Three years ago, Duncan Evans-Fockler strode onto the stage as Michael Banks, a kid soon adventuring with the umbrella-wielding, enigmatic Marry Poppins. Through months of rehearsals, the Grade 5 student said his favourite part was the dances.
“First we had to get the basics of the dance, then we had to put it all together,” he said. “It was really fun.” According to Scot Denton, the Highlands Summer Festival’s (HSF) artistic producer, Evans-Fockler shone on stage alongside Tate Itani Smith who played his sister Jane. Evans-Fockler wants to audition for the role of Kurt in this year’s The Sound of Music production.
The Summer Festival is hosting auditions Feb. 26 and 27.
Denton encouraged kids to try out, no matter their experience level. “They don’t have to be opera singers, they’re kids. They’ll come and learn it, and kids learn fast,” he said.
From his experience, children of all personalities can shine on stage.
“Sometimes the shyest people get into rehearsal and on stage and it’s very liberating. It’s not just the outgoing kids who should be thinking about theatre as a hobby or vocation,” he said. How can you tell if your kid might fit the bill?
“Just see if your child wants to come,” Denton said.
For The Sound of Music, the HSF is casting Friedrich von Trapp, treble, 14, Louisa von Trapp, soprano, 13, Kurt von Trapp, treble, 10, Brigitta von Trapp, soprano, nine, Marta von Trapp, soprano, seven and Gretl von Trapp, soprano, six.
Those auditioning will sing for HSF production team members. “All they have to do is come sing happy birthday to us and we’ll know,” Denton said.
There are multiple roles for adults available too, from the grumpy baritone Captain von Trapp to the star of the show, Maria.
The Importance of Being Earnest still has one role open, as well as a third performance, Every Brilliant Thing.
Denton said the festival is excited at the possibility of a full season after nearly three full years of pandemic-related cancellations or postponements.
“We’re going to have a good time,” he said. “It’s going to be amazing to get back to what we do.”
For more information and to book an audition time, call Betty Mills: 705-457- 1354

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