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'Thank You. NEXT?' Explores the Reality of Auditioning

Kaleigh Gamache

Auditions. They are a necessary evil in the performing arts. Even in amateur productions, there are almost always too many people for not enough parts. So actors, dancers and singers quickly learn they have about three minutes on stage to make the director or casting agent choose them over the many others also auditioning.

Milwaukee Opera Theatre decided to commission a piece about that experience and the result is Thank You. NEXT? A Reality Opera.

Eleven singers sit in a hallway, waiting to audition. Stories are told, songs are sung. Even the overture is an homage to the vocal warm up.

The show focuses on the process of auditioning, but co-directors Jill Anna Ponasik and David Flores wanted to ensure the stories would resonate with a diverse audience. 

"We wanted this to have a very universal quality, that a lot of the ideas and emotions and things that we explore in this piece, really are a microcosm for just sort of life in general," says Flores.

Milwaukee Opera Theatre's original production, Thank You. NEXT?, opens Thursday June 23, at the 10th Street Theatre.

Bonnie North
Bonnie joined WUWM in March 2006 as the Arts Producer of the locally produced weekday magazine program Lake Effect.