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Bergen County Players to Hold Auditions for "Rent" in June

originally published: 06/03/2023

Bergen County Players to Hold Auditions for "Rent" in June

(ORADELL, NJ) -- Bergen County Players will open its 91st season this September with Rent, the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning rock musical that shaped a generation of audiences. Open auditions will take place at the Little Firehouse Theatre, 298 Kinderkamack Rd. in Oradell, NJ on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, June 19th, 20th and 22nd at 7:30pm.  BCP is seeking an ethnically diverse cast of men and women ages 18 - 40.  With Music, book and lyrics by Jonathan Larson, Rent brings together a multi-ethnic cast of characters, portrayed by both BCP veterans and newcomers alike.

With direction by Steve Bell, musical direction by Will Rich, and choreography by Diana Baer, this timeless musical reminds us to measure our lives with the only thing that truly matters — love. Based loosely on Puccini's La Bohème, Rent follows a year in the life of a group of impoverished young artists and musicians struggling to survive and create in New York's Lower East Side, under the shadow of HIV/AIDS. How these young bohemians negotiate their dreams, loves, and conflicts provides the narrative thread to this groundbreaking musical. This is theatre at its best – exuberant, passionate, and joyous.

Rent had its world premiere Off-Broadway on February 13, 1996, at New York Theatre Workshop and forever changed the landscape of American theater. It moved to Broadway the same year, won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, and was nominated for 10 Tony Awards®, winning for Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical, and Best Original Score; the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Book of a Musical, Outstanding Music, and Outstanding

Lyrics; and many others. The production ran for 12 consecutive years, becoming one of the longest-running shows on Broadway.

Rehearsals are scheduled to begin immediately following the audition process. All rehearsals will take place at the Little Firehouse Theatre in Oradell, New Jersey.

Performance dates are September 9 through October 14, 2023 with shows Friday and Saturday evenings and Sunday afternoons.



 
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General Requirements: A headshot/picture is appreciated but not required. Please prepare an excerpt of a song (16-32 bars) not from Rent that best represents your voice. Bring sheet music for the accompanist in the proper key. A contemporary Broadway or rock genre song is preferred. No a cappella or recorded music auditions, please. Those auditioning should also dress comfortably and be prepared to learn a brief dance routine.

Open Auditions (in order of arrival):

Monday, June 19, 7:30pm – General Auditions (vocal and dance)

Tuesday, June 20, 7:30pm – General Auditions (vocal and dance)

Thursday, June 22, 7:30pm – General Auditions (vocal and dance)

Callbacks will include readings from the script and singing a song from the show.

Based on BCP's desire to keep its members and patrons safe, anyone involved with a live BCP production must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and be willing to provide proof of vaccination. This policy covers all members of a production including performers, musicians, crew, artistic staff, and anyone whose job is dependent upon in-person interaction.



CHARACTER BREAKDOWN

ROGER DAVIS Male, 20-25 A struggling musician and former drug addict, who hopes to write one last meaningful song before he dies. He is roommates in the loft with Mark, and battles with being HIV-positive. Guitar playing a plus but not required. Vocal range: Rock Tenor, F2-A4



 
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MARK COHEN Male, 20-25 Filmmaker and video artist who narrates the show. Knee-deep in soul-searching, he is determined to capture “real” life on film. Mark is the typical young artist. He and Roger are roommates in the loft. A bit of a nerd. He dances a tango with Joanne. Vocal range: Tenor, A2-G4

TOM COLLINS Male, 25-35 A computer genius and liberal professor. A nurturer with a smooth and relaxed disposition. He is HIV-positive, and deeply in love with Angel. The actor must be comfortable with same sex-physical intimacy. Vocal range: Baritone, F#2-A4

BENJAMIN COFFIN III Male, 25-35 The wealthy landlord of Mark and Roger's apartment building. A former roommate in the loft, Benny traded in his personal morals for power and wealth. Vocal range: Bari-Tenor, Bb2-F4

JOANNE JEFFERSON Female, 25-35 A public interest lawyer and headstrong lesbian. She is smart and purposeful in all her decisions. Carries on a tumultuous relationship with Maureen. The actor must be comfortable with same sex-physical intimacy. She dances a tango with Mark. Vocal range: Alto Belt, G3-E5

ANGEL DUMOTT SCHUNARD Male, 18-25 The eccentric HIV-positive street drummer. A drag queen with an incredible gift of dance and a magnetic personality. Deeply in love with Collins. The actor must be comfortable with same-sex physical intimacy, and possess a drag queen persona, including dancing in heels. Percussion skills desired but not required. Vocal range: Tenor with falsetto, C3-A4

MIMI MARQUEZ Female, 18-25 An HIV-positive stripper with drug addictions. Slender and sickly, she conceals it all at her job in the local strip club. She lives in the same building as the loft. Strong dance skills required. Vocal range: Alto Belt, Eb3-E5

MAUREEN JOHNSON Female, 20-30 An unpredictably zany performance artist. Maureen oozes sexuality and used to live in the loft. She has recently dumped Mark for Joanne. The actor must be comfortable with same sex-physical intimacy. Vocal range: Soprano Belt, C4-F5

ENSEMBLE - All ethnicities and all genders, 18-40. Must be great pop/rock singers and actors to play various characters throughout the show, including homeless people, parents, support group, drug addicts, vendors, etc. The ensemble is hugely featured and rarely off stage. Must move well.

Bergen County Players encourages and is committed to a diverse and inclusive theater experience.  Unless otherwise specified, BCP will cast any actor in any role if appropriate, without regard to race, ethnicity, gender identity, age, physicality, or disability. Casting will be character-driven; therefore, actors are encouraged to audition for any roles in which they are interested.

Those interested in more information may contact Steve Bell at BCPSteve@aol.com or go to www.bcplayers.org.



 
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The Bergen County Players, Inc. is a non-Equity, non-profit community theater company dedicated to presenting quality productions for the enrichment of the community and is a member of the New Jersey Association of Community Theaters.


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