Garfield Center Announces Open Auditions for Musical Sweeney Todd

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The Garfield Center for the Arts is holding open auditions for their spring musical, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street on February 6th& 8th at 6pm and February 10th at 11am. Seasoned director Shelagh Grasso will be casting her Garfield Center debut show, which is scheduled to open on April 27th and run for three weekends.

Sweeney Todd, one of the darkest musicals ever written, creates an environment of dirty, oppressed, class distinctive London in the Victorian era of the mid 19th century; an environment that allows the distinction between the wealthy and the lower classes to be quite evident. It presented opportunities for the rich to control the poor, to “squash them like cabbage leaves” to quote another famous musical. This is the premise of the story of Sweeney Todd; a barber who plots his revenge against Judge Turpin who sent him to prison on false charges. When revenge eludes him, Sweeney swears vengeance on the entire human race, murdering as many people as he can, while his business associate, Mrs. Lovett, finds interesting use for the bodies. Against this darkest of dark back-grounds it is also a love story and a reflection of the class system in England at that time.

Sweeney Todd is perhaps composer/lyricist Stephen Sondheim’s perfect score. It is lush, operatic and full of soaring beauty, pitch black comedy and stunning terror.  It won multiple awards and presents one of the most complex stories and music in the musical theatre tradition.  It is an amazing, artistic and complicated challenge for all who become involved in it, including the audience.

Anyone interested in auditioning needs to prepare 16 measures of Broadway music, (music should not be from Sweeney Todd. There will be an accompanist at auditions and they should bring 2 copies of the music), Prepare a short, preferably memorized monologue and be prepared for cold readings.

The director is looking for a cast of 20 to fill 6 male singing roles, 3 female singing roles, 1 male non-singing role and a chorus of about 10.

Sweeney Todd …age 40-55…Bass baritone
Mrs. Lovett…age 35-50….Mezzo-Soprano
Anthony Hope…age 20-30….Bari-tenor
Johanna…age 20ish…Soprano
Judge Turpin….age 50-60…Bass
Tobias…….age 15-25…Tenor or Boy Soprano
Beadle Bamford…Age 30-50
Beggar Women/Lucy… Age 40-55… Mezzo-Soprano
Pirelli…age 40ish…Operatic tenor

Any inquiries about Sweeney Todd auditions or any other event at the Garfield Center can be directed to Executive Director Tess Hogans at thogans@garfieldcenter.org, or by calling the box office at 410-810-2060. The Garfield Center for the Arts is located at 210 High Street in Chestertown.

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