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Young actors seek chance to shine

By Natassia Bonyanpour
Aug. 23, 2014 at 5:51 p.m.

Loading: Auditions

2014-15 schedule

The Junior Theatre Company plans to perform "Winter Wonderland Express," a small Christmas mobile show, in late November and a spring production with performances starting in May 2015.

"Five-six-seven-eight" can faintly be heard outside the audition room at the Leo J. Welder Center for the Performing Arts.

Shortly after, the sound of a familiar Broadway tune escapes from just behind the room's solid oak doors. Parents pace back and forth in the lobby, anticipating the moment their child steps out.

This was the scene Saturday morning at auditions for the newly formed Junior Theatre Company. The group, which will be composed of middle and high school students, will be limited to 20 members. Nevertheless, many hopefuls showed up to perform for Theatre Victoria's director's table.

"I think kids at this age know who they are," technical director Michael Teer said. "They have a lot to bring. Even though they're kids, they sometimes don't know how far they can go, but they are willing to accept the challenge."

One of those wanting to snag a spot in the company was 13-year-old Morgann Fetters. She sat in the lobby practicing next to her mother just minutes before her audition, but she said she doesn't let nerves get in the way.

"I feel extremely nervous but happy to be here." she said. "I just take deep breaths and focus on what I'm supposed to do and how to get it done."

Many of the teens trying out said they practiced numerous hours a day to polish their audition, which required a musical piece and monologue.

Brian Orser, 15, who already has several years of experience under his belt, said he rehearsed more than five hours a day to prepare.

"I've been in about 16 musicals," he said. "But I still practice a lot. I really enjoy doing this."

His mother, Karen Orser, said she is grateful to Theatre Victoria for putting the Junior Theatre Company into motion. She feels like this will help her son grow even more.

"I am so thrilled when I watch him," she said. "His old director told me that she once watched me while he was on stage - and that I was smiling ear to ear. I am just so proud of him."

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