JOURNEY SUMMER THEATER (“JST”) – FAQ
Are you new to the stage and looking for a creative outlet this summer? Are you a seasoned theater performer with the itch to break out your character shoes again? Are you a Journey student who has only experienced theater with your own age group and think it’d be cool to be in a show with adults? Are you a Journey parent who’d like to identify with the experience your kids always get when they’re part of a show? Are you a teacher or artistic team member who wants to brush up their own auditioning technique and performance skill?
If you answered YES to any of those questions, Journey Summer Theater is for YOU!! You probably have some questions though, or maybe you have heard some misinformation that you’d like to clear up…well, this FAQ is here to help!
If you do not see your question addressed, please don’t hesitate to contact Bethany Larson at firstname.lastname@example.org
ANSWER: We’ve blocked out Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays for possible rehearsal times from June 16th – July 28th. However, just because we’ve blocked them off, that doesn’t mean that you’d have to be at all of them. Typically, we try to reserve Tuesday rehearsals for principle characters or small groups then Thursdays and Saturdays for larger groups and bigger.
ANSWER: Nope! Every summer I make (sometimes extraordinary) efforts to work around everyone’s conflicts prior to Move In & Dress Rehearsals. The summer schedule HAS to be different, because…well…IT’S SUMMER!! We all want to enjoy some off time and the sunshine. So…please please PLEASE…don’t disqualify yourself from being cast. Odds are, if you’re eligible for casting, I’ll figure out a way to work with your schedule. Or, I’ll talk with you about it after consulting the rehearsal schedule. Maybe it’ll be decided to not cast you this time, but there’s really no harm in auditioning. Let ME be the director. ;o)
ANSWER: Yes. I’m not asking you to give up your summer. Most shows are structured where there are casting groups. Each group will have some rehearsals they’re called to and then they wouldn’t have to come to the others. I encourage you to add in some days off just to guarantee a little extra time for yourself too. Again, if there are “too many” conflicts listed, I’ll talk about it with you during the audition process to get a clearer sense of the commitment level you are willing to make for the summer months. Of course, principle characters are likely going to be called to more rehearsals than ensemble characters. But hey! At that point you’d be the LEAD IN A SHOW!! And that’s pretty cool!
ANSWER: Nope! Well…I have a rehearsal schedule in process for my planning, but TRULY, I want to be able to work with schedules so I won’t have it set in stone until after casting is complete. That’s why its really important to write down all your possible conflicts with rehearsal dates on your audition form. Once auditions are over, I’ll start planning around those who were cast. At that point, it’s too late to change things up and add in more conflicts. So, do a little prep work before hand and bring your calendar with you to auditions.
ANSWER: You don’t sound like a diva. You sound like someone who is “counting the cost” and is really trying to be responsible while also trying to pursue some artistic outlet for themself. And, I think that’s cool! So, we’ve already actually made it possible for you to work through this on the Audition Form. You can put which roles you’re interested in and even mark if you’re available to accept an Ensemble Role. This is different than our youth shows, and provides you a bit more opportunity to have a creative say in the process. So…don’t be ashamed. Be the diva you were born to be!
ANSWER: For our youth shows, we do youth casting. For Summer Theater, we do “real age” casting. So…a 14 year old will probably play a teenager rather than play “President Roosevelt.” You’d be in the show with Adults! Ooh! It’s not scary…really! In fact, it’s an awesome way to learn more about theater, stage craft, other performance opportunities, college prep, employment options after school, etc. because you’d be rubbing elbows with professional people in all fields of study and work. All the great multi-generational experiences we have in Journey year round are just magnified during the summer time. It’s GREAT!
ANSWER: Ah…adulthood has hit. Welcome! The truth is…we all have jobs. Everyone has to work. The great thing about JST is that it provides you with a chance to kinda test the waters a bit? Will you be able to pursue a lifestyle hobby as a theater performer, or does that have to be part of your past now? Here’s a great opportunity to try juggling both responsibilities in the most gracious of ways. When/If the time comes for you to pursue theater beyond community-level, you’ll likely be faced with rehearsals 4-5 days a week for 4 hrs each. 20 hrs of rehearsal a week on top of a full time job and family/school responsibilities. Don’t scoff! People do it! LOTS of people do it for the sake of pursuing their passion. BUT, it’s takes practice and it takes planning. So…why not see how you do handing a job with 8 hrs of rehearsal a week? See how you do. Use this time to practice “adulting” like the rest of us.
ANSWER: While a lot of community theaters don’t require a production fee, instead, they require YOU to do most of the behind-the-scenes stuff. Instead we have a crew of production people, both contractors and volunteers, which do most of that work. We find that rather than requiring everyone to provide their own costume, we are able to raise production value by providing costumes according to the look and feel of our brand while just asking you to provide your basic items (shoes, socks, undergarments). Instead of requiring you to build the set in the off-time, we have others do that. Not only does it protect everyone’s limited time, but it brings more people into the theater community and allows more people an outlet for their unique gifts and talent. “The more the merrier,” we always say!
ANSWER: Not even close! This fee makes a small dent in the overall financial picture even though it makes a huge difference in the production value and visual quality of the show.
ANSWER: Well, we sell tickets to the production (so invite everyone you know!!), and we’re always providing opportunities for individuals or companies to financially contribute to our programming. We would love to have some designated Show Sponsors for the summer show, and to welcome new donors into the Theater Guild. Contact Journey’s Executive Director, Kristi Foster, at email@example.com if you know someone who would like to be part of putting on a great show!
ANSWER: What’s better than doing a show? Doing a show with LOTS of friends!!! The community theater experience is truly special and the capacity for great artistry along with great friendships seems to know no bounds. Community theater is driven by a spirit of volunteerism. That volunteerism is the backbone of any community and the cycle only continues. “I give back to the community because I’m grateful for all the community has given me” type concept. Then, the community-at-large grows and benefits from your impact, which inspires others to give, etc. It’s a beautiful thing and it’s something we value at Journey Theater. So, yep…we require someone from your sphere of influence to fulfill some volunteer work on your behalf and we welcome them into the fun!
ANSWER: You bet! We have kept pretty close to Vancouver because of the cost of venues for rehearsals (why does Oregon have to be more expensive?!) and because there’s easy access to our warehouse for the Sets, Costumes and Props committees. Every year though, we have a group of Beaverton and Portland families that drive up. Carpooling is AWESOME! I’d love to be a fly on the wall in some of those cars filled with crazy musical theater people. What fun!
ANSWER: I get it. I hear the struggle. Traffic has gotten pretty bad too. We have kept all rehearsal just over the border on the I-5 side of things to make it as easy to access as possible. Yeah, for the 2 weeks of the performance time, you’ve gotta make the trek up to Ridgefield, but it’s only a couple exits north of the fairground. Most people have gone to the Clark County Fair at some point and know that, really…it’s not too bad of a drive. All freeway (70 mph even!), and smooth sailing off the exit right to the venue. Again, CARPOOLS ARE YOUR FRIEND!
ANSWER: First, visit the Callboard at http://www.journeytheater.org/shows/journey-summer-theater/ and click on the Character Descriptions tab. Find a character that interests you; one that you think you might be eligible for, then listen to the soundtrack on iTunes or Spotify or YouTube, and figure out what songs those interesting characters sing. Once you’ve identified those, you’ll want to find a musical theater song that kinda reminds you of it. That’s how you promote yourself for a role. It’s like advertising yourself to the artistic team and asking them to consider you for something.
Don’t want to put that much into it, or just getting your feet wet with this audition? Then sing something that you’re really comfortable with that showcases your voice and range well. Make it a musical theater song (not a praise chorus or pop song). Then get a karaoke-style track for it. We want to hear YOU sing, so make sure there are minimal voices. Bring it in on a cd or on an mp3 player/smart phone. If you want, you can bring sheet music instead. Just make sure it’s prepared and that you don’t need any transposing or arranging.
ANSWER: JST holds “closed” auditions which means, you sign up for a specific time slot and then you come into a room that just has you and the artistic team. We’ll talk to you for a bit and try to set you at ease. We’re rooting for you and want you to feel successful, so we’re gonna try to keep it relaxed and comfortable in the room. You’ll sing your song just for us, and then it’ll be over. Easy-peasy!!
ANSWER: We’ll then let you know either that night or by email afterward if we need to see you for Callbacks. Those are more group-style auditions where we do some cold-reading from the script and sing songs from the score to see who best fits those roles. We post all the excerpts ahead of time on the callboard and we’ll tell you what specific character(s) to prepare for.
ANSWER: After all auditions and callbacks are complete, the Artistic Team deliberates and puts the cast list together. It will get posted on the Callboard on Sunday, June 12th at 5pm.
SO COME JOIN THE FUN!!! Summer Theater is a great opportunity for the whole family and there’s room for lots of friends too! Sign up TODAY to volunteer or to get an audition slot by visiting: http://jstcallboard.blogspot.com