Director’s Notes

Producing this amusing little musical can be a fun and fulfilling experience with the right casting and rehearsal plan. Having directed several productions of this show, I have included suggestions that will not only ensure an enjoyable time for cast members, but a pleasurable time for the director as well.

Auditions

1. Always audition your performers. You will have a much better production if you cast the children in roles that they are best suited to perform.

2. Never have young performers read from the script. You want to avoid having them attach themselves to certain roles they may not be ready to play. Have very young children simply walk on stage and, using their biggest voice, state their name, age, and favorite color. For older children, use a short monologue from an audition book or a short poem. What you’re looking for is confidence, maturity, demeanor (who is shy?), and vocal strength.

3. With your musical director/accompanist, have the children learn a section of the opening song. This won’t take long. For those who are interested in playing a role that requires solo singing, request they sing a section of the opening song onstage as a solo. This will weed out many of the children that are not ready for such roles and will give you a better idea of their vocal range. Have the remaining children sing in small groups of three or four so you can determine the best mix for your groups.

4. Use audition forms as a helpful way to stay organized when faced with an overwhelming number of children. The form should include basic information, a place for previous experience, and an area that you can write your evaluation. Because of time constraints, it is helpful to assign a number to the following areas for consideration.

Description and overall impression

Rank each quality below from 1-5

1. Energy: ______

2. Projection: ______

3. Movement ability: ______

4. Vocal performance: ______

5. Interview: _____

TOTAL:_____________

5. Take a few minutes to interview each child. This is time well spent. You will get a sense for each child’s interest regarding the show and more information about the child as an individual; is the child involved in a number of other activities, does the child like to memorize lines, has the child participated in other theater/dance productions? If a girl, will she a play a male role?

6. Have a photo taken of each child. Once you leave the audition and are faced with the job of placing each child in a specific role, it’s helpful to be able to look over the faces and match audition forms with the photo of the child.

Costume Tips

The following are some suggestions for frequently used pieces that are good to have on hand.

Boys: Black pants for boys are a must as they are needed for most shows. White dress shirts are a versatile staple and can be found in any thrift store. The following techniques can be applied to alter the time period.

Collar turned to the inside and tacked down so that only the band shows (1800s)
With collar turned inside, add a string to tie where each side comes together at the neck (Renaissance)
Collar at regular position or turned inside with a bow tie or bolo (early 1900s)
Collar with a wide tie (1930s–1940s)

Girls: Straw hats, bonnets, elegant hats, and mop caps with aprons. Note: Resist the temptation to make the costumes for a group of characters with one fabric. Should you decide to use the costume for another production, you may have a different number of children or sizes. Using different fabrics will make each piece more versatile in the end.

Hair: Taking the time to style the hair for the girls is well worth the effort, especially if the show takes place during a specific era (e.g., 1930s). The overall look of production will be greatly enhanced, even if the hair is brushed into a bun or ponytail and sprayed with hair spray. Often mothers can help with hair and may be able to apply more involved styles. Note: Using hats eliminates the need for time-consuming hair applications, but be sure the hat brims do not cast shadows on the face and that hats are made so they can be pinned on securely.


A Pocket Full of Plays give a round of applause to outstanding children’s theatre!

Raleigh Area Children’s Theatre!

Raleigh ACT is the areas only exclusive children’s theatre offering a variety of artistic opportunities for children to discover and develop their talents. Students gain an appreciation for the arts and have a whole lot of fun being a star!

Our unique musical theatre experience offers an encouraging and accepting atmosphere that focuses on innovative learning. Theatre has a distinctive way of fostering a healthy imagination, teaching children self-confidence and teamwork. Whether a newcomer or experienced thespian, students are free to move out of their comfort zones and explore their many gifts.

Along with our focus on ensuring our students have a positive and rewarding experience while involved in our programs, we also strive to provide you with the best customer service we can. We want you to have a satisfying experience and appreciate that of the many choices offered elsewhere, you chose to allow us to serve you and your children.

Raleigh ACT provides a safe, friendly and engaging environment for our students and we are committed to providing you excellent customer service.

“This has been an all around wonderful experience for my two girls! Voice, acting, and dance training delivered by a seasoned professional while the kids have fun! The flexibility and encouragement delivered by the Raleigh ACT staff makes this a perfect developmental activity for very young children up to the pre-adolescent years. Confidence-building and positive reinforcement is what it’s all about. What the kids are able to learn in a short period of time is simply amazing.”

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