ASCAP/GROW A SHOW NEW MUSICAL THEATRE WORKSHOP AUDITIONS AT LIED CENTER FOR PERFORMING ARTS
For release 8.7.19
The Lied Center for Performing Arts in Lincoln, Nebraska, in partnership with Blixt Locally Grown, is holding auditions for the fourth biennial ASCAP/Grow A Show New Musical Theatre Workshop, happening September 10th - 12th, 2019 on location at the Lied. The audition date is Monday, August 19th in the Lied Center’s Johnny Carson Theater, UNL City Campus, from 6 to 10 pm.
We currently seek actors/actresses and singers for multiple roles for the workshop. This is an exciting opportunity for those with a passion for musical theatre who are looking for the opportunity to be a part of a nationally recognized event. The nature of this workshop allows for a condensed rehearsal process, so it’s also a wonderful opportunity for singers and actors who cannot usually commit to long-term rehearsals.
Those who wish to audition should prepare 18 bars of music and a brief monologue - or auditionees can read from sides which will be provided. An accompanist will be available at the audition. There are multiple roles available (some of which are outlined in the breakdown below) and we strongly embrace diversity in our casting.
Albert - Male, 30's.
Mileva - Female. Soprano, late 20's/early 30's.
Besso - Male. 30's. (Rhymes with "dress-oh")
Elza - Female. 30's/early 40's.
Max Planck - Male or female. 40's/early 50's.
Lenard - Female, late 30's.
Hermann (Albert's Father) - Male. 50's.
Eduard - Albert's son, 9-14 yrs.
Marcel - Male, 30's. Tenor.
Conrad/Reporter #1/Man on street - Male, 30's. Baritone.
Von Laue - Female. Under 40 yrs. Alto.
Weber/Reporter #3/Ensemble - Male.
Princeton Professor/Saleslady - Female.
An announcement of selected shows and additional information will follow in days to come. Workshop readings will be directed by Becky Boesen and Alisa Belflower.
To reserve an audition time, please contact Petra Wahlqvist, BLIXT: firstname.lastname@example.org | 402 817 8176.
ABOUT THE ASCAP/GROW A SHOW NEW MUSICAL THEATRE WORKSHOP
The ASCAP/Grow A Show New Musical Theatre Workshop is a prestigious event that puts national focus on local talent, and places directors and casts together with emerging musical theatre writing teams to create a staged reading of an existing, pre-selected new work. A 50 minute staged reading of the new musical is then performed in front of a panel of Broadway and industry professionals for constructive feedback. The reading and feedback session occurs in front of a live audience and is the cornerstone of the three-day workshop, which focuses on supporting national and international musical theatre writing teams in a nurturing environment. This year’s panelists are Scott Frankel and Michael Korie, the renowned writing team behind Broadway successes Grey Gardens, War Paint, and Far From Heaven.
If you have ever uttered the words “Artists are flakes,” I still love you, and I forgive you, but I’m here to tell you the following:
1. You’re misinformed (there's hope)!
2. You’re shooting yourself and your community/organization in the big toe.
3. You’re choosing words that dismiss and demean a large group of people.
4. I will correct you if you say it.
I’m no superhero, but I’ve spent the majority of my 42 years fighting for truth, justice, and the rampant integration of arts into my life and the lives of others, so a quick Cliff’s Notes origin story seems slightly apropos:
I grew up in a rural sandhills community in the mid-80’s. As a chubby, indoorsy child, the majority of my days were spent in a cool, quiet room writing stories or poems. When I needed a break, I’d sit at the piano and plunk out a tune by ear. Or I’d find my way into my parents art supplies - acrylics for my dad, chalk pastels for my mom - and create something visual that connected to the story I was developing alone in my bedroom.
It was a way better deal than riding to town to Menards where I might run into one of my school bullies picking up a toilet with his pop or something. (I wouldn’t normally use the word “pop” for “father” but it seems right when writing about picking up one’s toilet).
I hid from my classmates in the summer. School was too hard. Relief was brief and usually, a trap, like that time Danny Watson told me that a popular girl had come to school with a picture of me on her t-shirt.
“Check it out! You’ll see yourself, I promise.”
I was gullible. I checked it out.
She was wearing a graphic tee with a pig on it, skiing through a cornfield.
SKI NEBRASKA! It read.
“See! You’re on her shirt!!! Bahahahaha!”
Super funny, Danny.
I took the meanness I absorbed and worked it out in my summer stories. The isolation. The loneliness. Soon I was developing problems and solutions. Conflicts and resolutions. Arc, based on my own, private, middle school hell. Ways to address my feelings, which in spite of my social isolation, seemed pretty universal to being 11.
As this skill and passion developed in me, and I started to express my interest in creating a life in the arts as a storyteller in the theater, I felt a discomfort or dismissal from others, mainly adults.
“Gonna be a flaky artist, huh?” *chuckle, chuckle, chuckle*
Seriously, 9 out of 10 times, that was the response. “Hey, super smart, sensitive kid who has survived years of school time torture and has found a way not only to cope with it, but also is developing a way to help others cope with something of your own creation...YOU’RE A FLAKE!”
What did you think I was doing in my room all these years, wise, old, salt-of-the-earth neighbor? Picking my nose and listening to Madonna albums?!
*Disclaimer...I actually did listen to Madonna. The nose thing is a private matter.
These attitudes toward the arts didn’t fade away in high school or college, nor do they for me now as a 42 year old woman who has:
Spent nearly 20 years working in arts development and management
Developed several original works, all of which have been produced and make space for community engagement and discussion around challenging issues
Started and maintains a successful LLC and nonprofit
Taught and nurtured people of all ages farther into their roles as citizen artists
Worked as a freelance consultant and director in multiple communities
Spearheaded arts initiatives and programs that improve life for children and their families
Worked alongside Tony winning artists and industry specialists in a national program that I helped create and co-produce
Lifted my own family out of poverty into prosperity after being slam dunked by a family illness...all while working as an artist
Etc and TBD...I'm still learning.
It's still a bridge to gap....and boy, I'm trying.
THE FLAKES GOT SKILLZ AND WE’RE READY TO BRING THEM.
I am not alone in these kinds of skills (or “skillz” from when I got all cool for a hot second above). They are in fact often what draws young people and adults to the arts in the first place. Need a problem solved? Ask an artist. Need a creative approach to a linear problem? Ask an artist! Need an idea you haven’t had yet? As an artist! Need something you don’t even know you need? Ask an artist.
Communities, schools, hospitals, businesses - if you’re dismissing your local artists and creatives as “flakes” instead of truly inviting them to share their take and considering what they say to be as viable as the local banker’s opinion, you are missing out on some great opportunities! Snatch up those creatives! Trust artists and the humanity they bring. You are doing the same work!
Also, I realize so often the “flaky artist” thing is said as a joke or even endearment. There is no harm attended, but harm is achieved. A wall is built. You are separating me from you, us from them. These words build a wall. You’re too awesome to be a wall builder. Yes, you. Tear it down.
Also - artist friends...we must look within at our own culpability in the perpetuation of this stereotype of artists as flakes. Don’t let the world tell you what you are, that’s not your style! Budget. Create projects. Pay your bills. Self promote. Collaborate. Realize your own value and place in communities. Show up. Do what you promised. If there’s not a seat at the table, bring your own and shimmy right up there next to the steamin’ mashed potatoes. Take a heap. Offer the resident Danny a heaping helping of that stuff and smile while he eats it. Feed him enough that he too, can one day ski Nebraska!
(Sorry, got sucked in there for a second...)
Take notice. Take notes. Take charge! You are not a flake. We are not flakes, or we wouldn’t still be standing!
Universities and training schools - teach your arts students to be entrepreneurs instead of convincing them they’ll starve if they don’t look and sound like Jennifer Anniston circa Friends.
As a friendly reminder, most artists are not:
Crazy or entitled people
Someone no one should trust
People who should justify their existence
People who should work for dimes
People who should apologize for existing
Many artists are:
If you know an artist who struggles to be everything they can be, let them become them. This stuff takes time, like anything else one does with one's life. Invite them to participate as best reflects their talent, skills, and availability, and be generous with them. The reward will be yours, I guarantee it!
Croissants are flaky. Artists are citizens. Enjoy both, but don't confuse them.
There's no shame if you've ever made this error. You are loved. We have to talk about these things to move forward. Let's do it together, stronger, for the greater good. When we all do better, we all do better.
(And hey, Danny...I forgive you, whether you want me to or not. FYI - I'm still skiing Nebraska and loving every minute).
There's a lot of unseen cultural and arts goodness going on in Greater Nebraska right now. I want to raise it up, and to empower creatives who are looking to make Nebraska their arts home. We want you to stay!
There's much to love about having an arts career in Nebraska. For the majority of the past decade, fortune has provided me an opportunity to work alongside many Nebraska hometowns in the producing and presenting of live (usually theatrical) events along with the development and instillation of personalized curriculum and engagement opportunities. These have been some of the best experiences of my life. Here's some of what I've come to expect from the communities and community members I collaborate with:
Those great qualities and more make Nebraska hometowns a remarkable place to be a working artist and community partner. However, 9 times out of 10, when I speak to artists on the eastern end of the state who desire to work throughout the Great Plains, I hear the same, somewhat misguided sentiment:
"I love working in Greater Nebraska, because they are so starvedfor the arts."
No, no, no, no, nooooooo....
There's never any malice. Just an underdeveloped sense of the true story of Nebraska arts and culture and the remarkable, ground breaking initiatives that communities are embarking on to build rich places to live. Unfortunately, this has been programmed into us as artists: There's never enough, it's all really hard, thank goodness we can serve the "underserved." I don't want anyone to feel beat up about this, rather, to invite each person who feels that way to start seeing the unseen...to start recognizing the treasure of Greater Nebraska and the treasure of Nebraska artists and what a truly collaborative relationship between the two could look like.
I want challenge the existing dialogue...to flip it and reverse it like Missy Elliott...and so I have written a kind of love letter to anyone who feels a deep gut gravitation toward all that is good throughout our state, but isn't sure what that means or how or where to start. Here it goes:
Dear Nebraskan Artists,
We are so lucky that so much talent gravitates back home to Nebraska. Why wouldn't it? These big skies and prairies (that are more like oceans...am I right?) are a perfect place to stay and to create. Our state is affordable, filled with hard working innovators, and is a great place to call home. We give attention to what makes life good here, and collaborate to cultivate it.
Leading the efforts to bring arts to the center of all we do as a society are Nebraska hometowns. Read that again! Nebraska communities are making the arts happen in ways that touch every part of community! These are as much learning places for us as Nebraska artists as they are teaching places. I hope you get a chance to do what you love in Greater Nebraska, and if you have already experienced that, know that the deep appreciation shown for you and for your beautiful work is not the result of community starvation, but rather, collective abundant thinking and enough experience to know when something and someone is worth lifting higher. Here are some things you can have ready to make your partnerships stronger and to raise your game as an arts entrepreneur while doing your part in these co-nutritive relationships:
It's impossible to do in a short blog post all that can be done in terms of uncovering the unseen and co-lifitng arts abundance in Greater Nebraska, but I hope that this love letter to you gives you at least one thing to think deeply about. I want you to feel empowered to see our communities with clear eyes and an open heart. Everything we want and could need is already here. Let's work together to continue to better see it and better work alongside hometowns to serve it.