Sunday, December 20, 2020

audition notice - HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL, JR - Actor's Youth Theatre - January 16

High School Musical JR
Auditions are on January 16th from 2:30pm-8pm. 

All Actors Must be Ages 8-13/14

Please sign up for a slot and review the material in this google folder.  All Actors will be required to sing to a karaoke track from the attatched files and do one side (also attatched).  Memorizing is strongly encouraged as we will not be having callbacks.  If you have any questions, you can email the Director, Emmi Payne, 

We will start rehearsals on January 18th at 6:00pm and end at 9:00pm

Most rehearsals will be Monday & Wednesday from 6:00pm to 9:00pm and

Saturday's from 10:00am-2:00pm.  Possible Rehearsals May be Added. 

At the Time of Audition, all conflicts will be required in writing.  

TECH WEEK will be February 22nd-24th from 6:00-10:00pm. 

SHOW DATES: February 25th-March 13th (Thursday, Friday, 2 Saturday's)

Character Breakdown: 

Gabriella Montez

Gabriella Montez is the new student who’s struggling to find her place at East High. She’s a Renaissance woman who doesn’t fully identify with any of the cliques, and so she’s taking her time – and realizing her confidence – along the way. Smart and independent, Gabriella can be shy and vulnerable at times. She comes into her own when she discovers her talent and love for singing with Troy, so look for a strong actor with a fantastic voice.
Gender: Female
Vocal range top: D5
Vocal range bottom: A3

Troy Bolton

Troy Bolton, the most popular student at East High, is the star of the basketball team who yearns to be more than what others – especially his dad, Coach Bolton – want him to be. A natural athlete and leader with charm to spare, Troy discovers he loves to sing, but is afraid to admit it to his basketball buddies. Look for a solid actor who can convey the full range of Troy’s emotions from sensitive to self-assured, and who can dance and sing very well. Consider auditioning your potential Troys and Gabriellas together to get a sense of the pair’s dynamic.
Gender: Male
Vocal range top: Bb3
Vocal range bottom: Eb2

Sharpay Evans

Sharpay Evans is the dramatic and self- centered star of the school musicals. Between her and Ryan, she’s the alpha twin – over-the-top, demanding, and always “on,” with a flair for the theatrical. This diva knows how to work a crowd, so cast a performer with solid acting chops and strong singing and dancing skills.
Gender: Female
Vocal range top: A4
Vocal range bottom: A3

Ryan Evans

Ryan Evans is Sharpay’s fraternal twin and, like her, he lives to sing, dance, and get loads of attention. Subordinate to his sister, Ryan generally follows Sharpay’s orders and lets her have the spotlight, but he longs to break free from her shadow and assert himself. Choose a “triple threat” for this actor – strong singer, dancer, and actor – because everything Ryan does is calculated and executed impeccably. Consider auditioning Ryan and Sharpay in pairs as the success of “Bop to the Top” depends on this dynamic duo performing perfectly – and with a ton of energy.
Gender: Male
Vocal range top: A3
Vocal range bottom: G2

Kelsi Nielsen

Kelsi Nielsen, the neo-feminist writer- composer of the winter musical, Juliet and Romeo, possesses a shy demeanor but no tolerance for the egocentric likes of Sharpay. With only one lyric to sing, focus on finding a strong actor who can play the compassionate underdog with intelligence and an uncanny ability to shoot zingers at Sharpay with timing and accuracy.
Gender: Female
Vocal range top: A4
Vocal range bottom: D4

Chad Danforth

Chad Danforth, one of Troy’s best friends, is a sports fanatic. Focused on winning the basketball championship, Chad slowly begins to understand that there might be more to life than ball – including his crush on Taylor. Look for an actor that partners naturally with Troy, is a leader of his own accord, and can handle a couple of short solos and acting scenes.
Gender: Male
Vocal range top: G3
Vocal range bottom: B2

Zeke Baylor

Zeke Baylor, Troy’s other best buddy, is a basketball player with a sweet side. He has two secrets: a crush on Sharpay and a love for baking! Look for an actor with some singing chops who can portray this Wildcat with no shame in his (basketball or baking) game. Zeke has some higher parts to sing, so if necessary, the actor you cast can speak-sing parts that may be out of his natural range.
Gender: Male
Vocal range top: G#3
Vocal range bottom: G2

Taylor Mckessie

Taylor McKessie, the very put-together president of the Science Club, is super-assertive and very intent on Gabriella joining the Science Decathlon team so they can (finally!) win the competition. Taylor has a hidden soft spot for Chad, but would never let it be known that she’s into a jock, so cast a performer who can portray confidence – and just a slight air of pretentiousness.
Gender: Female
Vocal range top: A3
Vocal range bottom: A2

Ms. Darbus

Ms. Darbus is East High’s eccentric drama teacher. Passionate and disciplined, she never stops trying to enrich the lives of her students through the wonders of live theater. Look for a performer who knows how to milk every line and gesture for this role, as the key to Darbus is in her killer comic timing. Be careful of making her too wacky, though; this educator genuinely loves her art and her students, so make sure her heart shines through.
Gender: Female

Coach Bolton

Coach Bolton, the stern basketball coach and Troy’s sometimes overbearing dad, lost the big game years ago and wants a second chance through his basketball-star son. Cast an actor who can handle the demands of this mature role – and who can convincingly and comically spar with Ms. Darbus.
Gender: Male

Martha Cox

Martha Cox, a proud member of the Science Club, possesses a private passion for break dancing. Look for a truly terrific dancer who can sing, or one who can comically approach the role as a super-enthusiastic, but talentless, dancer.
Gender: Female
Vocal range top: B4
Vocal range bottom: G3


The ensemble is your show’s primary group of performers from which you will pull the featured roles and other, perhaps smaller, ensembles. Be sure to select strong singers – as few or as many as your production requires – as all ensembles require group singing. The featured roles call for either solo singing or solo acting, or both.

The BRAINIACS, headed by Taylor McKessie, are the smartest girls and boys in school, including Martha Cox and the change-adverse KRATNOFF.

The JOCKS and CHEERLEADERS are the East High athletes, including Troy, Chad, and Zeke. Both of these groups can be a mix of boys and girls.

The THESPIANS are the drama lovers, including Kelsi, Sharpay, and Ryan, as well as the following auditionees: CATHY, who belts like Ethel Merman, CYNDRA, the opera-lover, JAMES, who can’t sing on pitch and SUSAN, the wannabe pop star.

The PARTY KIDS are students in Troy and Gabriella’s karaoke flashback.

The REBELS, including Troy and Gabriella, don’t stick to the status quo, unlike the various school cliques.

Other featured performers include:

JACK SCOTT, the school announcer with a larger-than-life personality, longs to be a D.J. Look for an actor who will have no problem making this role his own, creating a quirky radio personality with a unique sense of style. While this actor will primarily stay as Jack throughout, there are opportunities to join ensemble numbers such as “Stick to the Status Quo” and “Get’cha Head in the Game.”

DRUM MAJOR, who cheers on the Wildcats.

MS. TENNY, East High’s chemistry teacher.

MODERATOR, for the Science Decathlon (can be double cast as Ms. Tenny)

Audition Date: January 16th 2:30-8pm

Workshop Date: January 8th 5-8pm

What to prepare: One Side and One Musical Cut from Google Doc (Linked)

A BUSKER'S CHRISTMAS -Free Virtual Concert to stream on Christmas Eve

Local performers present, “A Busker’s Christmas: Virtual Concert” on Facebook Live this Christmas Eve at 6pm. With theatres closed across the country, these artists have kept the arts alive by adapting to the online stage. Creating music, producing fundraisers, collaborating, teaching and writing. Everything shifting to online as they wait for the curtain to safely rise again. This December 24th, show your support for these incredibly accomplished artists with this FREE holiday performance all from the comfort of your home!

Featuring a wide array of seasonal songs; you’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll share, like, and comment. Produced by Arizona’s newest artist run production company, Acting Up Series and hosted by Seth Tucker (Parade at Arizona Regional Theatre, La Cage Aux Folles at Arizona Broadway Theatre, I Am My Own Wife at BLK BOX PHX). The cast features staple of the Arizona stage, Jessie Jo Pauley (Kinky Boots, Americano at The Phoenix Theatre Company) and choreographer-performer Nick Flores (In The Heights at The Phoenix Theatre Company, Cir Du Soleil, and The Alexander Project). Theatre sweethearts Trisha Ditsworth (Sound of Music, Something Rotten (Upcoming) at The Phoenix Theatre Company, Sister Act at Arizona Broadway Theatre) and Matravius Avent (Tokyo Disney, Something Rotten (Upcoming) at The Phoenix Theatre Company). Recording artist James D. Gish (Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, and Les Misérables National Tours). Korean pop singer Šime Košta from the band EXP Edition. Alyssa Chiarello (Evita, Hedwig And The Angry Inch, Rocky Horror Show (Upcoming) at The Phoenix Theatre Company). As well as the new hit local musician duo, Cass & Crossland (Cassie Chilton and Alex Crossland).

No pandemic can stop these passionate artists from keeping creative this Christmas. Enjoy the gift of music this holiday season and show your support for local performers as they patiently wait for in-person shows to start again. Stay safe, wear a mask, and Happy Holidays!

DATE: Christmas Eve, December, 24th

TIME: 6pm (MST)

WHO: Matravius Avent, Alyssa Chiarello, Cassie Chilton, Alex Crossland, Trisha Ditsworth, Nick Flores, James D. Gish, Sime Kosta, Jessie Jo Pauley, Seth Tucker, Cass & Crossland

TICKETS: FREE!! (Donations, Tips, and Gifts are greatly appreciated and will be distributed to the performers. Venmo: @ACTINGUPSERIES)


WHAT IS A, “BUSKER”?: A person who entertains in a public place for donations.

Produced By: Acting Up Series (

Sponsored in part by Brock Pro Entertainment, The Davis Alliance, Stephen Hardy & Addison Crawford, Lee Pomush, Brian DeMaris, Judith Hardes, and Kristi Keller.

The Improv Syndicate is holding auditions for strong improv players

from our friends at The Improv Syndicate:

We are looking for strong improv players!  We produce shows in several theatres and venues across Arizona.

The Improv Syndicate - the most cutting edge, relevant Improv Troupe performing! Phoenix, Arizona. Classes, Workshops, Team Building & More!

You would have to go to L.A. or Chicago to see shows of this caliber. 

Audience members don't just watch a show, they are part of it! If you've ever seen the show "Whose Line is it Anyway?" then you know what we're all about!  Our antics take place on stage, off stage, with the audience and without.  You never know what's going to happen from one minute to the next!

You can watch us or you can train with us! 

We've been training actors, standups, improv players and everyday folks for 10+ years. 

Never the same show twice - unrehearsed, unscripted, Improv without a net!

Adults 18+

Check for more info HERE:

Friday, December 18, 2020

ASU Gammage presents a free streaming event with Arziona native and Broadway MEAN GIRLS' star Krystina Alabado! on December 19, 2020

Arizona native and MEAN GIRLS on Broadway star, Krystina Alabado, will be on the ASU Gammage stage Saturday for a free streaming holiday concert.

December 19, 2020

Happy holidays from everyone at ASU Gammage! We are always so glad to have you in our community, and especially grateful during this challenging year.

To express our thanks, we would like to invite you to tune in to a FREE holiday concert, broadcast live from the ASU Gammage stage. We are welcoming our hometown Broadway star and 2013 ASU Gammage 'Rising Star' awardee, Krystina Alabado (MEAN GIRLS, AMERICAN IDIOT) back to ASU Gammage for an evening of music filled with Broadway favorites, classic ballads and festive holiday cheer.

Tune in for Krystina’s live performance, followed by a live Q&A, all on the ASU Gammage stage! Click the tickets button above or the Watch Live button below for the link. 

The 2020 Valley Youth Theatre Virtual Holiday Concert! Saturday, December 19


Dec 19th
3:30 PM

LIVE on Our Website
The 2020 Valley Youth Theatre Virtual Holiday Concert
Our gift to you this holiday season is a program full of talent, music and love!

Log on to see our VYTeens perform some of your favorite holiday songs and help support the magic that is VYT.
You can purchase meals for HopeKids families, throughout the month of December, from Fresh Taste Meal Prep by going HERE.
Families can pick up their meals at our theatre, during our concert,
or at another location to be announced, later in the month.
Click Here for Details

THE SOUND OF MUSIC - Zao Theatre - March 26-April 17, 2021

Music by Richard Rodgers / Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II / Book by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse
Suggested by The Trapp Family Singers by Maria Augusta Trapp

One of the most beloved musicals of all time! The Sound of Music, the final collaboration between Rodgers & Hammerstein, opened on Broadway in 1959 and soon won the hearts of audiences worldwide. Filled with a trove of cherished songs, this inspirational story, based on the memoir of Maria Augusta Trapp, follows an ebullient postulate who serves as governess to the seven children of the imperious Captain von Trapp, bringing music and joy to the household. Join us as this beloved story comes to life on the Zao Theatre stage four weekends March 26 through April 17, 2021. 

Zao Theatre is delighted to announce our casts for THE SOUND OF MUSIC. Due to enhanced safety precautions, the children have been double cast for this production. 

Rolf Gruber: Jake Ashton
Liesl von Trapp: Lily Nelson
Friedrich von Trapp: Bennett Smith
Louisa von Trapp: Katrielle Jordan
Kurt von Trapp: Thomas Dietz
Brigitta von Trapp: Iris VanSlyke
Marta von Trapp: Kate Jones
Gretl von Trapp: Samantha Jones
Rolf Gruber: Ryley Hansen
Liesl von Trapp: Devorah Joyce
Friedrich von Trapp: Laine Bombard
Louisa von Trapp: Eliana Anglada
Kurt von Trapp: Zacary Nelson
Brigitta von Trapp: Campbell Carr
Marta von Trapp: Kaylee Forth
Gretl von Trapp: Samantha Jones

Maria Rainer: Rebecca Bryce
Captain Georg von Trapp: Bryan Stewart
Max Detweiller: Tyler Galley
Elsa Schrader: Lauren Tye
Mother Abbess: Melissa VanSlyke
Sister Berthe: Randi Jill Condit
Sister Margaretta: Lynanne Cottle
Sister Sophia: Anna Sera
Franz: Bob Blaylock
Frau Schmidt: Terri Parker
Herr Zeller: Jeff Huffman
Baron Elberfeld: Benjermin Tietz
Baroness Elberfeld/Nun: Punawai Abang
Admiral von Schreiber: Jeff Montgomery Jr
Soldiers: Jayden Montgomery, Turner McKenzie, Tyler Snell
Postulants: Shayla Montgomery, Sophie-Leigh Jordan, Zoe Bauerle
Nuns: Miranda Bellows, Savannah Gambell, Eliza Gambell, Lynn Golden, Bonnie Wanstreet, Brailey McDaniel, Sabrina Petroski

Thursday, December 17, 2020

reviews - UNWRAPPED: AN ORIGINAL CHRISTMAS REVUE - The Phoenix Theatre Company

Sam Primack, Alexandra Ncube, Walter Belcher, Lynzee 4Man, and Alyssa Chiarello
photo by Reg Madison Photography

highlights from local critics reviews - (click link at bottom of each review to read complete review)

Click here for more information on this production that runs through December 23

"Featuring a quintet of gifted singers, many of whom have appeared in numerous Phoenix Theatre productions, and a superb five-piece band, Unwrapped is a co-production with Brock Pro Entertainment...The end result is a well-polished, tightly choreographed concert with impressive creative aspects and some soaring vocals on buoyant renditions of classic and contemporary holiday favorites..."  -Gil Benbrook, Talkin' Broadway (click here to read the complete review)

"...During the holidays, a musical tribute to these festive times is always welcome especially in this bleak year.  But while The Phoenix Theatre Company’s revue “Unwrapped: A Rockin’ Holiday Spectacular” premiered with a quintet of top singers and a spirited back-up band plus two dozen songs – both familiar and unfamiliar – the concert lacks holiday jollity...." -Chris Curcio, Curtain Up Phoenix (click here to read the complete review)

" 80 minute concert that delivers a variety of holiday musical offerings. Swiftly directed by Robert Kolby Harper, there is never a dull moment, and the runtime passes in a flash. At its heart, UNWRAPPED is a rock concert, and though they perform many of the classics you're looking for, it is a special type Christmas show that demands to be outdoors for fear of blowing the roof off. ... - Seth Tucker, Broadway World (click here to read the complete review)

THE TOMKAT PROJECT - Scottsdale Community Players - December 17-20, 2020

Hailed “genius” by Chicago Tribune, The Tomkat Project is a critically-acclaimed satire that transcends the tabloids to discover the truth behind the marriage of Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes and The Church of Scientology. Based on actual interviews, (and completely imagined scenes), seven actors portray over 50 characters including Oprah Winfrey, David Miscavige, Scarlet Johansson, Steven Spielberg, Nicole Kidman and Suri in this thoroughly entertaining comedic juggernaut.

Featuring Alums: Kale Burr, Johnna Watson, Thomas Steward, Sophia Drapeau, Emma Sucato, Jack Walton, Kyler Tunnell & Savannah Thompson



Tickets $20

Actor's Youth Theatre seeks a Music Director for their upcoming production of HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL, JR.


AYT seeks a Music Director for “High School Musical Jr.” Starting date would be January 9th! The show closes on March 13th

Anyone intersted can email


The Music Director is responsible for working with the stage director in preparing a theatre
production for public performance, including casting, rehearsing the vocalists. If the production
has a live orchestra, the Music Director also casts, rehearses and conducts the orchestra.

The Music Director works with singers in partnership with the director, rehearsing the cast and
orchestra, and serving as conductor for all performances. However, in some cases (especially
with a particularly demanding score), a separate vocal director may be used, as well as an
assistant conductor.

Beyond the expected musical expertise, the Music Director must have strong communication
and organizational skills, and be able to work collaboratively with the show's director, cast and

It is essential that the production's Director and Musical Director have an ongoing and mutually
supportive collaboration. The Director communicates his or her vision of the show, and the
Music Director uses his or her understanding of the show's musical demands to help the
Director (and cast) be successful. The musical director works with the Director and the Stage
Manager in scheduling rehearsals, which cast members need to be there, and what the
directors expect to accomplish at each rehearsal.

The Music Director is a contracted position reporting to the Director

General responsibilities include but are not limited to:
● Auditioning the actors with the Director, Stage Manager and production team selected by
the Director and making casting recommendations to the show Director
● Scheduling music rehearsals in collaboration with the Director, Choreographer and
Stage Manager
● Teaches cast members their music including harmonies and vocal parts
● Cleans vocals and harmonies including assisting cast members to ensure they are
accurately singing their parts
● Attends and Leads music rehearsals including vocal and orchestra rehearsals
● Serving as conductor--or, in consultation with the Director, hiring a conductor
● In consultation with the Director, selecting a rehearsal pianist and orchestra members
● Working with the sound designer when recorded music and microphones will be used
● Oversees performances as necessary to continue cleaning vocals
● Attending production meetings and rehearsals and tech rehearsals, as needed
● Abides by the AYT Staff Ethics Policy (see attached document)

● The capacity to invoke a range of emotional responses, and the skill to create
drama, contrast, and well-defined gestures in music, from the smallest detail to the
overall shape of a piece
● Skills to deal with complex problems of intonation, balance, and color; skills in
● Detailed knowledge and understanding of all vocal ranges
● Functional keyboard skills
● Rehearsal technique: Ability to recognize, diagnose, and correct musical,
interpretive, rhythmic, balance, and intonation problems in an efficient, sequential,
and creative manner
● Awareness of how body language enhances the quality of music-making, as well as
how it affects the physical and emotional well being of the actors
● Ability to communicate effectively with the actors, both in and out of rehearsal
● Ability to gain respect by leading through an example of creativity, knowledge, and

● Demonstrates flexibility, common sense, and good judgment
● Demonstrates professionalism in attitude and behaviors
● Demonstrates the ability to work independently with minimal supervision and/or
● Ability and desire to provide outstanding customer service
● Ability to work effectively under time constraints
● Must be organized with the ability to multitask
● Must be detailed-oriented and self-motivated
● Must have excellent memory and ability to function well under stress

● Must demonstrate an extremely high regard for confidential and sensitive information
● Must have ability to keep abreast of information pertinent to the position

Physical and Environmental Work Conditions representative of those that must be met by a
team member to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable
accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential
While performing the duties of this position, the team member will regularly be required to:
● Work days, nights, and/or weekends as required
● Work in moderate to loud, fast paced environment with distracting conditions
● Sit or stand for extended periods of time
● Move about facility and stand for long periods of time
● Read and write handwritten or digital notes
● Lift and carry up to 30 pounds

Salary: Stipend for each show

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Starlight Community Theater is callling all Young Thespians (ages 10-19) for their first ever 24 HOUR MYSTERY MUSICAL!

Calling all young thespians (ages 10-19)! Come join us for Starlight's first ever 24 Hour Mystery Musical!  Perfect last minute Christmas Gift idea!  This will be a real scripted musical that lots of people has asked us to do previously!  

Actors will arrive the evening of January 1, where the mystery musical will be announced and the audition and rehearsal process will begin immediately! Performers will work all night and all day Saturday to put together a fun and exciting musical to perform for a virtual audience on the evening of Saturday, January 2nd.  Meals, nap time, t-shirt and team building fun all provided in a safe environment!

Starlight Community Theater will follow all CDC guidelines to keep all actors and production staff safe with enforced social distancing, temperature checks and mandatory masks.

Who: Actors ages 10-19
When: January 1-January 2, 2021
Cost: $150 per participant (discount available for families registering 2 or more) for more info and to register.  You can also send questions to

Monday, December 14, 2020

WEEK AT A GLANCE: December 14-December 20

 Click on any show title to get more information on that production




audition notice - CHARLEY'S AUNT - Hale Centre Theatre - Video Submissions Due by December 21

Audition Overview

Charley's Aunt will run Wednesdays through Saturdays with 7:30 PM evening performances and 3:00 PM matinees on Fridays and Saturdays. Show dates are February 11th through March 27th. The show will be directed by Jere Van Patten. We will have two casts in the event that one is not able to perform due to illness. Each cast will perform approximately 20 performances.

This is a video audition only. Please submit your video by December 21st. Important: when submitting your video audition select the "Video Appointment" box on the sign up page.

Masks & Safety Plans
Masks are worn during rehearsals and offstage.

Here are the links to our actor and patron safety plan:

Auditions Open to All
Auditions are open to all and we extend an invitation for all races and ethnicities to submit. Posted ages are guidelines only

All sides can be found here. Please use the sides provided to record your video audition.

Call Backs
Call backs will be in-person on December 26th at 9:00 AM. Location TBA. Masks are required.

Jack Chesney, violently in love with Kitty Verdun, and Charles, equally enam­oured of Miss Spettigue, invite the young ladies to their rooms for luncheon — in order to meet Charley's wealthy aunt from Brazil ("where the nuts come from"). But alas, the millionaire aunt sends word that she will have to defer her visit for a few days. What is to be done? The dear young things must not be com­promised — no, never! — but neither will the youths give up the opportunity of declaring their love. The problem is solved by forcing another Oxford undergraduate into a black satin skirt, a lace fichu, a pair of mitts, an old-fashioned cap and wig. As Charley's Aunt then, this old frump is introduced to the sweethearts, to Jack's father (who is advised by the son to marry her millions), and to Stephen Spettigue, Miss Spettigue's guardian. The sweethearts hug and kiss Charley's dear old aunt; the two men profess love to her. Then the real aunt turns up, assumes another name. In the comic confusion which results, young Lord Babberley, posing as the aunt, tricks Stephen Spettigue into agreeing to the marriage of his ward to Charley, the real aunt mar­ries Jack's father, Jack gets Miss Verdun, and "Charley's Aunt" regains the fortune he lost at gam­bling and obtains the hand of the girl he loves.

Brandon Thomas

Playing Dates
Feb 11, 2021 - Mar 27, 2021

Hale Centre Theatre

This is a video audition only. Please submit your video by December 21st.

review - A CHRISTMAS STORY - Scottsdale Desert Stages Theatre


Bobby Havens, Grady Mulligan, Roy Thielen, Annemarie Mulligan, and Charlie Budd
photo by Wade Moran

highlights from local critics reviews - (click link at bottom of each review to read complete review)

"...A Christmas Story uses humor and physical comedy to present a nostalgic look at the holidays and simple family life in a small town. Based on radio humorist Jean Shepherd's endearing yet humorous stories of growing up in Indiana in the 1940s, and also the 1983 film of the same name, A Christmas Story was adapted for the stage in 2000 by Phillip Grecian (it was also later turned into a big musical adaptation). The stage version delivers many of the classic, comical, iconic moments from the film, and while the cast and direction in Desert Stages' production may be a bit uneven, they still manage to offer a charming production of this warm-hearted story about a small family who is just trying to get by during the holiday season...."   -Gil Benbrook, Talkin' Broadway (click here to read the complete review)

Saturday, December 12, 2020

Actor's Youth Theatre seeks to hire a new Artistic Director

Founded in 2006, Actor’s Youth Theatre’s mission is to Educate, inspire and grow youth to reach their fullest potential on stage and in life. The company is driven to provide excellence in our youth programs and productions. In our most recent full season, AYT served 5,000 audience members, employed 21 staff members, provided 150 young performers with a theatre to call home, and had an annual operating budget of $395,000.

AYT has a history of programming theatrical experiences for children ages 3-18. We produce theatrical events from musicals to plays - from classics to contemporary favorites. We train young actors, singers and dancers. Our theatre is also committed to removing barriers to participation through accessibility programs. AYT engages with the greater community through programs like student internships, and providing complimentary tickets to Hopekids and Vettix.

As AYT approaches our 18th year, we are seeking to renew our commitment to foster new artistic ideas and continue to grow our young artists.  We are seeking to hire new leadership. The Artistic Director will lead a collaborative ensemble and report directly to the board of directors and will be jointly responsible, with the Executive Director, for developing and implementing strategies that ensure our theatre achieves its artistic and financial goals within an operating plan and budget formally approved by the board.

If you are interested in being considered for this position, please apply at: AYT Employment Application

This position will be open for application on December 10th and close on January 10th. Interviews will be scheduled beginning the week of January 10th. Please fill out our application to express your interest. 

For detailed information and job description see: Artistic Director Job Description

Thursday, December 10, 2020

Happy Hanukkah from PHX Stages!


Talking to the "Marvelous" women who make up Zao Theatre's WINTER WONDERETTES

Melissa Van Slyke, Rebecca Bryce, Heidi-Liz Johnson, and Gina Kim 
photo by Mickey Bryce

by Gil Benbrook

Roger Bean's The Marvelous Wonderettes was a hit Off Broadway, running for over 1,200 performances, and has been peformed by hundreds of theatre companies across the country.  Mixing nostalgia with humor and featuring over 30 classic ’50s and ’60s pop hits, Bean hit upon a formula for success that he's repeated in numerous other jukebox musicals, including several Wonderettes sequels.

Zao Theatre in Apache Junction presents Bean's holiday Wonderettes offering, Winter Wonderettes, which opens tonight and runs through December 20th. The four women Zao has cast to portray the four Wonderettes - Cindy Lou, Missy, Betty Jean and Suzy - have plenty of experience with their characters and the format of these shows as all have played these roles before and performed together in The Marvelous Wonderettes and its sequel The Marvelous Wonderettes: Caps & Gowns

Rebecca Bryce (Cindy Lou),  Heidi-Liz Johnson (Suzy), Gina Kim (Missy) and Melissa Van Slyke (Betty Jean) took a few moments in between final tech rehearsals for the show to sit down and answer some questions about their characters and this 

Rebecca Bryce (Cindy Lou)

Tell us a little about the character you play in the show 

"Cindy Lou was the most popular girl in high school. She likes to wear a lot of pink, and she can be a bit (ok, more than a bit) of a flirt. In high school she was the type who’d steal your boyfriend when you weren’t looking, and wouldn’t think twice about it. She likes to have fun and loves being the center of attention. She definitely can get upset when things don’t go her way, and while she’s grown up a lot from high school, you still see glimpses of the friendly rivalry she has with her best friend Betty Jean. She has a bit of a sarcastic, sassy streak, but once in a while she has moments of honesty and clarity where the confident face she usually puts on goes away, and you see that she does have a softer, more vulnerable side. "

How do you feel you and your character are most alike and what is a character trait or idiosyncrasy about her that you feel you don't share?

"I’m definitely a girly girl, so I love the floofy dresses and heels. She enjoys being the star of the show...sometimes (not unlike me). Other times she prefers to observe the action without being front and center (like when Missy is scolding Betty Jean for acting up). Like me, it’s easy for Cindy Lou to feel confident when people lavish her with attention, but she also sometimes hides her true feelings because she’s uncomfortable being vulnerable, so she often puts on a brave face. I find I can connect with her need to feel acceptance from her best friends, and to want to hide the things that are hard to deal with. 

I definitely was nowhere near the popular, pretty, cheerleader type in high school, so it’s fun to pretend I was. At times Cindy Lou has a bit of a mean, vindictive streak, which I hope is nothing like me! I would say high school Cindy Lou was a bit of a “bad girl”, which is the literal opposite of me. I never dated the bad boy, I never got nominated for Prom Queen, I never stole my best friend’s boyfriend. I avoid conflict at all costs, and Cindy Lou thrives on it. Over the course of these shows, Cindy Lou does exhibit a lot of growth, but much of it comes from a hard, lonely childhood and a lot of tumultuous, sometimes tragic love and life experiences. It’s fun to explore the nature and growth of a character whose life was so unlike mine. "

This isn't your first time playing this role, or the first time you appeared in a Wonderette show with this cast. What is it about these women and these songs that has made you want to play the role again?

"This is the third time I’ve played this character (and the third time doing a Wonderettes show with these ladies), but each time have gotten to explore new stories for these women. In the first two shows we did, Act 1 and Act 2 are set ten years apart (senior year of high school and then ten years later), so we’ve gotten to touch upon so many different moments in these girls' lives. Winter Wonderettes is unique in that the entire show is set in 1968 (ten years after high school), so a lot has already happened leading up to it. It is great fun getting to live in these characters and this universe, and getting to explore the friendships and antics of these women. 

Beyond that, I love nothing more than singing great music. We have gotten to perform SO many fantastic, timeless songs over all three of these shows. The arrangements are so creatively written, and it is an absolute pleasure getting to sing good music with such uniquely talented performers. There is something very special about working alongside people who you not only enjoy working with, but who are just GOOD. I can’t say enough about the talent of each of the other three women onstage with me. I would always say yes to another Wonderettes show with these ladies."

What is your favorite part or song in the show and why is it your favorite?

"One of my favorite numbers (which I definitely did not expect) is the Bells Medley.  It is chaotic (mostly controlled chaos) and lively and the number is a little bit different every time. It’s just a lot of fun and I am very excited to get it in front of an audience. 

There are a couple of moments in the show that can be unpredictable (no spoilers!) but I love when I can catch one of the other girls doing something super spontaneous or funny. Sometimes you have to roll with the .punches and that’s one of the things I love about the nature of these shows. I find myself genuinely laughing sometimes (in character, of course!) at the ridiculousness of it all."

What do you hope audiences will take away from seeing Winter Wonderettes?

I hope this show can provide an escape for people: to step out of the real world and stop thinking about all the things that have happened this year (and are still happening), and for a moment be a part of something that is simply a couple of hours of great entertainment, with a lot of laughter and maybe some "warm-fuzzy" moments too. I think audiences will recognize many of the Christmas tunes in this show, and they will enjoy hearing them again. My hope is that over the course of the evening, that their hearts emerge a little less heavy and their spirits a little more uplifted. 

Heidi-Liz Johnson, Melissa Van Slyke, Rebecca Bryce, and Gina Kim 
photo by Mickey Bryce

Heidi-Liz Johnson (Suzy)

Tell us a little about the character you play in the show

"Suzy is bubbly, excitable, innocent, fun-loving, and genuine (sometimes to a fault). She is a loyal friend and an unconditional supporter, though she hates conflict. She's always the first to jump in and put out the flames amongst her fellow Wonderettes, simply by pulling them apart with a smile!"

How do you feel you and your character are most alike and what is a character trait or idiosyncrasy about her that you feel you don't share?

"It's a difficult question as I think Suzy and I have very different temperaments! I'd like to think that, like Suzy, I am a loyal friend that finds joy in the happiness and personal successes of her loved ones. As far as differences go, there are a few, but I think the most notable difference is that Suzy is a chronic extrovert. She absolutely loves people and wants nothing more than to share her enthusiasm with everyone she encounters. Let's just say I'm a little less zesty!"

This isn't your first time playing this role, or the first time you appeared in a Wonderette show with this cast. What is it about these women and these songs that has made you want to play the role again?

"The easy answer to that question is simply that the Wonderette shows are bottled joy. For both the audience and the actors, you can't help but leave the theatre with a smile on your face and the catchy music in your head. Not to mention I think the blend of this particular cast of ladies is pretty stupendous!"

What is your favorite part or song in the show and why is it your favorite?

"I have a very specific favorite moment, and it's the first four-part harmony section in the last song of the show, Winter Wonderland. This particular line is acapella, and every time we sing it, I can't help but think, "Ooh, this sounds so cool!" All the music is difficult harmony-wise, so when we nail it, I find it endlessly satisfying."

What do you hope audiences will take away from seeing Winter Wonderettes?

"This year in particular, when the world is a little more stressful and unsure than usual, I really hope that audiences walk away from this show feeling even an ounce of the warmth and delight of Christmas. If we can sweep just one person away into the Wonderette world and help them forget what's going on in our own for even an hour and a half, I will be content."

Gina Kim (Missy) 

Tell us a little about the character you play in the show 

"My character can be a bit bossy and wants to be in charge of everything! She is very particular, smart, quirky, and has a little flare of dorky sexy sass that emerges from time to time"

How do you feel you and your character are most alike and what is a character trait or idiosyncrasy about her that you feel you don't share? 

"We both are perfectionists. When I complete a task I will always give it 100 percent. I take pride in my work. Everything Missy does must be perfect!"

This isn't your first time playing this role, or the first time you appeared in a Wonderette show with this cast. What is it about these women and these songs that has made you want to play the role again?

"I absolutely love the music and the blend that the four of us have together! It is an honor to work with such talented women!... And it's nice to be a part of something that brings such joy in such a dark and scary world right now."

What is your favorite part or song in the show and why is it your favorite?

"Snowfall!! It is so incredibly beautiful with intricate and unique jazzy chords! It's a difficult song, but when done correctly it's absolutely stunning and different than any other song in the show. I love singing it with these girls!"

What do you hope audiences will take away from seeing Winter Wonderettes?

"I'm hoping people can come to the show, relax, smile, feel the music, sing, and feel joy! Hopefully any ailments, heart aches or stresses can be forgotten for the short while that we share this wonderful playful show! I think everyone will also absolutely love the set! It's gorgeous!"

Melissa Van Slyke (front), Gina Kim, Heidi-Liz Johnson, and Rebecca Bryce  
photo by Mickey Bryce

Melissa Van Slyke (Betty Jean) 

Tell us a little about the character you play in the show 

"I play Betty Jean Reynolds in the show. Betty Jean is the jokester of the group.  She cares much more about chasing the funny than about the actual show.  Whatever type a is, Betty Jean is the opposite.  She works at the hardware store who is hosting the Christmas party.  Betty Jean has experienced a lot of heartache in her life and wears her heart on her sleeve.  She is loyal to a fault which keeps her constantly trying to get attention from her not-so-nice best friend Cindy Lou and her terrible husband Johnny. Beyond her jaded exterior, she has a heart of gold."

How do you feel you and your character are most alike and what is a character trait or idiosyncrasy about her that you feel you don't share?

"There is a lot in Betty Jean that i relate to.  My sense of humor has carried me through all the hard times in my life. Betty Jean has had to be scrappy and fight for everything she has.  She loves big and is very empathetic. Unlike Betty Jean, I have a wonderful and supportive husband that I adore. "

This isn't your first time playing this role, or the first time you appeared in a Wonderette show with this cast. What is it about these women and these songs that has made you want to play the role again?

"I originally auditioned for this show because it made me think of my Dad who passed away far too soon.  He loved all this music and filled my childhood listening to it, so it felt like a big love letter to him.  He used to call me Missy.  Each show makes me smile thinking of him in the audience smiling and humming along.  I also have a 5 year old son that will get to watch me perform for the first time so i'm looking forward to that. In fact, these shows have been a really fun way to introduce my kids to all this amazing music.  I also love these ladies so much and these shows are just fun."

What is your favorite part or song in the show and why is it your favorite?

"My favorite song in the show is probably Mele Kalikimaka.  It's always been one of my favorite Christmas songs and always puts a smile on my face."

What do you hope audiences will take away from seeing Winter Wonderettes?

"I hope the audience can just have a  pleasant escape for a little while.  This year has been such a challenging one, so hopefully we can bring a little Christmas cheer for a few minutes."

Mesa Community College seeks to Fill a Full-Time Theatre Faculty Position

Mesa Community College Theatre & Film Arts is currently seeking to fill a Full-Time Theatre (Acting/Directing) Faculty Position

Learn More and Apply - Visit and search for posting #314632

Apply on or before January 19, 2021 to be considered.
Theatre (Acting/Directing)
Hiring Salary Range: $45,898-$88,272/annually, DOE
Work Schedule: 30 hours per week / 9 month work calendar

This position is scheduled to begin August 2021.  Mesa Community College’s Theatre & Film Arts program is a nationally recognized, award winning program, known for having instructors who are working professionals, passionate about their craft. This position is for a full time acting and directing instructor who will help define the next 20+ years of theatre excellence at MCC. 

Visit and search for posting #314632 to learn more and apply. 

Applicants are required to submit unofficial transcripts, resume/Curriculum Vitae (CV) and a cover letter showing how the applicant meets the minimum and desired qualifications.  All minimum requirements must be met at the time of the application.  If your master’s degree is not in the teaching field, then please list the 18 graduate semester hours completed in the teaching field in your application materials.

MCCCD accepts unofficial transcripts for U.S. schools at the time of application. Unofficial transcripts are submitted as an attachment to the application. Transcripts from non U.S. institutions must be translated/evaluated and provided with application material.

Additional materials will not be accepted after the job posting has closed.

Missing materials or incomplete employment history will not be considered.

Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD) will not discriminate, nor tolerate discrimination in employment or education, against any applicant, employee, or student because of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, citizenship status (including document abuse), age, disability, veteran status or genetic information.

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Paradise Valley Commmunity College presents A NIGHT OF MYSTERY, streaming December 11-20 for Free!

"A Night of Mystery" is a combination of a Sherlock Holmes and a Hercule Poirot mystery. Both mysteries have been adapted from old radio scripts to modern day action. Herculene Poirot grew up learning about crime and investigation from her great-uncle, the famous Belgian detective Hercule Poirot. But, when Ms. Poirot stumbles upon a murder in her hotel, she must solve the case with her mentor. Sherlock is vacationing in Phoenix when he receives a call from an old friend, Reggie Musgrave, urgently requesting his help. Musgrave’s butler, Brunton has gone missing. A mysterious riddle leads to a startling discovery. The game is most certainly afoot. You are invited to view a virtual performance of "A Night of Mystery," presented by the Paradise Valley Community College Theater Program. After you complete and submit this form, you will receive an email from PVCC's Box Office with a link to the virtual performance.

"A Night of Mystery" will be available for viewing beginning at 6:00pm on Friday, December 11th through 6:00pm on Sunday, December 20th.    FREE