Calling all teen actors! Following last year’s successful production of “Beauty and the Beast,” Westfield Summer Stage 2006 will present a full production of the rocking
’50s musical comedy “Bye Bye Birdie,” directed by Lori Knickerbocker and Zoë Dillard, with choreography by Yvonne Henry. Rehearsals begin June 28, with performances at the end of July.
Westfield Summer Stage, sponsored by Westfield Theatre Boosters, offers a five-week summer acting and technical workshop to area middle and high school students. Area audiences have enjoyed several previous productions since 2001, including “Grease,” “Peter Pan,” “Snoopy” and “Annie.” Funds raised from Summer Stage are used to support the Westfield High School Theatre Department.
Originally inspired by Elvis Presley's induction into the army, “Bye Bye Birdie” is a songbook of ’50s-style rock and roll that tells the story of Conrad Birdie, a character loosely based on Elvis, who gets drafted just as his career starts to take off. Birdie’s agent, Albert Peterson, devises a stunt to promote Birdie’s latest hit, “One Last Kiss.” Albert arranges for a teenage girl to give Birdie one last kiss in Sweet Apple, Ohio, giving Birdie a chance to see the small-town life that he has missed. The results are not quite what the publicist had envisioned, resulting in laughter and mayhem. “Bye Bye Birdie’s” memorable tunes include “Put On a Happy Face,” “Spanish Rose” and “Kids.”
Auditions for “Bye Bye Birdie” are open to students who are currently in sixth to 12th grades (rising seventh grade to first year in college). All auditions, rehearsals and performances will be at Westfield High School. Aspiring actors should plan to attend an interest meeting and workshop on Tuesday, May 23, from 6:30-8 p.m. in the Westfield Black Box to learn audition songs and dances. Auditions will be on Saturday, June 3, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., with callbacks June 5 from 6-8 p.m. Approximately 60 actors will be cast in the show. Rehearsals begin June 28 and continue until performances July 27-29. There is a workshop fee of $250; scholarships are available. For more information, call 703-488-6439, or visit the Westfield Theatre Boosters website at www.westfieldtheatreboosters.com