Auditions for a musical at the Pharr Community Theater

Seres Jaime Magaña, in his fourth year as theater director for PCT, leads a group of children in last year’s Christmas play. Magaña holds an English degree from UTRGV and will direct and co-produce the musical The Four Bills. Hearings on zoom, February 23 & 24. Courtesy Image
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Texas Border Affairs

PHARR, Texas – The Pharr Community Theater will hold auditions, February 23-24, for singers, actors and dancers for a large-scale Western musical set in late 1800s Oklahoma titled The four ticketsbook by Barry Glasser, music by David Spear and lyrics by David Fox.

Flier auditions for The Four Bills, designed by Sergio Luna. Courtesy Image
Barry Glasser
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“We’ve created a wild west musical with everything we all love about westerns – a train robbery, bank robberies, gunfights, outlaws, a fearless marshal, a dance, and we even have a hanged judge,” Glasser explained. “The musical is based on a true story about outlaws – the Doolin Gang – who were the rock stars of their time, hoodlums who fascinated the public precisely because they targeted the establishment, namely the banks, railroads and landowners who were seen as the enemy of the average man or woman struggling to survive. The four tickets has us rooting for outlaws and asking us to examine – why? Why do we identify with them? What makes these anti-heroes so appealing, even though our common sense tells us they shouldn’t be? Do we secretly dream of obeying rules – or breaking them? Glasser said. “It’s a harrowing, exuberant spectacle that moves faster than the locomotive our heroes end up stealing.”

The songs for The four tickets are “character-driven theatrical songs, inspired by the great tradition established by shows like Oklahoma and Annie take your gunobserved composer David Spear. “Music and lyrics, from intimate to epic, are designed to drive the plot forward while providing insight into each character’s motivation and state of mind.”

Barry Glasser is currently a faculty member of the English Department at PSJA Southwest Early College High School and South Texas College. Born and raised in New York, a graduate of New York University, he joined RGV from Los Angeles nearly 10 years ago after a long career as a Hollywood studio director, producer and screenwriter. A proud member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and Writers Guild of America, Barry served as publicity director for Twentieth Century Fox, vice president of Walt Disney Pictures and senior vice president of MGM. Barry’s film credits include co-producer of the 1992 animated classic, Little Nemoour favorite childhood movie four bills director Seres Jaime Magaña, and the screenplay of Gold Diggers: Bear Mountain’s Secret, the 1995 Universal family film starring Cristina Ricci and Anna Chlumsky, which is now streaming on Starz. His TV series include Mighty Orbots, Galaxy High School, Visionaries and Flutist broadcast on CBS, ABC and China Central Television. His plays have been produced at the Cast Theater in Hollywood, the Sharon Playhouse in Sharon, Connecticut, and the Ensemble Studio Theater in New York and Los Angeles. His new streaming series Kiarawhich he created and wrote, will be co-produced with Vision Entertainment in Bollywood, India, and will be shot there and in the Rio Grande Valley for worldwide distribution.

David Lance
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David Spear graduated from UCLA as a recipient of the Henry Mancini Scholarship and began his career orchestrating numerous film scores for Elmer Bernstein, including Airplane, Pet Shop, Heavy Metal and Ghost hunters. After his Broadway debut as musical director of Merlin, the magical musicalSpear has written scores for three Oscar-nominated films: Rainbow War, Robotic Balletand The courage to care. He also composed the music for the Emmy Award-winning National Geographic documentary, Survive Everest. He has conducted the London Symphony, Royal Philharmonic, Vancouver Symphony and Munich Philharmonic in recordings of his own works. Spear conducted the Indianapolis Symphony for the 2008 world premiere of The Langston Hughes Project with Ice-T and the Ron McCurdy Quartet. A dedicated educator, Spear was artist-in-residence for the Department of Judaic Studies at Portland State University and a faculty member at Berklee College of Music (1991-1995), USC Thornton School of Music ( 1995-2006), and NYU (2009-2013). His work in the arts and academia is nurtured by decades of creative collaboration with many distinguished artists, filmmakers and scholars. Professor Spear has trained and mentored hundreds of national and international students, many of whom go on to successful careers in academia, as well as in the theatre, music and film industries.

David Spear and Barry Glasser are indebted to their beloved collaborator, the late David Fox, for his wonderfully inventive, comedic and poetic lyrics. A respected journalist, David Fox has written about the film industry for over 15 years, first at Show Business Journal daily variety and finally to The Los Angeles Times. At the time of his death, The Times honored him as “a young man who did outstanding work and was intimately involved in the film community. He has proven to be a real asset to the department.

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Auditions, rehearsals and performances:

PCT casts 7 males and 6 females, ages 18-30, for lead roles which include signing and acting. Also 3 men and 3 women as dancers, aged 18-30 and 3 other men and 3 women aged 30-50 who can play and carry a melody, or devote themselves to learning with our vocal coach, to add to the chorus, as well as act in a variety of smaller speaking parts. Experienced singers and dancers are encouraged to try as well as beginners.

Denise A. Martinez
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Seres Jaime Magaña will direct and co-produce, Denise A. Martinez will be vocal coach, Patricia Turrubiates will be choreographer, Robert Longoria will be our technical director and Damien Duque our sound designer. Other TBA crew members. David Spear and Barry Glasser will join us for part of the rehearsals to help coordinate the music and assist with the production, along with PCT Producer and Artistic Director Pedro Garcia.

Hearings will be held via zoom on February 23 & 24 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., first come first served. No prior appointment necessary. Callbacks will be by appointment on February 25 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the theatre. Each listener will have approximately 8 minutes for the test. To better prepare and access the audition instructions and zoom invitation to audition, please log in to: https://tinyurl.com/TFB22 -Here you will also find an audition sign-up sheet, character description, downloadable audition sides/dialogue, song clips, lyrics and music to audition with, and the full script is also available. Casting will be completed by February 28. Those selected will be notified by then.

Rehearsals begin March 1 and will be scheduled on a weekly evening basis from 6:30-9:30 p.m. until opening night to include a series of 10 shows in May/June in Pharr and tours to surrounding RGV towns. . Time off and some flexibility will be available during the rehearsal and production process. For covid safety, rehearsals will take place partly online and partly at the theater at 213 W Newcombe Ave., Pharr.

“PCT is thrilled to tackle a two-act musical of this caliber for the first time. This will be a good opportunity for those of the RGV who are looking to broaden their experience in singing, dancing and acting. It’s going to be awesome,” PCT producer Garcia said.

For more information, visit the Pharr Community Theater FB page or text or call 956-451-3987 or 956-655-9308.

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