Editor's Note: This story has been updated.
Two weeks after submitting their audition videos, Sammy Bredar and Ella Pittman were accepted as walk-ons to perform in “NOËL The Musical” with VenuWorks Theatricals.
The cast and crew will only have short period to rehearse together before bringing the Christmas tale to life in the one-night performance 7:30 p.m. Nov. 20 in Emens Auditorium.
Set in modern-day London, “NOËL” is a festive musical that tells the story of a young girl named Noël in search of her mother who abruptly disappears. Along the quest to find her mother, Noël meets a group of homeless people who try to help. As they help her, she helps them rediscover their lost Christmas spirit and the beauty of the holidays.
Bredar, a freshman public relations major, first began acting when she was 8 years old and did not anticipate continuing her decade-long career into college until “NOËL.”
When: 7:30 p.m. Nov. 20
Where: Emens Auditorium
Tickets for students are free in advance and $10 at the door. General public tickets are sold on Ticketmaster.
After seeing an email about needing Muncie community members for walk-on roles, Bredar decided to send in her application, which included a headshot, a two minute video of her theatrical background and a talent demonstration piece.
She was later emailed her song for the part of Emily.
“I am so excited to perform at Ball State, especially because I am not a theatre major,” Bredar said. “I think it is a really awesome opportunity to get involved, and I am so excited to get to meet the cast of ‘NOËL.’”
Pittman, on the other hand, is a 12-year-old who acts at the Muncie Civic Theatre and hopes to pursue a career in musical theatre.
She heard about “NOËL” through her mom and decided to apply because she thought it would be a great stepping stone in her journey.
Like Bredar, Pittman received her script through email for the part of Greta.
“I am excited to be able to explore different surroundings, and I hope that by doing this at Emens, when I get older I will be able to continue doing this,” Pittman said. “I am really excited for a different opportunity than I am used to.”
Actress Tess Jonas, who plays Duchess, described the musical as original, simple, warm and joyful.
“I think what’s so impressive with it is that it’s a totally original story,” Jonas said. “It’s not based on a movie or a remake of something else.”
Although “NOËL” marks Irish theatrical producer Michael Londra’s first musical as an executive producer, he is excited for it because of his personal connections. He has been friends with author Eoin Colfer and composer Liam Bates for many years, and he has a 20-year background in music.
“In this world, where things are a little bit uptight, this [musical] offers a little bit of hope in your life,” Londra said. “It addresses real problems that people have, like homelessness. It talks about caring for one another, and it’s about offering hope to those a little less fortunate than you.”
Actor Todd Berkich, who plays Nick, agreed with Londra and said his favorite aspect of “NOËL” is the message behind the musical.
“This musical hits home with how everybody wants, wants, wants, and we are all about consuming as a society,” Berkich said. “And [“NOËL”] is really about us finding our way again and recognizing [that] to give to others, we give to ourselves.”
Contact Demi Lawrence with comments at email@example.com.