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Double play




HCLT auditions coming soon / July 29, 2013
November might seem like a long time away, but Halifax County Little Theatre knows that August is always the time to get things going for their big November production. Director Kristin Berry is already busily scheduling auditions for next week, planning rehearsals, and lining up production crew members for Halifax County Little Theatre’s season opener, a musical comedy for the whole family by Ron Lytle called “The Man Who Saved Christmas.”

Berry is excited to announce that auditions for the Virginia premiere of this show, described as a “New Old- Fashioned” musical comedy, are right around the corner. The story is loosely based on the true story of A.C. Gilbert, the inventor of the Erector Set. In 1917, because of America’s involvement in World War I, the U.S. government attempted to ban toy sales during the holiday season. Of course, this doesn’t sit well with Gilbert, the owner of a toy factory.

Gilbert must come up with a plan to save Christmas, but things get complicated by a reporter out to uncover a big story, a manager whose motives are questionable, a few pompous windbags, a secretary determined not to give her heart away, and a precocious niece who manages to untangle everyone’s grown-up problems as only an innocent child can do.

Berry and musical director Cheri Blackwell are excited to bring this humorous and heartwarming story to the stage. They are looking for a number of musicians as well as actors, singers, and dancers of all ages. Auditions for musicians will be held Sunday, Aug. 4, at 3 p.m., and Monday, Aug. 5, at 7 p.m. at the Prizery (700 Bruce Street, South Boston). Blackwell is hoping to find musicians who play a variety of orchestra instruments. The style of the music reflects the World War I era. Music samples as well as more information about the play can be found at

Those interested are asked to come with a prepared piece of their choice. This is an excellent opportunity for musicians to share their talents with the community, gain experience, network, get some public exposure, and be a part of a great creative experience. Rehearsals for musicians will begin in mid August. In addition to orchestra musicians, HCLT is particularly looking for a piano player who will play during rehearsals as well as performances. Berry will be happy to answer questions anyone might have. She can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Auditions for actors/singers and dancers will be held on Sunday, Aug. 11, at 3 p.m. and Monday, Aug. 12, at 7 p.m. Singers are asked to come prepared with a song of their choice. Accompaniment on the piano will be provided for those who bring sheet music.

The principal roles include four men of various ages, two women, and a little girl approximately 10 years old. The supporting cast will also include children of various ages as well as teens and adults in ensemble roles. Male roles include Mr. Gilbert, a kind-hearted man; Johnny Eli, a young newspaper reporter; Dixon, a supervisor at the factory; Daddy, a soldier who appears as a memory in the young girl’s dream; and several young friends. The supporting cast will also assume roles as factory workers, doughboys, families, and Washingtonians.

Female roles include Mary Gilbert, the main character’s wife; Alice Finch, Gilbert’s loyal personal secretary; and Ellen, a niece who is staying with the Gilberts while Daddy is “over there.” Women and girls are also needed for ensemble parts of factory workers, families, and Washingtonians.

As always, anyone who is interested in assisting in any area of the production is asked to come by auditions one night to share contact information. Halifax County Little Theatre wants to make “The Man Who Saved Christmas” a community wide production with talent from all areas of Southside Virginia.

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