Carson Valley Theater looking for talent
A Funny thing happened on the way to the theater is often used by vaudeville comedians to begin a story, and the Carson Valley Community Theater’s new production title derives from that line, “A funny thing happened on the way to the Forum.”
“A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum” is a musical with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by Burt Shevelove and Larry Gelbart. It is inspired by the farces of the ancient Roman playwright Plautus (251–183 BC). The musical tells the bawdy story of a slave named Pseudolus and his attempts to win his freedom by helping his young master woo the girl next door.
The plot displays many classic elements of farce, including puns, the slamming of doors, cases of mistaken identity, frequently involving characters disguising themselves as one another, and satirical comments on social class.
The musical’s original 1962 Broadway run won several Tony Awards, including Best Musical and Best Author (Musical). It has enjoyed several Broadway and West End revivals and was made into a successful film starring the original lead of the musical, Zero Mostel.
“It’s funny, a lot of mistaken identity,” said Director of the production Lucille Rao. “It’s highly entertaining, and it’s one the audience will love.”
Rao has been working with the Carson Valley Community Theatre since 2005. She was a past president, is still on the board and recently played Bitsy Hargis in the “Red Velvet Cake Wars.”
“I used to act more, but I tried directing at it was like oh, my gosh, I like this so much better,” she said. “There is so much more creativity in directing.”
Rao has directed five productions with the Carson Valley Community Theatre, making this her sixth and has prior theatre education and experience throughout her life.
The Carson Valley Community Theatre is looking for actors and actresses, dancers, acrobats, jugglers, a choreographer, volunteers, tech crew and set build crew to participate in the production.
Rao encourages all talents to get involved.
“We want to get the word out about auditions and the production,” said Rao. “All talents are welcome. Anyone who gets involved in the show will have a good time.”
Audition days will be 6 p.m. Dec. 1 and 10 a.m. Dec. 3. at CVCT’s “The Annex,” 1572 Highway 395, Minden.
Auditions will consist of cold readings from the script with a prepared one minute song and bring sheet music or CD for accompaniment.
Everyone is welcome to audition. There are many roles without solo parts. Everyone in the cast will be singing in the chorus.
CVCT does not pre-cast; all roles are open. For more information call Lucille 843-3493 or visit http://www.carsonvalleycommunitytheatre.org.
List of characters:
Senex: An old man and father to Hero and husband to Domina.
Domina: Senex’s wife. A shrewish woman who dominates to the point of answering herself the questions she asks of others. Loves her husband deep down, but is outwardly controlling, demanding, and manipulative.
Hero: The young son of Senex and Domina. He falls in love with Philia and agrees to give Pseudolus his freedom if he can help Hero woo her. Practical, privileged, romantic.
Hysterium: The chief slave in the House of Senex. Believes he is in control, but is actually Pseudolus’ puppet to carry out his schemes. Anxious, conservative, loyal. He desperately wants everything to be in order.
Pseudolus: A Roman slave, owned by Hero, who seeks to win his freedom by helping his young master win the heart of Philia. Quick-witted, scheming, childlike spirit.
Erronius: An old man, searching for his lost children.
Miles Gloriosus: The archetype of the braggart soldier. A captain in the Roman army to whom Marcus Lycus has promised Philia. Commanding, boastful, manly and strong.
Lycus: The owner of the house of Courtesans. Always out to make a profit, but also wants to provide good on what his business offers.
Philia: A virgin in the House of Lycus whom we also find out is Erronius’ daughter. She is promised to Miles and vows to give him bodily what he has paid for, but loves Hero and promises he will always have her heart. Young, pretty, devoted. An archetypal ingénue.
Courtesans: Tintinabula, Panacea, The Geminae, (Twin courtesans), Vibrata, Gymnasia (must be able to dance)
Proteans/Soldiers/Eunuchs: Play multiple parts; need actors who are versatile and can move well onstage (ie: juggling, gymnastics, good comedic timing).