Brainerd Community Theatre is gearing up for its 2021-22 season and is making changes in how it conducts its auditions for its productions.

In a departure from past audition practices, the theater company will host auditions for its entire 2021-22 season Aug. 2, 6 and 7.

Theater Director Patrick Spradlin is looking to cast a core company of actors who will possibly participate in multiple productions in the season.

“We think casting a company of actors has several advantages,” Spradlin stated in a news release. “It allows community actors a chance to play varied roles in different plays; it gives actors a ‘head start’ in working on the material; it showcases to the community the talents of actors across different types of dramatic literature; and it helps our directors in their planning process.”

Those who audition will be considered for roles in BCT’s season of four plays. The plays are:

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  • “Wait Until Dark,” a thriller by Frederick Knott adapted by Jeffrey Hatcher. The play has roles for four men, an adult woman and a younger actress, aged 10-14. The story is about Susan, a blind woman, imperiled in her own apartment by a trio of dangerous criminals. As the tension builds, Susan discovers her blindness might be the key to her escape. The play was adapted into a 1967 film starring Audrey Hepburn and Alan Arkin. The production will begin rehearsals in mid-September with performances scheduled Oct. 21-23 and Oct. 28-30.

  • “Elf,” a musical by Thomas Meheen and Bob Martin with music by Matthew Sklar. The play has roles for up to 20 cast members, with principal roles for six men and four women and a younger male actor, age 12-16. The story is about a young orphan Buddy, who mistakenly crawled into Santa’s sack of gifts and was transported to the North Pole, where he was raised as an elf. However, his enormous size and lack of toy making ability causes him to face the truth. He returns to New York to find his birth father and begin life as a human. Adapted into a classic 2003 holiday film starring Will Farrell. The production will begin rehearsals in early October with performances scheduled Dec. 9-11 and Dec. 14-16.

  • “Amadeus,” a history-inspired drama written by Peter Shaffer. The play has roles for six men and two women (principals) with additional non-speaking roles for several men and women. The play is the fictional account of the intersecting lives of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Antonio Salieri, court composer to the Emperor of Austria. The play won the Tony Award for Best Play when it premiered in the U.S. in 1981. The film adaptation won the Oscar for Best Picture. The production will begin rehearsals in late November with performances scheduled Feb. 10-12 and Feb. 15-17, 2022.

  • “The Diary of Anne Frank” by Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett, newly adapted by Wendy Kesselman. The play has roles for five men and five women, including the title role to be played by a young woman aged 12-18, a young man of the same age range, and up to three non-speaking extra roles. The story is based on the writings of a young girl whose family was in hiding from the Nazis during the occupation of Amsterdam, it is a tale of fear and hope, laughter and tears, all told from the perspective of a young woman determined to survive. There have been several film adaptations of the play. The production will begin rehearsals in mid-February with performances scheduled April 21-23 and April 28-30, 2022.

BCT Director Patrick Spradlin will direct “Wait Until Dark” and “Amadeus.” Local community theater directors Travis Chaput and Beth Selinger will direct “Elf” and “Anne Frank,” respectively.

Those who audition are not committed to performing in all four shows, noted Spradlin.

“If a person’s schedule allows them time for only one production, that is perfectly fine,” Spradlin said. “However, if actors want to be considered for roles in multiple productions we will most certainly do that. In fact, we’re hoping there will be actors willing to commit to more than one production, since that would achieve the goals we set for company auditions.”

Auditions will consist of readings from the four scripts, with “Elf” auditioners asked to prepare a musical theater song of up to 12 bars. Actors auditioning for the main role of Buddy are further asked to have “World’s Greatest Dad” prepared to sing.

The directors ask that auditioners come with known schedule conflicts in hand for the time periods outlined previously.

The company auditions will take place at 6:30 p.m. Aug. 2 and 6 and 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Aug. 7 in the Chalberg Theatre on the Brainerd campus of Central Lakes College. Auditioners are encouraged but not required to sign up in advance for an audition time. A sign-up form and additional information about the auditions is available on the company’s website at clcperformingarts.com. Further information may be obtained by emailing the directors at patrick.spradlin@clcmn.edu, Chaput.travis@gmail.com and bethselinger@gmail.com.