It's Time to Audition!
Saint Charles Christmas Traditions® 2019 Auditions
Saint Charles Christmas Traditions® is seeking a cast for their 45th season!
Saint Charles Christmas Traditions® is an equal opportunity employer and seeks a diverse cast.
If you would like to audition as a Character:
Visit Saint Charles Christmas Traditions® - 2019 Character Auditions to schedule your audition
Thursday, June 13 AND Saturday, June 15
If you would like to audition for a Caroling position:
Visit Saint Charles Christmas Traditions® - 2019 Caroler Auditions to schedule your audition
Saturday, June 15
All positions are paid at the starting rate of $11.19 per hour for performance dates and rehearsals.
If cast, you will be required to complete pre-employment testing.
Mandatory Rehearsal Dates: July 27, August 3, September 21, November 23 - Additional dates TBA.
Additional Music Rehearsals for Carolers: Monday or Tuesday evenings in October, depending on your quartet assignments
- Wednesdays (December 4, 11, 18) 6:00-9:00 PM
- Fridays (November 29, December 6, 13, 20) 6:00-9:00 PM
- Saturdays (November 30, December 7, 14, 21) 10:00 AM - 9:00 PM (an 8 hour call in that period)
- Sundays (December 1, 8, 15, 22) Noon-5:00 PM
- Christmas Eve (December 24) 11:00 AM-2:00 PM
Christmas Characters: Acting experience is preferred, but not necessary. An outgoing personality and the ability to cheerfully interact with the public 'in-character' is essential! Applicants must be in good physical condition and able to walk short distances outdoors throughout the day/evening in all types of weather.
For your audition, choose (3) three of the characters listed below and prepare a 1-minute interactive performance as each. Be sure to present your chosen characters' 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 kindlycasalinga (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.
Christmas Carolers (SATB): Candidates should be confident singers of standard SATB music, must learn music quickly and have the ability to cheerfully interact with the public in all types of weather. Singers are expected to prepare a verse and chorus of a Christmas carol to be sung a cappella during the audition.
For your audition, be prepared to sing one verse from a Christmas song of your choosing which you feel demonstrates your vocal range. Also, 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 three other parts.
*All applicants must be available for the typical festival performance schedule during the season (Nov. 29 - Dec. 24, 2019). While flexibility in regard to prior commitments may be given to some degree, availability for performances will be given strong consideration when casting. In addition, carolers will be expected to meet for one two-hour rehearsal each week beginning in October for the purposes of learning music and developing quartet performances.
E-mail Ryan Cooper, Festival Director with any questions