Award-winning productions hit the stage of Doner Auditorium

Nicole Sherdan

Nicole Sherdan

Auditions begin tonight for one of two award-winning theatrical productions which will be presented at SDSU this semester. Our Town is a 1938 Pulitzer Prize winner and Chicago is a six-time Tony Award winner, including Best Musical Revival. Beginning this week, students can try for a spot in these productions.

Auditions for Our Town, directed by J.D. Ackman, will be held Tuesday and Wednesday at 7 p.m. in Doner Auditorium.

Chicago auditions will be held Oct. 18 and 19 in Doner Auditorium at 7 p.m. Auditions for the variety show Capers, sponsored by SDSU’s theatre fraternity Alpha Psi Omega, will be held on Dec. 5 in the Performing Arts Center at 1 p.m. Students should expect auditions for Capers to run all day.

Performances for Our Town, written by Thornton Wilder, will be Oct. 13-16 in Doner Auditorium at 8 p.m. With only six weeks to go until the play opens, students should expect rehearsals to run Monday through Friday from 7 to 10 p.m. and the weekend prior to opening night.

Ackman says students should prepare to be at auditions both nights from 7 to 10 p.m. Cold readings will be the basis of the auditions. If students have an audition piece prepared they may present it, but it is not required.

Ackman encourages anyone with an interest, regardless of major or college, to come audition. Students interested in working behind the scenes should stop by the auditorium and leave contact information for the director.

Ackman is casting 17 male roles and 7 female roles for Our Town, a drama about life in a small village of Grover’s Corners, N.H. The main characters are George Gibbs, a doctor’s son, and Emily Webb, the daughter of a newspaper editor. The play follows the couple’s courtship and marriage.

Throughout the three-act play, the audience learns details about the town, families and individuals who live there, love and marriage, and life and death.

“It’s about the people who inhabit it, their problems, and a reminder to take time and enjoy everything,” Ackman said.

Revered for its minimal scenery and props, Ackman describes it as a vehicle for actors. The audience will be able to connect with and focus solely on the actors and the characters they portray.

Performances for Chicago, directed by Dr. Jo Nesmith, will be presented Dec.1-3 in Doner Auditorium at 8 p.m. On Saturday, Dec. 4, there will be two shows at 2 p.m. and one at 8 p.m.

Chicago is an adaptation of the 1926 play of the same name by Maurine Dallas Watkins. After Watkins’ death in 1969, Bob Fosse, John Kander, and Fred Ebb co-wrote the musical version, Chicago: A Musical Vaudeville, which opened in 1975. It was revived in 1997 and since then, has won six Tony Awards.

Chicago focuses around Roxie Hart, a chorus girl who kills her lover as a career move. With the help of Billy Flynn, a clever lawyer, Roxie turns into a celebrity.

Later, Hart teams up with Velma Kelly, a vaudeville star who murdered the other half of her sister act, to become a singing sensation duo.