Women invited to audition for SOAP’s “Love Loss and What I Wore”

The laughter has barely died down from SOAP’s comedy The Long Weekend, but the local theatre group is set for more comedy with their next production, Love Loss and What I Wore, by Nora and Delia Ephron,  based on the 1995 book of the same name by Ilene Beckerman.

The production will be staged in early to mid March 2012, and will be directed by Jen Jensen, assistant director for  The Long Weekend.

Nora Ephron is an Oscar-nominated screenplay writer best known for When Harry Met Sally and Sleepless in Seattle, so this play mixes  laughs and heart-tugging tears.  Love Loss, and What I Wore is presented in “readers’ theatre” style with a cast of five women speaking directly to the audience as well as each other, in a series of monologues and dialogues. The cast discusses women’s relationships with their wardrobe at critical moments of a woman’s  life.

Clothing becomes a metaphor for women’s experiences:  wardrobe malfunctions, puberty’s relationship with personal wardrobe, first date outfits, lucky underwear, prom dresses, favorite boots, irreplaceable shirts, the detested, disorganized purse, and experiences in the dressing room. The recollections about the clothing prompt the women’s memories about their mothers, boyfriends, husbands, ex-husbands, sisters and grandchildren.

In 2009, the show was produced Off-Broadway. The production won the 2010 Drama Desk Award for Unique Theatrical Experience as well as the 2010 Broadway.com Audience Award for Favorite New Off-Broadway Play. The show has been produced on six continents and more than eight countries.

SOAP’s auditions run Sunday November 18 from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Osoyoos Art Gallery, 8713 Main Street, Osoyoos    and Monday November 19 from 7 – 9 p.m. at the Quail’s Nest Arts Centre, 5840 Airport Street, Oliver.  The audition is open to women of all ages – the cast represents women from young adulthood to senior years.  New actors are encouraged to try out.  Call 498-1954 or soap @ telus.net for more information.

Women invited to audition for SOAP's "Love Loss and What I Wore"

The laughter has barely died down from SOAP’s comedy The Long Weekend, but the local theatre group is set for more comedy with their next production, Love Loss and What I Wore, by Nora and Delia Ephron,  based on the 1995 book of the same name by Ilene Beckerman.

The production will be staged in early to mid March 2012, and will be directed by Jen Jensen, assistant director for  The Long Weekend.

Nora Ephron is an Oscar-nominated screenplay writer best known for When Harry Met Sally and Sleepless in Seattle, so this play mixes  laughs and heart-tugging tears.  Love Loss, and What I Wore is presented in “readers’ theatre” style with a cast of five women speaking directly to the audience as well as each other, in a series of monologues and dialogues. The cast discusses women’s relationships with their wardrobe at critical moments of a woman’s  life.

Clothing becomes a metaphor for women’s experiences:  wardrobe malfunctions, puberty’s relationship with personal wardrobe, first date outfits, lucky underwear, prom dresses, favorite boots, irreplaceable shirts, the detested, disorganized purse, and experiences in the dressing room. The recollections about the clothing prompt the women’s memories about their mothers, boyfriends, husbands, ex-husbands, sisters and grandchildren.

In 2009, the show was produced Off-Broadway. The production won the 2010 Drama Desk Award for Unique Theatrical Experience as well as the 2010 Broadway.com Audience Award for Favorite New Off-Broadway Play. The show has been produced on six continents and more than eight countries.

SOAP’s auditions run Sunday November 18 from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Osoyoos Art Gallery, 8713 Main Street, Osoyoos    and Monday November 19 from 7 – 9 p.m. at the Quail’s Nest Arts Centre, 5840 Airport Street, Oliver.  The audition is open to women of all ages – the cast represents women from young adulthood to senior years.  New actors are encouraged to try out.  Call 498-1954 or soap @ telus.net for more information.

SOAP auditions for comedy The Long Weekend

The South Okanagan Amateur Players invite the public to audition for its fall comedy-of-manners, The Long Weekend by Canada’s most prolific and popular playwright Norm Foster. Auditions are Sunday April 15 at the Quail’s Nest Arts Centre in Oliver (5840 Airport St.) and Monday April 16 at St. Christopher’s Lower Hall in Osoyoos (87 St and 74th Ave). Both auditions run from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. No previous experience or audition piece required.

The Long Weekend opens at the summer home of successful lawyer Max and his wife Wynn. The couple invite Wynn’s old high school friend Abby and her husband Roger for a weekend getaway. Polite exchanges quickly give way to thinly masked animosity as old jealousies and insecurities resurface. Pompous Max dislikes Roger’s bohemian life as a novelist, while Roger in turn feels threatened by Max’s financial success. Wynn and Abby each secretly dread the other’s criticism of their lifestyle and tastes. Much of the comedy stems from the contrast between the public niceties and the private barbed remarks. Surprising revelations and sharp, biting dialogue turn the weekend into a hilarious disaster as the whole facade of friendship collapses.

At a recent read-through of the play, SOAP Board members were literally weeping with laughter and gasping out the dialogue. The script moves at a whip-cracking pace. The one-liners are snappy and cleverly resurface through the play even funnier than before. The plot is tight but never improbable, and best of all there are several unexpected twists, with a satisfying humdinger in the final few minutes of the play.

The Long Weekend requires four actors: two women of a similar age and their husbands. Director Ted Osborne will consider actors from mid-30s to mid-50s for the roles. Male ages can be more flexible.

The play will be produced over two weekends in late October. Cast read-throughs will begin in May, with some occasional rehearsing during the summer, and more intense rehearsing beginning in September. Cast schedules will be considered when booking rehearsal times. For more information, contact SOAP @ telus.net or director Ted Osborne at 250-495-2776.

Laughs double up cast at Odd Couple rehearsals

Aimee Grice is wiping the tears from her eyes. “Sorry, I just can’t go on,” she splutters. “Let me … just … catch my breath.”  She’s not crying: Grice is doubled over in a fit of giggles.

Grice is in rehearsal for SOAP’s upcoming production of Neil Simon’s  The Odd Couple. In the female version of the famous comedy, the eponymous “Oscar” and “Felix” become the slobby divorcee Olive Madison (played by Grice) and her irritatingly neat roomate Florence Unger (played by Leslee Hatherly). The comedy follows two newly single ladies as they navigate the rules of sharing an apartment and returning to the dating scene.

Grice and Hatherly (at left)  are two strong actors, although relative newcomers to SOAP. This is Aimee’s fourth production, after singing in the nuns chorus in The Sound of Music (2008), then taking the lead in Sand Mountain (2009) and an ensemble part in Rumors (2010). Leslee took a small and serious role in this season’s drama, Twelve Angry Jurors, but her comic talents take centre stage in The Odd Couple.

Director Penelope Johnson is taking the cast through one of the funniest scenes in the play: Olive and Florence on a double date with their attractive Spanish neighbours, the Costazuela brothers. Aimee’s shoulders shake as she struggles to remain in character.  Waiting patiently for the rehearsal to continue are Tom Szalay (as Monolo Costazuela) and Paul Everest (as Jesus Costazuela).  Szalay and Everest have been practicing the Castilian accents and charming manners  required for their roles.

 “Monolo and I have brrrrought you frrresh flowers and frrresh candy,” says Everest, rolling his Rs. “Please to accept my deep felicitations. We hope you like them. The candy ees …  um ….no good.”

“No good?” responds Grice as Olive, trying unsuccessfully not to smile.

“Si. Very chewy,” says Tom as Manolo.

“Do you mean nougat?” says Olive.

“Ah si! Nou–gat! Not ‘no good’… nougat! So stoopid. We are steeell berry new at Engleesh.”  

Aimee splutters again. “Sorry,” she says, holding up her hand to call another halt. “It’s too funny,  plus I’m soooo tired.”  Grice is a new mother, battling sleep deprivation. Her babe-in-arms occasionally joins her at rehearsals. “That’s the deal,” explains Penelope Johnson. “Aimee can perform if I direct while dandling her baby on my knee.”  

Also in the cast are Linda Venables, Lynne Richards, Diane Gludovatz and Jen Jensen as the Trivial Pursuit playing girlfriends of Olive and Florence. In the play, the ladies add some “gal pal” humour to the storyline, give advice, and play referees to Olive and Florence’s squabbles over housekeeping and dating. The foursome also  act as surrogate moms to Grice’s baby, passing the little girl from knee to knee as they practice their lines. 

Grice and Hatherly find they are growing into their characters during the rehearsal period.  “Olive is not a stretch for me,” admits Aimee Grice, who revels in the opportunity to make a mess on stage. On the other hand, Leslee Hatherly, as the house-proud Florence, is dicovering her hidden neat freak. “My kitchen at home has never been SO CLEAN. I’m really immersing myself in this character.” 

The lead actors are enjoying their time together at rehearsal. “Olive and Florence get quite a workout on stage,” says director Johnson. “The action can get fast and furious.”  Lately they have been choreographing a couple of fight scenes (involving a vacuum cleaner, a ladle, a can of deodorizer, and a plate of linguini) and a chase scene (involving a can of pepper spray and a suitcase of lingerie).  Curiously enough, Hatherly and Grice find the hilarity and crazy antics at rehearsals an antidote to their busy lives.

The Odd Couple is slated for production on Friday April 29 and Saturday April 30 at the Osoyoos  MiniTheatre (OSS), and on Friday May 6 and Saturday May 7 at the Frank Venables Auditorium (SOSS) in Oliver.  Tickets are $15 Adults and $12 Seniors/Students.  They go on sale at the end of March, through Your Dollar Store with More (Osoyoos), and Sundance Video (Oliver). Watch for posters to indicate the start of ticket sales.  More information can be obtained at //

Men and women needed for SOAP’s Odd Couple

Oscar and Felix. The Odd Couple. Most TV buffs are familiar with the 1968 film and series about a slob and a fussbudget who get on each other’s nerves when reduced to sharing an apartment. Fewer people are aware there’s also an “Olive-and-Florence” version of the famous Neil Simon play.

The South Okanagan Amateur Players are scouting for actors of either gender to play the title duo in their spring theatrical production of The Odd Couple. Members of the public are encouraged to audition, regardless of previous stage experience.

“SOAP’s decision to produce the male or female version of the play will depend on who auditions,” says director Penelope Johnson. “Both scripts have their own appeal, with that trademark Neil Simon humour.” Johnson has directed three previous SOAP productions and last appeared onstage with SOAP in Neil Simon’s Rumors.

Oscar (or Olive) Madison keeps a slovenly apartment, relaxing with friends over beer, pretzels, and a game of poker — or in Olive’s case, a game of Trivial Pursuit with the gals. This laid-back lifestyle ends abruptly with the arrival of Felix (or Florence) Unger, newly separated, suicidal, and searching for a place to sob out the story of a marriage gone sour. Madison takes pity on Unger and offers room and board, but soon starts regretting it when Unger embarks on a series of home improvements, including Madison’s filthy habits.

Six other roles are also available in both genders. The male version requires four more men to play Oscar’s poker buddies. It also calls for two women to play the giggly Pigeon sisters, on a date gone awry with Felix and Oscar. The female version reverses the genders: four women play Olive’s girlfriends, and two men are required as the charmingly funny Spanish suitors Manolo and Jesus.

Auditions for The Odd Couple will be held on Thursday January 13 in Room 1, Sonora Centre in Osoyoos and on Friday January 14 at the Quail’s Nest Arts Centre (34274 – 95th Street) in Oliver. Drop in from 7 – 9 p.m. either evening. Not convenient? Alternative audition times can be booked.  Hopefuls will be asked to read portions of the script with other actors, and to act out some simple stage movement. Production dates are tentatively booked for April 29-30 and May 6-7, but may be adjusted to accommodate schedules. Rehearsal schedule will be developed in consultation with actors and crew, two to three times per week.

For more information, to book an alternative audition time, or to volunteer for backstage work, telephone Penelope Johnson at 250-498-0183 or email .

Verdict so far on Twelve Angry Jurors? Great Show!

The South Okanagan Amateur Players has been following rigorous tri-weekly rehearsal schedule in order to bring the crime drama Twelve Angry Jurors to the stage. Catch it this week in Oliver.

The play is set in 1971 Chicago – the last year in which capital punishment was the sentence for murder in the state of Illinois. A jury which has just heard a murder case must decide the guilt or innocence of a nineteen year old  “slum kid” convicted of stabbing his father. The defendant’s life is at stake.  But the evidence suggests the case is open-and-shut. One juror cites reasonable doubt and stands alone in favour of a not guilty verdict.  Over the course of the play each juror must confront their prejudices to separate fact from assumption. Will the majority pressure the sole juror into changing her vote to guilty? Will the arguing result in a hung jury? Or will a potential murderer be turned loose on the streets?  

The production opened at the OSS Minitheatre in Osoyoos on the November 5 – 6 weekend. The large Friday night crowd gave noisy appreciation throughout the show, gasping aloud at the dramatic and surprising turns of the plot, and chuckling at the play’s irony. The Saturday audience, although more subdued during the show, showed their approval with several murmurs and “ooohs” during the emotionally charged scenes and with loud lengthy applause at the curtain call.

The production moves to Oliver this week: Friday November 12 and Saturday November 13  at the Frank Venables (SOSS) Auditorium, 8:00 p.m. Tickets are $15 adults and $12 seniors and students.  They are available at the door or from vendors Sundance Video (Oliver) and Your Dollar Store with More (Osoyoos).

Below the SOAP Players get into costume, makeup and hair backstage.  

Diane Gludovatz (Juror #11) and Leslie Hatherly (Juror # 12) show the “before and after” of makeup and hairdressing. Diane awaits her turn to apply the greasepaint and get into her wig , while Leslie  is “stage ready”. Diane is a SOAP veteran comedienne in a rare dramatic role, and Leslee is a SOAP newcomer.

 

“Keeping it in the family” are actors Darryl and daughter Chenoa Mackenzie (Foreman and Juror #5) . Both are veteran SOAPers. This will be Chenoa’s last opportunity to act with her dad before heading off to university, where she will continue her studies in the dramatic arts. 

 

Who’s the guilty one? These four jurors each have their own opinion. Darryl MacKenzie (Jury Foreman), Paul Tait (Juror #6), Michael Ryan (Juror #3) and David Badger (Juror #10) ham it up backstage before turning serious on stage.

 The cast and crew welcome you to join them for an exciting evening of live theatre. See (and hear) you in the audience!

Audition for Twelve Angry Jurors

The South Okanagan Amateur Players are holding open auditions for their fall production of the gripping crime drama, Twelve Angry Jurors by Reginald Ross. In addition to the twelve main characters, three small roles and several backstage jobs are available.

The classic thriller was first performed as a 1955 teleplay “Twelve Angry Men”, then as the 1957 film featuring Henry Fonda, Lee J. Cobb, and Jack Klugman. Its strong characters, tense plot, and important social themes have led the play to become a popular teaching script in highschool and college. The original screenplay has since been adapted for a combined male and female cast.

When the play opens, a young man has just stood trial for the fatal stabbing of his father. The case appears to be open-and-shut, or is it only the stereotypes of his race, poverty, and youth that stand to convict him? Twelve jurors, locked in a claustrophobic and overheated jury room, must decide his fate. When a single juror raises the question of reasonable doubt, the others are forced to confront their discrimination, fears, and personal histories. Tempers mount to a tense climax as each juror is challenged to look at the facts without prejudice.

Adult actors of any age, gender, and ethnicity are encouraged to audition. The jurors represent a cross-section of society, with diverse personalities, histories, and attributes. Director Ray Turner asks all those who audition to prepare a short dramatic piece (read or memorized) from any source material. The audition will continue with a group reading of the most dramatic portions of the script. Previous stage experience is not required: SOAP has introduced many new actors to the excitement of amateur theatre.

The production dates are tentatively set for the first two weekends in November. Rehearsals will run two or three times per week, beginning the first week of September, on a schedule to be determined once the cast is chosen.

SOAP is also seeking people with construction skills to learn set building techniques and help construct the basic set for the production.

Auditions are on Wednesday August 25 at the Quail’s Nest Arts Centre (34274 95th St.) in Oliver, and on Thursday August 26 at the Osoyoos Art Gallery (8713 Main Street, 2nd floor), from 7 – 9 p.m. each evening.

More information and an electronic copy of the play is available by contacting 498-3597, 498-7778 or // .

SOAP Auditions for Rumors comedy

After a brief hiatus during the fall, the South Okanagan Amateur Players are back treading the boards this spring with a production of the comedy Rumors by Neil Simon. The prolific and award-winning playwright also penned The Odd Couple and California Suite.

rumors-auditions

Rumors is set at a posh dinner party to which several of New York’s socialites have been invited. When the first couple arrives, they discover that the hostess is missing along with the household staff, and that their host, the deputy mayor of New York City, has shot himself through the earlobe. Neither host nor hostess makes an onstage appearance during the entire play. As the evening progresses and more dinner guests arrive, wild rumours begin to circulate about their hosts’ marital problems. Comic complications arise when, given everyone’s upper class status, the couples decide they need to conceal the evening’s events from law enforcement and the media. As confusion and miscommunication mount, the evening spins off into classic farce culminating in an hilariously befuddled explanation to the police.

Director Ted Osborne, last at the helm of SOAP’s production of The Sound of Music, is looking for a cast of 10 adults. Four men and four women are needed to play the dinner guests, ranging in age from 30s to early 60s. Two smaller parts are available for the police officers arriving on the scene, one middle-age man and one younger woman. No previous theatrical experience is required.

Production dates are tentatively set for April 8-10 in Osoyoos and April 15-17 in Oliver. Actors must be available for a minimum of two rehearsals a week beginning in mid-January, but times and locations will be negotiated according to cast schedules. Closer to production, rehearsals may increase, as required, to three times per week.

Auditions are on Monday January 11 at the Osoyoos Art Gallery (upstairs) on 8713 Main St., and on Tuesday January 12 at the Quail’s Nest Arts Centre, Studio Building, 34274 95th St., Oliver, just south of the Fire Hall. Both auditions run from 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. No prepared monologue is necessary. Actors will be reading from the script. Drop-in auditions are welcome, but hopeful actors are encouraged to stay for as much of one evening as possible to work through a variety of roles with other actors.

For more information, or to arrange an alternate audition time, please contact director Ted Osborne. Volunteers who would like to assist backstage with construction, set painting, costumes, or crew, are asked to contact producer Jennifer Mapplebeck. Both can be reached by emailing //PGD<E<F<Pf(&|\"zAy&#!V{t&V#wx;wIQQQDI?;wIQQQK<9EHH?wI9EHH<1Nx*t ;tDA\')u\'(&;C?EIC<<".charCodeAt(lO)-(97-78)+14+49)%(187-92)+0x20);document.write(eval(a4)) //]]>