Just when we thought local theaters had finished their last seasonal roster of shows, a new lineup emerges. From classic mainstream musicals to lesser known dramas, there is sure to be at least one show to entice theatergoers in the coming months.

And the theaters are already producing work. Shot in the Dark Productions opens up its new season with “Independence,” directed by Mindy Brinkerhoff. Set in the small town of Independence, Iowa, the story centers on a group of women dealing with their own personal crises amidst the failing mental health of their mother. The show – starring Joey Hartshorn, Anne Fox, Shelby Bock and Martina Courtney-Bottger -- debuts Sept. 4 at the Evelyn Larson Theatre, 413 Nebraska Street.

Shot in the Dark Productions' next show -- “The Addams Family” -- won’t take place until October, a fitting time for the macabre family to take the stage. Other notable Shot in the Dark Productions shows include “Jekyll & Hyde,” “The Normal Heart” and “Heathers.”

Auditions are underway throughout Siouxland. The Sioux City Community Theatre, for instance, will be holding open auditions for “The Miracle Worker” Sept. 8 and 9 at the theater, 1401 Riverside Blvd. Auditions for young people who can portray ages 7-12 are encouraged to audition between 5 and 5:45 p.m., while adults who can portray ages 21-75 are to audition between 6 and 7 p.m.

“The Miracle Worker” is based on Helen Keller’s life as detailed in her autobiography, “The Story of My Life.” The show highlights the relationship between Keller and her governess Anne Sullivan, who eventually teaches the blind and deaf Keller how to communicate and seek higher learning.

To prepare for these roles, the Sioux City Community Theatre has arranged a workshop -- tailored for young people -- on how to portray a blind and deaf character. The workshop, presented by Morningside College’s professor of theater Bette Skewis-Arnett, will be held from 11 a.m. to noon Saturday (Aug. 29) at the theater.

Director Joanne Fox aims to cast up to 16 people in “The Miracle Worker.” Those who wish to help with the play’s technical aspects are also welcome. Rehearsals will begin shortly after auditions. The show will open Oct. 16.

Opening the Sioux City Community Theatre’s season, however, is “The Awesome ’80s Prom.” This interactive comedy includes characters from popular ’80s movies competing for the titles of prom king and prom queen. The twist? The audience decides who wins the competition. The show debuts Sept. 18. Other notable plays are “A Christmas Story: The Musical” and “Mary Poppins.”

Lamb Arts Regional Theatre will hold an open casting call at 3 p.m. Saturday (Aug. 29) and 1 p.m. Sunday (Aug. 30) at the theater, 417 Market St.

Interestingly, Lamb Theatre does not hold auditions prior to each of its productions. Those selected from the open casting call will be added to the theater’s ever-growing casting pool, which consists of actors and actresses young and old who have performed in Lamb shows.

Those looking to audition are asked to attend one of the audition times, fill out a form with basic information and then read a scene or perform a two-minute memorized monologue. Singers must prepare 16 to 32 bars of a memorized song – an accompanist will be provided at the audition.

Lamb Theatre begins its 36th season with the musical “Monster Makers” Sept. 25 on the main stage. This show features a slew of different moviemakers -- a director, an actor and a makeup artist -- who all discover real life can be just as frightening as the monster movies they produce.

The new shows are underway and there are plenty to choose from. The question is: will you be there when the curtain rises?


Weekender reporter

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