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NewArts 2017 Season, Auditions, Internships, Tuition Requirements Announced

Published: March 20, 2017

BETHEL — NewArts Director Michael Unger has announced that the 2017 NewArts summer musicals will be Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka, for student actors of elementary and middle school age, and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, for actors of elementary school to college age range. Performances will again be offered at Walnut Hill Community Church, where the 2016 summer and holiday shows were staged.

Rehearsals for Willy Wonka are scheduled to start Monday, June 19, and performances are scheduled for Friday, July 28, at 7 pm; Saturday, July 29, at 2 and 7 pm; and Sunday, July 30, at 3 pm.

Rehearsals for Joseph will start Monday, June 26, and performances are planned for Friday, August 11, at 7 pm; Saturday, August 12, at 2 and 7 pm; and Tuesday, August 13, at 3 pm.

Sundays are off except for performances, and there is a full changeover week between shows.

According to Mr Unger, rehearsals for the 2017 run will be much more consistent for participants in terms of the span of day.

Rehearsal days will be 9 am to 4 pm Monday through Friday, with lunch from noon to 1 pm. All cast members will be called for these rehearsals, and some rehearsal days will include ARC Program activities, projects relating to set/prop building, painting, costume construction, as well as theater education activities.

The ARC (Aspire, Reach, Confidence) program works to help shape the way youth see themselves and interpret the world around them.

Mr Unger said span of day may change due to space availability, but once the schedule is set it will be consistent. There will be rehearsals on Saturdays for principals from the beginning, and principals with chorus members as each production gets closer to tech rehearsals.

Saturday schedules will be available at least one week in advance, and the young ensemble will not be called for Saturday rehearsals. Both shows will have principal roles as well as a chorus who are involved for the entire rehearsal process.

The young ensemble will be involved for a much shorter commitment starting July 10 for Willy Wonka, and July 31 for Joseph. Children can be in both Young Ensembles, or can select only one.

Tuition is $900 for principal and chorus, $500 for young ensemble, and for children who want to participate in both young ensembles, tuition is $700. There is a sibling discount of $50 per child.

To ease the burden on the costume shop, the producers say participants may want to order some simple costume items online, and there may be a slight additional expense but not more than $50.

To help facilitate logistics and staffing, service hours will be required from each family of a participant. Services will include, but not be limited to, child supervision during rehearsals/performances, box office, concessions, poster/flyer distribution, scenic/costume/prop construction, running crew, strike, etc.

There will be a service deposit required (amount TBD) which will be returned at the end of the run to families who have satisfied their service commitment. And since program ads make up a significant part of production related revenues, each participating family is expected to find at least one ad for the program.

All auditions will be at Walnut Hill Community Church, 156 Walnut Hill Roadl, and will be held in 10-minute intervals. Audition times are:
Friday, March 31, from 3 to 9 pm;
Saturday, April 1, from 3:30 to 9 pm;
Sunday, April 2, from 2 to 6 pm; and
Saturday and Sunday, April 8-9, from 2 to 8 pm.

If anyone interested cannot find a time to audition, e-mail and producers will attempt to accommodate specific schedules.

Those planning to audition should prepare one song and one monologue, story or poem (does not have to be memorized). Those auditioning are asked to bring sheet music, but they may be singing a capella (without piano accompaniment).

Very young children can tell a joke or just answer some fun questions the producers will ask.

Older children should plan to select a song that they relate to and that tells some sort of story. Songs do not have to be from a musical, and combined material should not be longer than three minutes.

Callbacks will be held April 19 and 20 after school at Walnut Hill Community Church, and many children will be cast without a callback. Final casting notices will be sent out by April 28, and tuition will be due by May 15.

Individuals may go to the website if they are interested in participating in the orchestras, on the student tech team, and the adult tech team — which qualifies for parent/family service hours.

Internships for college students and college graduates are available, and a new internship program for young theater artists who want a more immersive experience will be offered in the following areas: directing (2); choreography (2); stage management (2); administration; marketing; development; front of house/audience services; and technical theater (2).

A limited number of scholarships will be available and based on need; financial aid applications will be available as of May 1. To apply for scholarships, internship, or apprenticeship, click through to the separate applications off the audition website,

Questions may be e-mailed to



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