Instructor: Susan Blyth-Schofield
In the Musical Theatre Ensemble the emphasis is on learning through repertoire and performance. Be prepared to act, sing, and dance – in other words to learn how to become a triple threat performer.
This year we are planning a production of Little Women by Canadian composer Jim Betts. Character descriptions and vocal ranges will be posted shortly. Due to theatre availability the show will take place early in the winter term on Friday 20 January and Saturday 21 January 2017 with a dress rehearsal on Thursday 19 January and a technical rehearsal on Wednesday 18 January. The fall term and the first few weeks in January 2017 will be spent preparing for the show; the balance of the winter term will be made up of masterclasses and small ensemble work with a performance in Patrick Cardy Studio at the end of the term.
The ensemble meets once a week on Wednesday evenings from 6 – 9 in Patrick Cardy studio on the 9th floor of the Loeb building in both the fall and the winter terms. Although each term is a self contained unit, in order to do a show students will need to commit to participating in both terms. There is always a need for additional rehearsals, and students participating in this ensemble should expect out-of-class hours – especially close to performance dates, including the first two weekends in January 2017.
The class is open to all by audition. If you are interested in taking part in this high energy ensemble please contact me – Susan_BlythSchofield@carleton.ca. Auditions will take place on the first day of class (7 September 2016). I will need to hear everyone (even if you are a returning performer). For the audition you will need:
1) A one minute cut of something you know well and that shows your voice. An accompanist will be provided. You must bring sheet music in the correct key for your selection. If you have any questions about this please
2) A cold reading (character specific) from the show. These reading (sides) will be available at the beginning of the first class.
No dancing will be required at the audition.
If you are more interested in the technical side of things (back-stage and stage management) there are possibilities for you there as well. Please do not hesitate to contact me at the above address.
For those students receiving a credit for the course (pass or fail), the assessment will be based on in-class work, preparation, and participation in the shows.
If you would like to look at the script and/or score please contact me.
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Have a great summer and see you in the fall for an exciting year. Susan
CAST OF CHARACTERS
MEG The eldest March daughter, struggling to fit into Concord Society despite her family’s poverty. She longs for nice dresses, clean gloves and the admiration of SALLIE. 18. Soprano or Mezzo-soprano. Vocal range: G3 – G5. Middle tessitura.
JO A passionate, determined, strong-willed “tom-boy”. Her family means everything to her, and she intends to use every talent she has to keep her family together. She longs to be a writer. 17. Soprano or Mezzo-soprano. Vocal range: G3 – G5. Middle tessitura.
BETH The “heart” of the family. She says little, but her actions speak volumes. She is timid, but that shyness only masks an inner strength. She doesn’t ask much, but if only she could play that wonderful piano at the Laurence’s next door. 15. Soprano or Mezzosoprano. Vocal range: G3 – G5. Middle tessitura.
AMY She wants everything, and she’ prefer to have it all right now. Unsatisfied with being the baby of the family, she wants every experience and privilege her sisters have, and a few more as well. A firecracker of a little woman. 13. Soprano or Mezzo-soprano. Vocal range: G3 – G5. Middle tessitura.
MARMEE Mother to MEG, JO, BETH and AMY. A compassionate, strong woman who cares deeply about her children and her community. With her husband away serving in the Civil War, and with her family struggling with poverty, she must use every ounce of her strength to live day to day. Early 40’s. Soprano or Mezzo-soprano. Vocal range: A3 – F#5 (sustained). Middle tessitura.
AUNT MARCH The matriarch of the family. Widowed, wealthy and willing to try anything to maintain her influence over MARMEE and her girls. 60s. Mezzo-soprano. Vocal Range: G3 – F#5. Low tessitura.
LAURIE The boy next door. He and JO become best friends, and help each other remain committed to their dreams. Same age as Jo (17). High baritone or tenor. Vocal range. A2 – G4. Middle tessitura..
JOHN BROOKE LAURIE’s tutor. Slightly shy, slightly awkward, completely entranced with MEG. Early 20’s. High Baritone or tenor. Vocal range: A2 – G4. Middle tessitura..
MR. LAURENCE LAURIE’s grandfather and guardian, determined to make LAURIE.forget his own dreams and join the family business. His gruff, opinionated exterior hides the inevitable heart of gold. 60’s. Baritone or bass-baritone. Vocal range: A2 – E=4. Mid-low tessitura.
ENSEMBLE A small group that appear at various times throughout the story as friends, neighbours, peers, passers-by and hangers-on: including the roles of SALLIE (MEG’s contemporary and role-model, for better or for worse), DR. BAIN, and a DELIVERY MAN. 4 part vocal harmony – Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Base.
The pictures you see above are from 2013-14’s two highly successful revues: “The Fallies” (29 November 2013) and “Now Showing (29 March 2014).
Below are two scenes from 2014-15 performances.