Spokane Civic Theatre
Upcoming Auditons at Spokane Civic Theatre
- Escanaba in Love, the hilarious “yooper” comedy (prequel toEscanaba in da Moonlight), directed by Scott Doughty.
- The contemporary rock musical, Next to Normal, directed by Yvonne Johnson, with music direction by David Brewster.
- And the musical comedy, The Drowsy Chaperone, directed and choreographed by Kathie Doyle-Lipe, with music direction by Andrea Hope.
Monday, November 19 and Tuesday, November 20 at 6:30 P.M. Callbacks as needed Tuesday, November 20 at 7:30 P.M.
Spokane Civic Theatre - Main Stage, 1020 N. Howard St.
3 men - appearing ages 40-80
1 man - to appear 18
1 woman - to appear 20s
Preparation: Please come dressed prepared to move. There will be cold readings from the script.
Sunday, December 2 at 6:30 P.M. and Monday, December 3 at 6:30 P.M. Callbacks as needed Tuesday, December 4.
Spokane Civic Theatre - Main Stage, 1020 N. Howard St.
11-14 men (ages 14 - 65)
10-12 women (ages 14-65)
Preparation: A one minute cut of a song in musical theatre genre. Humorous songs are encouraged. Please come prepared to move and men should bring taps if you have them. Cold readings from the script.
*Due to the holidays, auditions are being held early for this production. Please note that there will be a minimal amount of rehearsals in December.
A weekend spent with Jason Robert Brown at Spokane Civic Theatre
A brief overview of this weekend’s Master Class With Jason Robert Brown
Last weekend, Spokane Civic Theatre performed Songs For a New World composed by Jason Robert Brown. Civic and Jason Robert Brown offered a Master Class which was a three hour intensive musical theatre session for a group of eight actor/singers. All of the master class participants were also featured in the in concert over the weekend. For the class, Mr. Brown had each of the Songs For a New World participants prepare two musical theatre pieces in advance to be accompanied by music director, Michael Saccomanno.
Theatre patrons, students, parents, etc. were invited to audit the master class with an opportunity to learn more about what goes in to threatre, singing, and acting. We had approximately 30 patrons who supported and participated at that level. Yvonne AK Johnson noted “We learn from both actively participating and from observing others practicing their craft. Everyone went away from the experience with pages of notes!”
Opportunities like a Master Class with Jason Robert Brown
It’s moments like this, opportunities to have a master class to learn more about your trade, your passion for acting and singing, that make community theatre so important. Spokane Civic Theatre is more than a musical, it’s about providing our community with chances to learn and grow and expand horizons. We are grateful for this opportunity and for the support from our community that allowed us to bring Jason Robert Brown to Spokane.
To find out more about Spokane Civic Theatre, check out Civic News, stay up to date with cast and crew on our Facebook Page and keep an eye on Pinterest for some pinnable images of all things theatre! Up next White Christmas directed by Yvonne AK Johnson and upcoming productions for the Season to Inspire include Escanaba in Love, Next to Normal, The Drowsy Chaperone, On Golden Pond, Treasure Island, The Dixie Swim Cluband Grease.
Ok it’s not quite a White Christmas but you know we are on our way!
It’s definitely not a wrap
You’re probably wondering what the heck this is a picture of. I was. We all were. Unless you were at rehearsals for White Christmas last night, you won’t know. This is the gift of White Christmas. Apparently, it involves a giant wrapped Christmas present and Mike Muzatko and Mark Pleasant. That’s as much as I know and now you.
White Christmas, though, will be a wrap
Opening on November 16 and running through December 21st, everyone loves some of Irving Berlin’s White Christmas. It’s musical. It’s nostalgia. It’s heartwarming. It’s feel good. It’s family. It’s romantic. Songs like White Christmas (imagine that!), Happy Holiday, Count Your Blessings, and so much more. And as a side note, Kathie Doyle-Lipe is reprising her role as Martha Watson.
Book by David Ives & Paul Blake
Music & Lyrics by Irving Berlin
Directed by Yvonne A.K. Johnson
Sponsored by Columbia Hearing Centers
So, where’s your ticket?
To find out more about Spokane Civic Theatre, check out Civic News, stay up to date with cast and crew on our Facebook Page and keep an eye on Pinterest for some pinnable images of all things theatre! Upcoming productions for the Season to Inspire include A Closer Walk With Patsy Cline, White Christmas, Escanaba in Love, Next to Normal, On Golden Pond, Treasure Island, Grease and more.
Spokane Civic Theatre Executive Artist Director Yvonne AK Johnson, Board members Bob & Margot Ogden, and Jeanne Ager, Ager Consulting, at Spokane Civic Theatre’s Raise the Roof results reveal
The Results are in!
You may have heard of Spokane Civic Theatre’s Raise the Roof project. You know the one: $1.2 million to raise the roof above the Main Stage for a fly loft to make such shows as Peter Pan and, someday when the rights are available, Mary Poppins. You might not have known about the Feasibility Study that Spokane Civic Theatre has been holding for the past six months, thanks to Jeanne Ager from Ager Consulting. The results of these meetings were revealed last night to Spokane Civic Theatre’s Board of Directors, Endowment Board, Ad HOC Feasibility Committee, and staff.
I can almost hear your questions now: what was the point of this Feasibility Study of which you speak? What does it have to do with the Raise the Roof project, anyway? Well, the idea was to expand Civic’s Raise the Roof project and build a whole new addition to the building as well as some remodeling. Civic hasn’t proposed such an ambitious undertaking in over 35 years! The benefits of the proposed $3.7 million project include:
- A 3 story addition located at the Southwest corner with a beautiful view of Downtown Spokane
- A 150 seat black box theatre
- New restrooms and an expansion and remodel of the women’s Main Stage restrooms! (Ladies, we know how long that line can be at intermission)
- Rehearsal space that can be used for meetings, conferences, and receptions as well
- A new dressing room and the remodel of the current dressing rooms
- More offices (staff especially love this item!)
Spokane Civic Theatre will be the only one of Spokane’s theatres (except the INB Performing Arts Center) to have a fly loft!
So, what was the response to Spokane Civic Theatre’s Feasibility study for the Raise the Roof project?
(Feel free to do a drum roll before you read on, I did) The Spokane community responded with a resounding “Yes! We’ll support this new project!” So, with $160,000 already raised through the Raise the Roof project, we could see this new addition at Spokane Civic Theatre within the next 5 years!
It’s true! Spokane Civic Theatre will be opening it’s 2013-14 season with Les Miserables. Only a select number of theatres nation wide have been given permission to produce the show and we were chosen!! Oh, the excitement.
We did a quick question and answer with Yvonne AK Johnson, Executive Artistic Director, and here’s the latest 411:
Spokane Civic Theatre Blog: Will you be directing this production of Les Miserables?
Yvonne AK Johnson: Yes, I will be directing this production. It has been a discussion for quite some time with our other musical theatre directors in the area that have expressed interest in auditioning instead of being considered to direct. It is an incredible opportunity to have the privilege to tell this story at Spokane Civic Theatre. I just directed The Count of Monte Cristo at Civic this past winter which takes place during the same time period in France and am looking forward to the challenge. The Count of Monte Cristo is Civic’s highest grossing play and we hope that Les Miserables will be equally well received by our audiences.
Spokane Civic Theatre Blog: Why did you choose Les Miserables?
Yvonne AK Johnson: Winner of eight Tony awards, Les Miserables came to the forefront of musical theatre 27 years ago and has been a production that has made a great impact on society as a whole. Based upon French author Victor Hugo’s 1862 novel, its central themes remain relevant today and the music has transcended audiences around the world.
Spokane Civic Theatre Blog: What’s your favorite part of Les Miserables?
Yvonne AK Johnson:This is a difficult question to answer. To be fair, it has been and always will be one of my favorite musicals in its entirety. Not many have compared to this.
Spokane Civic Theatre Blog: And how did you get Spokane Civic Theatre on the short list to do this production?
Yvonne AK Johnson: Much like securing the performance rights for White Christmas, I have been working to secure the performance rights for Les Miserables for over three years. The publishing house, MTI, chose Spokane Civic Theatre to be one of the first community theatres in the state to produce the full version. While the tours were completing their runs, MTI released Les Miserables Jr. which has been and is being produced as well in our Spokane area high schools.
Spokane Civic Theatre Inquiring Minds Trivia
Spokane Civic Theatre Random Trivia
Number of emails received per show:
What Spokane Civic Theatre inquiring minds want to know is how many Annie emails Tia is up to now with the show open two weeks? And what could be so important that you had to have that many emails?
And yes, I swiped this photo of Tia and Larry Wooley from her Facebook Page. =)
Yvonne AK Johnson: inside look at Annie
(Currently playing on the Spokane Civic Theatre Main Stage).
What was the most challenging aspect of directing Annie at Spokane Civic Theatre?
Yvonne AK Johnson: Musicals in general are challenging to direct due to the coordination of all the production aspects from music to choreography, scene changes to timing of sound and light cues. For Annie, Spokane Civic Theatre wanted to produce the best possible production regarding telling the story, technical aspects (set, costumes, lighting, music, sound) and true three dimensional characterizations.
Is there anything unique to share about this production of Annie that is different than the Spokane Civic Theatre production 28 years ago?
Yvonne AK Johnson: Annie grew up. Phedre Burney - Quimby who played Annie 28 years ago is playing Miss Hannigan now in this production. It’s a joy to see members of the community involved for their lifetime and her daughter, Piper is also in the show. Civic Theatre is a place that generations of families have been involved and it’s a part of what makes this journey special and unique.
Annie is set in the 1930s. How do you think audiences today can relate to the story and the characters?
Yvonne AK Johnson: History tends to repeat itself. The time setting of Annie is during the Great Depression. In the current state of our economy we are still in the Great Recession. Many of the lines of dialogue written in the show pertain still today with needing to get people back to work, the jobless rate and general state that people are feeling down on their luck and not very optimistic. The sun will come up tomorrow and we need to keep our chins up high regarding the future of our country!
What can you tell us about what went on behind the scenes of the Spokane Civic Theatre stage to put on Annie production?
Yvonne AK Johnson: Over 200 people were directly involved in this production including volunteer actors, backstage crew, orphan families, staff, board members, the dog trainer … you name it. It takes an entire community to bring to life a Civic production and we are grateful for the time, energy, support and enthusiasm of everyone involved and our generous patrons.
Notes from Backstage at Annie
And now Sophia:
Aside from your own, who is your favorite character and why?
Miss Hannigan, because her character would be fun to play and you could really spice it up.
What will you take away from your Annie experience?
Getting to play ‘Annie’ because it has always been my dream part.
What do you love most about the character of “Annie”?
Her story. Her hopes of finding her parents and because she finds a family with Daddy Warbucks.
How special is this role to you?
Back in the very early 1980’s a touring production of “ANNIE” was coming to the Spokane Opera House. Prior to the show arriving my grandmother bought me the Broadway soundtrack which I practically wore out beforehand. My mother and grandmother took me to “ANNIE” when it finally arrived here in Spokane and it was at that performance that my love of the theatre was “born”. My grandmother has since passed away and to have this opportunity to portray this role in the show that I originally shared with her and that was the beginning of my theatrical journey is truly touching and so very dear to my heart.
You aren’t the typical “Daddy” Warbucks type (you have hair), how are you going to convince the audience that you fit the role?
As a 39 year old man with a head full of hair I certainly do not look like the iconic character of the comic strip at all. Yvonne and I spoke early on in rehearsals and decided to make “Daddy” our own, a very different looking version and a little different take on the character. I can’t erase what people are used to seeing in a Daddy Warbucks. What I can do is give the audience the best performance I’ve got and share with them our interpretation of this wonderful character.
Annie Orphan Sleepover at Spokane Civic Theatre
Yvonne Johnson, Executive Artistic Director for Spokane Civic Theatre, gave us the details about the recent fun-filled overnighter at the theatre for the orphans in the up and coming production of Annie. With the help of family members and cast/crew, this sleepover was intended for the orphans to bond as friends, rehearse, and to make memories they’ll never forget.
The busy schedule included fittings for orphan costumes, a pizza dinner, a visit from Daddy Warbucks actor Mark Pleasant and rehearsals for “Hard Knock Life” and “Never Fully Dressed” with choreographer Michael Muzatko, who also plays Rooster in Annie. The orphans were also given tote bags to design as they wished to use for scripts, shoes, water bottles, etc. and the gifts didn’t stop there!
Deena Caruso, owner of Finders Keepers and mother of Annie actress Sophia Caruso gave individualized charm bracelets to each of the girls while Michael gave them each a NYC charm from the top of the Empire State building. Additionally, the Caruso family donated charms and beads to make matching necklaces for the orphans, a necklace for each cast/crew member, and more to be purchased at the shows with all proceeds to benefit the Academy Scholarship Fund.
After gift time they had ice cream sundaes and then a scavenger hunt that was designed by Spokane Civic Theatre interns so the girls were introduced to the different areas of the theatre that they will need to know in the coming weeks. With the prize of Spokane Civic Theatre swag, those orphans got competitive and ran around the building to collect signatures and complete their riddled tasks.
To conclude the evening, the girls wound down and watched “Puss and Boots” in the lobby with plenty of movie treats and popcorn. After the movie, everyone moved back to the stage to sleep… well, more like tell ghost stories until 3:00 AM.
In the morning, lead costume designer Jan Wanless and her husband Ken made a beautiful hot breakfast including waffles with fresh strawberries and whipped cream, sausages, and juice. They even made homemade cinnamon buns and coffee for the families at the morning showcase!
After cleaning up, packing and preparing the stage the orphans showcased the beginning of the show for families and cast members that came to show support. Everyone left thinking about this experience of a lifetime… and then went home for afternoon naps!
We’d like to thank the chaperones, all of whom were Civic staff and stage managers - they dedicated so much time, energy, support, and endurance!