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Behind The Scenes: West Theater Program

West Show Season!

2019 Fall Play: Almost Maine

2020 Spring Musical: 9 to 5

2019-2020 Performances

Fall Play - 7pm in the Auditorium

Friday, December 6th & 13th, 2019

Saturday, December 7th & 14th, 2019


Spring Musical - 7pm in the Auditorium

Friday, March 6th & 13th, 2020

Saturday, March 7th & 14th, 2020


Fine Arts Week

May 18-22, 2020

Almost Maine

by John Cariani

Parent Letter and Permission Slip

Parent, Actor & Crew Meeting - Thursday, November 7th, 6:30 PM - More info here!


Show Dates

December 6, 7, 13, 14 at 7pm in the Auditorium


The Story

Welcome to Almost, Maine, a place that’s so far north, it’s almost not in the United States. It’s almost in Canada. And it’s not quite a town, because its residents never got around to getting organized. So it almost doesn’t exist. One cold, clear, winter night, as the northern lights hover in the star-filled sky above, the residents of Almost, Maine, find themselves falling in and out of love in unexpected and hilarious ways. Knees are bruised. Hearts are broken. But the bruises heal, and the hearts mend—almost—in this delightful midwinter night’s dream. - Samuel French, CO.

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Lee Waldhart (Director & Co-Set Design)

Pictured with his beautiful wife, Mary Waldhart

Lee has been a regular fixture at West High Drama and is celebrating his 27th year with us; directing, designing and building sets.  He is familiar face to Madison area theater goers, and has been an avid supporter of community theater for over 40 years.  Recently seen on stage as Grampa Joe in CTM’s WILLY WONKA, and with Forward Theater Co. in their Monologue Festival.   An actor, director, instructor and set designer, he has over 200 stage productions under his belt.     He wishes to thank Holly for continuing her excellent work with the theater program here at West.  And thank you Mary, for all your support.        

Auditions

Monday, Octotber 7th, 2019, After School

The Objective

  1. To be chosen for a Callback
  2. To be seen for future show

How To Prepare

  • Read the play
  • Memorize a 1 minute Monologue (Dramatic or Comedic)
  • Sign Up For Auditions


What is a Monologue

 “An extended section of one character’s thoughts in the play that has a clear beginning, middle, and end.  It is usually a speech to another character.” - JV Mercanti (Backstage)


What the auditors are looking for?

  • Memorization
  • Interpretation/Delivery
  • Focus/Commitment
  • Stage Presence
  • Range
  • The Magic “It”
  • Behavior from past shows


Call Backs

Thursday, October 10th, 2019 After School

Actors chosen for callbacks will be posted on the theater board and contacted via school e-mail

Callbacks will be a cold reading from the script.


The Objective

To find the match between actors and the characters, create believable relationships, and maintain the director and playwrights' vision of the show.  Please note, We have a contract with Samuel French and must follow contractual guidelines.

Audition Code of Conduct & Etiquette

Rehearsals:

Rehearsals take place after school Monday – Friday anytime between 4-10pm with occasional Saturday rehearsals. Locations: West High School or Local Dance Studio.  Please be early and prepared for rehearsal.  

Auditions:

Be respectful and professional towards production team and fellow actors/dancers

Be prepared – Arrive 15 min early to fill out paper work

Do not approach the Production Team table with out asking

Fill out your audition form honestly, which includes conflicts

Production questions should be addressed to the stage manager

BE POSITIVE, HAVE FUN, AND BE CONFIDENT!

After Auditions:

Be respectful of the production team and fellow actors/dancers 

Do not engage in idle gossip of actor’s auditions

Stay positive whether called back or not

Be supportive of fellow actors/dancers 

Call Back:

Cold Reading of Script: Characters announced at call backs

Be familiar with the script and characters (research on YouTube and etc.)

Be respectful of production team and fellow actors

Be ready to take direction and immediately apply it

Casting:

Always Thank the Director/Production Team for casting

Be respectful of casting process whether cast or not

If not cast:

Stay positive, refrain from unprofessional comments/behavior towards those who have been cast. This includes indirect bullying (ex. Friends gossiping or bullying cast/crew members)

We encourage you to find other ways to participate in the production through crew work☺

Keep working to improve your acting/dance/vocal skills so you can be ready for the next audition!

*Special Note: If you are upset about casting decisions.  Please wait one week till after cast has been announced.  This will prevent emotional confrontations. Keep in mind casting may change. 

You may e-mail the director/musical director/choreographer after a week and ask for feedback about your audition.  For example: “What do I need to work on?”   Review will be constructive and professional.  Feedback should be taken as constructive and not personal.

Examples of Unprofessional Questions:

Why you were not cast

Why you were not cast in a particular role. 

“You owe me _________ part” 

“I’m really upset that you didn’t call me back for ________.”

“I’m better than __________  so you should have cast me.” 

A major part of acting is auditioning and it’s rare to be cast.  How you handle rejection is a part of the art of acting.  

Also we will not discuss other actors in your meeting.  Student auditions are confidential.  Stay focused on yourself and your work as an actor/singer/dancer.  

Parents/Guardians:

Audition Code of Conduct also applies to parents/guardians. If parents would like to discuss their child’s audition and casting – you may e-mail the director/musical director/choreographer and ask “What does my child need to work on?” and the previous guidelines will be followed.  

Since this is Educational Theater we want our students to have the proper skills to be prepared for Theatrical Auditions.  Through this experience, students can learn how to conduct themselves when cast or not cast in a show. Behavior is important, unprofessional behavior could negatively impact chances of future casting at West. 

Casting Considerations: 

 Acting/Singing/Dance Ability (subjective), Character Type/Interpretation of Characters, Cast Dynamics, Performance Experience (at West or other Venues), Theatrical Training at West or another school/company, Year in school, Involvement in the West Fine Arts Program in class/on stage/off stage, Behavior in Past Shows both on and off stage, Availability. 

“A Rejection is nothing more than a necessary step in the pursuit of success.”

  • Bo Bennett

(Remember Casting is subjective - 10 Directors will cast 10 different ways.  Do not take it personally. If you want to ask about your audition please refer to the Code of Conduct. Ultimately your job as a performer is to Audition.  Keep auditioning whether cast or not - and keep going to classes to improve your skills. )

2019 Fundraiser Night - Thursday, November 14, 4-8PM at Noodles & Company, 3600 University Ave.

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Contact:

Holly Walker

Director of Theater, West High School

hwalker@madison.k12.wi.us