Theater tryouts start Sunday in Steamboat |

Theater tryouts start Sunday in Steamboat

Piknik Theatre Festival seeks actors for 3 summer plays

Margaret Hair

Kirsty Peters plays Audrey Rose during a rehearsal for “Eccentricities of a Butterfly” in the field in front of Steamboat Springs High School. She was practicing for the 2009 Picnic Theatre Festival

Kirsty Peters plays Audrey Rose during a rehearsal for the 2009 Picnic Theatre Festival's presentation of "Eccentricities of a Butterfly." Auditions for this year's festival start at 10 a.m. Sunday.

— A summer theater festival director is asking potential actors to "be just the best person they can be" at auditions Sunday and Monday.

Actors and musicians are invited to audition for the 2010 Piknik Theatre Festival from 10 a.m. to noon Sunday or 6 to 8 p.m. Monday at the Depot Art Center. Festival director and founder Stuart Handloff said prepared material isn't required; instead, the auditions are a way to meet potential local participants.

"Just to hear a person's voice to get some idea of what they're like as a person really gives us a good idea of what they're going to be like as an actor," Handloff said. Anyone interested in acting is welcome to come prepared with a short monologue, and anyone interested in singing can come with an a cappella song, he said. Each audition will last about 15 minutes; actors are welcome to audition any time during the scheduled window, Handloff said.

Scheduled for July 9 to 25, the Piknik Theatre Festival — formerly known as the Picnic Theatre Festival — combines actors and directors from New Zealand with local artists to produce three outdoor plays during three weeks.

On schedule for this summer's festival are a one-act version of the Stephen Sondheim musical "Into the Woods"; a rendition of William Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream"; and a "devised piece" created by actors and directors around the idea of colonization, Handloff said. Everyone who auditions will have a part in at least one of the three shows, he said.

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"It's anything but intimidating, and it's great to see real artists performing at their best, modeling what good acting and directing are all about. … I think it's a great treat for kids and anybody else on up to be able to work with a professional cast," Handloff said.

Rehearsals for the festival start June 8 and continue until performances get going July 9. Actors will perform each play at Spring Creek Park on Friday, Saturday or Sunday for three weekends through July 25. There are also two Wednesday performances planned at Bud Werner Memorial Library or Yampa River Botanic Park on July 14 and 21, Handloff said. All performances are free and open to all ages.

Actors need to be available for at least one of the festival's rehearsal periods — rehearsals are regularly from 10 a.m. to noon, 2 to 4 p.m. or 6 to 8 p.m. — but directors "generally can work around almost anyone's schedule," Handloff said. For more information about the festival, contact Handloff at 970-355-9403 or

If you go

What: Auditions for the 2010 Piknik Theatre Festival

When: 10 a.m. to noon Sunday, 6 to 8 p.m. Monday

Where: Depot Art Center, 1001 13th St.

Cost: Free

Call: Stuart Handloff, 970-355-9403

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