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Ramona Quimby auditions set

SoVaNow.com / April 12, 2010
Have you ever watched a play and thought to yourself “Hey, that looks like fun!” Well, you’d be right. Being a part of a play is a wonderful opportunity to have fun, make new friends, and be a part of something bigger than yourself. It can also boost your self-confidence, give you a sense of contributing to your community, and give you the chance to discover talents you may not have been aware of within yourself.

Halifax County Little Theatre will hold auditions this week for the family production Ramona Quimby. This will be a great opportunity for both experienced actors and anyone who has ever wanted to try their hand at being on stage to come out and participate. Director Sandy Slayton is looking for a host of characters to fill the stage for the upcoming June production. There’s no singing involved in this one, and there are cameo roles, small parts, and several lead roles to be filled, as well as backstage roles in the production crew.

In this story, based on the books by Beverly Cleary, Ramona Quimby is a lively, funny 3rd grader who is facing some interesting challenges in her life. Of course, things don’t always go her way at school, and when she loses her temper she gets into big trouble. When Dad gets laid off from his job, Ramona is determined to think of a way to save the family from financial ruin. Her plans seem to keep backfiring, though, and it doesn’t help that her older sister Beezus is a know-it-all. Her favorite aunt adds to Ramona’s stress with a surprise announcement which leaves Ramona feeling jealous and helpless, but through it all, Ramona will learn that with a little humor and a lot of love, families, and even 3rd graders, can adjust to life’s ups and downs.

Ramona and Beezus are the lead characters in this play. While Ramona is a 3rd grader in the story, she could be played by someone a little older than 8. She has lots of lines, and is precocious and energetic, emotional and sweet. Beezus is a preteen, and could be played by someone 11 to maybe 14. Beezus acts as narrator in the story, and will also have a lot to memorize! She’s very outgoing, sometimes loud, but a bit more mature than Ramona, of course. Ramona’s friends also play key roles. Howie is her best friend and confidante, and Susan is the irritating, thinks-she’s-better-than-anyone-else teacher’s pet in school. There is a small part for a teenaged waitress, and the young part of the cast is rounded out with troupes of Cub Scouts and Brownies who make cameo appearances. They will be played by 6, 7, and 8 year olds.

There are many fun opportunities for adults in this cast. Larger parts include Mr. and Mrs. Quimby, Aunt Bea (very cool younger sister of Mrs. Quimby), and her beau Hobart. Smaller parts for adults include Ramona’s teacher, Mrs. Griggs, Mr. Quimby’s boss, Mrs. Kemp (a grandmotherly type), and another man who may play multiple characters with just a line or two each.

Auditions will be held this Thursday and Friday nights, April 15 and 16, at The Prizery beginning at 7PM, and Saturday morning beginning at 10 AM. Adults and kids will get to know each other a little, pretend together a little, and read through bits of the story. Auditioners are not required to come to all three audition dates, just one. Rehearsals will run from the last week in April, through the third week of June. Ramona Quimby is scheduled for only one weekend, but with five performances, it will be a whirlwind of a weekend! Opening night will be on Thursday, June 17 at 8 PM, and then there will be a show on Friday night, June 18, again at 8 PM. There will be two performances on Saturday, June 19: a 10AM matinee, and an 8 PM performance. A Sunday 3:00 matinee will bring the fun to a close.

If you’re thinking to yourself, “Maybe I could do this,” or “Wouldn’t that be a hoot?” come on over to The Prizery and audition. You’ll never know what you can do if you don’t try!

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