Black Hills Community Theatre gets “in the act” while preparing for their newest show


A Sign Telling People Where To Sign In For AuditionsRAPID CITY, S.D.– Auditions were held Sunday night for the Black Hills Community Theatre’s newest show, “Sister Act.” Based on the movie of the same name starring Whoopi Goldberg, the musical tells the story of a singer who joins a convent and helps redefine the choir by combining soul and Motown elements into their music, all while trying to separate herself from her gangster boyfriend. Artistic Director Merlyn Sell and Assistant Director Matthew Vidal for the show explain more about their production.

Why “Sister Act?”

“We chose this particular show as a community and as the theater itself, because we were trying to look for diverse stories and diversified stories for this year,” Vidal said. “And as we know, Sister Act does have a strong female–black female lead in the lead role. And I mean, Whoopi Goldberg in the original movie is absolutely wonderful and it is just such an iconic character. And so we wanted to give a diverse shout-out to all the people in our community.”

Will there be any more audition opportunities for the show?

According to Sell, auditions were held all weekend long and they are hoping to have the cast selected in the coming days. However, should any issues with casting come up, they may have to make some special exceptions to fill the roles. Male roles, Sell says, tend to sometimes be the hardest to fill because of lack of people trying out or based on voice. “Depending on the play, a lot of times you can just put a woman in the role. Sometimes they can play men, sometimes you can just change the character to a female character. And then occasionally you have to just sort of knock on doors and beat the bushes and try to find people that fit what you’re looking for,” she explains. “With musicals, that tends to be more the case because of the vocal ranges. We could always call the second audition, but usually we have enough people that have done shows in the past that we can just reach out to them.”

Photos from the final day of auditions for “Sister Act”

Will the musical be the same as the movie?

For the most part, yes. The musical and movie both have the same original plot, however, the show features more music and stories for some of the secondary characters in the show. “The biggest difference is the addition of all of the different songs from some of the side characters like her gangster ex-boyfriend or her new love interest, the cop,” Vidal explained. “And it is just kind of giving those characters a little bit more fleshed out and we kind of get to learn a little bit more about them. And it is a little a little bit more funny and a little bit lighter. Not to say the original movie is not. It very much is. But this one heightens the hilarity of everything.”

Where can I purchase tickets?

Tickets will go on sale February 3, an can be purchased online or at the theatre’s box office. Their address is 601 Columbus Street in Rapid City, and box office hours are Monday through Friday 12-5:00 p.m and the box office is located on the third floor of the building.

Are there any other shows coming up?

Yes. There will be auditions for two other shows on February 4, and Sell says that all levels of experience are welcome to audition, with emphasis on people just starting out. “We are going to be doing two plays. We are going to be doing a new play by a local playwright, “Process of Elimination” by Al Christenson. And then we’ll be doing “Marjorie Prime”, which is a play sort of about AI, so it is really an exciting sort of sci-fi story,” she explains. “Those two are coming up and they perform in February and then early March. There’s about 12 hours rehearsal for those kind of projects. So it’s a really easy way to just dip your toe in, see if you like it.”

Categories: Local News, South Dakota News