everyone who auditioned, we are thrilled with the cast that we have and we’re very excited to get this production into rehearsals. The production team of Kyle Macy as Director, Kristin Spires as Musical Director, Eddie Floresca as Choreographer and Shauna Lewis as Stage Manager, with Plaza Theatre Company as Producers are pleased to announce the following cast: (Double cast where noted)

Annie Oakley – Daron Cockerell

Frank Butler – JaceSon Barrus

Dolly Tate – Kristi Taylor

Buffalo Bill Cody – Aaron Siler

Tommy Keeler – Jonathan Metting

Winnie Tate – Natalie Willingham / Elizabeth Wilson

Charlie Davenport – Jay Lewis

Foster Wilson / Pawnee Bill/ President of France – James Long

Mac – Glen Turner

Sitting Bull – Soloman Abah, Jr.

Jessie Oakley – Dana Siler / Lillie Dewar

Nelson Oakley – Cameron Barrus

Little Jake – Eden Barrus

Running Deer / Tsar of Russia – Zack Fountain

Eagle Feather / King of Italy – Eduardo Aguilar

Dining Car Waiter – Glen Turner

Sleeping Car Porter – Glen Turner

Queen Victoria / Mrs. Foster Wilson / Mrs. Schuyler-Adams – Sherry Clark

Messenger – Devlin Pollock

Band Leader – Off stage voice

Mrs. Porter-Potter – Kasi Hollowell

Dance Core / Ensemble: Tabitha Barrus, Abigail Benke, Jillian Turner, Amy Lee Reynolds, Lauren Walker, Aaron Yang, Devlin Pollock, Ben Midkiff, Lloyd Ekpo, Drew Sifford / Daniel Scott Robinson

Ensemble:
Jen Fortson, Suzi Hanford, Chelsea Carpenter

ANNIE GET YOUR GUN will open on February 4th and play thru March 12th at Plaza Theatre Company’s theatre-in-the-round in Cleburne, TX. The PlazaCo Box Office is open Monday thru Saturday 10am to 6pm and can be reached at 817-202-0600. More information about the company and the show are available online at http://www.plaza-theatre.com

Please consider Annie Get Your Gun auditions

I am writing today as a direct plea to anyone interested in being part of an exciting, well-directed, well-produced show. As Artistic Director at Plaza Theatre Company, it occurs to me that there may be some thinking that Annie Get Your Gun – being an old-fashioned, oft-produced show – isn’t worth the time or effort necessary to audition and take part in. Indeed, I understand that actors go where the exciting shows are and I wholeheartedly support that. Today I would like to take a moment to submit that Annie Get Your Gun as produced by Plaza Theatre Company in 2011, directed by Kyle Macy, musically directed by Kristin Spires and choreographed by Eddie Floresca IS the exciting show that actors and actresses are always wanting to be a part of.

First, the show itself. There is a reason that it has been produced many times from Broadway, professional revivals, community theatres, etc. It’s because the material is fantastic! It’s first Broadway run played 1,147 performances, spawned many revivals as well as a film version of the musical in 1950. Numerous musical standards are contained in the show including “There’s No Business Like Show Business”, “Doin’ What Comes Natur’lly”, “You Can’t Get a Man with a Gun”, “They Say It’s Wonderful”, and “Anything You Can Do.” The story itself centers on a great historical character in Annie Oakley and tells her story in a charming, engaging way that audiences love. The show also features a large cast that gets a lot of exciting stage time and takes part in a variety of different situations throughout the show.

Second, Plaza Theatre Company’s background. Annie Get Your Gun will be the 41st show produced by Plaza Theatre Company since opening in Cleburne in April of 2007. During that time, PlazaCo has experienced exponential growth and will be playing to nearly 1,000 Season Subscribers for the run of Annie Get Your Gun. Additionally, the theatre has received accolades including the reader’s choice for favorite non-Equity theatre of 2008 by the reader’s of Fort Worth Weekly, 10 Column Awards for 2009 including best non-Equity musical of the year for it’s 2009 production of Aida, and currently leads the voting for the WFAA A-List as best live theatre in the Metroplex.

Third and finally, the production team and the concept of the show. I have personally engaged in production meetings with Kyle Macy, the director of Annie Get Your Gun, and I am aware of both his design concept and approach to this production. While some may say that Annie Get Your Gun is over-produced, I say that Kyle and his production team are poised to bring a fresh, thrilling, all-together inventive imagining of the show to the Plaza stage. The team will remain true to the material of course, but they will do so with a clever energy that will make being a part of this show something special.

In conclusion, I recognize there are many opportunities for actors this time of year. I strongly believe that taking part in Annie Get Your Gun at Plaza Theatre Company isn’t the tired, old war-horse it may appear to be on the surface. Give it a chance, I know, I know it is going to be something amazing.

Audition appointments are still available and can be made by visiting plaza-theatre.com/audition.asp

Further information about the show and audition are available by visiting that page as well.

The final open call is this evening from 7 to 10pm. Please consider sharing your talents with us this evening.

Sincerely, JaceSon P. Barrus, Plaza Theatre Company Artistic Director

A fabulous review of A CHRISTMAS CAROL from The Column by John Garcia

We’re just as thrilled as can be with the hard work and excellent effort of our marvelous A CHRISTMAS CAROL cast and crew. And it shows up on stage in this heartwarming rendition of the Dickens classic. Read below for a fantastic review of the show by Ashlea Palladino of The Column by John Garcia.

_________________________A CHRISTMAS CAROL________________________

Reviewed by Associate Theatre Critic Ashlea Palladino
for John Garcia’s THE COLUMN

First things first: minimize your email window, open your browser, type in http://www.plaza-theatre.com, and reserve tickets to this show. Do it now, else potentially forfeit your opportunity to see this cleverly-adapted, wonderfully-presented gem of a Christmas play. Go ahead – I’ll wait. (Insert the theme from Jeopardy.) Are you ready? Ok, now let me explain why you should gather up all the people you love, and drive them to Cleburne for this fantastic presentation.

I will admit that I wasn’t super excited to see this show, because it’s been done and re-done so many times, and I didn’t think it possible (or necessary) to bring anything fresh or new to the Charles Dickens classic. Further, A Christmas Carol is, for many, the gold standard by which all other holiday stories are measured, and I was concerned with it being adapted in any way. Suffice it to say I had some preconceived notions. What my skeptic’s mind prevented me from taking into consideration is my previous experience with Plaza Theatre Company. As it turned out, all my worry was for naught.

Nestled on a quaint corner in downtown Cleburne, Plaza Theatre Company’s 158-seat theater-in-the-round typically presents some challenges when designing a set, although A Christmas Carol played beautifully. Set Designer JaceSon Barrus opted for traditional and simple with this set, focusing more of his attention on blocking (Mr. Barrus also co-directed with his wife, Tina) and the inclusion of charming, era-appropriate props. The main stage area floor was painted to mimic a cobblestone street, and the ubiquitous Scrooge and Marley sign was painted above one of the interior theater entrances. The corner stage area was dressed as Scrooge’s bedroom, complete with a four-post bed, and linens in rich tones of burgundy and gold. The props, like the faux gas street lamp wrapped in garland, and the headstones used in the Christmas Future portions of the show, added necessary touches of realism to their respective scenes.

Mrs. Barrus is credited with costuming this production, and what a stellar job she did. Each of the gentlemen wore suits with tails and top hats, and the ladies wore ornate Victorian gowns. Scrooge’s robe and sleeping cap were perfectly suited to the character, as were his eyeglasses. The ladies’ hair was fashioned appropriately for the time, and even the Charwoman and Laundress looked every inch their parts.

With regard to his adaptation of the original, Mr. Barrus wisely didn’t change much. Instead he added some traditional European Christmas music, songs like “What Child is This?” and “He is Born, the Holy Child.” The Directors Barrus chose carols and hymns that might have been familiar to Charles Dickens when he originally wrote this story in 1843. Further, the talented crop of company members at Plaza includes several musicians, some of whom provided the accompaniment for the aforementioned songs. Instead of segregating the musicians from the actors, The Barrus’s brought them into the actual scenes in full costume, and in full sight of the audience. The inclusion of live instrumentation enhanced the vision of a 19th century English neighborhood.

Instead of leaving the story’s narrator without an identity, Mr. Barrus chose to portray the narrator as Dickens himself, relaying through the narrator that writers often include portions of themselves in their stories. The actor who portrayed the narrator/Dickens also portrayed Scrooge’s nephew Fred, which lent credibility to the narrator’s statement about writers including themselves in their story lines. This addition could’ve been risky, but the switches from Dickens to Fred and back again were smooth and made sense within the context of this adaptation.

Sound Designer G. Aaron Siler added heavy reverb to the mic of Marley’s Ghost, and the effect was powerful. The eerie boom of the reverb, partnered with the character’s makeup, and with the layers of chains he wore around his neck, lent credence to the Ghost’s ominous message to Scrooge. Similarly, Mr. Siler added a tinny sound to the mic of the Spirit of Christmas Present, which, when coupled with the character’s costuming and makeup, made the Spirit seem appropriately cold and unfeeling.

My favorite technical detail of this show was the knocker on Scrooge’s front door. During the portion of the narration when Scrooge approaches his front door and sees the knocker turn into the face of Jacob Marley, Mr. Barrus and his production team somehow managed to make the door knocker actually morph into the face of Jacob Marley. I’m sure there was a computer and a projector and a digital this and that involved, but in truth I don’t really want to know how it was accomplished – the mystery is part of the fun!

To say that Steve Lindsay was perfect as the curmudgeonly Ebeneezer Scrooge would be a gross understatement. From his silver pony tail, to his stooped shoulders, to his clipped British accent, Mr. Lindsay personified Scrooge in every particular. Mr. Lindsay is somewhat slight in stature, which might prove a hardship for some actors in this role, but Mr. Lindsay still managed to intimidate the humbug out of everyone he encountered. I enjoyed watching him most during the scenes where he observed events from his own life. Mr. Lindsay’s level of emotion was right on track with whatever was going on in a particular scene, and he never lost his character. I was surprised at my own welling of emotion during Scrooge’s redemption scene.

Luke Hunt was superb as Dickens the Narrator. He commanded attention whenever he was onstage, he was costumed well, and his timing was spot on. His British accent was pretty darned good, too.

Greg Burton, as Bob Cratchit, broke my heart several times during the performance, and I can’t say enough positive things about his sensitive (and sometimes quite funny) portrayal of Scrooge’s beleaguered Clark.

David Midkiff, as Tiny Tim, made the audience cheer with his a Capella version of “Away in a Manger.”

G. Aaron Siler wore, by my count, four different acting hats during this performance, though his turn as the Spirit of Christmas Present was his most memorable. Festooned in a velvet robe, Mr. Siler was the cheeriest and funniest Spirit. His thunderous laugh lightened several moments during the scenes of Christmas Present, and it was very hard not to smile while looking at his wig and headpiece.

Annalee Herron was beautiful as Belle, Scrooge’s former fiancée, and her rendition of “In the Bleak Midwinter” (she sang and played the harp) was emotional and stirring. As Mrs. Cratchit, Christine Atwell was the epitome of motherly love as she mourned at Tiny Tim’s graveside during the Spirit of Christmas Future sequence.

There are more than a dozen young children billed to this cast, most of whom also have a relative or two in the show. I was so pleased to see even the youngest of the children singing out and projecting his or her lines and remembering all the words to the songs.

Theater seems to be a family affair at Plaza, and this family seems to be growing by leaps and bounds. Congratulations and a great big thank you to all involved parties for your commitment to A Christmas Carol, and for creating what I believe to be one of the best productions in D/FW this year.

________________________________________________________

We are humbled by the kind recommendation and grateful for the kind words Ms. Palladino.

Tickets are becoming very limited, but there ARE still some seats available for the following dates:

Monday 12/13 at 7:30pm, Friday 12/17 at 7:30pm, Saturday 12/18 at 3:00pm, Monday 12/20 at 7:30pm, Tuesday 12/21 at 7:30pm, Wednesday 12/22 at 7:30pm and Thursday 12/23 at 7:30pm.

Please reserve today to be sure you don’t miss this holiday classic for the whole family.

A review of A CHRISTMAS CAROL by Paul Gnadt of The Star Group Newspapers

We are grateful to The Star Group for continuing to review local theatre. Here is the most recent review of A CHRISTMAS CAROL by Paul Gnadt of The Star Group. We hope you’ll join us for the show this holiday season. Don’t just take our word for it, read what this critic has to say. Enjoy.

The Plaza Theatre Company unwrapped three surprise packages during its presentation of “A Christmas Carol,” playing through Dec. 23 at the Plaza Theatre in Cleburne.

One is Steve Lindsay, a Joshua resident who — until now — has not been seen on a Johnson County stage but has an acting and directing resume as long as Ebeneezer Scrooge is mean. He has a background in dramatic production at Bob Jones University and was a student of Shakespeare with the Royal National Theatre in London.

Lindsay plays Scrooge, and is so comfortable and confident in the role that you almost start to like the irascible old goat who — as everyone knows from this venerable tale written 170 years ago by Charles Dickens — hates Christmas and all the trimmings.

Another surprise is Annalee Herron, who plays the dual roles of Belle and Dora (double cast with Daron Cockerell, who can really sing, but played by Herron the night I attended).

In a vocal solo titled “In the Bleak Midwinter,” Herron reveals a beautiful voice. She accompanies herself on the harp in a number that is both stark in its simplicity yet provocative in its excellence.

Yes, there are musical numbers, and that’s the third surprise in this story that is typically filled with sinister and scary ghost-like characters who appear to Scrooge as he visits Christmas past and Christmas future.

Leave it to the creative talents of Plaza cofounders JaceSon Barrus and Aaron Siler — and their family members — to bring not only music, but clever sets and technical devices to the production that is perfect for Plaza’s intimate 160-seat theater-in-the-round.

Although penned in 1843, the underlying theme of “A Christmas Carol” is timeless: a workaholic too busy for Christmas, a working-class family with a sick child, and the redemption of a selfish miser who learns it is better to give than to receive.

In another creative Plaza move, Dickens serves as narrator, appearing and reappearing when a succinct explanation is needed, instead of drawing out the dialogue.

Luke Hunt, the theater teacher at Alvarado Junior High School, plays Dickens in the production I attended. The role is also played by Michael Hatch.

The narrations are interspersed with interaction with two quartets, one male, one female, who assemble to sing “Silent Night,” the “Wexford Carol” and “Westminister Chimes,” and are heard in eight other songs throughout the play, accompanied by flutist Rachel Stonger and violinist Betsy Wilson.

As you most certainly know, Scrooge bullies his lone employee, Bob Cratchit (played by Greg Burton), to whom he pays minimum wage and who he won’t allow to spend money for a lump of coal to keep his workspace warm.

Scrooge’s office is your introduction to the bare-bones but effective sets designed by Barrus, who, along with Mike Scarlett, also plays one of the charity men turned away by Scrooge as they seek a gift for the poor. The scenes involve only a large office desk for Scrooge and a school-type desk for Cratchit, but you get the idea immediately.

Other sets feature only a bench and fireplace for the Cratchit living room and a single lamppost for the town square.

It’s not all garage-sale items that supplement the acting and singing. Siler has created a neat reverberating device for the voice of Marley, the deceased partner of Scrooge played by Jonathan Kennedy, who also doubles as the undertaker. A fog machine creates a spooky atmosphere for scenes when apparitions appear and a door knocker mysteriously transforms into a face.

Jill Baker is good-hearted as Christmas Past and Siler is fun as Christmas Present. Christine Atwell is loving and tender as Mrs. Cratchit. Her excellent singing voice — front and center when she played Betty Blake in “Will Rogers Follies” and Belle in “Beauty and the Beast” – — doesn’t get many opportunities to be heard, so listen up when she is joined by Burton and the troupe in “What Child is This?”

About nine youthful actors named Barrus, Siler and Atwell comprise the children of the Cratchit and Fezziwig families, while David Midkiff hits all his lines as Tiny Tim.

Adapted for the Plaza stage by JaceSon Barrus, who also designed the sets, directed by Barrus and his wife, Tina, with musical direction by Christine Atwell, this is a fast-paced presentation that is too full of good music, interesting costumes and good acting to be anything by fun.

Give yourself a worthwhile Christmas present and see it.

“A Christmas Carol,” is presented at 7:30 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays and 3 p.m. Saturdays through Dec. 23 at the Plaza Theater, 111 S. Main in Cleburne.

Tickets — $12 for adults, $10 for seniors age 65 and older, $10 for students and $9 for youth age 12 and under, are available at the theater box office by calling 817-202-0600.

Photos of A CHRISTMAS CAROL 2010 (Green Cast)

Here are some photos from opening night of A CHRISTMAS CAROL 2010. These were taken by the amazing Ginny Rodgers. Enjoy (and come see the show).

A CHRISTMAS CAROL plays thru December 23rd. Check back for more pix (of the Red Cast).