Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Audition Notice for The Marvelous Wonderettes

I am producing another show for the Midvale Arts Council. I am looking for some really talented women to be in this show. This show calls for 4 women who can play 18-28. Information is below for those interested in more information. 
Auditions for The Midvale Arts Council's production of "The Marvelous Wonderettes" will be held on Saturday, June 2nd at 11 am - noon. Callbacks will immediately follow. The address for the Midvale Performing Arts Center is 695 West Center Street (7720 South.) Auditioners should come prepared with 16 bars of an upbeat Broadway song or a song from the 50s. A pianist will be provided. Headshots and resumes are preferred. The show is being directed by Karen Chatterton with music direction by Janzell Tutor. Show dates are July 13 - 24 at the Midvale Outdoor Stage in the Park. Roles are available for 4 women (16 & up) and all roles are open. No appointment is necessary. For more information email Stephanie@midvalearts.com. Visit www.midvalearts.com for additional information.

The Marvelous Wonderettes takes you to the 1958 Springfield High School prom where we meet the Wonderettes, four girls with hopes and dreams as big as their crinoline skirts! As we learn about their lives and loves, we are treated to the girls performing such classic '50s and '60s songs as "Lollipop," "Dream Lover," "Stupid Cupid," "Lipstick On Your Collar," "Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me," "It's My Party" and over 20 other classic hits! You've never had this much fun at a prom and you will never forget The Marvelous Wonderettes-a must-take musical trip down memory lane!

Character Descriptions

CINDY LOU (plays 18 & 28) she knows she is the prettiest girl at Springfield High. She knows she will be named Prom Queen and acts out against her best friend Betty Jean when things don’t go her way. She makes the biggest change between Act 1 & 2, having learned the lessons of true love and loss. MEZZO SOPRANO BELT– sings lead line on most songs. Among the songs she sings are: ‘Allegheny Moon’, ‘Son of a Preacher Man’, ‘Maybe’.

MISSY (plays 18 & 28) She is the over-achiever of the group. Very controlled, very concerned that everything at the prom turns out wonderful and perfect. Head of the prom decorations committee; and absolutely smitten with her music teacher. Her best friend is Suzy. SOPRANO – WIDE RANGE, VERY HIGH VOCALS AND BELTS THROUGHOUT THE SHOW. Among the songs she sings are: ‘Secret Love’, ‘You Don’t Own Me’, ‘Wedding Bell Blues’.

BETTY JEAN (plays 18 & 28) the class clown, tomboy, always vying for attention with Cindy Lou, her best friend. It’s also highly probably that Betty Jean wants to be with Cindy Lou herself, but just doesn’t even know what those feelings really are. Cindy Lou steals Betty Jean’s boyfriend away, which causes a lot of the friction at the prom. She holds this grudge against Cindy Lou until they make up at the 10 year reunion. ALTO WITH A STRONG LOW RANGE. Among the songs she sings are: ‘Lipstick on Your Collar’, ‘I Only Want To Be With You’, ‘That’s When The Tears Start.”

SUZY (plays 18 & 28) Best friends with Missy, she is the happy-go-lucky one of the group –sometimes stereotyped as the ditzy blonde. Always smiling and giggling, nothing ever seems to bother her. In love with the lighting operator, completely surprised when named prom queen. Frustrated, sad, hormonal, and pregnant in Act 2. MEZZO ALTO, BOTH SWEET AND SOUL VOICE. Among the songs she sings are: ‘Stupid Cupid’, ‘Hold Me, Thrill Me’, ‘Rescue Me’. This role requires a consummate belter, excellent part singer and expert comedienne. Do not hire a ditzy person to play the ‘ditzy blonde.’

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

A Personal Post ...

This blog post is rather personal containing information that you may or may not find comfortable to read. I do not think it is an uncomfortable subject, but it is rather personal. A week ago I had a total hysterectomy. I have been suffering for over 20 years with painful menstrual issues. I will not go into too many details because of the 2 male readers I know I have and frankly this is the interweb and once something is out here, it is always out here! So if you are uncomfortable with this subject of girlie bits, this is probably not the blog post for you to read! I am not one to make up cute names for anatomy, I usually use the real words. Plus this is going to be a LONG post! You have been warned ...

I was 10 or 11 when I started having menstrual periods. By the time I was 17 they were so painful and erratic that it affected every aspect of my life. Once when I was a junior in high school my cramps were so bad that I passed one day missing a chemistry test. I remember vividly going to the ob/gyn the first time at 17. He was a funny funny man! After the exam he told me that I probably have endometriosis which means that my endometrial lining grows outside of the uterus. This lining adheres to various body parts. The body then reacts like it would to any injury and tries to form scabs, or adhesions, which in the case of someone with endo forms scar tissue which between organs. This causes pain worse than cramps. He put me on birth control that day and I have been on it since. I knew at 17 that one day I would eventually have to have a hysterectomy.  He told me if I could make it to 30 I would be doing good.

When I was getting ready to serve a mission for the LDS Church it was decided I needed to have a laparoscopic surgery to clean out the endo and adhesions. I had my mission call, but decided to postpone leaving so I could have the surgery. That went well, I was able to leave for Michigan a few months later. I lived relatively pain free for a while after the surgery for about 2 years. After the mission I moved back to Chicago and after a year the cramps were so bad I needed to move back home and take care of the issues.

By this time my male ob had been involved in an accident that left him paralyzed, but I was able to get into see one of his colleagues who has been my doc since. She is amazing! She got me on some new birth control that made it so I only had a period every 6 months. Then we went to 3 months. After about 5 years of this treatment the pain came back and we tried shots that put my body into a medical induced menopause. This jumped started my body to reboot, in essence. I was pain free for almost 3 years! So that is how normal women feel monthly! After 3 years the pain came back and we did the shots again. This time they did not work as well. The pain returned after 2 months, but worse ... much much worse. There is a new medication out of Europe that I tried that did not work. I had horrible weight gain, joint pain, irritability, and cankles that you would not believe!!

I have known for years that I would one day have to make the hard decision to have a hysterectomy. I put it off as long as I could. I hoped that one day I would get married and have children before I had to make this hard decision. I am now 36, I am single, and I have no children. But I also had daily cramps which were often debilitating. Cramps for me are not like normal cramps for many other women. I get nauseous from the pain, I have passed out on more than one occasion from the pain, and it is a daily, constant thing. I do not have cramps just a few days of the month. More like I do not have cramps for a few days of the month. If I could go more than a day without pain I thought it a victory.  

A few months ago I talked with Dr. L about my options. I had a few to choose from. I could have another laparoscopic surgery to clean everything out again, I could live with the pain, I could investigate IVF or surrogacy options, or I could have a hysterectomy. I weighed every option very carefully. I am a true believer that the Lord answers prayers. I included Him in my decision. I talked with some of the wisest women I know: my Mom and sisters. While all of the options posed to me serious options, the only one that was right was the hysterectomy. After prayer and reflection I knew it was right. I knew I had made a tough decision. But I knew it was the right one. So I scheduled my surgery for April 24.

I went through some very interesting emotional turmoil after making the decision. I mourned for the children I would never have, I knew I was making a decision that would affect the rest of my life and the life of a possible future husband. This mourning lasted about a week, and then there was peace. I knew I had made the right decision, I knew I would be alright regardless of what the future brought, and I knew that any future relationship would be alright as well. The hardest part became the wait. I scheduled my surgery early in February, and I had to wait until the end of April for it to be over with.

Last week I faced a finality I had never experienced before. Not only would it be the end of my child bearing ability, but an end to the pain I have been experiencing for 20 years. I truly believe that the painful cramps have had a positive effect on my life, even though it has been hell. It has shaped me with more compassion for those in pain, it has made me a stronger person physically, it has been my constant companion for 20 years of my life. But it was time to let the pain go. I had the memory of when I was younger and would play with my young girlfriends they would talk about having babies; I would talk about adopting babies. The thought came to me that if the Lord will have me raise children, He will give them to my care in His time and in His own way. I truly believe that the Lord gives us blessings and trials for our benefit and growth. Crams have been a constant trial in my life, having a hysterectomy at 36 is a trial in my life. However, the blessing of raising a family comes in many different forms. I have the blessing of 4 beautiful nieces and 2 amazing nephews that I get to help shape and form into good and righteous people. Sure these are not my children, but they are my family.

If the Lord wants me to raise children of my own, I know He will provide a way for that. If there are no children for me in the future, then I am okay with that. I am not saying that it will always be easy to not have children, but the Lord's will be done. I will never begrudge those who are blessed with children their joy and happiness just because I will never have any of my own.

So last Tuesday my wonderful Mom drove me to the hospital at the butt crack of dawn to have all of my lady bits removed. They took everything: ovaries, tubes, uterus, and cervix. I was calmer for this surgery than I have been for any procedure that I have been through in the past. I thought my blood pressure was going to be through the roof, but it was 129 over 75, which is just slightly above my normal. Dr. L came in and walked me through the surgery. I told my Mom I love her, and they wheeled me in.

When I woke up a few hours later, I still had peace though a bit more pain than when I had gone in. The surgery went well. They were going to do it all laparoscopicly, but ended up being able to do a dual surgery. There are three ways to do a hysterectomy: cut the abdomen open like a c-section, lapro, or vaginally. In the case of women who have had children most are able to do it vaginally which is a vastly easier recovery. Since I have not had children I would not be able to do it that way. But they were able to only cut 3 small holes in my abdomen, laser out all of the scar tissue and endo they found, cauterize the organs and remove them vaginally. Doing this will make my recovery time much easier and faster. I am truly grateful for this. Any time I have had any moment of doubt that I might have made a bad choice I remember the scripture: “Be still, and know that I am God.” Psalm 46: 10.

I stayed in the hospital overnight, but I am home now. Mom moved in with me to take care of me and I have been well taken care of! I have some amazing people who have brought me more chocolate than I think I can eat, movies to keep me occupied, and books to entertain me. I am doing well. I actually am doing much better than I thought I would both physically and emotionally. I still can do very little for myself but the women in my congregation at church have been coming over daily to help me make lunch and Mom takes care of me at night. In addition Mom has been working for me full time so I can take time off of work to heal.

I know that being a mother is important, and I would like to one day have that opportunity. But I know that I have made the right decision for me. I know that I have made the right decision for my life. There may be some who think I have made the wrong choice as a woman because who wants to purposefully take their reproductive ability away at 36? I have actually had people judge me for this decision. However, until they have walked in my shoes, and experienced the pain I have had to endure for the last 20 years, they have no right to judge me for my actions to my body. That being said, most of the people I told prior to my surgery were sympathetic to the circumstance and supportive of my decision.

I share this experience for some selfish reasons, frankly it is easier to share in one place than to tell people individually. I also hope that sharing this may explain some personal demons I have overcome. I share this also because the decision making process increased my faith in prayer and answers. It has increased my faith in the power of the Lord. “Be still and know that I am God” I hope will power my life forever as it has these last few months. I am by no means advocating hysterectomies as the answer for all women who have endometriosis. It was the hardest decision I have ever made in my life. I would hope that any woman who is facing this decision does not have to do it alone. I would hope that any family that faces infertility or a myriad of other issues will remember my simple story. Decisions that are hard to make are made easier with the help of the Lord. That decisions made with the help and faith in the Lord are easier to endure because He is with you. Who knows what the future holds for this 36 year old. I may be single my whole life, I may get married in a year, I do not know. But I do know that I can do anything with the love of my family and friends, and the health and strength I find through my knowledge and faith in my Heavenly Father.