CPS Announces Auditions for 'Hairspray' & 'Little Shop of Horrors'


Community Performance Series would like to announce the upcoming auditions for its 2013 summer musicals: “Hairspray” and “Little Shop of Horrors.” CPS is seeking male and female singers, actors and dancers ages 16 and up for principal and ensemble roles for the musical productions. 

Please note that “Hairspray” requires ethnically appropriate casting. Actors must appear white/caucasian or African-American. CPS will also be seeking a female child of African-American descent between the ages of 9 and 15 for the role of “Little Inez.”

Initial vocal auditions will be held on Tuesday, March 19 from 5 to 10 p.m. in Room C123 at SUNY Potsdam’s Crane School of Music. Those auditioning should enter through the Sara M. Snell Music Theater lobby and follow signs to the auditions. Dance call and callbacks will be held on Wednesday, March 20 from 5 to 10 p.m. 

Those auditioning are asked to prepare two 16-bar selections from music theatre repertoire that show a contrast of vocal styles. One should be in pop belt style, and the other from classic music theatre repertoire. An accompanist will be provided. Sheet music must be in the preferred key, as there will be no on-site transposition. Please bring a recent photo; note that photos will not be returned.

Auditions are by appointment. To schedule an appointment, please email cpsauditions@gmail.com. Walk-in auditions will only be accommodated as time is available. For information about the roles available, please visit www.cpspotsdam.org. 

“Hairspray” rehearsals will start in June (to be held on evenings and weekends), and performances will run from Tuesday, July 23 to Saturday, July 27.

“Little Shop of Horrors” rehearsals will start in July (to be held in the daytime) and performances will run from Tuesday, Aug. 6 to Saturday, Aug. 10.  Both productions will be presented in the Sara M. Snell Music Theater at SUNY Potsdam's Crane School of Music.

“Hairspray” is a family-friendly musical, based on a 1988 film of the same name, with music and lyrics by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman and book by Mark O’Donnell and Thomas Meehan. The show opened on Broadway in 2002, and won eight Tony Awards during its run before launching multiple national tours and a London West End production. The musical was also adapted into a 2007 musical film starring John Travolta, Christopher Walken, Michelle Pfieffer and Queen Latifah.

The musical follows the life of a “pleasantly plump” teenager, Tracy Turnblad, as well as her friends and family in 1962 Baltimore. When activism-driven Tracy auditions to be a dancer on a local “American Bandstand”-like show, she makes it her goal to bring integration to the small screen. What happens next can only be described as an adventure of inspiration, friendship and love. 

“Little Shop of Horrors” is a comedy/horror rock musical with music by Alan Menken and a book by Howard Ashman. The Off-Broadway run began in 1982, and it quickly moved to London’s West End the year following. It was scripted as a musical movie and released in 1986, and eventually made it to Broadway in 2003. 

“Little Shop of Horrors” surrounds a nerdy florist working in urban Skid Row in the 1960s. Seymour, an orphan, finds himself doing daily menial tasks to appease his boss, Mr. Mushnik. One day, Seymour discovers a plant in the shop that he cannot identify. He names it Audrey II, after his co-worker with whom he is infatuated. Seymour soon discovers that the plant has a unique appetite that is not easily satiated. Although he feeds the plant all he can muster, Audrey II continues to grow and will not stop feeding until it is good and full. 

Both productions will be directed by New York City-based directors.  “Hairspray” will be directed and choreographed by Antoinette DiPietropolo, and “Little Shop of Horrors” will be directed by Donna Drake. Each director brings extensive experience in multiple venues of theatre, including Off-Broadway, regional, and community works. Canton-based music teacher Sara Simon-Shult will be the music director for both productions. 

Tickets for this production will go on sale for Producer’s Club members on Saturday, June 1 and for the general public on Thursday, June 20. For more information on joining the Producer’s Club, please call (315) 267-2412.

The CPS productions of “Hairspray” and “Little Shop of Horrors” are made possible in part with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts Decentralization Program, administered in Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties by the St. Lawrence County Arts Council.

Established in 1989, the Community Performance Series is a college-community partnership presenting world-class performing artists and arts education opportunities in Northern New York. This rich mixture of programming links communities, classrooms and audiences of all ages and preserves access to the performing arts for future generations.

Founded in 1816, The State University of New York at Potsdam is one of only three arts campuses in the entire SUNY system. SUNY Potsdam’s arts curriculum offers the full palette: music, theatre, dance, fine arts and creative writing. No matter the discipline, people from all backgrounds can find their creative compass at Potsdam, with myriad arts immersion experiences available for both campus and community.