HOPEDALE – Auditions for The Hope Players’ spring musical,” The Wizard of Oz” will be held on Monday, Feb. 6, and Wednesday, Feb. 8, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Hopedale United Methodist Church. Performances are scheduled for May 5-7 at Harrison East Elementary School.

The musical will be directed by Hope Players executive director Andrew Pelegreen III of Hopedale, with musical direction by Judith Kuryn, also of Hopedale.

“The Wizard of Oz” features music and lyrics by Harold Arlen and E. Y. Harburg, with background music by Herbert Stothart. The book was adapted by John Kane for the Royal Shakespeare Company, based on the classic MGM movie musical and L. Frank Baum’s beloved series of children’s books.

Pelegreen reported that the cast of “The Wizard of Oz” will consist of a mixture of adult and school-aged actors. Children aged ten or younger must be accompanied to auditions by a parent or guardian. All actors will be asked to read selected portions of the script.

Pelegreen emphasized that those auditioning, regardless of age, “…must be able to demonstrate the ability to concentrate on the tasks at hand.” Pelegreen added, “Parents and guardians are welcome, not only to support their children at auditions, but also to offer their support to the production.”

The show’s musical director, Judith Kuryn noted that “Actors are encouraged to bring a short piece of sheet music that shows their vocal range.” Kuryn added that a pianist will be available to accompany the actors. Kuryn said there is an alternate option for the musical portion of auditions. “Those auditioning also may bring pre-recorded accompaniment and playback devices,” she explained.

Pelegreen also noted that anyone interested in assisting the show in a technical capacity should come to the church on one of the audition dates or contact him by phone to indicate their areas of interest and expertise. 

Anyone with questions about the production or unable to attend auditions at the scheduled times should contact Pelegreen at (740) 937-2629, Kuryn at (740) 937-2157 or Hope Players President Donna Runt at (740) 937-2208 to make other arrangements.

Meanwhile, rehearsals are underway for the Hope Players’ upcoming production of “Almost, Maine,” a romantic comedy by John Cariani. In “Almost, Maine,” the residents of the title-named town find themselves falling in and out of love in unexpected and often hilarious ways, under the mystical energy of the Northern Lights, as hearts are broken and mended.

“Almost, Maine” will be performed Friday and Saturday, March 3-4, at 7 p.m. and Sunday, March 5, at 2 p.m. at Harrison East Elementary School in Hopedale.

The Hope Players are a family-oriented community theater group based in Hopedale. The organization welcomes all area actors, technicians and other volunteers of all ages to participate in their productions. Further information about the Hope Players is available at their website,www.hopeplayers.org.