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Mary Poppins Auditions

Posted on August 10, 2016 in General News, Member News

Yes, you’ve heard the rumors and they’re true.  Everyone’s favorite nanny is coming to the Shuswap Theatre Stage. Disney and Cameron MacKintosh’s, Mary Poppins, is the first show of the 2016-17 season. This is one of the biggest, most challenging shows ever attempted on our stage, with colourful characters, wonderful music and stunning choreography. Due to the special challenges of this amazing show, we will be having a longer than usual rehearsal period, starting right after Labour Day weekend and running until opening, November 25 to December 11

The show will be directed by Kim MacMillan with musical direction by Jean MacLennan and choreography by Carolyn Wonacott and Raelynn Heppell of the Shuswap Dance Centre.


Auditions will have three components – singing, dancing and acting. Not all characters will need to do all three and even some of those who dance will not need to be already proficient. In addition to the major characters, we will be recruiting a small cadre of trained dancers, mostly youth, as chorus members and singer/dancers for the blockbuster dance numbers such as Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious and Step in Time. There are roles for two children, Jane Banks, 11 and Michael Banks, 9. A separate audition time is scheduled for the children. Jane and Michael are on stage more than any other character.

If you would like to audition, please download and complete the Audition Sheet and bring the completed form with you to the audition. Please come early and be ready to begin promptly.

All auditions are at Shuswap Theatre. Times will be as follows:

Children’s Audition Thursday, August 25 at 1:00 pm
General Auditions

Friday, August 26 at 6:30 pm, or
Saturday, August 27 at 9:30 am

If needed a third general audition will be held
Tuesday, August 30 at 6:30 pm

Dance Ensemble Audition Thursday, August 25 at 6:30 pm
For trained dancers only.
Call Backs (if needed) Wednesday, August 31
Thursday, September 1



Note: Ages are generally those suggested in the script but there will be some flexibility. 

Mary Poppins (20s, 30s)
Bert (20s, 30s)
George Banks (early 40s)
Winifred Banks (late 30s, early 40s)
Jane Banks (11)
Michael Banks (9)
Katie Nanna (30-50), former nanny of the Banks children
Policeman (30s to 50s)
Miss Lark (30s to 50s), haughty neighbour
Admiral Boom (50s or so), non singing part
Mrs. Brill (50s), housekeeper
Robertson Ay (20 – 30), hapless, lazy houseboy
Park Keeper (40s-60s), officious
Neleus (14-20), a dancing statue of a Greek God/Prince
Bank Chairman (50s-60s)
Bird Woman (50s-70s), sings Feed the Birds
Mrs. Corry (40s-60s), owner of the Talking Shop
Annie and Fannie (20s), Mrs. Corry’s daughters
Valentine, Teddy Bear, Mr. Punch and Doll, toys of the Banks children
Miss Andrew (50s – 60s), Mr. Banks’ terrifying former nanny
Dance ensemble (chorus) – 6 or 8 singer/dancers

Some cast members will play multiple roles.

Frequently Asked Questions about Auditions and Rehearsals

Do I need to attend more than one audition?

Not normally. However, you may be asked to attend a call back session. The purpose of call backs is to allow the directors to try out different combinations of actors to see how they work together. They may also be useful when the choice of role is difficult and the directors would like to see them again. 

Do I have to bring anything?

Yes. Download, print and complete the Audition Sheet and bring it with you. You may also bring 30 seconds of a song that you can sing unaccompnied (not mandatory, but you will need to sing.)

The Dance Ensemble Audition says it is for trained dancers only. Does that mean I shouldn’t bother auditioning if I’m not a trained dancer?

No, it certainly doesn’t. All auditions will have three components – acting, singing and dancing. The Dance Ensemble refers to a group of trained dancers who will add a degree of professionalism to the “blockbuster” numbers (such as Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious and Step in Time). These dancers will have to sing as well but will not be expected to have solo parts (though you never know until we know who we’ve got). Dance ensemble members may take on other roles as well or may act as stage crew.

I am interested in one of the children’s roles but I can’t come on August 25th. What do I do?

Please let Kim know (contact info below) and make arrangements to attend one of the general auditions.

Apart from the Dance Ensemble, will everyone else have to sing?

For the most part, yes. Certain parts (such as Mr. Banks) could involve “speak-singing” (like Rex Harrison) and other parts (like Admiral Boom) do not require singing. So not everyone has to be a strong singer. The ability to sing, to read music and to sing harmony are definite assets though not essential for everyone.

Can I read the script ahead of time?

Unlike most of our auditions, the script is not available prior to auditions for this show. This is because the scripts are rented to us and must be returned. The longer we keep the materials, the more we pay. As this will be an expensive show to produce, we need to save where we can. You can download a script, however, at this link or you can watch any of several amateur productions on YouTube. This is a good idea.

Is this production the same as the Disney movie?

No. There are some differences in emphasis, some characters are different and there is some new music. On the other much  remains the same.

Does anyone get paid to be in this production?

No, as is true of all our mainstage productions.

What will the rehearsal schedule be like?

You can expect to rehearse two to three times per week, depending on your role. When we get close to opening night, rehearsals will be nearly every night and most will involve everyone. While music rehearsals and acting rehearsals will mostly take place week nights and Sundays, the choreography rehearsals will mostly be on weekends due to the work schedules of our choreographers.

What if I have other commitments?

You will need to indicate on your audition sheet what other commitments you have. We will do our best to work around those. Because this is such a large cast and an ambitious undertaking, it may not be possible to accommodate every commitment. This show needs to be a priority, especially if you have a demanding role. During the last two weeks before opening, we will expect you to move heaven and earth to be present when you are needed.

Will it be hard work?

We do community theatre for fun. From experience we know that we have the most fun (and satisfaction) when we work hard toward the common goal of a first rate show. We are amateurs but we strive for a professional level of performance. Yes, we will have fun and we will work hard.

This is a large cast and Shuswap Theatre has a small dressing room. How will we all fit?

This is a big challenge. We are looking at using other spaces in the building, even the scene shop and the lobby (once the audience is in the house) to spread people out a bit. But there will be times when we are very cosy and will have to adapt.

If you have further questions, contact Kim MacMillan by email or at 250-517-0309. Download the Audition Sheet here.