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Upcoming Auditions

All auditions are held at the Corn Stock Theatre Center (unless otherwise indicated)

1700 N Park Road, Peoria IL in upper Bradley Park 

Friday, January, 19 at 6:00 p.m. and Sunday, January 21 at 1:00 p.m.
St Vincent De Paul, 6001 North University Street

Director Bryan Blanks and his production Team are thrilled to present this musical in the 3rd slot at the Tent next summer.   For auditions at St. Vincent’s, please enter by the playground the glass doors entering the new gym. (South Entrance of the Building.)

*Auditions are early so that we can get this challenging score in the hands of the cast as soon as possible. Andrea Molina and I want to allow ample time for our leads to get in the best vocal shape as possible. Periodic vocal sessions will start for the leads in March and April that work around their schedules, but the schedule won’t kick in until mid May, starting with full music rehearsals.*

If you are auditioning for a particular role, listed below is the style of music we would like you to prepare. 32 bars not from the show.

Those interested in specialty dance roles: lyrical and or ballet. Please dress comfortably for a dance role. Only these auditioners will have to dance.

Director/co-choreographer: Bryan Blanks

Music Director: Andrea Molina
Choreographer: Randee Blickenstaff
Costume Team: Annette Hoerdeman and Anne Kennedy
Stage Manager: Erin Pantages

Cast Descriptions:

A beautiful Italian woman, generous, luminous, and funny, now married to a farmer and living in Iowa.
Gender: Female (mature woman, has a teenage son)

Audition Piece
*Classical and Musical Theatre (Soprano)
*one piece designated to showcase high Soprano and the other to showcase mix and or chest voice. Think lyrical with an “edge”

A ruggedly handsome, worldly, visionary photographer.
Gender: Male (mature)
*Audition Piece- *Musical Theatre or standard to showcase richness and range of Robert

Richard “Bud” Johnson
Francesca’s husband. An Iowa farmer, a good guy, diligent and dependable, but always exhausted and irritated that things haven’t gotten easier.
Gender: Male (mature)
Audition Piece-Bluegrass or Country Western (pre 1980’s)

Francesca and Bud’s son
Gender: Male
Age: 16 to 20
*Audition Piece-Bluegrass Or Country Western (pre 1980’s)

Francesca and Bud’s daughter
Gender: Female
Age: 13-18
*Audition Piece- Bluegrass or Country Western (pre 1980’s)

Robert’s former wife, a musician.
Gender: Female
*Audition Piece- Jazz or Standard

Francesca’s neighbor, sassy and nosy
Gender: Female (mature)
*Audition Piece- Jazz or Standard

Marge’s husband.
Gender: Male (mature)
*Audition Piece- Bluegrass Or Standard/Country Western (pre 1980’s)

Chiara and Pablo-Strong Dancers (Lyrical and Ballet)
Francesca’s Sister and First Love.

Ensemble- (Strong Vocalists)

Saturday, February 10, 2018 at 10:00 a.m. and
Sunday, February 11, 2018 at 1:00 PM.
Callbacks, if necessary, will be held on
Monday, February 12, 2018 at 6:00 p.m.

Director Amy Williams is excited to present another non-musical opportunity for Peoria youth.  A short cast, crew, parent meeting on Wednesday, February 14th at 6:00 p.m. All will take place at the Corn Stock Theatre Center, located at 1606 N Park Road, Peoria.   Performance dates are April 11 – 15, 2018.

Please bring your schedule with you to auditions so that can mark all conflicts. If a conflict is not marked we will assume the actor will be at any scheduled rehearsals on those days.

‘And A Child Shall Lead’ is the heroic and true story of the children coming of age in Terezin, the “Jewish city” established by the Nazis near Prague. In the face of unspeakable horror, these children use their determination and creativity to build lives filled with hope and beauty – playing, studying, making art, and writing an underground newspaper – all at the peril of being executed.

This drama contains poems and stories written by some of the young prisoners. It is the result of interviews with survivors and from research and archives and museum collections in the Czech Republic, and evoke the universality of children caught in the insanity of war.

I strongly encourage cast members and parents to read the script prior to auditions. A portion of it can be found on the Playscripts, Inc. website at This is a strong drama based on historical events.

As for casting, the script calls for and I am looking for a multi-racial, multi-ethnic cast, as a reminder of the political atrocities children have fallen victim to throughout the world.

The original script calls for 8 characters but I have increased it to 14. All are speaking parts. Please note that the age after each name is the suggested age the actors will be portraying. However, auditions are only open to ages 8 – 18 and I may cast an older or younger person for any of the listed parts.


Eva Hellerova – 14 years old, Jana’s sister. She’s been forced to become mother to Jana. She often wishes she could stop being an “adult” and resume her own childhood.

Naomi Barta – 15 years old. She’s also been forced to be more adult than child and watches over Izabela

Darja Doubek – 13 years old.

Gabriela Winterova – 12 years old, plays the violin. Please bring your violin to auditions with a short, prepared piece to play.

Alena Lederova – 11 years old. She has a very dark side.

Izabela Tesarik – 7-8 years old.

Jana Hellerova – 6 years old. She doesn’t know this is not a normal childhood.


Miroslav Weiss – 15 years old. Charismatic, a natural leader.

Pavel Hoffman – 14 years old. Plays the recorder. Please bring your recorder to audition with a short, prepared piece to play.

Jakub Marek – 11 years old

Martin Lowy – 10 years old, the “new kid”. He comes from a wealthy Prague family. He doesn’t fit in on many levels.

Kaleb Vasik – 10 years old.

Erik Kosek – 8 years old.

Ludvik Novosad – age to be determined. Quiet.

Other than the violin and recorder, nothing else needs to be prepared for the audition.

Thursday, May 24th from 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Friday, May 25th from 5:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Saturday, May 26th from 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Callbacks will be held on Sunday, May 27th from 1:00 – 5:00 PM.

NEWSIES will be performed August 3 – 11 as part of the Corn Stock Theatre Summer Tent Season.

This production will have a large cast with adult and youth roles open to all ages, genders, and ethnicities including female Newsies. Please prepare 16 – 24 bars of a song to sing (30 seconds to 1 minute). An accompanist will be provided. Depending on the part auditioning for, come prepared to complete a movement or dance audition. Wear comfortable clothing and bring sneakers and tap shoes if auditioning for a dancing role. Acrobatics and tumbling a plus.

Director: Pam Orear
Choreographer: Tamra Challacombe
Music Director: Holly Haines

Must be able to play close to the listed age – however you can be older or younger than age listed.

Katherine Plumber – A feisty young reporter. Age: 17 to 20
Medda Larkin – A vaudeville star, Age: 25 to 50
Hannah – Pulitzer’s secretary. Age: 30 to 45
Newsies – Ages up to 20
Bowery Beauties, Nuns, Showgirls – Age: 20 and up
Limited Chorus – All Ages

Jack Kelly – Leader of the Newsies. Age: 17 to 20
Crutchie – A Newsie with a bum leg. Age: 16 to 20
Joseph Pulitzer – Publisher, businessman. Age: 40 to 55
Davey – A new Newsie, bookish. Age: 16 to 20
Les – Davey’s fearless younger brother. Age: up to 12
Wiesel – runs the distribution window of The World.
Age: 35 to 55
Jacobi – Owner of the deli. Age: 35 to 55
Mayor – The Mayor of New York City. Age: 45 to 60
Seitz – Pulitzer’s editor. Age 40 – 60
Snyder – Warden; a frightening, spidery & sinister. Age: 45 to 65
Bunsen – Pulitzer’s bookkeeper. Age: 35 to 55
Stage Manager – A stage manager. Age: 30 to 55
Nunzio – A barber. Age: 30 to 50
Governor Teddy Roosevelt Age: 50 to 65
Newsies-Up to Age 20
Limited Chorus – All Ages

MALE / FEMALE NEWSIE ROLES (role names might be changed according to gender cast)
Spot Conlon – Leader of the Brooklyn Newsies. Age: 17 to 20
Race – A Newsie with a penchant for betting. Age: 13 to 20
Albert – A Newsie. Age: 10 to 20
Specs – A Newsie. Gender: Male. Age: 10 to 20
Bill – Son of William Randolph Hearst. Gender: Male.
Age: 17 to 25
Henry & Finch – Newsies. Age: up to 20
Elmer & Mush – Newsies. Age: up to 20
Romeo – A Newsie. Age up to 20
Darcy – Upper-class son of a publisher. Gender: Male.
Age: 20 to 25
Morris Delancey – Tough. Gender: Male. Age: 15 to 20
Oscar Delancey – Morris’s brother. Gender: Male. Age: 15 to 21

Disney’s NEWSIES, based on the 1992 motion picture, features a score by eight-time Academy Award® winner Alan Menken (Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, Sister Act) and Jack Feldman and a book by four-time Tony Award winner Harvey Fierstein (La Cage aux Folles, Torch Song Trilogy). While on Broadway, Newsies received 23 major theatrical nominations – including eight Tony Award nods – and won Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards for Score and Choreography.

Set in New York City at the turn of the century, Newsies is the rousing tale of Jack Kelly, a charismatic newsboy and leader of a ragged band of teenaged boy and girl “newsies,” who dreams only of a better life far from the hardship of the streets. But when publishing titans Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst raise distribution prices at the newsboys’ expense, Jack finds a cause to fight for and rallies newsies from across the city to strike for what’s right.

Newsies is inspired by the real-life “Newsies Strike of 1899,” when newsboy Kid Blink led a band of orphan and runaway newsies on a two-week-long action against Pulitzer, Hearst and other powerful newspaper publishers. Timely and fresh, the fictionalized adaptation of Newsies addresses age-old themes of social injustice, exploitative labor practices and David-versus-Goliath struggles as the young learn to harness their power against a corrupt establishment. High-energy with non-stop thrills, the stage version introduces eight brand-new songs by the original team of Menken and Feldman while keeping many of the beloved songs from the film, including “Carrying the Banner,” “Seize the Day,” “King of New York” and “Santa Fe.”


Act One
New York City – Summer – 1899. Dawn breaks over the tenement rooftop where Jack Kelly, a brash and charismatic boy of 17, tells his younger pal, Crutchie, of his desire to journey west to find a better life (“Santa Fe – Prologue”). The church bells signal the beginning of the work day for the newsies of New York. Jack and Crutchie climb down to join the proud and enthusiastic band of newsies who are always looking for a prime spot and a way to make an old story sound new (“Carrying the Banner”). Wiesel and the tough Delancey brothers open the window of The World to distribute papers to the newsies for fifty cents per hundred. Two new boys appear in line: Davey, 16, and his adorable ten-year-old brother, Les. Sensing an opportunity, Jack suggests a partnership. High above, in his imposing office, publisher Joseph Pulitzer complains that circulation and profits are down, meaning that fewer people are being influenced by his agenda. He decides to raise the newsies’ price, forcing them to sell more papers to earn a living (“The Bottom Line”).
Later that day, Jack takes Davey and Les to a burlesque theater to evade Snyder, a crooked man who runs The Refuge, a juvenile jail from which Jack once escaped on the back of Governor Teddy Roosevelt’s carriage. Jack introduces his partners to the theatre’s owner and star, Medda Larkin, who shows off Jack’s impressive scenery painting. The boys then settle in to watch her perform (“That’s Rich”). Up in a box during the next number (“Don’t Come a-Knocking”), Jack discovers a pretty girl who brushed him off that morning, a reporter who’s reviewing the show for The Sun and has no time for his advances. Taken by her beauty and pluck, he sketches her face on a piece of newsprint (“I Never Planned on You”) and then disappears, leaving the drawing behind.
The next morning, the newsies are shocked by the price hike, which William Randolph Hearst has also adopted at The Journal. Barely able to feed themselves and with nowhere to turn, they start to panic. Jack instinctively rebels, refusing to work until the price comes back down. Taking Jack’s lead, the newsies get swept up in the moment, declare themselves a union and decide to strike (“The World Will Know”). Convening in nearby Jacobi’s Deli, the newsies plan to spread the word to the other boroughs, especially Brooklyn, home of Spot Conlon, whose tough reputation is legendary. The girl reporter – byline Katherine Plumber – appears and promises to get their story in The Sun if they give her the scoop. Jack is skeptical, but he doesn’t want to let the girl get away again, so he agrees to help. Alone and nervous in front of her typewriter, Katherine begins to write her story (“Watch What Happens”).
Only a few newsies have assembled to strike the next day, and none from the other boroughs. Jack urges Davey to convince the frightened kids not to back down. When scabs arrive to take the newsies’ place, Jack asks them to stand in solidarity with all of the city’s working children who are being exploited. The scabs throw down their papes, just in time for Katherine and her photographer to snap a photo (“Seize the Day”). But the newsies are soon surrounded by goons and engage in a fierce fight. When the cops arrive and start beating on the kids, they run. Snyder’s appearance scares Jack away, but not before he sees Snyder take down Crutchie and carry him off to The Refuge. Reaching the temporary safety of his rooftop, Jack paces, feeling guilty about his role in the tragedy and longing for escape (“Santa Fe – Reprise”).

Act Two
The next morning, the beaten and discouraged newsies are sitting in Jacobi’s deli when Katherine arrives and shows them their photo on the front page of The Sun. Their sudden fame cheers them up and ignites their dreams (“King of New York”). At The Refuge, Crutchie pens a letter to Jack encouraging him and the newsies to stay strong and to protect one another like a family (“Letter from the Refuge”). Backstage at Medda’s theater, Davey, Katherine and Les find Jack alone and ashamed, painting a backdrop. Despite the newsies’ story “above the fold” and plans for a rally, Jack doubts their prospects until his partners convince him to double-down and see this strike through (“Watch What Happens – Reprise”).
Discovering the headline, “Newsies Stop The World,” a furious Pulitzer seeks to obliterate the root of the defiance. Snyder describes Jack’s criminal past and escape from The Refuge. Just then, a cocky Jack arrives to announce the newsies’ rally. Pulitzer scoffs and assures Jack that no paper will cover it; therefore, it won’t exist. He then reveals his daughter, Katherine, who left a life of luxury to write for a rival paper, and Snyder, who emerges from the shadows. Amid Jack’s shock and panic, Pulitzer offers a choice: go to prison or renounce the strike and leave New York with pockets full of cash. The Delanceys escort Jack to the cellar to ponder his decision on an old printing press (“The Bottom Line – Reprise”).
That evening, Spot Conlon crosses the bridge with his gang to join newsies from every borough at Medda’s theater for the rally (“Brooklyn’s Here”). When Jack appears, they leap to their feet, but their cheers turn to boos as he warns them that they are no match for Pulitzer, advising them to go back to work. Jack takes his payoff money at the door and exits quickly. On his rooftop, Jack finds Katherine going through his drawings of The Refuge’s bleak conditions. He snatches them from her, and they argue fiercely until she kisses him. Katherine then shares her plan to have the newsies distribute her article, “The Children’s Crusade,” which denounces the exploitation of working kids of The City and calls for a citywide strike. Before heading to an unused press that Jack has recently discovered, they share their hope in one another (“Something to Believe In”). Katherine and Jack join the newsies in the cellar of The World and work through the night to print and distribute The Newsies Banner (“Once and for All”).
The next morning, Pulitzer’s office is flooded with angry calls from every corner of the city, which has been effectively shut down by its children. Jack, Davey and Spot barge in and return Pulitzer’s blackmail money (“Seize the Day – Reprise”). Pulitzer refuses to back down until Governor Roosevelt appears with Katherine and Jack’s drawings of The Refuge. His leverage quickly eroding, Pulitzer compromises by agreeing to buy back unsold papers. Outside, Jack announces the end of the strike. Crutchie appears amid the jubilation, followed by a handcuffed Snyder, who is led off to jail. Despite his dreams for Santa Fe, Jack realizes that the newsies are his family and Katherine gives him something to believe in – so he’s staying put for now (“Finale”).

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