A Summer Theatre Workshop in Partnership with
Jeff Samaha Theater Productions/Ridge Chorale
Summer 2018 Dates: July 9 - August 5
This workshop will focus on preparing and presenting Bye Bye Birdie - Young Performers Edition. Our directors, Cait Hynes and Isabella Sirota, will guide the students in interpreting the many themes that run throughout the show.
Every day, participants will work on character development, on-stage skills, rehearse song and dance numbers and expand their theatrical knowledge. Participants are sure to emerge with a new found confidence, improved skills and a greater appreciation for the performing arts!
All of their newfound musical theater skills will be incorporated into performances on August 3rd, 4th and 5th.
This program is open to beginners as well as experienced performers from 8 years to 17 years old.
Note that enrollment is limited to just 25 students.
This Young Performers’ Edition is a one-hour adaptation of BYE BYE BIRDIE, specially tailored for elementary and middle school-aged actors. The materials have been prepared to help give oour young cast an exciting and rewarding experience.
A loving send-up of the 1960s, small-town America, teenagers, and rock & roll, BYE BYE BIRDIE remains as fresh and vibrant as ever. Teen heartthrob Conrad Birdie has been drafted, so he chooses all-American girl Kim McAfee for a very public farewell kiss. Featuring a tuneful high-energy score, plenty of great parts for kids, and a hilarious script, BIRDIE remains one of the most popular shows in schools across the country.
Hit songs include “Put on a Happy Face,” “One Last Kiss,” “One Boy,” “A Lot of Livin’ to Do,” “Kids!” and “Rosie.”
ALBERT PETERSON is the president of the Almaelou Music Corporation and is Conrad Birdie’s agent. He is a nervous, excitable man who spends most of his time trying to control the uncontrollable, with quite comic results. Look for an actor with excellent comic timing, a great singing voice and a natural likability. Albert carries much of the story, so choosing an actor who will be comfortable with such a responsibility is crucial —cast your best leading man.
ROSIE ALVAREZ is Albert’s girlfriend and secretary at the Almaelou Music Corporation, who is frustrated with Albert’s inability to commit to her. She is willing to do anything it takes to get Albert to give up the music business and settle down. Headstrong and confident, she is often one step ahead of Albert. Rosie needs to be a strong actor and a great singer. This is definitely a role for a student ready to shine in a leading role. Look for a young lady with tons of charm who can embrace that “go-get-‘em” personality.
MRS. MAE PETERSON is Albert’s controlling mother. She loves her son, despite her disapproval of the way he runs the family business and (especially) his affection for Rosie. She has never stopped parenting Albert, and her mounting frustration throughout the show as Albert begins to stand up to her provides recurring comic relief. This is a non-singing role, so look for an actor with strong comedic timing and the ability to take positive risks in building a strong character.
CONRAD BIRDIE is a teen heartthrob who has been drafted into the army. This character was written with Elvis Presley in mind. He says little but conveys much with his body language, swagger and, of course, his music. This is someone who knows that good looks and a killer smile will get him more than his personality. Look for a great singer/dancer with the ability to keep an over-the-top character alive while singing. This is a great role for a student who has tons of charm and can embody the “teen idol” persona.
KIM MACAFEE is the self-confident young member of Conrad’s fan club who is chosen to receive a kiss from Conrad before he leaves for the Army. She sees herself as more mature than the average teenager. This is a large role for a talented singer and actor, so look for a student with a wholesome, innocent persona who will enjoy letting it go and have some fun along the way.
HUGO PEABODY is Kim’s devoted steady boyfriend who is jealous that Conrad is receiving so much attention from Kim. This is a character-driven, non-singing role, so this is a great role to cast an up-and-coming student who isn’t quite ready to take on a leading role. When casting, think about the juxtaposition between Hugo and Conrad Birdie — casting a strapping Conrad and a diminutive Hugo will offer some great comic moments as the two compete for Kim’s affections.
MR. HARRY MACAFEE is Kim’s father who thinks he’s in control of his family and his teenaged daughter (but isn’t). Mr. MacAfee should be a good actor with a decent singing voice who can find the comedy in his character’s frustration and irritability.
MRS. DORIS MACAFEE is Kim’s loving mother who knows just how to handle her husband and her household. Mrs. MacAfee should be a good actor/singer. When casting, look for the chemistry between Mrs. MacAfee and her husband — this actor should be able to play off of Mr. MacAfee’s gruffness with ease and charm.
URSULA MERKLE is Kim’s best friend and the hyper-enthusiastic teenager who leads the girls in screaming for Conrad. This is a great supporting role to give to an energetic girl who will have fun creating a unique character with a one-of-a-kind voice. In casting, think of contrasting Kim’s “maturity” with Ursula’s youthful enthusiasm.
RANDOLPH MACAFEE is Kim’s younger brother. This is a great small featured role for a younger actor with an unchanged voice who will get to create a fun character with only a few lines.
THE MAYOR is the head figure of Sweet Apple, Ohio, who welcomes Conrad Birdie to town. A bit naïve to the effect Conrad has on the girls of the town, this is a great featured role for an ensemble cast member who can develop a fun character.
THE MAYOR’S WIFE, EDNA, is one of the adults in the show who cannot escape the power of Conrad Birdie’s spell — also a great featured role for an ensemble cast member to have some fun with.
GLORIA RASPUTIN is the dreamy, ambitious knockout whom Mrs. Peterson chooses to replace Rosie. She is looking for her big break in show business and hopes Albert can help her. Often played as a ditzy chorus-girl type, this is a good place to utilize a great tap dancer who will have fun with this featured dance solo and can create a gum-chomping, hair-twirling, larger-than-life character.
MRS. MERKLE is Ursula’s overbearing mother who also gets a touch of Conrad Birdie Fever. Cast a good character actress who can incorporate her character into her singing voice.
HARVEY JOHNSON is a typical nerdy teenager who can’t seem to get enough of the gossip going on in Telephone Hour. Cast a young actor who will have fun developing his character throughout this song and subsequent scenes.
MR. JOHNSON is Harvey’s father and one of the many parents in Sweet Apple desperate to keep control of their children as Conrad Birdie comes to town. This is a small featured part for an ensemble member.
Other TEENAGERS in Sweet Apple include ALICE, DEBORAH SUE, HELEN, NANCY, MARGIE, PENELOPE, SUZIE, FREDDIE, KARL and various other BOYS and GIRLS. Have fun casting these roles out of the ensemble and encourage your actors to create distinct characters.
Other ENSEMBLE roles include a POLICEMAN, various REPORTERS, a CONDUCTOR and a TRAINMAN, and other PARENTS of the Sweet Apple teenagers with featured lines throughout the script. Get everyone involved!