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ALT announces 2020-2021 season line-up, auditions for season opener set for next week

Sierra Rains
The Daily Ardmoreite
"A Piece of My Heart" flyer.

After months of cancellations due to the pandemic, the Ardmore Little Theatre is kicking off it’s 2020-2021 season with a powerful drama set to appear on stage in October. 

The season opener "A Piece of My Heart" will be followed by a Christmas-themed musical, a college women’s swim team reunion and a classic family dramedy. The community theater's 66th consecutive season line-up includes, in order, “A Piece of My Heart”, “Elf - The Musical”, “The Dixie Swim Club” and “Cheaper by the Dozen”. 

Auditions for “A Piece of My Heart” will be open on Monday and Tuesday, Aug. 24 and 25 and will begin at 7 p.m. at the Goddard Center. Roles are available for six women portraying characters mostly from their early 20s to their 40s, with one from her 30s to 50s. 

One to three men will also be needed for roles from ages 18 to 60. Ardmore Little Theatre Board President Carl Clark said actors and actresses with ALT have been itching to get back on stage for several months now. 

Several summer programs and productions were canceled in response to the pandemic, including the community theater’s summer program for kids and three regular productions. The ALT Board made the difficult decision to cancel its summer production of “The Wizard of Oz” in early July as the number of positive COVID-19 cases continued to rise. 

“We’ve been trying for months to do a show and have not been able to do so because of the pandemic,” Clark said. “We’re just going to keep trying and do what we have to do.” 

For protection from COVID-19, individuals who choose to audition for the 2020-2021 season opener will be required to wear face masks and have their temperatures taken upon entering the Goddard Center. Clark said these practices will continue on a regular basis during rehearsals as long as is required by health guidelines from the CDC and health department, as well as the Goddard Center. 

Veteran ALT director Joh Mann will run the season opener, “A Piece of My Heart." The play, written by Shirley Lauro, retells the true story of six women — five medical nurses and one entertainer — who went to Vietnam during the war to sing for the troops.

Each of the women is seen before, during and after their return from the war-torn nation. The drama is a salute to the men and women who served the United States during a deeply divisive time in the country. 

Scripts for auditions are available at the ALT office in the Goddard Center. Auditions are open to any interested person who can portray characters in the appropriate age ranges and no experience or training is necessary, nor is membership in ALT required. 

Those auditioning are asked to enter the stage door on the north side of the Goddard Center. Performances will be held at 7 p.m. Oct. 1- 4, with the exception of the Sunday matinee at 2:30 p.m. Still months away, Clark said what the performances will look like is highly dependent on the COVID-19 situation at that point in time. 

Audience spacing and masks may be required. “If we still have to require spacing, we may try to pack in a couple more shows in order to try to accommodate more people,” Clark said. 

"Elf - The Musical" flyer.

Performances of “Elf - The Musical” are set for Dec. 1-2 and Dec. 4-6 under the direction of Lisa Riggle. The musical, written by David Berenbaum and composed by Matthew Sklar and Chad Beguelin, tells the story of Buddy, a young orphan who crawls into Santa’s bag during a Christmas gift delivery and is then raised by Santa and his elves at the North Pole. When grown, Buddy returns to New York where his enthusiasm and love for Santa rejuvenates the true spirit of Christmas and brings joy to people. 

"The Dixie Swim Club" flyer.

Performance dates for “The Dixie Swim Club”, a comedy scripted by Jessie Jones, Nicholas Hope and Jamie Wooten, are Feb. 25- 28. Five Southern women, who are old college swim team pals, meet yearly for a beach house reunion to recharge their relationships, share memories and meddle in each other’s affairs. The play will be directed by John Pryor. 

"Cheaper by the Dozen" flyer.

The 2020-2021 season will wrap up with performances of the stage classic “Cheaper by the Dozen” on April 15-18. The dramedy, based on the semi-autobiographical book by Frank Bunker Gilbreth Jr. and Ernestine Gilbreth Carey, recalls their lives in the family of 12 kids with a dad who is one of the world’s great pioneers of industrial efficiency. 

When the father decides to apply his “unorthodox” efficiency methods to the household, things become embarrassing, funny and surprisingly effective.

Janie Herriot will make her directorial debut with the production of "Cheaper by the Dozen." ALT’s 2020-2021 season tickets are currently on sale, providing substantial discounts off single-ticket purchases. 

For more information on auditions, season tickets, ALT membership or future productions, contact the office at (580) 223-6387 or visit the Ardmore Little Theatre Facebook page or website, at https://ardmorelittletheater.com/.