Theatre and Dance Company begins preparation for upcoming shows

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Photo Credit/School of the Arts
Photo Credit/School of the Arts

Staff Writer

The process of auditioning for the Ernestine M. Raclin School of the Arts’ theatre and dance productions is a more challenging and complex experience than some might think.

Singing and dancing is likely what most imagine when they hear the word “audition,” but it takes much more than that, including time-consuming preparation.

From 7 to 11 p.m. on Jan. 12-13, all IU South Bend students, whether experienced or inexperienced, were invited to showcase their talents in an effort to be cast in the upcoming plays “The Legend of John Henry” and/or “The Musical Of Musicals.”

Some components of the audition included reciting memorized monologues, sight-reading music from the show, choreographed dance, cold reads and more.

Remaining upbeat throughout a late night of auditions is not the easiest of tasks, but IUSB is fortunate to have a selection of seasoned thespians, one of which actually wrote the upcoming children’s play “The Legend of John Henry,” and another, a senior who has auditioned and been cast every semester since her freshman year at IUSB.

Regardless of their experience, even the theatre superstars recognize it takes quite a bit of practice, hard work and perseverance in order to thrive in the world of theatre.

Brad Pontius, IUSB theatre student and writer of this spring’s children’s play “The Legend of John Henry,” has worked on the play for months.

“I finished the draft in one month, worked it for another three and, as soon as we get in the room and working the show, I’ll be assisting the fabulous director, Jacob Medich,” said Pontius.

Pontius normally auditions but is excited to experience the other side of production and see his very own play come to light.

Another seasoned theatre veteran, Jordyn Nutting, has auditioned every semester since the start of her career at IU South Bend. With a full-time class load, two jobs, a relationship and whatever else life throws her way, she manages to remain passionate about theatre. Nutting believes the audition itself is only a fraction of the eclectic process.

“To prepare for auditions, I figure out my material first. Of course I can’t do anything else without that. Then I work on memorization, followed by figuring out my intentions and developing the different characters,” Nutting said.

“I usually rehearse in my audition outfit as well to make sure I can do all of the same movements without any restriction. If I can find someone who plays piano, I’ll ask them if they’d be willing to play my song for me so I can rehearse with the proper accompaniment.”

This preparation has played a major role in Nutting’s success.

“Right before my actual audition, I usually make sure I am warmed up physically and vocally, and I will run through my material in a practice room or in my own little area somewhere,” Nutting said. “It’s all about the preparation.”

Performances for “The Legend of John Henry” will begin Feb. 11.

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