By: Ryan McLaughlin
The Ford City Public Library held auditions for their variety show fundraiser on June 20, June 27 and June 28, 2014.
Auditions were held in the back of the library. There, each candidate was asked to perform a song of their choosing to display what talent they had. Some of them sang to music, while others performed a cappella, or without music. Many different songs were performed, ranging from “Happy Birthday” to Taylor Swift and more.
Montana Crissman and Rhiannon Bowser are directing this year’s performance. They helped to explain why they are holding this show.
“Through the library, a few years ago, we started a group that was the Ford City Library Players,” said Crissman. “To raise money for the library, because the state and the city cut our funding. So, we do these as fundraisers and give the ticket profits back to the library.”
This year, they wanted to try something different. So, they decided on a variety show, as opposed to the structured play.
“We wanted to give an opportunity to kind of get everybody in who wasn’t necessarily comfortable with singing and dancing, who wanted to do singing and dancing, and just get all areas of talent,” Crissman explained. “Give everybody a shot to be the star.”
One of the main differences between a structured play and a variety show goes into the casting. While casting a play, the directors try to find someone to fit specific roles that already exist. With a variety show, the directors have more freedom to cast people they want and generate roles around them.
This can be more beneficial, as Crissman described, because a structured play can fall apart, if no one can play a specific part. This way, the two can analyze the talent they have and structure the show accordingly. While holding the auditions, they explained to the candidates that they may be asked to step slightly out of their comfort zone, but they will not have to do anything too extreme.
Both Crissman’s and Bowser’s theater backgrounds helped to generate these unique fundraisers. Crissman, who is attending Marymount Manhattan College in New York for theater directing, explained how this event was supposed to help the library and the community.
“I’ve done theater in the past,” said Crissman. “And it had always generated attention in the area. And then after doing one of the musicals with the high school, people were saying about how they wished there was more opportunity for people our age to perform in the area, and we figured that was a good way to make the library more of a community center and generate some profit.”
Bowser has done theater, but she was primarily a performer. This time, she is stepping up to help with the production side, which brings its own unique challenges and payoffs.
The first practice for the Ford City Library Player’s Broadway Variety Show is tentatively Tuesday, July 1, 2014 at 6:30PM at the Ford City Public Library. The full performance will be held on July 31, August 1, and August 2 at the CU Club. Doors open at 7PM and the performance will start at 7:30.