Bard in the Valley presented their own modern take on Taming of the Shrew last year

Langley Bard auditions for summer show

Theatre groups are looking for Langley thespians to be part of upcoming productions of Enchanted April and Much Ado About Nothing.

CAPTION: KATE MUCHMORE WOO

It’s audition time and two theatre companies are putting callouts to Langley thespians.

Kate Muchmore Woo is in the throes of directing Trinity Western University’s rather non-traditional musical of Jane Eyre: The Musical, and at the same time she’s in the midst of preparing for her next  theatrical task.

Namely, the assistant university prof is going to be directing Gallery 7 Theatre’s next production of Enchanted April.

That means, while the curtain goes up on the TWU show next Tuesday, she’s also leading auditions for the Abbotsford show next week.

Gallery 7 Theatre is holding open auditions for its final production of the 2016/2017 season on Thursday, March 16 at 6:30 p.m. at the theatre’s rehearsal hall, #100 – 34595 3rd Ave, Abbotsford.

These audition is open to all community performers ages 18 – 75.

Set in 1922, Enchanted April tells the story of two frustrated English housewives who decide to rent a villa in Italy to escape their bleak, predictable lives.

They recruit two very different English women to share in the cost and experience.

Among the wisteria blossoms and gorgeous Mediterranean sunshine, all four begin to re-discover themselves in ways they didn’t expect, and gain new perspective on what’s most important in their lives.

Muchmore Woo, who has a MFA in Directing from the University of North Carolina, Greensboro, has directed productions on both sides of the 49th Parallel.

“We’re very excited to welcome Kate to our theatre,” said Gallery 7 Theatre’s artistic director Ken Hildebrandt.

“She will bring a tremendous amount of talent and expertise to this production, and I think audiences will enjoy a transformative and entertaining theatre experience as a result,” he said.

Enchanted April runs May 19, 20, and 24 – 27 at 7:30 p.m., with matinees on May 20 and 27 at 2 p.m., at the Matsqui Centennial Auditorium, 32315 South Fraser Way, Abbotsford.

Rehearsals will commence the week of March 27.

To register for the audition, or for more information, please contact Gallery 7 Theatre at 604-504-5940 or visit their website at www.gallery7theatre.com. Those interested in working behind the scenes are also invited to attend the audition.

STORY CONTINUES BELOW

CAPTION:Bard in the Valley presented their own modern take on Taming of the Shrew last year, and are auditioning now for this summer’s production of Much Ado About Nothing. (Langley Advance files)

Calling all Shakespeare lovers

Meanwhile, this weekend the Bard in the Valley crew is auditioning for this summer’s production of Much Ado About Nothing.

Auditions will be held Sunday and Monday to cast this year’s Shakespearean production being by Dylan Coulter.

The audition does not require an appointment, said producer Diane Gendron.

Actors wishing to audition are asked to arrive at the Douglas Park Recreation Centre at 20550 Douglas Cres. – on Sunday, March 12 from 12:30 to 4 p.m. or on Monday, March 13 from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. to hear an outline of the production, performance expectations, rehearsal commitments, and to complete the audition form.

Of note, she said rehearsal dates will be Sunday afternoons and Monday evenings (rehearsals on holiday Mondays will be in the afternoon) along with one additional weekday rehearsal of smaller groups of actors each week, the timing of which will be mutually agreed upon by the participants.

The show will be performed June 29 and 30, and July 1 (as part of Fort Langley’s Canada Day celebrations) at 7 p.m. on the lawn in front of Fort Langley’s historic community hall. Other show dats include July 7, 8, 9, 14, 15 at the Township 7 Winery in Langley. The Sunday performance is a matinee and begins at 2 p.m., otherwise evening performances begin at 7 p.m.

Then, as this show is known to do, it moves around a lot. The next and final stop is on the Spirit Square outdoor stage in Langley City’s Douglas Park on July 20, 21, 22, 23, 27, 28, 29, 30.

STORY CONTINUES BELOW

CAPTION:Bard in the Valley presented their own modern take on Taming of the Shrew last year, and are auditioning now for this summer’s production of Much Ado About Nothing. (Langley Advance files)

Coulter has been a big part of Bard in the Valley over the years, including major roles in Julius Caesar and The Taming of the Shrew. But this is Coulter’s first directorial experience with BIV, Gendron said.

He’s a Langley Fine Arts School grad who studied film at the Vancouver Film School and a has a degree in theatre and English from the University of the Fraser Valley.

“He has a background in stage combat and a passion for Shakespeare,” she joked.

Auditioners with musical talent are encouraged to bring an instrument to play, and to prepare a short song to sing (no longer than one minute). Auditioners may also be asked to follow a few dance steps.

This is a non-equity production, Gendron elaborated. “Everyone is welcome.”

“Everyone auditioning will be asked to do a cold read from the script and some will be asked to read for specific roles,” Gendron explained, insistent that candidates not send digital headshots or resumes.

“Bring a printed hardcopy headshot and resume to the audition to be turned in with the audition form,” she said.

For more information, people can contact producer Diane Gendron at info@bardinthevalley.com.

Show summary

As Don Pedro’s band of warriors returns from a successful winter war, they pass through the town of Messina, and visit with old friends. The spirit of love is in the air. Claudio, a celebrated young soldier, falls in love with the Duke’s daughter Hero, while two other would-be lovers, Beatrice and Benedick, hide their feelings for each other in wit and banter. The townsfolk, observant of this almost-love story, conspire to bring Beatrice and Benedick together. Meanwhile, Don Pedro’s bitter and sullen illegitimate brother Don Jon has hatched a plot to ruin Claudio and Hero’s wedding. The day is saved when the bumbling watchmen discover the plot and the foolish constable manages to arrest the conspirators. Happily, in the end, the two young couples are united.

List of principal characters

14 actors – some actors will play multiple roles. Four of the roles will be men; Four of the roles will be women; The other characters can be played by either men or women. We are looking for the best actor to play the role, not necessarily a particular gender. We encourage actors of all backgrounds to audition.

• Don Pedro, The Prince (or Princess) of Aragon, and leader of the army. Often pulling the strings in the plots of love woven throughout the play, Don Pedro is ultimately deceived by his brother’s plot against Hero.

• Don Jon, Don Pedro’s bastard brother (or sister), is a professed villain, Don Jon works throughout the play to ruin Claudio, who has recently become favored by Don Pedro.

• Claudio is a young lord who falls in love with Hero upon arriving in Messina. As Don Jon spins a plot professing Hero’s unfaithfulness, Claudio rejects and shames Hero in the church on their wedding day, only to discover later that he has been deceived.

• Benedick is a witty young lord, determined to never marry but to continue to play at love. He is a friend to both Don Pedro and Claudio, but that friendship is threatened when Claudio rejects Hero. Benedick is tricked into falling in love with Beatrice, only realising later that his love is true.

• Leonato is the Governor of Messina, the father (or mother) of Hero, and uncle (or aunt) and guardian to Beatrice. Leonato welcomes Don Pedro to Messina, but their friendship is threatened when Don Pedro and Claudio shame Leonato’s daughter on her wedding day. Leonato must work to forgive them both and right the wrongs that have been committed.

• Hero is the Daughter to Leonato, in love with Claudio, yet wrongfully accused by him. She must eventually choose whether to forgive Claudio when the plot is discovered.

• Beatrice is an orphan, residing with her uncle Leonato and cousin to Hero. Beatrice has an incredible wit, and spars verbally with Benedick throughout the play. She rejects any plea that she should marry, until she is tricked into falling in love with Benedick, and realizes that she really loves him.

• Borachio is a drunken follower of Don Jon. Borachio manages to deceive Claudio and Don Pedro into believing that he is Hero’s lover.

• Conrade is another follower of Don Jon. Conrade assists in the mischief and is eventually caught, along with Borachio, and interrogated by the watchmen.

• Margaret is an attendant to Hero. Margaret has a strong wit of her own and often spars with it against Benedick and Beatrice.

• Ursula is another attendant to Hero. Ursula is more grounded than Margaret and assists with the plot to trick Beatrice into loving Benedick.

• Dogberry is a foolish constable, with few wits, and a questionable work ethic. Dogberry nonetheless believes himself to be a protector of the innocent. Against all odds, Dogberry and his (or her) watchmen do end up succeeding in unraveling Don Jon’s plot and saving the day.

• Verges is Dogberry’s elderly right handman (or woman). Verges is an honest and valiant assistant to Dogberry, or at least he tries his best to be.

• Friar Francis is the friar sees through the deception that has led Claudio to reject Hero, and works to rectify the situation. He (or she) is also called upon by Dogberry and Verges to use his skills in writing during the interrogation of Borachio and Conrade.

• A Messenger, members of the watch, and various soldiers

CAPTION:Crowds gathered for the free Bard in the Valley presentation last year of Taming of the Shrew at the Douglas Park Spirit Square. Auditioning is underway now for this summer’s production of Much Ado About Nothing. (Langley Advance files)