Curtain rises on new season for St. Luke’s

Auditions will be held Friday and Saturday for A Murder is Announced

St. Luke’s Players director Dave Hitchcock and executive members at large Neville Owen and Janine Longy are setting the stage for auditions

St. Luke’s Players director Dave Hitchcock and executive members at large Neville Owen and Janine Longy are setting the stage for auditions

Ever wonder if you have what it takes to be an actor?

The St. Luke’s Players are holding auditions for their upcoming productions, starting this Friday and Saturday with A Murder is Announced, a murder mystery adapted from the 1950 Agatha Christie novel. Unlike other community theatre groups, St. Luke’s holds open auditions, meaning everyone reads in a group setting all at once.

“It’s not as intimidating as it might be if you’re in a room by yourself with three people behind a desk listening to you,” said Dave Hitchcock, who’s co-directing St. Luke’s winter production of Aladdin.

“I always say that the auditions are the most important part of the play production process. If you get a good crowd of people to select from, the rest of the process goes really smoothly.”

But, while reading as a group may be more relaxing, there’s a catch: St. Luke’s does cold readings.

“The people who come along don’t know what section they’re going to be reading,” said Neville Owen, a member at large of the St. Luke’s Players executive. “The first ones to read are at a bit of a disadvantage, and all the others listening may express it differently. The director knows that and bears that in mind.”

“As an actor, it’s a little bit daunting and you have to prepare by reading the script and doing some research into the play,” said Janine Longy, also a member at large on the executive. “Then you come to the audition and you never know what part you’re going to read, so you have to think about what happened before in the play, how to relate to the character.”

Nonetheless, St. Luke’s offers the stage to actors of all experience levels, which Longy says helps to alleviate some stage fright during the audition process.

“The culture here is to welcome newcomers, whether it be acting, costumes, props, set design, directing,” she said. “It’s a very warm community, it’s like a family.”

The auditions are overseen by directors, stage managers and musical directors for each of St. Luke’s four seasonal performances, with two two-hour open auditions and callbacks in case they need a bit more time to narrow down their cast.

Of course, a show like St. Luke’s annual pantomime doesn’t have as many issues in picking and choosing cast members – there are usually a lot of roles.

“The panto typically has a wider range of ages in the cast,” said Hitchcock. “We go from 10-year-olds up to no upper limit.”

Hitchcock said that newcomers shouldn’t be worried if they’re auditioning against more seasoned actors, as it’s not always the most experienced people who get the parts.

“That’s particularly true of the panto, where we get a lot of young kids, many of whom have not been in anything on the stage,” he said. “They come with a tremendous variety of experience.”

And if you don’t make the cut this time around, Hitchcock said there are always other St. Luke’s productions to try out for.

Auditions for A Murder is Announced are Friday, Aug. 12 at 7 p.m. and Saturday, Aug. 13 at 2 p.m. at St. Luke’s Hall, 3821 Cedar Hill X Rd., with callbacks scheduled for Monday, Aug. 15. No appointment is necessary, but prospective actors are asked to show up on time for the sessions and to fill out the audition form, which can be downloaded from stlukesplayers.org.

Copies of the script for A Murder is Announced can be picked up from the Oak Bay Flower Shop, 102-2187 Oak Bay Ave.

 

 

Just Posted

Deep Cove Elementary School principal Shelley Hardcastle (right) and vice-principal Mary Kaercher help to restock Reay Creek with fish – in this case, coho fry – after a recent bleach spill killed hundreds of fish. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
North Saanich’s Deep Cove Elementary School helps to restock Sidney’s Reay Creek

Restocking followed bleach spill that killed hundreds of fish in creek

A new report pegs the annual cost of hiring a third party to monitor use of pickleball courts in North Saanich at $12,000. (Black Press Media file photo).
North Saanich could end up hiring third party to monitor pickleball courts

Other options up for consideration include use of cameras and timed locks

The barred owl is the most likely to be spotted in the south Island. (Ann Nightingale photo)
Barred owls dominate Greater Victoria owl-scape

Western screech owl population decimated, partly due to barred owls

Between June 1 and 7, 168 net unconditional sales were made for properties in the VREB region. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria home sales slightly behind last June’s pace

Benchmark value of single-family home in Greater Victoria tops $1 million

Police monitor protesters at a blockade in the Fairy Creek area of southwestern Vancouver Island on Wednesday, June 9. (Facebook photo)
8 old-growth logging protesters arrested in Fairy Creek watershed Friday

A total of 214 people have been arrested as of June 11

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

The Queen Victoria statue at the B.C. legislature was splattered with what looks like red paint on Friday. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)
Queen Victoria statue at B.C. legislature vandalized Friday

Statue splattered with red paint by old growth forest proponents

Most Read