Cast members are needed for the Fairmont State University Town & Gown Summer Theatre production of “South Pacific” at Prickett’s Fort State Park this summer. Auditions will be held Tuesday, May 1, and Thursday, May 3. There will be roles for men and women ages 17 and older and two children ages 7 to 10.
Available roles include the following: Nellie Forbush, late 20s-early 30s (soprano); Emile de Becque, mid 40s-early 50s (high baritone); Bloody Mary, mid to late 40s- early 50s (alto); Luther Billis, late 20s-30s (baritone); Lt. Joseph Cable, early 20s-30s (tenor); Capt. George Brackett, U.S. Navy, 50s (bass); Cmdr. William Harbison, U.S. Navy, 50s (bass); Ngana and Jerome, one girl and one boy, both ages 7-10; Liat, late teens; Henry, Emile’s assistant, 50s; Bloody Mary’s assistant, 30s. Also needed are various young men (sailors, seabees, Marines, etc.) in their late teens to 30s and various young women (nurses) in their late teens to 30s.
Singing auditions will be 6 to 10 p.m. on Tuesday, May 1, and Thursday, May 3. Those interested in auditioning for a role should sign up for one of the two audition days by calling (304) 367-4219. Those who audition should prepare 16 bars from a song of their choice, bring sheet music that is clearly marked for the accompanist and avoid singing songs from “South Pacific.” Those who audition are encouraged to choose songs from the Rodgers & Hammerstein songbook or from other writers from the golden age of musical theatre from 1940 - 1950. Rehearsals will begin on May 24. Performance dates will be July 6-8 and 12-14.
“South Pacific” is a musical with music by Richard Rodgers, lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II and book by Hammerstein and Joshua Logan. The plot draws from James A. Michener’s Pulitzer Prize-winning1947 book “Tales of the South Pacific,” combining elements of several of the stories in that book. The musical centers on an American nurse stationed at a U.S. Naval base during World War II who falls in love with an expatriate French plantation owner but struggles to accept his mixed-race children. A second romance concerns a U.S. Lieutenant who falls in love with a young Asian woman. The issue of racial prejudice is candidly explored throughout the musical, most pointedly in the song, “You’ve Got to Be Carefully Taught.”
“South Pacific” is considered to be one of the greatest Broadway musicals. The musical premiered in 1949 and won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1950. Several of its songs, including “Bali Ha’I,” “I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Outta My Hair,” “Some Enchanted Evening,” “Happy Talk,” “Younger than Springtime” and “I’m in Love with a Wonderful Guy,” have become popular standards. The Broadway production won 10 Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Best Score and Best Libretto, and it is the only musical production ever to have won all four Tony Awards for acting. The show was a critical and box office hit and has since enjoyed many successful revivals and tours, spawning a 1958 film and other adaptations. The 2008 Broadway revival was a strong success, winning seven Tonys including Best Musical Revival.