'Horn' to celebrate 60th year
A High Country tradition makes its return, and this time for its 60th season.
It's "Horn in the West," acclaimed outdoor drama and local tourist attraction, and organizers say this could be your year. Saturday marks auditions for Summer 2011, the perfect time to make your "Horn" debut.
"Auditions will be an all-day event," public relations spokeswoman Virginia Roseman said.
And, while the drama is an all-summer event, your commitment doesn't have to be. Give the position of volunteer villager a try. "This is a great way to figure out how you can be a part of the production," Roseman said.
Villagers are in every scene, and their reactions can set the tone of the play. "They are just as instrumental as any paid cast members," Roseman said.
But you're welcome to audition for a main role.
"It's open to anyone and everyone," she said. "We would love for people who have different types of talent to show up."
Saturday isn't just for actors. Chorus and dance auditions will also take place, as will technician interviews. Children, ages 5 through 15, have their own audition Saturday.
"We have kids who have done it once and that's it," Roseman said. "They're in it for life."
And "Horn" is addictive. Just ask this year's director, Julie Richardson. This will be her fourth year directing the outdoor drama, but she's no stranger to the Boone stage.
"I grew up watching 'Horn in the West' as a kid at the top of the hill, while my mother worked at the gift shop," she said.
And she's had her hand in it all - props, production, stage management and more. And, when she moved on to the "real world" to become a professional stage manager, she couldn't shake the "Horn."
When an opportunity presented itself to come home and direct, she said yes. This year's show isn't what you saw last year.
"We're working on tightening the script up a little bit," she said. "I've tried to tighten up scenes and make them live a little faster."
And, thanks to ASU dance instructor Susan Lutz's choreography and inspiration from the "Unto These Hills" Cherokee dancers, dance this year will be different than ever before.
It's all an attempt to emphasize the story. It's that story, Richardson said, that makes the play so special.
"It's the story about the ... (American) Revolution," she said, "the story of freedom. I think it's an important history lesson for us to remember in this day of technological advancement. Sometimes we forget to look at our history."
And Saturday she'll be looking for a cast that cares just as much as she does about that history.
"I'm looking for people who have a great sense of pride for 'Horn in the West' and are very dedicated to seeing a good show this summer and who want the community to feel a part of the play."
And it is a community. Just ask 10-year "Horn" veteran Mark Woodard why he kept coming back year after year. "It's the wonderful sense of community," he said.
And, while other commitments will keep him away from "Horn" this year, he hopes to be among "Horn" alumni in the audience when the show premieres June 17. "It will be great to see old friends and celebrate the new season," he said.
"We're trying to make it special," Roseman said. "We're hoping to get anyone who's been a past cast member to the show."
And, in honor of the 60th anniversary, casts from each year of the Horn will be recognized.
If you want to be a part of the 2011 cast, Woodard has some advice. "I think people auditioning for 'Horn in the West' should just show enthusiasm for the show and its rich history," he said.
Auditions happen March 19 at the Harvest House in Boone. They start at 9 a.m. and last all day.