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Community Performance Series Announces 2016 Summer Musicals


Last updated 1/31/2016 at 6:48am


CPS Set to Stage Professional Productions of 'Mary Poppins' and 'Ring of Fire' This Summer

POTSDAM, NY (01/21/2016)(readMedia)-- Community Performance Series is proud to announce its 2016 summer musical productions. This season will include "Mary Poppins," running from July 12 to 19, and "Ring of Fire," showing from July 26 to Aug. 2.

"Mary Poppins" will include 7:30 p.m. performances each night, with 2 p.m. matinees on July 14, 16 and 19. "Ring of Fire" will also include 7:30 p.m. performances each night, with 2 p.m. matinees on July 28, 30 and Aug. 2. Both shows will be offered in the Proscenium Theater in SUNY Potsdam's Performing arts Center.

Local auditions for "Mary Poppins" will be held on Saturday, Feb. 6. CPS is seeking male and female singer/actors/dancers, ages 15 and up, for principal and ensemble roles. There are also roles available for one girl and one boy between the ages of 8 and 12. Those wishing to audition should make an appointment by emailing Walk-ins will be accommodated if time allows.

An audition accompanist will be provided. Singers are asked to prepare 16 to 32 bars from a musical similar in style to "Mary Poppins," and choose a section of the song that best demonstrates their range and skill. Sheet music must be in the key of the show. There will be no on-site transposition. Dates for the "Ring of Fire" audition will be announced in the coming weeks.

"Mary Poppins" is one of the most popular Disney movies of all time, and has also captured hearts as a "practically perfect" musical. Based on the books by P.L. Travers and the classic Walt Disney film, "Mary Poppins" has delighted Broadway audiences with more than 2,500 performances, receiving nominations for nine Olivier and seven Tony Awards, including for Best Musical.

In "Mary Poppins," the jack-of-all trades, Bert, introduces us to 1910 England and the troubled Banks family. Young Jane and Michael have sent many a nanny packing before Mary Poppins arrives on their doorstep. Using a combination of magic and common sense, she must teach the family how to value each other again. Mary takes the children on many magical and memorable adventures, but Jane and Michael aren't the only ones she has a profound effect upon. Even grown-ups can learn a lesson or two from the nanny who advises that "anything can happen if you let it."

"Ring of Fire" comes from the iconic songbook of Johnny Cash. The unique jukebox musical tells a story of love and faith, struggle and success, rowdiness and redemption, and home and family. More than two dozen classic hits -- including "I Walk the Line," "A Boy Named Sue," "Folsom Prison Blues," and the title tune -- are performed by a multi-talented cast, painting a musical portrait that promises to be a foot-stomping, crowd-pleasing salute to a uniquely American legend. Though he is never impersonated during the show, Johnny Cash's music takes center stage, climaxing in a concert that will both move and exhilarate.

Many people had approached Johnny Cash over the years, but only Bill Meade's ideas for representing the songs on stage would convince the musical legend. Just before his passing in 2003, Cash gave Bill the stage rights to his material, who in-turn solicited Broadway veteran Richard Maltby, Jr. to create the show.

When conceiving the story, Maltby made it clear: "First, we shouldn't attempt to put Johnny Cash himself on stage. The persona, the voice, are not duplicable, and the very best we could achieve would be a poor imitation. To me, Johnny Cash's biography wasn't the most important story available to tell. It was the songs. They are about the journey of a man in search of his own soul. That seemed to be a worthy story to put on a stage -- and the best part is we could tell it entirely through Johnny Cash's songs."

Early access tickets will be available for donors to the 2016 CPS Producer's Club beginning in March. Tickets will go on sale to the general public on June 1. Package discounts will also be available when purchasing tickets to both shows in a single transaction.

CPS is a college-community partnership presenting world-class performing artists and arts education opportunities in northern New York. This rich mixture of programming links communities, classrooms and audiences of all ages and preserves access to the performing arts for future generations. For more information, visit

Founded in 1816, The State University of New York at Potsdam is one of only three arts campuses in the entire SUNY system. SUNY Potsdam's arts curriculum offers the full palette: music, theatre, dance, fine arts and creative writing. No matter the discipline, people from all backgrounds can find their creative compass at Potsdam, with myriad arts immersion experiences available for both campus and community.


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