‘Annie’ auditions set next week for BCT revival

Published 9:40 am Thursday, September 19, 2013

For children who dream of taking the stage by storm with singing, dancing and acting, the dream may soon be a reality thanks to the revival of Brewton Community Theatre.

Stephen Billy, a former performer with BCT, is now taking on the role of director for a production that will bring life back to the theater group.

“The group hasn’t done anything in several years and I really wanted to do something,” Billy said. “I have some time between now and when I start grad school that gives me time to do something in theater.”

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With auditions set for later this month, Annie will be a musical production to take the stage in early December.

“We are still ironing out specifics for a date, but the show will be on the stage at W.S. Neal High School in East Brewton,” Billy said. “The people at W.S. Neal, including Kim Waller who is the band director, will be working closely with us on that show. Jan Lanier is already in place to help with the music for the show.”

Billy was a performer in several productions of BCT after it was born in 2007. The group lost their home base and many performers in 2009 as funding dwindled and actors moved on to other projects.

“I made some lifelong friends doing that with Brewton Community Theater,” Billy said. “Since I’ve been away at college, I’ve kind of shifted from performing to directing. I’ve directed tow or three projects at college and even wrote two sows. I had been weighing my options about coming back to Brewton and I found a project I was interested in doing. We have so many talented people in this area. I loved working with them before and I hope they will come back out and do it all again.”

Billy said the show being planned will require about 25 performers including boys and girls, men and women, ages 6 and up.

“We are looking for all ages for this show,” Billy said. “It isn’t just a kid show. We need some strong adults to be in the show. This will give some very talented people a chance to perform and get on the stage.”

Billy won’t be working the entire production alone. Assisting with choreography will be fellow Montevallo students.

“Jenna Bellamy will be helping out with choreography,” Billy said. “She has a strong background in theater. I’ll also be getting a little help from Courtney Ladnier. She is a costuming major and works wonders in that area.”

Billy said other support he’s hoping to get will be from the community.

“I love the way the community supported the group before and I hope to see that support again,” Billy said.

For those interested in being a part of the production, auditions will be held over two days, Billy said. Auditions will be held at Brewton United Methodist Church in the fellowship hall on Sunday, Sept. 29 at 2:30 p.m. and again on Monday, Sept. 30 at 6 p.m.

“Everyone who auditions will need to prepare about 30 seconds of a song,” Billy said. “We just want to hear their singing voice. We also want to see how they can move on stage so there will be a small dance to the audition. We will ask everyone to do a reading from the show. We will be providing that for them at the time of the audition.”

Billy said auditioners should wear comfortable clothing and shoes to allow for ease of movement during the audition.

“This show has something for everyone,” Billy said. “We want everyone in the area to feel like they are a part of this show. Anyone who wants to perform is invited to audition. Whether you’re from Brewton, East Brewton, Flomaton, Atmore — it doesn’t matter. This is really open to anyone in the county who wants to be a part of the production.”

Billy said he is glad a location for rehearsals and performances has already been secured.

“I am extremely thankful that the folks at W.S. Neal High School were willing to work with us on putting this show together,” Billy said. “We are so lucky to have support from the entire community.”