Last year’s production of The Secret Garden brought out the talents of many young Nelson artists and featured magnificent set design.

Last year’s production of The Secret Garden brought out the talents of many young Nelson artists and featured magnificent set design.

Auditions are open for Mary Poppins, this year’s Capitol youth theatre production

To set up an audition, call the Capitol at 352-6363

Actors, singers, and dancers age 12 to 18 are encouraged to audition for this year’s Capitol Theatre youth production of Mary Poppins.

“You would be hard pressed to find more enjoyable music to sing,” says director Geoff Burns. “What a fun list of songs, from Let’s Go Fly a Kite, to Chim Chim Cheree to Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.

“There is lots and lots of ensemble work, a large cast, so there is so much work for the group to do. And this year there are lots of dance opportunities, so if there are people who have not thought of musical theatre but are into dance, this is the one for you.”

The Capitol youth productions are a 25-year tradition in Nelson, and a major incubator of young musical and acting talent. Nelson sends a remarkable number of actors and singers out into the world, and most of them have spent many summers on the Capitol Theatre stage.

One of those is Elizabeth Barrett, who is now studying theatre at Langara College. At the Capitol, Elizabeth appeared in many productions from a young age including Les Miserables, You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown, Willie Wonka, the Pajama Game, and her much lauded lead role in Sweeney Todd two years ago.

“The Capitol program gave me a sense of the teamwork involved,” she says. ‘The older ones helping the younger ones, it breaks down the barriers.

“It fostered in me a love for the hard work that has to go into it. This program has cranked out many young artists working in the industry in all forms. It is incredibly unique to Nelson.”

Burns has been the mainstay director of the program for many years, along with musical director Allison Girvan and choreographer Lynette Lightfoot. Together this trio of professional mentors has made the summer production into a high calibre must-see that sells out several shows every summer.

Burns says young actors and singers are used to getting together occasionally at school or in the evenings, but the Capitol production offers a whole new level of experience.

“To have that intense rehearsal every day for three to four weeks is such a rarity. To get an opportunity to experience that, it really builds a sense of community. And they have the support of the theatre behind them, knowing there is set design and lighting in a semi-professional way all around them, then they can focus on their work as actors.”

The final production will run July 23, 24, 25 & 26. Auditions will be held on April 12. Those interested in auditioning should contact Eva at the Capitol Theatre to book an audition time at 250-352-6363.  Office hours are Tuesday-Friday 12-4:30pm. The registration fee is $335.

Those accepted in the production will be at the theatre weekdays 9:00 until 4:00 from June 29 until July 22.