Archive for the ‘ Producer’s Corner ’ Category

Audition Notice – RAGTIME at Plaza Theatre Company

August 20th and August 21st, 2012

Call backs are August 22nd, 7-10pm

Auditions held at the Plaza Academy Fine Arts & Dance Studio at:

221 S. Mill St., Cleburne, TX

Directed by G. Aaron and Milette Siler
Musical Director – Bree Cockerell
Stage Manager – Lindsay Hardisty

Click here to make an audition appointment

All roles are available for Plaza Theatre Company’s upcoming production of RAGTIME. An open audition is being held at Plaza Theatre Company to cast the show on August 20-21, 2012. Auditions are by appointment only.


Those who choose to audition are asked to come prepared to sing 16 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 backing track. A brief cold reading will also be required at the initial audition. A head shot and resume are requested.

To be considered for a principal role please prepare two contrasting songs, 16 bars each, in the style of the show with one up tempo and one ballad not from RAGTIME. You must bring sheet music or backing track.


RAGTIME is a story about life in America at the beginning of the 20th century. The show illustrates poignant issues of the day – from immigration, racism and politics to industrialization and social upheaval. Historical figures intermingle with fictional characters. The show focuses on three families – one upper-middle class, white Anglo-Saxon Protestant, once socialist immigrant Jewish and one Harlem Black – whose intersecting lives are influenced by the Ragtime era’s social challenges. These interwoven stories of family, faith, and the desire for social justice are the make the fabric of an America just beginning to rise.

Based on the book “Ragtime” by E. L. Doctorow
Book by Terrance McNally
Music by Stephen Flaherty, Lyrics by Lynn Ahrens


Plaza Theatre Company is a 158 seat theatre-in-the-round located at 111 S. Main in Cleburne, TX. The Company produces 10 shows a year usually in the style of family-friendly comedies and musicals. PlazaCo opened in November of 2006 and is currently producing it’s 55th show. The Company has been the proud recipient of over 37 Column Awards including winning “Best Musical” two years running in 2009 and 2010 in addition to recently being named “Best Theatre Group” by the WFAA A-List for 2011. Further information about PlazaCo is available by visiting


RAGTIME will open at Plaza Theatre Company on October 12th and play thru November 10th, 2012. The show plays every Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening at 7:30pm with Saturday matinees at 3pm. Rehearsals will commence on August 27th. Double casting of some roles MAY be available to accommodate scheduling.


(all roles are available)

Principal Roles – 2 women/4 men

Mother: Caucasian, 25 – 40. Graceful and gracious on the surface, a product of the American upper class. Inside, however, there is spirit, compassion, intelligence and fierce independence; the Accidental Feminist. Also has a wonderful, playful relationship with her son and is always amused by him. Maintains a proper and dutiful relationship with her husband and discovers her own womanhood as the play progresses. Voice: Beautiful soprano with a strong belt (to C#). Low G – high F# (optional high B).

Coalhouse: African American man, early 20s – late 30s. A leading man of power, presence, edge, integrity and charisma. Coalhouse has a nobility and a ferocity we discover as his expectations of how he should be treated come into conflict with the reality of the experience of an African American man at the turn of the (20th) century. His final resort to violence is the climax of the story. Voice: Powerful, rich baritone with strong high notes. Low Ab – high A.

Tateh: Caucasian man, 30 – 45. Dynamic, leading/character man. Jewish immigrant. Challenges his old life and seeks a better one for his daughter. Even when it seems he is beaten by society, his innate strength and humor lift him up. Warm, funny, filled with life and passion; tenacious, a survivor and a very clever man. Voice: Baritone with good high notes. Low A – high F#.

Sarah: African American. 18 – 30. Lovely, passionate, headstrong, yet innocent, simple and quite shy. Acts on her emotions without thinking. Strong belter (to D) with a good mix. Voice: Low G – high F#.

Father: Caucasian, 30 – 45. A salesman; a good, proud, upstanding citizen. Represents the traditional views held by many turn-of-the-century Americans. After his return from his trip to the Arctic, he feels alienated from his family and his environment; he is baffled and befuddled by the new world. Voice: Baritone with good high notes: low A – high F#.

Younger Brother: Caucasian, 18 – 25. Idealistic and difficult, he searches for a sense of self. Obsessed with Evelyn Nesbit, he becomes embittered and depressed and soon becomes a Young Revolutionary and joins The Coalhouse Gang to fight injustice. Voice: Strong tenor. Low B – high G#.

Supporting Roles – 2 children/3 women/5 men


Little Boy: Caucasian. Seeking actor age 8 – 12 to play age 10. Should be between 4’5″ and 4’10”. Precocious, intelligent, observant and curious, the Little Boy is constantly learning about the world around him. He is prescient—seems to know things before they happen. Actor must have excellent diction! Voice: not yet changed. Middle C up to D (full voice).

Little Girl: Eastern European, Caucasian. Seeking actress age 10 – 14 to play age 10 – 12. Character is appealing, fragile, earnest. Voice: Middle C up to C#.

Grandfather: Caucasian, 50s – 60s. Feisty, upper-class old gentleman. Baritone.

Evelyn Nesbit: Caucasian, 20s. Pretty, sexy, self-aware. Needs to be truly funny. The iconic symbol of sex and beauty at the turn of the (20th) century. Soprano.

Houdini: Caucasian, 20s – early 30s. Magician and performer. Sly sense of magic and charisma. Immigrant raised in the Midwest. Baritone.

Henry Ford: Caucasian, 30s – early 40s. Inventor. Lanky. Folksy. Full of himself. Tenor.

J. P. Morgan: Caucasian, late 30s – 50s. Incredibly wealthy financier. Portly. Pompous, blustering. Baritone.

Emma Goldman: Caucasian, early 30s – early 40s. Anarchist and social activist. Earthy, warm, ironic, full-voiced. Alto.

Willie Conklin: Caucasian, late 20s – mid 30s. Fire Chief Conklin acts hostilely toward Coalhouse, and is ultimately forced out of New Rochelle. Must have a certain amount of joviality and humor, with the menace simmering underneath. Baritone.

Booker T. Washington: African American, early 30s – early 40s. Well-educated orator and leader who preaches friendship and cooperation between whites and blacks as essential to the success of blacks in America. Baritone.

Sarah’s Friend: African American, late 20s – mid 30s. Warm, soulful gospel singer/actress who plaintively and ferociously leads the Harlem Ensemble during Sarah’s funeral. Then becomes a domestic to the New Rochelle family.

Ensemble Roles – 11 women / 12 men
A dancing ensemble will be cast from within the ensemble

Women of the ensemble (possible doubling)

Kathleen ( 5 lines, female)
Welfare Official (2 lines, Female)
Brigit/ Baron’s Assistant (5 lines, Female)
Houdini’s Mother/ Mrs. Whitstein (2 lines, Female)
Jury Foreman/ Second Bureaucrat (2 lines, Female)
Reporter/ White Lawyer (4 lines, Female)
Newsboy #1 (2 lines, Young Female)
Newsboy #3 (2 lines, Young Female)
Female Soloist 1/ Harlem Woman ( 7 lines, Female)
Female Soloist 2/ Follower 2 ( 2 lines, Female)
Female Soloist 3 / Follower 3 ( 2 lines, Female)

Men of the ensemble (possible doubling)

Conductor/ Charles S. Whitman (11 lines, Male)
Admiral Peary/ Town Hall Bureaucrat/ Fan 2 (11 lines, Male)
Willie Conklin’s Fireman buddy/ Policeman 1 (10 lines, Male)
Stanford White/ Tateh’s Customer/Baseball Fan 1(9 lines, Male)
Reporter/ Fan 4 (5 lines, Male)
Harry K. Thaw/ Judge/ Umpire (4 lines, Male)
Doctor/ Policeman 2 (2 lines, Male)
Newsboy #2 (2 lines, Young Male)
Matthew Henson/ Clerk/ Fan 3 (5 lines, Male)
Male Soloist 1/ Harlem Man ( 9 lines, Male)
Male Soloist 2/ Coalhouse Follower (9 lines, Male)
Male Soloist 3/ Lawyer/ Follower 1 (4 lines, Male)

Plaza Theatre Company Nominees for the 13th annual Column Awards

It was quite a night for Plaza Theatre Company’s 2011 productions. Every eligible production from PlazaCo’s 2011 season received nominations in non-Equity categories. In all the Company received 51 nominations. At Plaza, we strongly feel that recognition of any one part of a production is recognition for the whole production. So to ALL our wonderful actors, designers, technicians and musicians we send our congratulations and gratitude.

The folks listed below received the top six number of votes in their respective category. They have now moved on to the Final Round of voting which opens today. Only those who voted in the first round are eligible to vote in the Final Round. As usual, we encourage all to vote fairly and honestly. Voting for this final round closes next Friday, February 10th.

We also encourage all to attend the 13th Annual Column Awards Gala on Monday February 27th at the Patty Granville Performing Arts Center. As more information becomes available about ticketing we will post it here. We hope to see a large contingent in attendance on this special night.

Here is the list of nominees from Plaza Theatre Company’s 2011 productions for the 13th annual Column Awards: (all in the non-Equity category)

Best Play
Best Actor – David Cook
Best Actress – Tina Barrus
Best Featured Actress – Milette Siler

Best Actor – JaceSon Barrus
Best Actress – Daron Cockerell
Best Original Set Design / Musical – Kyle Macy, JaceSon Barrus, Aaron Siler

Best Musical
Best Director / Musical – JaceSon and Tina Barrus
Best Actor – David Cook
Best Actress – Christine Atwell
Best Supporting Actor – Joey Geisel
Best Musical Director – Dick Helmcamp
Best Original Costume Design / Musical – Tina Barrus
Best Original Set Design / Musical – JaceSon Barrus
Best Lighting Design / Musical  – Cameron Barrus
Best Sound Design / Musical – Aaron Siler

Best Supporting Actress – Milette Siler
Best Featured Actress – Trich Zaitoon
Best Lighting Design / Play – Cameron Barrus

Chita Rivera Dance / Male – Michael Sylvester

Best Musical
Best Director / Musical – JaceSon and Tina Barrus
Best Actor – Gregory Gerardi
Best Featured Actress – Mimi Barrus
Best Choreography – Tabitha Barrus
Best Musical Direction – Bree Cockerell
Best Original Costume Design / Musical – Tina Barrus
Best Lighting Design / Musical – Aaron Siler
Best Sound Design / Musical – Aaron Siler

Best Play
Best Director / Play – Aaron Siler
Best Actor – Luke Hunt
Best Actor – Cooper Rodgers
Best Supporting Actor – Jon Kennedy
Best Supporting Actor – Aaron Lett
Best Supporting Actress – Tabitha Barrus
Best Featured Actor – Aaron Siler
Best Featured Actor – JaceSon Barrus
Best Featured Actress – Kristi Taylor
Best Original Costume Design / Play – Tina Barrus
Best Original Set Design / Play – Aaron Siler
Best Lighting Design / Play – Aaron Siler
Best Sound Design / Play – Aaron Siler

Chita Rivera Dance / Male – Jonathan Metting
Chita Rivera Dance / Female – Rachel Hunt
Best Choreography – Courtney Sikora, Tabitha Barrus, Rachel Hunt

Best Supporting Actor – JaceSon Barrus
Best Supporting Actress – Caroline Rivera
Best Featured Actor – Joey Geisel
Best Musical Director – Joey Geisel

…and even though they don’t assign the Best Stage Manager nominations to a specific theatre group, both of these ladies were nominated for their work on PlazaCo shows –


A full list of all nominees in all categories is available by visiting here:

Breaking News: Plaza Theatre Company receives several mentions in The Column critics annual “Best of Theatre” list

First, we are sending congratulations to our brethren in the DFW theatre community for raising the bar in 2011 and for all of the recognition in this year’s “Best of Theatre” list from The Column’s staff of critics.

Second, we’re also sending thanks to The Column by John Garcia for the tireless effort in promoting the arts in our community and specifically to the staff of critics who have provided critical reviews throughout this outstanding season of shows in the Metroplex.

Lastly, we’re so honored to have received several mentions in this year’s annual “Best of Theatre” issue of The Column by John Garcia. As well as the thrill of being mentioned side-by-side with the best that our theatre community has to offer. We believe that any recognition we receive is praise for everyone who has set foot on our stage or worked behind the scenes during the entire season, so we share these accolades with our entire family of performers, technicians, designers and volunteers.

To read the entire article from The Column by John Garcia, go here: The Column by John Garcia’s Best of Theater 2011

Please let us stress, this article has nothing to do with nominations for The Column Awards. The list is simply the critics choice from The Column. We are not announcing nominees, just highlighting some of the critics choice mentions.

Several Plaza shows and performances from 2011 received mention in the issue. They are:


Daron Cockerell as Annie Oakley (twice)
JaceSon Barrus as Frank Butler


Best Musical of the Year
David Cook as Sir Percival Blakeney
Christine Atwell as Marguerite St. Just
Ben Phillips as Chauvelin
Best Costume Design by Tina Barrus


Michael Sylvester as Barnaby Tucker
Tabitha Barrus and Michael Sylvester as Best Dancing Pair


Best Musical of the Year
Gregory Gerardi as Joseph (twice)
Daron Cockerell as Narrator
Caitlan Davis as Narrator
Mimi Barrus as The Goat
Best Ensemble
Hardest Working Ensemble
Best Choreography by Tabitha Barrus (twice)
Best Costume Design by Tina Barrus


Best Play of the Year
Best Costume Design by Tina Barrus


Best Musical of the Year
Jonathan Metting as Bobby Child (twice)
Caitlan Davis as Irene Roth
Soni Barrus as Lottie Child
The Follies Girls as Best Tap Ensemble
The Follies Girls as Best Dance Ensemble
Best Costume Design by Tina Barrus


Taylor O’Toole as Annie


Again, we send congratulations to these wonderful performers and to all who worked on these productions. 2011 at PlazaCo was a smashing success and we can’t wait to do it all agin in 2012.

Just by way of reminder, voting for The Column Awards begins January 16th. If you are a registered member of The Column, you can get your code and start voting next Monday. Don’t wait until it’s too late.

Reprinted from 2011 – Why a January show is worth your time

So the holidays have come and gone. The gifts have all been unwrapped, the decorations have been stored for another year, and you’re about to settle into the “Post Christmas blahs”. You know what I mean, where it’s time to rest from all the hustle and bustle of the season. You can start your winter hibernation and not emerge from your house for social activities until the spring thaw (well, we are in Texas, so “thaw” may be a little inaccurate, but you get the idea).

Many arts organizations (not all, but many) choose to surrender to this kind of mentality. They’ll close their doors through January and much of February to avoid the inevitable after Christmas slowdown. Even on Broadway, many shows choose January as the time to close while the theatre retools for another production. It is an understandable approach to a challenging situation.

But here at Plaza Theatre Company, we like to think differently. Part of our commitment to the community is that we are open EVERY WEEKEND OF THE YEAR. Whether it is spring, summer, autumn or winter there is always something fun going on here at PlazaCo. In the past, we have presented some wonderful January productions here at Plaza including FOREVER PLAID, SEUSSICAL THE MUSICAL, WILL ROGERS FOLLIES and MAN WITH THE POINTED TOES. And while attendance for these shows hasn’t been horrible, they have never matched the attendance of our summer or holiday shows.

We get it. We know the holidays were busy, that your pocketbook was stretched and that you want a little rest. May we, however, offer a case for seeing a January show, if not here at Plaza, then somewhere.

Yes, the holidays were busy, but during all the rush, how much time did you take for yourself? Why not kick back and enjoy a couple hours of worry free laughter and enjoyment? Your mood will be lightened and “getting back to life” won’t seem like such a chore. So many times, as we greet patrons leaving the theatre after a show, they will offer their thanks and appreciation to us for providing year-round entertainment in Cleburne. It’s right here in your backyard y’all, and it’s a great way to get back in the swing of things for the New Year.

And we’ve got the perfect little comedy to cure those winter blues here at Plaza. A lighthearted farce with a fun twist sure to raise your spirits. What’s more, THE FOREIGNER is the 50th production presented by Plaza Theatre Company since opening in April of 2007. Considering that Plaza was recently named the “Best Theatre Group” by the WFAA A-List, you know you’ll have a good time while kicking those winter blahs right in the teeth.

So make plans to see THE FOREIGNER before it closes January 28th. We think your New Year will be all the better for it. Happy 2012 y’all.

Best Regards,


A note about voting for this year’s Column Awards

Dear Plaza patrons, actors and fans,

As you are probably aware, voting season is about to begin for the annual Column Awards. We have been very gratified by the success Plaza has experienced during the last two Column Awards ceremonies – in fact, we are told that Plaza became the first company ever to receive Best Musical (non-Equity) 2 years in a row. That said, the most important thing to us is that the best of DFW productions are honored. And to that end we are sending out our annual request for our patrons, actors and fans to be sure to vote, and to vote fairly and honestly. We also wish to strongly encourage you to attend the Column Awards event on February 27th.

Please realize in advance that you can only vote for the Column Awards if you are a Column Subscriber and you signed up before January 1st, 2012. If you are ineligible to vote this year, we still encourage you to attend the Column Awards Gala.

Here is the exact information relating to voting and voting dates as it appeared in today’s Column:


MONDAY January 16, 2012: Round 1 voting opens at 9:00AM! We
will send out the link for you to vote! ONLY registered
COLUMN subscribers who joined before 1-1-12 are allowed to
vote. If you joined THE COLUMN after that date you cannot
vote! REMEMBER: You MUST vote in ROUND 1 to vote in ROUND 2
(which is where you vote on the actual WINNER!).

FRIDAY January 27, 2012: Round 1 voting closes!!!!!

FRIDAY January 27, 2012: Last day to request voting code

SUNDAY January 29, 2012: LIVE Nomination Ceremony held at
the ICT Studios at 7:00pm! Come be part of the audience as
we announce LIVE the 2012 official nominees! You could VERY
well be a nominee! We will be interviewing any nominees who
are present for their first reactions on being nominated and
post on THE COLUMN Awards website! The telecast will also
be broadcast on theinternet…..LIVE!!!!

MONDAY January 30, 2012: Round 2 voting begins. This is the
round where you vote for the actual winner! REMEMBER-you
MUST vote in ROUND 1 to vote in ROUND 2. The ballot system
will automatically kick you off the ballot if you did NOT
vote in ROUND 1!

FRIDAY February 10, 2012: Round 2 voting closes

AWARDS GALA held at the Patty Granville Performing Arts Complex
in Garland Texas!


So let me reiterate a few important items:

  • Please review your inclusion (if any) on the ballot to insure it’s accuracy during the Ballot Public Review dates. After those dates, the ballot is locked and can’t be changed.
  • Please be sure to request and keep your personal voting code. You will need this code to vote in round one and round two.
  • Please realize that you must vote in round one to be eligible to vote in round two. Pay close attention to the voting dates as they are very strict on when your vote can be accepted. Round one of the voting includes EVERY nominee that each theatre has submitted. Round two features the 6 finalists – the actual nominees in every category.
  • Please vote for those you think are most deserving – if that’s for PlazaCo productions or performers, great. If it’s for a different yet worthy production or performance, also great. You do not have to vote for PlazaCo shows simply because you know us.
  • Please do not consider cheating in any way. You, personally, should only have one voting code and you should only go through the process of voting once. To act otherwise is unfair and demeans the process. We are honored when our work is recognized, but only when it is achieved fairly.

In conclusion, whether you are eligible to vote or not, please consider joining us as we attend this year’s Gala. The proceeds support a magnificent cause and the opportunity to join with the other artists of our local theatrical community in an evening celebrating our collective craft is very special.

God Bless,

JTAM (JaceSon, Tina, Aaron, Milette)

Year End Statistics – Plaza Theatre Company

2011 Statistics

It has been a very successful season of shows at Plaza Theatre Company. Tonight, we will complete our 49th production and our 10th production of the 2011 season bringing our 5th season of producing live theatre to a close. It has been a wonderful year of meeting new patrons and performers, presenting enjoyable musicals and comedies, and continuing to grow our theatre here in Cleburne. Here’s a taste of life at PlazaCo in 2011.

Total productions – 10

Total number of performances – 204

Total number of patrons through the door – 27,657

Total number of available seats – 32,232

Percentage of house sold – 85.8%

Total number of sold out performances – 123

Total number of Season Ticket holders for the 2011 season – 976

Percentage of patrons from outside of Johnson County – 46%

Total number of performers – 288

Total number of performers appearing in more than one show during the season – 84

Total number of Column Awards nominations – 41

Total number of Column Awards received – 17

Total number of Board Members – 9

Total number of Plaza Guild Members – 138

Total Box Office and Administrative Staff – 5

Total number of students who took instruction from Plaza Academy – 226

Yes, 2011 has been a banner year at Plaza Theatre Company. And 2012 promises to see even more growth and advancement. Again, we know this success is due to the hard work, the commitment and the support of so many amazing people. To all who have made 2011 such a terrific season at PlazaCo, we send our most sincere thanks – and now on to an amazing 2012!

Best Regards,
JaceSon & Tina Barrus and Aaron and Milette Siler, Plaza Producers

A PlazaCo Christmas Card – 2011