Amidst the coronation of Queen Victoria, the undesirable, hidden part of society — the lowlifes of London— scheme, love and betray each other in this “opera for beggars” from composer Kurt Weill and playwright Bertolt Brecht. Peachum, ruler of the beggars, sentences Macheath (Mack the Knife) to hang after marrying his daughter without permission. One of Macheath’s frequent acquaintances at the brothel gives him up to the police for a small sum. Will Mack’s cunning, his crew of thieves, or the Queen herself save this man?
Designed as a satirization of traditional opera, Threepenny first opened amidst the crushing economic conditions of The Weimar Republic in Germany, but still jabs at contemporary times with comments about the thievery of high finance and those left behind in the “post-recession” economy.
Open to those entering high school or college, lead roles include Mr. & Mrs. Peachum, Filch, a newly- licensed panhandler, a variety of thieves centered around the charming and skillful Mack, the naive and newly betrothed Jenny, Mack’s “other” women, the police (all crooked) and Reverend Kimball. There are plentiful ensemble roles consisting of cops, beggars and street people.
Pit orchestra musicians are included right alongside the action, occasionally getting involved in the drama while playing Weill’s sound-scape and jazz influenced score. Instrumentation includes keyboard, clarinets, saxes, trumpet, trombone, percussion and guitar/banjo. The echoes of Weill’s instrumentation style can be heard later in the likes of Nick Cave and Tom Waits. Other productions roles are open, including production design, set construction, lighting and sound, stage management, costuming, makeup and more. Musicians and technicians are encouraged to attend the auditions if possible.
Auditions will be held June 6 and 7 at the Mongerson Theater at Springville Center for the Arts, 37 N. Buffalo Street, Springville. Sign in starts at 4 p.m. Dance auditions will be 4:30 to 5:30p.m. There will be a half hour break for dinner. There will be a sign-in sheet at the door for auditionees to reserve a time slot for the singing audition between 6 and 9 p.m.
Production dates run July 28, 29, 30 and Aug. 5 and 6 at 8 p.m., and July 31 and Aug. 7 at 2 p.m. After auditions, participants will need to register with Springville Youth Incorporated’s summer workshop system. Fee is $20 and includes tickets to the performance.
Parents with concerns about the age appropriateness of the production should contact Center staff at 592-9038. A perusal copy of the script will be available.