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Auditions being held for two plays: ‘Elf Jr. the Musical’ and ‘Annie Kids’

August 9, 2017
By MEGHAN McCOY ( , Island Reporter, Captiva Current, Sanibel-Captiva Islander

Young actors have an opportunity to audition for two upcoming shows at the Community House, "Annie Kids" and "Elf Jr. the Musical," which is being put on by Creative Theater Workshop.

Auditions for both shows, which are being sponsored by The Community House, will take place Saturday, Aug. 19. The auditions are from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. for "Elf Jr. the Musical" and from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. for "Annie Kids."

"The sooner they sign up, the better chance they will have of the time available," Creative Theater Workshop Founder Michelle Hamstra said.

Individuals can sign up for their desired time slot at

Those who audition for "Elf Jr. the Musical" play must perform a one minute monologue, 30 seconds of a song, and have a head shot, which does not need to be a professional photograph, and have a resume.

"Elf Jr. the Musical," which is based on the movie Elf, is being casted for advanced actors and actresses who have been in a few prior shows. Christopher Anderson is doing the choreography for the musicaland Kimberly Sanders is co-directing after musical - the musical, and Kimberly Sanders is co-directing.

"We are going to have to learn quickly," she said of the cast for 7 to 18 year olds.

There will be a $250 workshop fee, once the students are casted, which includes the script, most costumes, professional music director and professional theater workshops. Both payment plans and scholarships are available.

Rehearsals will be held every Sunday.

The youth casted for this show will be going to the Junior Theater Festival in Atlanta, Georgia in January.

Hamstra said she took her students to the festival about five years ago when it was at its infancy.

"This time it sold out within 10 days. People come from all over. I was very excited to be selected to attend," she said.

The cast of "Elf Jr. the Musical" will perform for 15 minutes, followed by people from Broadway sharing their remarks of what they enjoyed. Two all-stars from the group will be chosen to perform on the big stage in front of everyone.

Hamstra said those two students will be offered to go to New York that summer for a Broadway camp.

In addition, she said judges will also decide who will audition for a video, again in New York.

"It's a really neat experience," she said of the festival. "There is a lot of opportunity. They get to see plays and meet kids from all over the world. You learn so much."

The second audition will be held for "Annie Kids."

This is the fourth time Hamstra is directing this play. This season, Aaron Jackson is co-directing it with her, which she is very excited about.

"This version is great," she said, adding that all of the songs are short.

Hamstra also enjoys this version because she can have both the younger kids, 5 year olds, acting with the older kids, 16 years old.

"It will be a nice collaboration between the little ones and big ones," she said.

Those who audition are requested to bring a photograph, and a resume if they have one.

"If they have the experience, the resume is great," Hamstra added.

The young actors will have to sing 30 seconds of any song from "Annie" during their audition.

Once the cast is chosen, rehearsals will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. every Saturday, at the Sanibel Community Church. The lead roles will have rehearsal on Tuesday evenings at the church.

Hamstra said once the student is casted, there is a $250 workshop fee, which includes the script, most costumes, professional music director and professional theater workshops. Both payment plans and scholarships are available.

On Friday, Oct. 13, Hamstra said the cast of "Annie Kids" will perform for other kids within the Lee County School District as part of a field trip.

Hamstra is looking for sponsors for both productions, which consists of a donation of $250 to $2,000. Sponsors will have their names in the program, on back of T-shirts and receive a huge round of applause. Those interested can call Hamstra at (239) 738-3525.

After 10 years of dedicating her life to teaching within the Lee County School District, she decided to put 100 percent of her efforts into Creative Theater Workshop. Now, with Hamstra having the opportunity of running it full-time, she can really focus on taking the quality of the nonprofit organization to the next level.

"My passion has always been for Creative Theater, but didn't think I could have the means to leave my other job. I have faith and prayed a lot about it and feel like I can do it," Hamstra said.

Her goal is to bring in more professionals, as well as taking the kids on field trips to teach them about the craft.

"The whole idea is not only to put on the show, but constantly learn and build their resume. To introduce them to different professionals in all aspects of the theater," Hamstra said. "I'm trying to give them a place to go to be educated and do a quality show. That has always been a goal."



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