Community Announcements

Community Theatre Auditions for Ragtime in West Orange

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WEST ORANGE, NJ - Pleasant Valley Productions announces that it will be holding auditions for its February production of Ragtime.  Auditions will be held Monday, November 18 and Tuesday, November 19 at the Pleasantdale Presbyterian Church from 7PM-10PM.  Callbacks will be held by appointment on November 21.

Please prepare an audition song from Ragtime or a similar style show.  Those auditioning should bring their own sheet music (written in the correct key) and be prepared to sing 16 bars. An accompanist will be provided.  You may be also asked to learn a brief dance combination.  If you have a head shot, please bring it with you.  All roles are open.  Cast breakdown is as follows: a Multi-Ethnic/Multi-Racial cast of 30-40 adults and 4 children is needed, including all ages, genders, and races. In particular, Ragtime requires actors to portray African-Americans, Caucasian-Americans and Eastern European/Jewish Immigrants. The entire ensemble will sing. Non-singing actors may be considered for non-singing ('speak-sung') featured roles.

Ragtime is an epic musical that paints a nostalgic and powerful portrait of life in turn of the century America. Three distinct stories intertwine to poignantly illustrate history's timeless contradictions of wealth and poverty, freedom and prejudice, hope and despair, and love and hate.  At the start of the 20th century, New York City was for many the land of opportunity.  Through a Harlem jazz pianist out for justice, a poor Jewish immigrant selling wares on the street, and a wealthy Victorian couple offering aid to a runaway, that unique brand of American hope runs strong. Together, their stories celebrate the struggle between tradition and independence in pursuit of the American dream.  Ragtime draws upon traditional Jewish folk sounds to color the haunting music of the European immigrants, Vaudevillian style to capture the spectacle of Anglo-American upper-middle-class society, and Joplin and Jazz to invoke the enlivened spirit and rhythms of African-American, working class Harlem.

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Pleasant Valley Productions was formed in 2012 by long-time friends and colleagues, Livingston resident Ilene Greenbaum, Camille Vecchio-DiLorenzo, and Livingston native Howie Tilkin.  The company’s mission is to create a professional theatre experience for local area performers, audience members, students and volunteers while providing a broad range of musical theatre works with the highest possible production value.  After presenting their inaugural production, the critically acclaimed Songs for a New World in March 2012, they presented the family favorite Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat this past February and a sold-out production of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee this past July, and most recently a special concert event Celebrating Stephen: The Music of Sondheim and Schwartz in October.  They have continued to grow their company’s presence in the community by offering free concerts at the West Orange Public Library as well as an after-school musical theatre enrichment program at Roosevelt Middle School.

Auditions will be held at Pleasantdale Presbyterian Church, located at 471 Pleasant Valley Way in West Orange, NJ at the corner of Eagle Rock Avenue. For a full cast breakdown and more information, visit www.PleasantValleyProductions.org. With any questions, please contact producer Howie Tilkin at tilkin@PleasantValleyProductions.org.

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