Danbury, Conn. — Musicals at Richter (MAR), celebrating its 37th season as the longest-running outdoor theater in Connecticut, announces auditions for its 2021 season under the stars, featuring a main stage run of Stephen Schwartz’s iconic musical “Godspell,” playing July 23 through August 7. Performances take place outdoors under the stars on the grounds of the Richter House Arts Center (next to the Richter Park Golf Course), 100 Aunt Hack Road, in Danbury.
The modified MAR season will kick off July 16 with a special weekend of cabaret performances and music, celebrating a return to live theater. More details on the opening weekend program will be released soon.
The main stage show for the season will be Stephen Schwartz’s tuneful and joyous musical “Godspell” (July 23-August 7), directed and choreographed by MAR co-founder Bradford Blake of Danbury with music direction by Peter Randazzo of Trumbull.
MAR Executive Director Robert Bria explains, “After we experienced extensive storm damage to our stage and supporting structures this past December, Mother Nature inflicted further damage in April when a large tree at the rear of the stage fell onto the stage platform and smashed through the decking. We had to think through what we could realistically present this summer as we repair, replace and rebuild our performance venue.”
“We recognized that with the work ahead, we had to put off a full season of programming until 2022,” adds MAR Acting Artistic Director Joyce Northrop. “When ‘Godspell’ came up as a possible show for this summer, our entire board agreed that it
was the right choice for this time.” Says Northrop, “The central theme of ‘Godspell’ is about building community, which is what we’re all doing as we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic and reconnect with each other.”
Debuting Off-Broadway in 1971, “Godspell” was the first major musical theatre offering from three-time Grammy and Academy Award winner Stephen Schwartz (“Wicked,” “Pippin,” “Children of Eden”), and it took the world by storm. Led by the international hit, “Day by Day,” “Godspell” features a parade of beloved songs, including “Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord,” “Learn Your Lessons Well,” “All for the Best,” “All Good Gifts,” “Turn Back, O Man” and “By My Side.”
Based on the Gospel of St. Matthew, “Godspell” was conceived and originally directed by John-Michael Tebelak, who also wrote the book. The plot follows a small group of people who help Jesus Christ tell different parables by using a wide variety of games, storytelling techniques and hefty doses of comic timing. An eclectic blend of songs, ranging in style from pop to vaudeville, is employed as the story of Jesus’ life dances across the stage. Dissolving hauntingly into the Last Supper and the Crucifixion, Jesus’ messages of kindness, tolerance and love come vibrantly to life.
In the 50 years since its inaugural production, “Godspell” has been widely produced in the U.S. and internationally. The musical received two Broadway productions (1976 and 2011) and was made into a feature film in 1973. Among the international incarnations of “Godspell” is the highly successful 1972 Toronto production that launched the careers of many actors, including Victor Garber, Eugene Levy, Andrea Martin, Gilda Radner, Dave Thomas and Martin Short, along with the show’s music director, Paul Schaffer.
All auditions for “Godspell” will be conducted by video submissions, to be received no later than Saturday, May 22. Directors Blake and Randazzo are seeking performers 18 and older. Those auditioning are asked to sing 16 bars of a song that best shows their vocal range and song styling (preferably no a cappella). Songs from the show are permitted. Additionally, auditionees are asked to recite two nursery rhymes of their choosing using different character voices, as over the top or off the wall as they like.
Performers of diverse backgrounds are encouraged to audition and all roles are open. The creative team is especially looking for performers with special skills, such as musical instrument ability, impersonations, tap or acrobatic dance, circus skills (e.g. juggling), magic, sign language, etc. Please note that positions are unpaid and housing is not available. Callbacks will be scheduled as needed.
For the safety of the cast, crew, and creative team, MAR will ask all those cast to provide proof of full vaccination against COVID-19.
The show description, casting breakdown, link to the online audition form and information on submitting a video audition are on the theater website, musicalsatrichter.org.
Please note that due to this summer’s shorter season, Musicals at Richter will not be running the Summer Youth Musical Theater Workshop or presenting Fairy Tale Theater, its interactive daytime children’s theater program.
“All of us at Musicals at Richter are excited to return to the park with this special season under the stars,” says Bria. “Our top priority is to provide great entertainment while ensuring safety for the entire community, both onstage and off.” Adds Northrop, “We look forward to welcoming you back!”
About Musicals at Richter: Founded in 1985, Musicals at Richter is Connecticut’s longest-running outdoor theater. Performances are given on weekends at the Richter House Arts Center (next to the Richter Park Golf Course), 100 Aunt Hack Road, in Danbury. Nestled in the hills of Western Connecticut, the Arts Center stage has served as the scenic backdrop for over 100 musicals produced by Musicals at Richter, as well providing a springboard to professional pursuits for hundreds of up-and-coming performers. Musicals at Richter draws performers and audiences from throughout CT and eastern NY, and has welcomed many thousands of theater lovers over our 36-year-history. Musicals at Richter is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization. For further information, visit the website at musicalsatrichter.org, leave a message at 203-748-6873 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.