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Gotta Sing! Gotta Dance!

February 11, 2008

New Wave staff

Looking ahead to its 41st season, Summer Lyric Theatre at Tulane University announces auditions for three shows this summer. The auditions on Saturday (Feb. 16) are for two premieres and a re-envisioning of a classic — Pal Joey, Li'l Abner, and OKLAHOMA!

High Society

Katie Howe, center, wows the audience as Tracy Lord in High Society — a role made famous by Grace Kelly in the 1956 film — during the 2007 Summer Lyric Theatre season. (Photo by Michael Palumbo)

Performing with Summer Lyric Theatre can be a life-changing experience. Just ask Katie Howe, a junior musical theater major at Tulane. Last summer, Howe stepped into the leading role of Tracy Lord in High Society when the initial lead actress was hired for another show in New York.

"Usually we don't cast students in the lead roles, but Katie is exceptional," says B. Michael Howard, Summer Lyric's artistic director. "It's how Shirley MacLaine got her start!"

Summer Lyric Theatre affords students an opportunity to work with a professional company in the summer stock tradition, producing a high-quality show every two weeks, Howard says. Summer Lyric Theatre is encouraging more students to become involved.

This summer is a heavy dancing and singing summer, according to Howard.

"We need strong character actors and diversity is encouraged. Performers 17 years and older are needed and encouraged to audition."

Group dance auditions will begin at 9:30 a.m. in Dixon Hall. Dancers are encouraged to bring tap shoes. Vocal auditions will be held in five-minute blocks in the Dixon Annex Recital Hall beginning at 12:30 p.m. Dancers and singers should bring a current photograph and a resume. Singers also need to bring sheet music for a two- to three-minute song. An accompanist will be on hand for the vocal auditions. Singers should call 504-865-5271 to schedule an audition time.

Pal Joey, under the direction of Howard, begins rehearsals as early as May 31 and runs June 19–22. Rehearsals for Li'l Abner, directed by Diane Lala and choreographed by Edmond Kresley, begin June 23 and will run July 10–13. The season closes with OKLAHOMA!, directed by Kresley, with rehearsals beginning July 14, and the show will run July 31–Aug. 3.

Performances of each show take the stage at the Dixon Performing Arts Center on the uptown campus on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings at 8 p.m., with one matinee on Sunday at 2 p.m.

The Summer Lyric Theatre website provides information about the 2008 season performances, tickets and memberships. For additional information, call 504-865-5269.

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Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5000