Pec Playhouse auditions for holiday classic

Pec Playhouse Theatre in Pecatonica is announcing open auditions for it final production of its 2004 season, the family holiday favorite, Yes Virginia There is a Santa Claus, a play by Andrew J. Fenady, based on a teleplay by Andrew J. Fenady and Val DeCrow.

Auditions are scheduled for the following times and dates at Pec Playhouse Theatre, 314 Main St., Pecatonica: 2 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 25; 6 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 26; 7 p.m., Monday, Sept. 27; and 7 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 28.

The story is inspired by a simple, poignant and now-famous letter written more than 100 years ago by 8-year-old Virginia O’Hanlon to the editor of the New York Sun, and by the timeless editorial response printed on the Sun’s front page. Virginia wondered and wrote:

“Dear Editor, I am 8 years old. Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says ‘If you see it in the sun, it’s so.’ Please tell me the truth. Is there a Santa Claus?”

Ed Mitchell, the Sun’s editor, gives the assignment of answering Virginia’s letter to Frank Church who, until his wife and baby died the previous Christmas Eve, was the Sun’s best and most dependable reporter.

The play is set in 1897 in New York City. There are several larger roles, but many more smaller ones. Roles available for 12 or more men and four women, ages 20s through 80s; four to five girls and two to three boys, ages 7 through 12. The nature of the scripts calls for some double or triple casting of smaller parts, so there are several opportunities for actors to perform in multiple roles. People with an ability to speak with an Irish, German or other ethic accent of the time and location is a plus, but not required. As usual, acting experience is preferred, but not necessary, especially for the smaller roles.

Performances are Friday-Sundays, Nov. 19 -Dec. 5, with an additional 2 p.m. performance on Dec. 4. Rehearsals will be mostly Monday through Thursday, with an occasional Saturday or Sunday, depending on cast schedules. Most cast will not have to attend all rehearsals.

The play is under the direction of Mark Kann, a long-time volunteer for Pec Playhouse who has previously directed Fiddler On the Roof, Harvey, and The Family Man. He has also directed for other area venues, and has additional experience with set design, music direction and other aspects of theater.

Yes Virginia, There Is a Santa Claus is a play for young and old, magically reaffirming life’s highest beauty and joy—“the eternal light with which childhood fills the world.” It is an excellent opportunity for people interested in all phases of theater production to get involved and have fun.

For more information, contact director Mark Kann at 395-1650.

Enjoy The Rock River Times? Help spread the word!