July 24, 25, 26, 30, 31, August 1, 2020

 

Babes in Arms

Music by Richard Rodgers

Lyrics by Lorenz Hart

Book by George Oppenheimer

Based on the original by Rodgers & Hart

Directed by Judy Smith with co-director Ed Smith

 

MEET THE DIRECTOR

Judith A. Smith was born and raised in Batavia, IL., now considered a suburb of Chicago.  Her mother claimed that she was comfortable on stage from the time Judy was two and enrolled her in dance class.  By first grade, she was an assigned speaking parts for the parent evening at school. By the time she was a junior and senior in high school, she performed in the Pied Piper of Hamlin and in Dear Ruth. Judy attended North Central College in Naperville and studied theater.  She played in numerous productions, such as Oklahoma and Oedipus Rex.  She also participated in productions at the Pheasant Run Resort Theater in St. Charles, IL.  When Judy was a senior year in college, she began broadcasting on the student run station WONC-FM and went on to be a DJ at WKKD-AM/FM radio station in Aurora, IL.  At that time, she was one of the only two women on the air in that area.  She also wrote commercials and freelanced at other radio stations in Chicago – WGN being one of them.

 

Judy began participating with local community theater productions and did summer stock for four years.   She was in the ensemble and choreographed the productions of Pajama Game, Most Happy Fella, Oliver and Babes in Arms.  Judy moved to Springfield in 1970 and was introduced to the theater community in Cactus Flower at the Springfield Theater Guild.

Judy taught at Ursuline Academy then SHA/SHG for over 30 years teaching Speech/ Performing Arts, English, Math, Psychology and Child Psychology before retiring in 2013.

In 1985. she began studying karate and ultimately opened the Rochester Karate Club with her family.  They  were also instrumental in developing classes for special needs students and students who were being bullied.  Judy  was on staff with the Miss Land of Lincoln Pageant working with local contestants on speech/interview skills as well as choreographing the opening number.

Most recently, Judy was cast in two of the STC Murder Mystery productions.  The first production was directed by Edward Smith.  He then asked me to assistant direct the drama Doubt – a parable for STC. Our next collaboration was co-directing Brooklyn – the Musical for the Hoogland.

 

She has always hoped to revisit Babes in Arms and is looking forward to its premier at TIP.

 

SYNOPSIS

This is the proverbial “…hey, we have a barn, let’s put on a show…” experience.  We are backstage in a theater owned by Bunny Bryon and managed by Seymour Fleming.  The “apprentices” are there working as extras and helping build sets, paint sets, find props and the like just to be part of the local theater scene.  They are given room & board for their efforts and occasionally get to be on stage in a small part.  Bunny has fallen on hard times due to low attendances and box office receipts so she can’t meet her financial obligations and could lose it to Mr. Fleming who has brought in an author/director/actor (Lee Calhoun)  to preview a new original show titled “The Deep North”.  They have hired a former child screen star (Jennifer Owen) who arrives with her stage mother (Phyllis Owen.  Jennifer quickly becomes infatuated with the “kids” and one boy in particular.  A successful, young producer (Steve Edwards) arrives to save the day with some interesting twists.  This show was originally produced on Broadway in 1939. It was rewritten in 1950 with some major revisions to the plot line.  We have been able to update it to current times so it will be more relevant.  Great classic songs will pluck the heartstrings of our more chronologically advanced audience members and we are sure the younger audience members (as well as the cast) will enjoy them as well.

 

PRODUCTION STAFF

Director:  Judy Smith (217-415-6430)

Co-Director:  Ed Smith (217-652-1136)

Vocal Director:  Emma Bachman

Choreographer:  Kelsi Lachwala

Production Coordinator: Cindy Hamblin

Accompanist:    Amanda Neubaur

Props:  Heather C. Southwell

 

 

For audition video tips and prerequisites, click here.

 

CHARACTER DESCRIPTIONS

PRESS AGENT – late twenties; narrator type

TERRY THOMAS (FEMALE) – Ado Annie type; beguiling; late teens

GUS FIELD (male) – Tall and thin; gangly; late teens

VALENTINE (VAL) WHITE (MALE) – late teens; needs to play piano

SUSIE WARD – late teen; enchanting; stage struck

BUNNY BYRON (FEMALE) – 40’s; take charge type; owner of the theater

MR. SEYMOUR FLEMING – 50’s +; corpulent; Simon Cowell type; man-in-charge

JENNIFER OWEN – late teens; slim and lovely; child film star

PHYLLIS OWEN – 40’S+; typical stage mother;

LEE CALHOUN – 20’s to 30’s; short; aggressive; very southern (heavy accent)- author, director, star

STEVE EDWARDS – Mid 20’s; successful producer; saves the day

APPRENTICES (will be in their mid to late teens)

              ANN – graceful ballerina type

              PETER – athletic

              BETTY – lean & lanky with braces and glasses

              BOB – “muscle man” type – shirtless often

              LIBBY – bay faced and growing up

              DON – Dapper collegiate type

              NANCY – carefree; fun loving

              (More can be added as are available)

 

Rehearsals for Babes in Arms will begin on 6/1/20 and will go for 8 weeks to get the show ready.

You should know that our production staff will be attentive to your efforts and supportive to assure you have the opportunity to do your very best in showing us why you should be part of these regional premier productions.  We remind you that as an actor your “job” is to be prepared and present your very best in your audition.  We expect you to do just that.  Choose a song that you are comfortable with and that will show us what you are capable of.  If that happens to be a song from the show, that is fine.

If callbacks are needed to finalize the casting process then specific songs from the show for that individual character will be used and sheet music will be provided. If you would like the music for a song from either show in advance all you need do is reach out and ask. Likewise, if you have questions about the various characters just get ahold of us.