ALL COMPANY HOLIDAY MUSICAL
Directed by Hallie Flower
Choreographed by Katherine Partington
Music Direction by Patty Meyer
Wednesday, May 30th 4-6pm FREE
Come learn more about the show and work on the audition material
AUDITIONS Sunday, June 3rd Open Call
Junior Company (ages 9-12) 11am-1pm
Senior Company (ages 13-19) 1:30-3:30pm
CALLBACKS: Wednesday, June 6th 4-6:30
ABOUT THE SHOW:
What happens after Fiddler on the Roof?
It is 1910, the height of the great wave of immigration flooding into America from Eastern Europe. RAGS tells the story of Jewish immigrants struggling to make a new life in Manhattan’s Lower East Side. The streets may not be paved with gold, but they echo with the music of opportunity, optimism and hope. Faced with inequality, intolerance and corruption – these people find their way to a new kind of strength and community - forever changed and changing the world they discover. This sweeping saga of awakenings and disappointments, of greed and power, of strength and love is deeply moving and inspirational.
A neglected masterpiece, RAGS features a beautiful score by the songwriters of Wicked (Stephen Schwartz) and Annie (Charles Strouse) and book by Joseph Stein (Fiddler on the Roof) It is epic in scale with many roles, strong choral work, large crowd and group scenes, and raucous dancing. The Lower East Side of New York City was a rich tapestry of characters from all over the world. There are numerous speaking roles, character moments, featured singing, and much dancing in the telling of this story.
REHEARSALS: Begin October 15th 3:45-6:45pm
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday with some Saturdays
Most actors will be called 3-4x a week
Extended hours during tech week
Thursday, December 6th 7pm
Friday, December 7th 7pm
Saturday, December 8th 2pm & 7pm
Sunday, December 9th 2pm
Thursday, December 13th 7pm
Friday, December 14th 7pm
Saturday, December 15th 2pm & 7pm
Sunday, December 16th 2pm
RAGS - AUDITION MATERIAL
CHOOSE ONE MONOLOGUE (from provided) AND ONE SONG TO PREPARE FULLY – with comprehension, memorization, and passionate commitment.
BRAND NEW WORLD
(“What’s that music…brand new world”)
(“This land of freedom… to become American Rags”)
CHILDREN OF THE WIND
(“There’s a morning… children of the wind [end])
(“How could this feeling… wanting him/her”)
SOUND OF LOVE
(“Come… to bring you the sound of love”)
IF WE NEVER MEET AGAIN
(“Soon we’ll be there… meet again.”)
See them? They’re all kind of sad because they miss the old country. Me, I don’t miss it at all. I can’t wait to get to America… Me and my mother are going to join my father there. I don’t remember him because he left when I was vey little. And we had to wait for him to send for us. And we waited and waited. And then something terrible happened in our village. Men came on horses, with swords and whips and began beating people and burning houses. I don’t want to talk about that. A horse kicked me and Mama screamed and grabbed me from under the horse. I don’t want to talk about that either. Anyway, after they finally left, Mama and me left our house in the middle of the night, with hardly anything at all.. and we started walking… slept in fields at night… hardly anything to eat… Anyway, we finally made it to this boat going to America. (DAVID)
Look at this picture in my American magazine… Look at these people. Look how they’re smiling. All the people in all the pictures are smiling. They’re happy. I think everybody’s happy in America. And look at these places… rivers and oceans… and here’s another one. They have lots of rivers and oceans in America, did you know that? And look at these tall buildings… People live in them… And here’s a picture of a classroom, with a teacher… Look, girls! Girls in the classroom.
Of course I came home. Where else could I go? What else could I do? Tell me, what else could I do? (beat.) I don’t know. I don’t know, Rebecca. I don’t know anything anymore… What will change? How? You saw what happened when Ben came. Now I can’t even see him. And now I suppose I won’t even see you. You’ll be moving away now that your husband’s back. (BELLA)
Bella, Bella…we’re going to land today. Soon! America! We’ll be in America! I promise you, Bella, I’m going to work hard and become rich and I’ll marry you and we’ll be just like the people in your magazine. (Takes coin from pocket) Bella, look at this. I saved it. A kopeck! My last kopeck! (He throws it into the water) What do I need it for? That’s from the old me! You wouldn’t want to marry the old me! You want to marry the new me. (BEN)
This is your tribute to Bella? Sitting and staring out the window? Going back to Russia? No I want him to hear this. Ever since we came here, he made me feel that I was bad for Bella – putting terrible ideas into her head. But I’ll tell you something, Avram. Bella wanted to live. That’s all! She wanted to live. She didn’t give up like you are – she was killed. She wanted to live and she was killed. But look at you – it’s like you don’t want to live, like you’re killing yourself. You’re still alive – you can do something. You can go to synagogue, have dinner with your wife – anything! Here they let you do anything. They don’t make it easy for you, but they let you do it! And what about your wife? Doesn’t she have the right to make a new life? Like I’m going to? Like Bella wanted? Yes, like Bella wanted!
I’m sorry – goodbye. I just wanted to say goodbye. (REBECCA)
I like that kid. Rebecca, there’s something I want to tell you. (Moves closer to her) You know, when I first started taking you and David to those lectures and all, I really just wanted one thing. I wanted to get you to join the union. But I got to tell you… (Moment)That’s a good kid. I know sometimes I say things the wrong way. So for that, I’m sorry. I’m usually not good with people. Ideas yes, I’m very good. But people – I haven’t had much practice. I’ve been on my own so long. I mean, I have the union. I have friends there. You know - nice people. We go to meetings, talk politics, sometimes play a game of chess…nothing very… You know – you must know what its like to be alone. (SAUL)
Sure he likes me – why shouldn’t he like me? I run errands, do little favors for him – of course he likes me. You know, Rebecca, at home I never had a real trade. I was what? A handyman. But here I have a kind of trade. People like me, I can make people like me. In America, that’s a trade. It’s called politics. Why do you think I couldn’t send for you all these years? Because I had nothing. But now, I have this real chance – Ward Leader. And then, who knows? Maybe Assemblyman. This means safety. For you and me, and David. It means a nice home, food every day, clothes… safety for us. That’s why it’s so important. I’ve got to get it – got to! (NATHAN)
So you’re still living with your brother’s family? (He shrugs.) Very crowded, no? (He shrugs.) Not a minute to yourself? (He shrugs.) No space to even think… (He shrugs.) I know what you mean. I have my own place. Three big, sunny rooms.. very nice… But alone, it’s no life. (She sighs.) That’s why I’m getting too heavy. I eat nothing, like a bird. But it’s funny, when there’s no one to love you, everything turns to fat. But thank God, I’m still in good working order. (RACHEL)
Some students will be asked to return with additional material. The callback gives the director a chance to focus on specific vocal and acting needs. We will provide extended cuts of songs and scenes at that time.
Just because someone is not called back does NOT mean they will not be cast. We do not call back for all roles.
CHARACTER BREAKDOWN - RAGS
AVAILABLE ROLES: Approximately 35 actors
7-14 “young adults”
4-6 “youngest “children”
DAVID HERSHKOWITZ: (appears)10, enthusiastic, a survivor, has a knack for sales, Narrator of our story, young boy played by either boy or girl, should handle scene work well, strong voice, some dance, Bright boyish soprano B4-E5
REBECCA HERSHKOWITZ: 20s, has fled Russia with her son David in search of her husband, naïve, discovers her strength thru story, strong actor with wide vocal range, sings variety of musical styles. Soprano A3-G5
NATHAN HERSHKOWITZ: Early 30s, Rebecca’s Husband, a man of aspiration and hubris, has been in America for 6 years, now wants to go by “Nat Harris”, trying to make his way in Tammany Hall, willing to do dirty work, will double as other male characters in Act One. Tenor
SAUL: Early 30s, Passionate Union Organizer, takes Rebecca and David under his wing, strong actor/singer
High Baritone A2 – F4
BELLA COHEN: Late Teens- early 20s, strong willed, hungry for a new life, falls in love with Ben, befriends Rebecca, mezzo soprano with a very strong belt, strong actor, some dance A3-F5
AVRAM COHEN: 40s-50s, Devoted Father of Bella, traditional Jewish man – Tevye-esque, does not approve of Ben, strong actor with comedic timing, Baritone B2-D4
BEN: Late Teens, Youthful and Optimistic, in love with Bella, some dance, wide vocal range Tenor C3 – A4
RACHEL HALPERN: 30s-50s, widowed fruit peddler, Saucy, seeking companionship, good comedic timing, Comedic Alto with a belt A3-D5
ROSA: 20s, seamstress, works with Rebecca, ready to unionize
Mezzo Soprano A3 – E5
BRONSTEIN: abrasive & loud owner of the sweatshop where Rebecca & Rosa work.
‘BIG TIM’ SULLIVAN: 30s-40s, Corrupt politician, Real Estate and Vaudeville Mogul – based on historical figure, Baritone A3 – G4
MRS. SULLIVAN his social climbing wife
FEATURED ENSEMBLE GROUPS & CHARACTERS
DANCE CORPS 6-8 strongly featured dancers
FEMALE QUARTET strong harmony singing, immigrants on boat then become seamstresses at Bronstein’s shop, includes ROSA & ESTHER
SINGING IMMIGRANT on the boat to America
ELLIS ISLAND GUARDS featured singing and dancing
IMMIGRANTS families and solitary travelers
ELLIS ISLAND RECRUITERS hucksters and business folk
LANDLADY Nat’s old Landlady, not very friendly
NEWSPAPER EDITOR cynical New Yorker
ITALIAN TENOR as heard on the gramophone
KLEZMER MUSICIANS harmony singing, strong dancing
THE NEIGHBORS ON SUFFOLK STREET: Peddlers, customers, families, vendors
MORRIS child soprano, can be boy or girl
MORRIS’ MOTHER soprano A3 – A4
HAMLET & OPHELIA members of the Yiddish Theatre Troupe in their production of Hamlet, solo singing
ACTORS IN HAMLET featured singing and dancing
AFFLUENT AMERICANS dancers on 14th Street
MEMBERS OF THE DEMOCRATIC CLUB
FEATURED SHIVA singers
THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND:
If you use the Original Broadway Cast recording to learn music, the key signature for Children of the Wind is G major. We will not modulate up at the end but stay in this key. We are not seeking the operatic sound for the female characters heard on this recording. We are, however, looking for that big choral sound in the ensemble. There are some musical numbers that are not in our production (Cherry Street, Yankee Boy) and additional songs not on the recording (If We Never Meet Again) that we will be using.
You are encouraged to contact us with any questions you have about vocal style, character, etc.