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January 21, 2011

Showboat Auditions Held Sunday, January 30 and Monday, January 31

The Demon Barber of Fleet Street by C.G. Bond
Directed by Peter Moore
Auditions for the Minnesota Centennial Showboat will be held on
Sunday, January 30, 2011 (12p-3p, 4p-7p) and
Monday, January 31, 2011 (6p-11p)
with callbacks on
Monday, February 7, 2011 (6p-11p)

Specific information and sign-up sheets for audition times will be posted on the Rarig Production Notices Bulletin boards (lower level of Rarig Center by tunnel entrance). Locations for auditions and callbacks for the Showboat Company are TBD

The Demon Barber of Fleet Street is being directed by Peter Moore, Musical Direction by Vern Sutton

PETER MOORE has directed locally at the Guthrie, Torch Theater, Park Square, Actors Theatre of Minnesota, Hennepin Stages, History Theatre, Illusion Theater, The Playwright's Lab, the U of M, and Theatre in the Round. Other directing credits include Off- Broadway's York Theater, the Coconut Grove Playhouse in Miami, the Winter Garden Theater in Toronto, Virginia Premiere Theatre in Williamsburg VA, the San Diego Rep, the film of Autistic License, numerous live industrials and videos and the STAR WARS: DARK FORCES audio-cassette series for Lucasfilm.
For auditions you should prepare a one-minute classical monologue (comic or dramatic). In addition, you should prepare to sing a song accompanied by piano. You will be asked to sing 16 bars, but be prepared to sing the song in its entirety if the whole song is requested. Please bring sheet music with you for the accompanist. Using taped accompaniment or singing a cappella is not acceptable. THE ENTIRE AUDITION MAY NOT EXCEED 5 MINUTES.

Rehearsals are slated to begin Monday, May 2nd. Rehearsals will employ standard U Theatre rehearsal times until Finals Week is over, when they will shift to a 40-hour rehearsal week. Rehearsals will continue into techs, dress rehearsals and preview performances, with the Showboat season opening on Friday, June 17 and performing Tuesday-Saturday until August 27, 2010.

NOTE: Because these are paid positions, there are further eligibility requirements that must be met in order to be cast in the Showboat Company. These are posted here and will also be available at auditions.

For questions, please contact
Christine Swartwout, Production Stage Manager at swart073@umn.edu or
Tom Proehl, Producing Director at tcproehl@umn.edu


Actors who are cast in the Showboat production of The Demon Barber of Fleet Street for the summer 2011 run are employees of the Department of Theatre Arts and Dance, University of Minnesota. The following are the criteria that must be met in order to be hired as a member of the Showboat Company:

Students must be
1) enrolled in a degree-granting program
2) meet the minimum enrollment credit requirement for spring semester (for undergraduates that number is 6; for graduate students, it is 3)
3) registered for fall semester 2011 classes by April 19.
NOTE: If you are graduating in May, you can be hired as a temporary employee -- no summer registration is required. However, you must meet item 2 above.

If you have questions regarding the above information, please ask the stage managers during auditions or check with Shelly Emmel in 580E. If your situation doesn't fit within the above criteria, please inform the stage manager at the time of your audition. Failure to do so could result in the loss of a role.

You should be aware of the special kind of performance conditions connected to a Showboat production. The performance experience for the audience extends beyond the stage and the performance schedule to include pre-show, intermission and post-show. It is part of the Showboat atmosphere for the audience to interact with the Company in a personable and friendly manner. Consequently, actors and staff greet the audience before the play begins, serve front of house and ushering functions, and may even offer brief entertainments, like pre-show discussions. Following the show, actors and staff say good night and shake hands with the audience as they leave. Many alumni and friends return to see the Boat on an annual basis. It's crucial that they feel welcome and excited about the experience each time. Many of our patrons are long-time Showboaters who have looked forward to the Boat's annual summer production, often attending more than once in a summer. This production will help us to maintain public visibility and demonstrate that the Showboat style of theatre is alive and well.

Additionally, the acting company and staff help run and maintain the production. Company members will be assigned duties connected with running the show (shifting scenery, assisting with costume changes, control board operation, etc.), maintaining the show and the performance space (e.g. sweeping the stage, picking up programs, straightening chairs, cleaning the makeup area and dressing rooms spaces, etc.).

The Demon Barber of Fleet Street will be the tenth production on the Minnesota Centennial Showboat in its permanent location on Harriet Island. We need to continue building an audience for the Boat and this unique style of theatre entertainment in this location. Part of the employment contract will require participation in promotional and educational activities. These may include appearances at local parades, festivals, and events, television and radio shows, service club/chamber of commerce type of events, and educational workshops with K-12 students from the community. Details of these events will be discussed as part of the first company meeting.

Understudy Responsibilities
Two students will be cast in understudy roles. The understudies will properly study and execute assigned understudy roles, in order to aid fellow Company Members that may need to be replaced in emergency situations. This includes solid knowledge of all dialogue, blocking, musical numbers, choreography, and audience speeches needed to ensure a smooth performance. Other aspects of understudy preparation include: a comprehensive knowledge of the duties as backstage crew member, technical assistant, and other pre-show and post-show assignments as assigned by the Production Stage Manager or Deck Manager.

The current contract for the Showboat Company runs from the beginning of rehearsals Monday, May 2, through the end of performances and strike on Sunday, August 28, 2011. The week of May 9-14 rehearsals may be suspended due to Final Exams (though there may be rehearsals late in that week, depending on cast members' finals schedules). The structure of the season will work like this:

May 2- June 16-- Rehearsals, techs, dress rehearsals and previews. Previews will include special complementary performances for company members' families and friends. During this time, there will also be promotional run-outs built into the schedule as well as workshops designed for the company members' benefit, including a vocal maintenance, showboat history, wig maintenance, and audience services. Company members will put in an average of 40 hours per week/six days a week during this period.

June 17 -- Opening Night of The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

June 18 - August 27 -- Performances of The Demon Barber of Fleet Street are Tuesdays, Thursday and Saturdays at 2:30 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.; Wednesdays and Fridays at 8:00 p.m. only -- Sunday and Monday are days off. This is basically 8 performances a week with two full days off. There may be additional time commitments during this period for promotional activities. A schedule for these events will be released at a later date.

August 28 - Strike of The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. All Company members help with striking the technical elements for the show and returning them to Rarig. A Company post-mortem will be lead to allow company members a chance to give critical feedback of their experiences.

Payment for the contract period is a stipend of approximately $6,120.00. This rate does not take your individual tax rate into consideration. All contracts will be issued before the first Company meeting (tentatively slated for early-February).

For questions or more information, please contact Tom Proehl (625-1052, tcproehl@umn.edu) or Christine Swartwout. (625-6819, swart073@umn.edu).

January 12, 2011

Faculty Members Receive 2011 Imagine Fund Annual Awards

Congratulations to our faculty members who received 2011 Imagine Fund Awards! 151 awards were distributed representing $755,000 in support for research in the arts, design, and the humanities were made in December, 2010, for the 2011 academic year. The programs are supported by a generous grant from the McKnight Foundation, from new internal reallocations from the University of Minnesota Graduate School and the Office of the Vice President for Research, and from the creation of the chairs through the Permanent University Fund.

Lisa Channer "Three Festivals: Pure Research on European Dance-Theatre trends"

Ananya Chatterjea "Arts against gender violence: performance and social justice"

Marcus Dilliard "2011 Prague Design Quadrennial and USITT Study Tour"

Megan Lewis "Performing Africa Research Residency"

Joanie Smith "Theatrical set for new dance work, When We Last Spoke"