Characters & Carolers needed

Website URL Saint Charles Christmas Traditions

Where Christmas Past Comes to Life!

The city of St. Charles, Missouri seeks engaging, diverse, and dynamic performers to bring to life some of the most iconic holiday figures from history, literature, and folklore during the 2019 season of the Saint Charles Christmas Traditions festival along historic Main Street.

Auditions: Auditions will be held by appointment for interactive character performers (Thursday, June 13th and Saturday, June 15th) and singing carolers (Saturday, June 15th)

Sign up for a 15-minute CHARACTER audition appointment here: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/4090f4bacac2aa7fe3-saint

Sign up for a 5-minute CAROLER audition appointment here: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/4090f4bacac2aa7fe3-saint1

(NOTE: If after signing up for an appointment, you can no longer attend, please message the production staff or delete your sign up so that it may be freed up for others). Due to an event along the St. Charles riverfront on Saturday, June 15th, be sure to arrive early to your audition appointment in order to secure parking.

Audition Location: St. Charles Convention and Visitors Bureau (lower level) 230 South Main St. Saint Charles, MO 63301

Performance Dates:
OPENING DAY: Friday, November 29
WEDNESDAYS (6pm-9pm): December 4, 11, and 18
FRIDAYS (6pm-9pm): November 29 (Opening Day), December 6, 13, and 20
SATURDAYS (10am-9pm *An eight hour shift within this time period): November 30, December 7, 14, and 21
SUNDAYS (Noon-5pm): December 1, December 8, December15, December 22
CHRISTMAS EVE (11am-2pm): Tuesday, December 24
**Interested individuals should strive for full season availability. While some conflicts may be worked around, availability will be highly taken into consideration when casting**

Rehearsal Dates: July 27, August 3, September 21, November 23

Compensation: All positions start at the rate of $11.19 an hour for rehearsals and performances.

Role Description: Saint Charles Christmas Traditions transports guests back in time to discover the festive holiday magic of yesteryear. Iconic holiday figures from around the world have gathered along historic Main Street in order to tell their stories, spread cheer, and share the multicultural holiday customs of their native lands. These roles will require strong improvisational skills, an outgoing personality, and the ability to engage with thousands of visitors of all ages. These positions will require long periods of standing outdoors in a variety of weather.

What to Bring to Your Audition: A full list of conflicts from July 27-December 24. A current resume and headshot are encouraged but not required.

What to Prepare for Your Audition (CAROLERS): Be prepared to sing one verse from a Christmas song of your choosing which you feel demonstrates your vocal range. Also, look at the copy of the song “SING WE NOW OF CHRISTMAS” found here: https://assets.simpleviewinc.com/simpleview/image/upload/v1/clients/stcharles/SING_WE_NOW_OF_CHRISTMAS_e280f2ef-36db-4121-81ae-00c4148d649f.pdf
Be prepared to sing your vocal part (SATB) of the first verse of “SING WE NOW OF CHRISTMAS” for your audition. You will be singing with recorded voices on the other three parts.

What to Prepare for Your Audition (CHARACTERS):
For your audition choose 3 (three) of the characters listed below and prepare a 1-minute interactive performance as each. Present each of your chosen characters’ distinct personalities in a unique, engaging, and entertaining way. Show us what you would bring to the role. Be creative!

FATHER TIME: NEW FOR 2019. “We wish you a Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year” it seems only appropriate that this familiar personification of the passage of time makes his debut during a season where we nostalgically look back at forty-five years of Christmas Traditions history. With his long grey beard, flowing robes, and scythe, Father Time will explain how different cultures around the world ring in the new year (including smashing plates and glasses against friends’ doors in Denmark, carrying around empty suitcases in Columbia with hopes of a travel-filled year, and hanging an onion above your doorway in Greece). Most importantly of all, Father Time will reveal what the words to “Auld Lang Syne” really mean.

TITUS FLAVIUS JOSEPHUS (37A.D.-100A.D.): NEW FOR 2019 Born Yosef ben Matityahu, Titus Flavius Josephus was a prominent Romano-Jewish historian who recorded the origins of the Chanukah story. Josephus will share the account of the Maccabean revolt that we celebrate today as the “Festival of Lights” (a name he gave to the holiday), while at the same time explaining the rich traditions of this eight-day celebration (from menorahs and dreidels, to delicacies like latkes and sufganiot).

MTOA HADITHI: NEW FOR 2019. May be cast as male or female. Swahili for “storyteller,” the joyful Mtoa Hadithi shares the origins and practices of the festival of Kwanzaa. Founded in 1966, Kwanzaa is a seven-day celebration of African-American culture and heritage. Every year from December 26-January 1, celebrants reflect on the Nguzu Saba, the seven principles of African heritage. Mtoa Hadithi will explain these concepts as well as some of the familiar symbols (such as the kinera, candle holder).

MRS. CLAUS: Where would Santa be without the support of the kind, cheerful, and spirited Mrs. Claus? Having first made an appearance in the 1849 short story, “A Christmas Legend” by James Rees, Mrs. Claus has since kept very busy at the North Pole where she keeps Santa up-to-date on all of the modern toys and gizmos that children like, supervises the elves, takes care of the reindeer, and is famous for her legendary cookie-making skills. Warm and loving, Mrs. Claus has an adventurous side, too (as evidenced by Katharine Lee Bates’ 1889 poem “Goody Santa Claus on a Sleigh Ride” where she attempts to convince Santa to let her deliver the gifts herself).

NUTCRACKER PRINCE: The title character of the popular holiday ballet The Nutcracker. Once merely a wooden toy, the Nutcracker Prince has been brought to life by the magic of a mysterious man named Herr Drosselmeyer (though, his movements are wood-like and stiff as one would expect from a toy soldier). This monarch has traveled from the Land of the Sweets in order to recruit fellow toys and nutcrackers as soldiers in his epic fight with the dreaded Mouse King (and his army of mice and gingerbread men). Watch as the Nutcracker Prince teaches you the proper marching techniques to become a member of his army of playthings. Seeking a performer with strong movement/physicality to portray the toy-like aspects of this character.

LA BEFANA: Buon Natale! The Italian Christmas Witch, La Befana has been a part of Italy’s holiday traditions since the 13th century. According to legend, La Befana was visited by the Magi as they followed the star to Bethlehem. The kindly casalinga (housewife) Befana offered them refreshments. However, when the three kings invited her to come with them, she refused, claiming she had too much housework to do. Regretting her decision to stay behind, La Befana now flies upon her magical broom each January 6th for La Festa dell’Epifania (the Feast of the Epiphany) leaving small toys and goodies for the good boys and girls of Italy, while children sing a song in anticipation of her arrival. Italian accent.

TOWN CRIER: The unofficial master-of-ceremonies and welcome committee of St. Charles Christmas Traditions, the Town Crier greets festival visitors with a larger-than-life personality, booming voice, and healthy dose of Christmas spirit. Town Criers were important communication figures in towns and villages throughout Europe and the United States, where they would share important announcements, news, and proclaimations. During Christmas Traditions, our Town Crier, entertains the masses by ringing a bell and shouting “oyez! Oyez! Oyez!” while sharing information about festival events, fun stories, trivia, and this-day-in-history facts.

SANTA LUCIA: As the saint of light and vision, Santa Lucia is celebrated throughout the Scandinavian countries. On her feast day, December 13th, children in Sweden dress in her traditional gown and sash and wear a speacial wreath of candles on their heads. As a special treat, they deliver Lussekatts (traditional Swedish rolls) to their families.

BOB CRATCHIT: The long-suffering and underpaid clerk of the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge in Charles Dickens’ classic A Christmas Carol, Bob Cratchit represents the thousands of working poor that existed in Victorian London. Despite working 60 hours a week for 15 shillings (about $94 a week in today’s money), Cratchit, a father of six (including his ill, but optimistic son, “Tiny Tim,”) embodies the true spirit of the holidays, placing emphasis on good cheer and togetherness, rather than on material possessions. English accent.

CHRISTKIND: The traditional Christmas gift-bringer in Austria and Germany. Popularized by Martin Luther during the Protestant Reformation in the 16th-17th century, the Christkind (literally “Christ child”) is usually depicted as an angelic young woman with blonde hair and gold wings. She is an expert at sharing the history of many Christmas traditions that originated in Germany. After the Christkind has left gifts under the Weihnachtsbaum (Christmas Tree), she marks her departure with the ringing of a small bell. The Christkind is often honored as the main figure of traditional German Christmas markets (aptly named Christkindlmarkts) which feature regional German food, music, drink (including a mulled wine called Gluhwein) as well as traditional trinkets. German accent.

THE SNOW QUEEN: The title character of Hans Christian Andersen’s 1844 Fairy Tale, this queen of the snowflakes (or “snow bees” as they are sometimes referred to in the book) resides in a palace in the lands of permafrost. She travels the world in search of the missing pieces of her enchanted mirror. This magical monarch is able to lure people under her spell but beware, a kiss from the Snow Queen could turn an unsuspecting individual into an ice statue. Elegant, serious, and cold (but not mean), she represents both the beauty and lethality of winter.

SNEGUROCHKA: The daughter of Frost and Spring, the Russian Snow Maiden, Snegurochka has become an essential component of New Year’s celebrations in Russia and the former Soviet Union. The Snow Maiden accompanies her grandfather, Ded Moroz (Grandfather Frost) on a horse-drawn sled in order to visit children and give them gifts. Though she is generally cheerful and full of mirth, at times she wishes that she could be human and feel love like humans do. Russian accent.

FLOWER GIRL: “Flowers for sale!” With shades of Eliza Doolittle of My Fair Lady fame, flower girls were a fixture in Victorian England where they sold their blooms to passersby at places like the Covent Garden Market. While most flower girls hawked their wares as a way to support their large impoverished families, these enterprising young women were no shrinking violets (to pardon the pun!) Bold, brash, and full of Christmas frivolity, our Flower Girl is always willing to start a sing-along of our rousing traditional British pub song as she sells her festive blossoms. Cockney accent preferred.

REINDEER FLIGHT INSTRUCTOR: May be cast as male or female. You know Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen…but who do you supposed helped Santa’s favorite form of transportation take flight? This highly decorated pilot and adventurer from the North Pole has been teaching reindeer the tips and tricks of a smooth take off and landing for centuries. The larger-than-life Reindeer Flight Instructor has stories of all of your favorite reindeer celebrities, and has come to Main Street to ensure the “runway” is clear for Santa’s big night.

GRYLA: **NOTE: This character will only appear on Wednesday and Friday evenings of the Festival** With a name that roughly translates to “growler,” this tough ogress resides in a cave in the Icelandic hinterlands where she is the matriarch of a family of bizarre creatures (including the 13 Yule Lads and the ferocious Jolakotturinn or “Yule Cat.”) During the Icelandic midwinter festival of Jol, this mythical giant with her multiple tails descends from the mountains into local villages, where she snatches up naughty children to make into stew. Seeking a performer who can present the bizarre and curious folklore of Gryla in a comedic fashion.

MARI LWYD: NEW FOR 2019. **NOTE: This character will only appear on Wednesday and Friday evenings during the Festival**. May be cast as male or female. With roots going back thousands of years to Druid and Pagan rituals, the Mari Lwyd (pronounced Maury Lloyd) is an ancient mid-winter folk tradition from South Wales where an individual parades under a sackcloth topped with a cheerfully decorated horse skull mounted on a stick. The non-scary Mari Lwyd utilizes the old English tradition of wassailing, as it is paraded throughout town door-to-door to homes, pubs, and other gathering spots asking for admittance in the form of traditional Welsh songs. English/Welsh accent. Singing ability a plus.

KALLIKANTZAROI: NEW FOR 2019. **NOTE: This character will only appear on Wednesday and Friday evenings during the Festival** May be cast as male or female. These impish Greek goblins reside at the center of the earth and rise to the surface during the Twelve Days of Christmas, where they play pranks and cause trouble. You can keep them from entering your house by putting a colander on your doorstep. Kallikantzaroi are notoriously unintelligent, and can’t count higher than two (therefore, they will spend all night trying to count the holes of the colander, and never enter). They are banished back to the center of the earth on Epiphany (January 6th), when Greek priests go around from house-to-house, blessing them with holy water.

We look forward to seeing you at auditions!
For any questions, e-mail Festival Director Ryan Cooper at ryangpcooper@gmail.com

May your days be merry and bright!

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