Published: September 11, 2015
Arts and Life
Auditions may be a nerve-wracking experience for most, but for student directors Kateri Sternberg and Mika Derynioski, they are a necessary way to cast this fall’s musical “Catch Me if You Can.”
On September 1-3, 27 brave students auditioned for the Liva Arts Theater Company’s fall production. Students came prepared to sing a song of their choice without musical accompaniment. “It’s easier for them to not worry about getting a background track,” Sternberg said. “It’s also good for us because we can see how well they can carry a tune on their own,” Derynioski said.
“Catch Me if You Can” is a musical comedy based on the true story of Frank Abagnale Jr.
“When he was about 17 years old, he ran away from home and he began forging checks,” Sternberg explained.
Frank impersonated a pilot, a doctor and a lawyer until he was at last caught by the FBI. “Catch Me if You Can” has been adapted into a movie and a book, both based on a true story.
“It’s in the style of a 60’s variety show. It has some swing to it so it’s very upbeat despite the fact that it’s a very serious storyline.” Sternberg said.
Sternberg and Derynioski, both juniors, are first-time student directors, but they have been involved in three previous productions, The Baker’s Wife, Rent and Back to the 80’s, at The University.
Sternberg is also choreographing the production.
Sternberg and Derynioski held callbacks this week. During callbacks, performers had to sing songs from the show, dance and act.
“We’re trying to see how fast they can learn things,” Derynioski said. “We want to see how well their voice fits for the specific parts of the show and how well they can carry themselves and act on the spot.”
Several factors play a role in the casting process.
“Voice is a huge part of it,” Sternberg said. “A lot of it is that they are not just singing, but actually engaging in what they are performing and not just standing there singing a song. No matter how good you sound, if you are just standing there onstage, it is not a performance.”
Sternberg and Derynioski will also look at how well performers interact with other actors.
The student directors shared their hopes for the upcoming production.
“The show is an opportunity to be creative and to share our love of theater with the community as well as bring new students into our Liva community,” Sternberg said.
“We want our cast members to have a good time, because obviously we are all here because we love theater and we love putting on shows for people.” Derynioski added.
Finally, they want the community to be able to see how much fun comes with creating the show. “Catch Me if You Can” will be performed in November and the entire Scranton community is encouraged to attend.