Theatre Centre Seeks Diverse Talent For "The Wiz"

Open Auditions Set For June 24 And 26

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Acting on a commitment to reach new audiences in the 2017-2018 season, the Chattanooga Theatre Centre is seeking diverse talent at upcoming auditions for the community theater's season-opening production of the multicultural Broadway musical The Wiz. Auditions will be held Saturday, June 24, from 1-4 p.m. at the Theatre Centre, with an open community audition on Monday, June 26, from 5-8 p.m. at the South Chattanooga Community Center. 

"The Theatre Centre should be a reflection of the richly diverse community we live in, and that only happens when we commit to diversity in the plays we stage, diversity in the talent on the stage, and diversity in our audiences," says Theatre Centre Executive Director Todd Olson. "We have an opportunity with The Wiz to welcome newcomers to the Theatre Centre who may never have appeared on our stage or sat in our audience. The Theatre Centre is a community theatre, and we want to open our doors to residents from all corners of the community so that the enriching theatrical experiences we produce have a wide reach." 

The Wiz, a musical sensation that won seven Tony Awards when it premiered on Broadway, opens Friday, Sept. 15, at the Theatre Centre and continues through Sunday, Oct. 1. The musical follows Dorothy on her journey to the Land of Oz, where she walks on a road paved in rock, gospel and soul. Roles are available for all ethnicities, although most leading roles call for African-American, mixed race, or ethnically ambiguous performers. 

Those attending auditions, which are open to ages 10 and up, should be prepared to read from the script, perform light dance movements, and sing at least eight to 16 bars of a prepared piece, either a capella or accompanied by a CD. Callback auditions will be July 10 and July 13 at the Theatre Centre at a time to be announced. 

Rehearsals begin Sunday, July 16, under the guest direction of Shane R. Morrow, co-founder of Jazzanooga, a cultural institution dedicated to revitalizing and sustaining the local and regional art and music communities. 

The breakdown of characters in The Wiz, with requirements for each role: 

DOROTHY (Lead) Female, 16-25 
Must look/play 13-18; range: mezzo soprano, G3-B5; bright-eyed, energetic, curious, adventurous. 
Ethnicity: African American, Ethnically Ambiguous / Mixed Race  

AUNTIE EM (Supporting) Female, 35-55 
range: mezzo soprano, G3-C5; Dorothy's aunt; life has not been easy for her and promises little else; harsh towards Dorothy at times, but acts out of love. 
Ethnicity: African American, Ethnically Ambiguous / Mixed Race  

SCARECROW (over 18) 
age flexible; range: tenor, D3-A4; tired of being a scarecrow and the prospect of not going anywhere; embarks on the journey to see The Wiz in hopes he can provide a brain. 
Ethnicity: African American, Ethnically Ambiguous / Mixed Race  

TIN MAN (25-40) male 
age flexible; range: baritone, E3-A4; lost all his limbs to a cursed ax; joins in the journey in hopes the Wiz will provide him a heart because “it isn’t enough to be good-looking.” 
Ethnicity: African American, Ethnically Ambiguous / Mixed Race  

LION (25-40) male 
age flexible; range: baritone, G2-Bb4; travels around the jungle scaring people, but has “a yellow streak a mile wide"; joins in the journey to see the Wiz to gain some courage. 
Ethnicity: African American, Ethnically Ambiguous / Mixed Race  

UNCLE HENRY (35-55) Male  
range: non-singing; Dorothy's uncle; physically run-down from years of hard work on the farm; often acts as the voice of reason towards Auntie Em. 
Ethnicity: African American, Ethnically Ambiguous / Mixed Race  

age flexible; range: mezzo-soprano, F3-C5; good Witch of the North; has magic powers that don't always pan out as well as she would like them to. 
Ethnicity: African American, Ethnically Ambiguous / Mixed Race  

GATEKEEPER (chorus/ensemble) Male preferred 
age flexible; range: non-singing; guards the gate to the Emerald City. 
Ethnicity: African American, Ethnically Ambiguous / Mixed Race 

THE WIZ, Male or Female 
age flexible; range: tenor, C3-A4; all-powerful leader over the land of Oz; his/her true identity is an enigma. 
Ethnicity: African American, Ethnically Ambiguous / Mixed Race  

age flexible; range: alto, Bb3-Db5; Wicked Witch of the West; low-down evil; not a kind bone in her body or kind thought in her rotten mind. This role can be played in drag. 
Ethnicity: African American, Ethnically Ambiguous / Mixed Race  

non-singing; weak coward; Evillene's number one. 
Ethnicity: All Ethnicities  

non-singing; servant of the Wicked Witch of the West, summoned to do her bidding; the mere mention of him brings fear. 
Ethnicity: All Ethnicities  

ADULT & CHILDREN ENSEMBLE Males & Females 10-55 
Pit Singers (seated around band), Tornado (dancers), Munchkins (Children), Crows, Kalidahs, Poppies, Field Mice, Emerald City Citizens, Soldier Messenger. Note: Children's ensemble will be comprised of six dancer/singers with a prerequisite of considerable stage performance. 
Ethnicity: All Ethnicities  

YELLOW BRICK ROAD Male & Female 18-35 
four dancing/singing actors combine to create the Yellow Brick Road; metaphorically represents the road Dorothy travels down, encouraging her along the way. 
Ethnicity: All Ethnicities 

For more information, call Todd Olson, executive director of the Chattanooga Theatre Centre, at 267-8538, extension 306, or visit

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