A.C.T. auditions: “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum”

ACT Sets Auditions for “Forum”


Altoona Community Theatre will hold auditions for the musical “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum” at Sunday and Monday, February 24 and 25, in the Historic Mishler Theatre.  The Stephen Sondheim musical which has often been called Broadway’s funniest farce will close ACT’s 2012-2013 season with four performances May 2 to 5.


Michelle McGowan of Altoona is directing the show.  She has previously directed “The Patient” and “The Robber Bridegroom” for ACT, and has appeared in a number of their productions including playing Sister Hubert in “Nunsense” and The Witch in “Into the Woods.  McGowan also has costumed countless other productions, and staged the Blair Concert Chorale’s concert version of “Sweeney Todd” a few years ago.  Musical Director for “Forum” will be Rick Herbster of Altoona.  Michele Yeingst Dugan of Altoona is choreographer.


“A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum” opened on Broadway in 1963 and won several Tony awards, including Best Actor for Zero Mostel and Best Musical.  The musical tells the bawdy story of a slave and his attempts to win his freedom by helping his young master woo the girl next door, who happens to be a pretty but somewhat ditsy courtesan.  Although a 1966 film version was not well received, popular Broadway revivals were mounted in 1972 starring Phil Silvers and 1996 starring Nathan Lane (later replaced by Whoopi Goldberg).


All roles are available and previous experience or prior participation with ACT is not required.  During auditions, ACT also will be signing up volunteers to work backstage on production crews.  The cast requires 7 men and 2 women plus ensemble males and females:


* PSEUDOLUS -- Playful, comic ringleader of the show, a slave to Hero always trying to finagle a way to gain his freedom;  Baritone

* PHILIA -- A lovely-but-vacant courtesan ; Soprano

* HERO – Pseudolus’ young master, handsome, innocent, in love with Philia; Tenor

* SENEX -- Hero's father and the aging master of the house; Baritone

* DOMINA – Senex’s overbearing wife; Mezzo-Soprano

* HYSTERIUM -- Pseudolus' hapless fellow slave who serves Senex & Domina;  Tenor

* MARCUS LYCUS -- A buyer and seller of courtesans; Baritone

* MILES GLORIOSUS – Marcus Lycus' pompous warrior client; Bass Baritone

* ERRONIUS -- A doddering old man; Baritone

* THE COURTESANS – A collection of sexy and outlandish working girls named Tintinabula, Panacea, The Geminae (twins), Vibrata and Gymnasia

* THE PROTEANS -- Three clownish ensemble members who serve a variety of purposes, playing a variety of roles; gymnastics or tumbling experience or ability preferred.


Auditionees do not have to prepare anything in advance, but will be taught a verse of the song “Comedy Tonight” and will read from the script.  Auditions will begin at 7 p.m. both nights, but anyone interested in trying out for The Proteans is asked to report at 6 p.m. on Sunday, the 24th, for special movement auditions.


Corporate sponsorship for “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum” is M&T Bank.  Tickets are now on sale at the Mishler Theatre box office by calling (814) 944-9434.  For more information on ACT, visit them online at www.altoonacommunitytheatre.com 

Sunday, February 24, 2013 - 7:00pm
Monday, February 25, 2013 - 7:00pm