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University of Michigan Gilbert & Sullivan Society pres.

Audition for The Yeomen of the Guard

All are welcome!

Yeomen production photo Yeomen production photo
Yeomen production photo
The University of Michigan Gilbert & Sullivan Society (UMGASS) is holding auditions for The Yeomen of the Guard, or the Merryman and His Maid on Monday, September 9th, Tuesday, September 10th, and Wednesday, September 11th at the Student Theater Arts Complex (STAC), 1201 Kipke Drive in Ann Arbor (directly east of the U-M football stadium) from 7:00 – 10:00 pm. All roles are available for SATB principals and chorus; cast will be selected from the audition pool with no pre-casting. All are welcome to audition, including students, faculty / staff, and general community members of Ann Arbor / Southeast Michigan area. To sign up for an audition time you may either attend the UMGASS Mass Meeting at 7:00 pm on Sunday, September 8th at the Michigan League, or e-mail umgassexec@umich.edu to have a member of the board sign you up by proxy. Walk-ins are also welcome; please arrive before 9:00 pm if you plan to walk-in. Callbacks (if necessary) will be held on the evening of Thursday, September 12th.

Please prepare ~32-64 bars of a selection from musical theater, comic opera, or opera (in English), and provide a legible copy for the accompanist. Be prepared to read selections from the libretto if you are interested in a speaking role. There will be no dance audition for this production. Rehearsals will average two days per week between Sunday afternoon and Thursday evening for both chorus and principals. Production dates are December 5 – 8, 2019, at the Lydia Mendelssohn Theater in the Michigan League, with full staging and full orchestra.

The University of Michigan Gilbert & Sullivan Society (UMGASS) was founded in 1947 and is the oldest student-run society nationwide dedicated to performing the operettas of Sir William Gilbert and Sir Arthur Sullivan. Each year we bring together students and community members for two fully staged productions of Gilbert & Sullivan operettas, which are performed with orchestra at the Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre in downtown Ann Arbor. The quality of our productions sets a high standard for community G&S companies, and our performances, particularly of the lesser-known works of the canon, are benchmarks for similar organizations around the country and the world.

We’re proud to be a great place for future performing arts professionals as well as a creative outlet for students, professors, and community members of all ages looking to blow off steam and have a good time participating in a great show!

The Yeomen of the Guard was the 11th collaboration between librettist W.S. Gilbert and composer Arthur Sullivan. The story takes place at the Tower of London, where the heroic Colonel Fairfax is scheduled to be executed the following morning on questionable grounds. The Colonel’s heirs will be disinherited if he dies unmarried, and so he finds a short-term bride in the strolling player, Elsie Maynard – much to the chagrin of her infatuated traveling partner, the jester Jack Point. Meanwhile, the Colonel’s friends and admirers work for his release – or for his escape, if necessary. Will the Colonel, his impetuous marriage, and the broken-hearted jester all survive until the final curtain? This time there will be no last-minute topsy-turvy revelation to prevent the story’s dramatic conclusion.

Yeomen of the Guard will be directed by David Andrews, who most recently directed UMGASS’s 2018 production of The Grand Duke, and who will be directing with UMGASS for the eighth time, among his 22 semesters with the group. Music Director for this production will be Ezra Donner, a U-M alumnus with a Doctor of Music degree from Indiana University, who conducted previous UMGASS productions of The Mikado, Patience, HMS Pinafore, and The Pirates of Penzance between 2015 and 2017. The Choreographer will be UMGASS veteran Beth Ballbach, who choreographed recent UMGASS productions of Princess Ida, Iolanthe, The Grand Duke, and The Gondoliers, among many others.

For additional information on Yeomen, including audio files of the music, check out the Gilbert & Sullivan Archive at https://gsarchive.net/yeomen/html/index.html. For additional information about UMGASS, check out the UMGASS web site at https://www.umgass.org/.

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