Arts and Entertainment

Auditions set for new teen troupe production of ‘Little Women’

A fresh opportunity for Island teenagers to raise their voices is coming to Vashon.

The new Teen Musical Theater Project (TMTP) will kick off with auditions for the musical “Little Women,” slated for 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 6 and 7, at Bethel Church, at S.W. 148th Street and 119th Avenue S.W. The musical will be performed in January or February.

TMTP is the brainchild of Marita Ericksen, the longtime director of Vashon Island Youth Chorus. In the past nine years, the youth chorus has presented as part of its repetoire short musicals and musical revues, such as “A Charlie Brown Christmas” and “Seussical, Jr.”

Ericksen independently created TMTP to meet the needs of young singers who have graduated from the youth chorus.

“It’s a natural next step, as the older students are maturing in their performance abilities, to put together a longer musical for teens, and ‘Little Women’ is a favorite,” said Ericksen.

Veteran local performer Rich Wiley will co-direct the show with Ericksen.

The musical follows Louisa May Alcott’s classic story of four sisters and their friends growing up during the Civil War era. There are feature roles for at least six women and four men, and the cast can be expanded to include chorus and dance parts for many others, Ericksen said.

Ericksen said that the minimum age for auditioning for the main characters in the show will be 13, with exceptions made based on an individual’s acting and singing experience. However, she said, kids between the ages of 10 and 13 are encouraged to try out for chorus parts.

A pianist will be available to accompany actors who bring their own sheet music, and sheet music will be provided for those who don’t. Auditions will also include readings from scenes in the script.

“Little Women” rehearsals and performances will take place at Bethel Church. There will be a production tuition to participate in the play.

Questions about the project should be directed to Ericksen at 715-7126.

In addition to TMTP, Ericksen will also continue to direct the Vashon Island Youth Chorus, now in its 10th year, at the Blue Heron Art Center. The chorus is open to students in kindergarten through sixth grade and is a program of Vashon Allied Arts. To register, call the Blue Heron Art Center at 463-5131.

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