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COC theatre sets auditions in June for summer musical

Posted: May 4, 2010 3:56 p.m.
Updated: May 6, 2010 3:54 p.m.
Students and community members alike are invited to audition for the College of the Canyons theatre department's workshop production of the musical "Sing Me a Happy Song," to be performed at the Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center (PAC) at College of the Canyons Black Box Theatre, during this summer's Festival of New American Musicals.

Penned by two of Broadway's newest voices in Georgia Stitt and David Kirshenbaum, "Sing Me a Happy Song" is a contemporary musical revue about finding heart in material times. With songs about modern-day relationships, searching for yourself on the Internet, striving to have everything but never having enough, love, family and your gay best friend, this five-character show is at once comic and poignant, smart and silly, emotional and timely.

By participating in the Festival of New American Musicals students will have the unique opportunity to learn from an accomplished composer-lyricist, as they work alongside Stitt and PAC professionals to produce a new song cycle and take part in the various aspects of putting on a production.

"Providing our students with the opportunity to participate in performing arts-based events like The Festival of New American Musicals is definitely one of our missions at the Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center," said Adam Philipson, PAC managing director. "Working with Georgia and David to help shape their piece is a great honor for us all."

Running throughout the spring and summer months, the Festival of New American Musicals celebrates the return of the American musical by showcasing full productions, staged readings, concerts, master classes and other performance-based events in conjunction with performance arts organizations in cities across Southern California.

Debuting at this year's festival, the PAC-produced workshop production of "Sing Me a Happy Song" will be cast entirely with students who enroll in the college's course Theatre 193: Summer Theatre Workshop. In addition to working on "Sing Me a Happy Song," students will participate in a series of master classes conducted by industry professionals.

"For the 2008 Festival of New American Musicals, we produced a five-day workshop of this piece. Now we will have a full five weeks to help take this production to the next level," said COC adjunct theatre instructor Andrea Slominski, director of the production. "This is a very exciting opportunity for everyone involved. I'm looking forward to working with Georgia again."

Auditions for "Sing Me a Happy Song" will be held at 12 p.m., Saturday, June 5, and 6:30 p.m., Monday June 7, in Pico Hall room 202, on the Valencia campus.

Performers are asked to prepare 16 to 32 bars from no more than two musical theatre songs. Audition material should be no more than three minutes in length, and should be accompanied by sheet music in the correct key. Music in CD form will not be accepted.

All selected cast members will need to register for the Theatre 193: Summer Theatre Workshop course. Those who are not cast will be offered additional opportunities to participate in the production.

Rehearsals will begin at 6:30 p.m., Tuesday June 8. Performances will be held July 9-10 in the PAC Black Box Theatre.

"It is so very rare for a college or university to offer this kind of opportunity for students to put together all aspects of a professional musical from scratch! I'd be surprised if you could name three," said Bob Klein, co-executive producer of the Festival of New American Musicals. "The Festival is thrilled to be working with College of the Canyons and the Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center to offer this unique course."

The PAC/COC theatre department workshop production of "Sing Me a Happy Song" is part of the college's ongoing 40th Anniversary celebration.


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