Community auditions to be held for ‘James and the Giant Chilton County Peach’

Published 10:24 am Monday, May 8, 2017

By EMILY REED / Special to the Reporter

CLANTON – The Central Alabama Performing Arts Guild is opening auditions to the community for its upcoming production of “James and the Giant Chilton County Peach.”

The production, based off of the popular children’s novel “James and the Giant Peach” written in 1961 by British author Roald Dahl, will encompass a local flair with characters representing landmarks, places, and people specific to Chilton County.

“We are bringing James home to Chilton County, where we have almost as many interesting characters as we have peaches,” said Mary Schiermann, with the Central Alabama Performing Arts Guild. “Many of these roles can be played by actors of any ages, so we are holding open auditions and inviting everyone. What we did was we took the original ‘James and the Giant Peach,’ and we placed it in Chilton County.”

Schiermann said those interested in auditioning do not have to have any prior acting experience, and all ages are welcome from 5 to 95.

Auditions for the production will be held May 13 beginning at 1 p.m. at the Fellowship Hall of Grace Fellowship Church, located at 1208 Fourth Ave. N. in Clanton.

“We will get people to where they need to be for the production,” Schiermann said. “They will be performance ready, and the best part is we all learn and play together. There are a nice variety of roles in this production. Our motto is ‘all ages, all stages.’ We like to bring in folks that might have some background in acting, or some that have no background and like to express themselves in a creative way. Anyone that wants to come is welcome.”

One of the aspects of the play is the addition of slapstick comedy, which Schiermann said is similar to comedy found in “The Three Stooges.”

“We have a slapstick act with a marine patrol captain and two patrolman, and they are Lake Mitchell security,” Schiermann said. “They happen to see this big, giant, peach overhead, which just makes it all sorts of fun. I tried to give the production a Southern slant, and we have had so much fun with it so far.”

There are 25 open slots to be filled for the August production, which include speaking and non-speaking roles for both males and females.

This is the first time for the Guild to host community auditions for a production of this type, but the group recently held a radio play, “War of the Worlds,” with a similar local theme.

“We did auditions for the radio play as well,” Schiermann said. “We took the old script, and we placed it in Chilton County where we had martians come up the peach water tower, and water leak all over Interstate 65. We had more than 40 voices in that production and many of them were local including Sheriff John Shearon, Superintendent of Education Tommy Glasscock, and Lee Helms with Lee Helms Associates.”

Schiermann said the Guild serves to bring to the Chilton County area as much creative expression as possible.

“We want to get more people involved, and look forward to seeing who comes out for auditions,” Schiermann said.

For more information about the audition, those interested should contact the Guild at, on Facebook by searching “Central Alabama Performing Arts Guild,” or by calling Schiermann at (205) 907-0008.

The production will be performed Aug. 19 at Clanton First United Methodist Church.