Actors Audition, Gear Up for "Grease"

09/26/2011
Contact: Beverly James
Phone: 678-891-2686
Fax: 678-891-2966
Author: Beverly James

About 50 young men and women crowd around in small groups practicing songs and whispering about the upcoming auditions at Georgia Perimeter College.

One can hear songs from the musical “Grease” behind the closed doors of the auditorium. The director, Robert Ray, and Susan McEwen, associate professor of music at GPC and music director for “Grease,” say they need nine men and nine women who can play teenagers. Ray is looking for something special.

“We’re not only looking for those who can play teenagers convincingly, we are also looking for star quality,” Ray explains. “They need to be appealing, look good and have that extra little something-something.”

Students, faculty, staff and community members gathered in the Fine Arts building on Georgia Perimeter College Clarkston Campus recently to audition for the Theatre Arts Guild production of “Grease.” The musical will run from Oct. 28 to Nov. 6 at Cole Auditorium on Clarkston Campus.

One by one guys and girls sing their hearts out as Ray and Robertson take notes and shoot out periodic questions.

“Ever been in a show before?” Ray asks one young woman. Yes, she replies, fumbling with a flower in her hair. Some are clearly talented singers, others struggle to hold notes.

Elisheva Pierce, a GPC music major, and Chris Kitterman, an English major, sing and dance for what seems like two minutes before both are asked to come back for second and final auditions. Both sigh with relief at making it past the first round.

Elisheva, a tall, slender Eritrean woman with a shock of exuberant hair, giggles and runs from the auditorium in glee. If the Atlanta resident makes it, this will be her very first GPC show. Chris, of Flowery Branch, is a GPC show veteran, having been in “Jekyll and Hyde: The Musical,” “Medea” and “Ghosts.” He runs a hand through wavy blond hair and breathes deeply. “No matter how many times I audition, I’m always still nervous. It’s like the first time all over again."

Finally, days have passed and performers find out if they have earned a spot in “Grease.” Elisheva is ecstatic: She will play Cha-Cha. “I am beyond excited about this. The character is fun and loves to dance, so I can’t wait to get into the role,” she says.

Chris learns that he will play Doody, the youngest “Greaser” and a guitar player. “This will be a fun performance with lots of good actors,” he says. “GPC Theatre Arts Guild always puts on a great show so I’m confident that ‘Grease’ will be super successful. I’m just grateful to be a part of it all.”

For updates from Elisheva and Chris, visit the GPC Theatre Arts Guild Facebook fan page at:

http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=232316010151857#!/pages/Theatre-Arts-Guild-at-Georgia-Perimeter-College/108838879148603