CUTC replaces planned show because of low audition numbers

CUTC replaces planned show because of low audition numbers

CHAMPAIGN – The Champaign Urbana Theatre Company has canceled its upcoming production of the musical "Hello, Dolly!" mainly due to the small number of people who auditioned.

In a newsletter posted online on Tuesday, show director Jeffrey Chandler said the talent that had auditioned this past weekend was sufficient to cast the principal roles, but not enough to fill the large chorus of singers and dancers.

"In the end, we felt that we wouldn't be able to adequately cast and produce this classic show in the grand manner and style it deserves," he wrote.

Based on the low turnout at auditions, CUTC assumed it would have low attendance for the performances, which were to take place at the Parkland Theatre.

The community theater company has decided to replace "Dolly!" with the more popular "Into the Woods," which requires fewer cast members and a smaller budget.

"Into the Woods" will run from April 21 to 30 at the Parkland Theatre, and auditions will be on Feb. 12 and 13 for it. CUTC will announce more details soon.

"It is never CUTC's intention to announce a show, and then cancel or change it, but we must also concern ourselves with financial matters as we maintain our plans for the company's future," Chandler wrote. "We hope you will understand our decision and will continue to support our spring production of 'Into the Woods,' as well as our theater company as a whole. We also hope that you will see our collective choice to change course as a testament to our concern for CUTC's financial stability, our respect for its artistic integrity, and our desire to provide entertainment that our membership and patrons want to see."

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Joe American wrote on January 25, 2011 at 9:01 pm

How odd is that!? CUTC always seems to have the same people "winning" the best positions over and over, rarely allowing outsiders in. Almost like being cast is "fixed" or something. Or is it just the little people positions that they had trouble filling? My bad!

We terminated our involvement with them because of that.

ggersten wrote on January 26, 2011 at 10:01 am

Joe (if that's his real name) obviously hasn't been to a CUTC show in quite some time. I was an outsider but sought to be involved and have directed one show and produced another in the last two years. If Joe bothered to look at the playbills for the last few years, he or she would see that he lead roles have not cast the same people over and over. Last year's shows, Rent, Footloose and Aida had varying leads - and had people brand new to CUTC in many of the lead roles. The prior year had different leads for Sweet Charity, Annie Get Your Gun and Jekyll & Hyde. (One young lady has had three leads in the last few years - but also been in the chorus or in secondary parts - and until the last two years, had little or no involvement with CUTC - and, fyi, she was cast because she is really really good). The prior year had different leads for Once on this Island, Joseph and Little Shop of Horrors, each starring persons new to CUTC. Having been involved with casting of two shows, I know that no cast is "fixed" but is based on who auditions.
CUTC, to my understanding, tries to emphasize "community" and to give as many people as possible a chance to be on stage - which distinguishes it from the smaller casts that Parkland and The Station generally use. Joe's attitude - which I presume he or she has shared - is damaging to a community theatre because he or she is spreading false information in a smaller community to people who are unable to question his or her statements.