Waiting for the second night of auditions for "The Full Monty" to get under way, director Michael Brumbaugh isn't sure how things will turn out.
"It's always kind of iffy because we have a limited pool of people," Brumbaugh said.
Songs from the show are being pumped into the lobby, hopefully instilling confidence in the handful of high school students who have gathered there to run lines before taking a test-run on the stage.
In a few minutes, the people in the lobby will come into the theater in pairs, read bits of a scene to each other and sing a prepared song (preferably one that's upbeat and isn't from "The Full Monty").
For now, Brumbaugh sits in the empty, dimly lit space, reflecting on how to get more people into that lobby and how to plan community theater in Steamboat Springs in a reliable way.
"At least here at this point, we're still working on building a theater program," he said.
Not knowing in advance if he can get a viable cast together has taught Brumbaugh a few things - mostly, not to commit to a show until he has enough people to put it on.
"Generally, I hold off on getting the rights for a show until I know who we're going to have," he said. "Really if you have a more well-developed theater program, people are more excited to come to it."
Unless the schedule changes, which is a possibility, "The Full Monty" is the last full-fledged musical production on the calendar at Steamboat Mountain Theater before it's demolished in the massive, upcoming overhaul of Ski Time Square. Depending on the turnout he gets at this audition, Brumbaugh said he might push the show to early June.
Even if he does get a cast in time for a late-March opening, he'll have to schedule three or four nights a week to work on "The Full Monty" around rehearsals for a Steamboat Springs High School production of "All Shook Up."
"It does seem a challenge to do a regular show in this town during ski season," Brumbaugh said. For the three sets of auditions he has done with Steamboat Mountain Theater, Brumbaugh said he usually sees more women than men.
It's possible that some have shied away from these auditions because they're iffy about the last 10 minutes or so of the show.
"I definitely had something people saying, 'Oh I would really love to audition for this, but what would people think?'" Brumbaugh said.
But "The Full Monty" isn't that vulgar - Brumbaugh rates it as PG-13 and said the "full" part isn't in the script. He chalks up a relatively low turnout on the first night of auditions to blustery weather and scheduling conflicts but is confident the show will go well if he can cast it.
"If we end up doing it, it will sell out every night," he said.