(RED BANK, NJ) -- Phoenix Productions, the community theatre company of the Count Basie Center for the Arts, has announced auditions for its autumn production of HAIR, being presented at the Basie Center’s Hackensack Meridian Health Theatre Friday, September 23 through Sunday, September 25. Auditions will be held on July 6 and 7 at Phoenix Productions headquarters, 659 Chestnut Street in Red Bank. An offsite audition will be held at Lakehouse Music Academy, 619 Lake Avenue in Asbury Park on July 11.
Full details on available roles, commitment and signups are located here.
The American tribal love rock musical HAIR celebrates the sixties counterculture in all its barefoot, long-haired, bell-bottomed, beaded and fringed glory. Directed by recording and performing artist Remember Jones, a onetime Phoenix Productions actor who has since built a career as a recording artist and performer, it’s an opportunity for Phoenix and the Basie Center to showcase its focus on diversity, equity and inclusion.
“As one of Broadway’s original and most diverse scripts. HAIR is an opportunity for Phoenix Productions and the Count Basie Center to go deep in showcasing and attracting a diversity of performers,” said Phoenix Artistic Managing Director James Grausam. “This is a production that was celebrated for its inclusivity and diversity, and in a new era of awareness and a mission to embrace these values, we’re celebrating not just equity, but one of the productions that worked hard to kick that door down in the first place.”
For his own part, Jones directed Phoenix’s 2006 production of HAIR and helped organize and curate the production’s 40th anniversary celebration at Manhattan’s Cathedral of St. John the Divine, which featured original lead Ben Vereen, choreographer Julie Arenal, and international HAIR alumni. A 50th anniversary staging of HAIR, directed, music directed and starring Jones as Claude, brought him center stage with Tony-nominated, American Idol rocker Constantine Maroulis and RuPaul’s Drag Race contestant Alexis Michelle. His work on the projects was lauded by the original HAIR director Tom O'Horgan, writer James Rado, and original Broadway cast and tour alumni. Original Broadway / film producer Michael Butler referred to Jones’ previous Phoenix production as “the best we've seen in a long time.”
“Phoenix has been a huge part of my growth, and so I’m excited to come back ‘home’ to direct HAIR,” said Jones, who first performed with Phoenix in Jesus Christ Superstar in 1998. “The community has helped me launch around the world professionally and personally, and the Basie Center has become one of my home bases. Under James Grausam’s artistic direction and the company’s trust, there’s no better time than now to change lives, make magic, and let the sun shine in.”
“At the heart of the Basie Center’s mission as a not for profit is to deepen our commitment to cultural competency, racial equity and social inclusion,” said Adam Philipson, CEO and President, Count Basie Center for the Arts.
“HAIR was one of Broadway’s first and best efforts to achieve representation for actors of all expression. Equity is one of our core values, and we are committed to advancing inclusion, diversity and accessibility for all as we place the community we serve at the forefront.”
Auditions will be held on July 5, 6, and 7 at Phoenix’s headquarters at 59 Chestnut Street in Red Bank. An additional audition will take place at Lakehouse Music Academy, 619 Lake Avenue in Asbury Park on July 11. Full details on all roles, commitments, callbacks, rehearsals and show dates as well as a prerequisite signup form are located at www.phoenixcredbank.com/auditions.
Weekly travel stipends may be available to those who qualify.
The Count Basie Center for the Arts is New Jersey’s premier center for the cultural arts, dedicated to fostering powerful, inclusive artistic experiences and creative exchange of ideas. The Basie mission is to inspire, educate and entertain through its distinct and engaging cultural and artistic offerings that embrace and amplify the diversity of the region. As a nonprofit organization, the Basie is committed to enriching the community’s quality of life by generating opportunities for participation in the arts, partnering with schools, collaborating with other mission-based organizations and driving regional economic prosperity