CD – Selections from The Great American Trailer Park Musical ON SALE NOW!

The Trailer Park Studio Cast

This brand new CD features 6 songs from the musical, plus 4 bonus tracks of songs written for the original New york production, but previously unrecorded.

Heatherton Lays One Down
Actress Heatherton Hardy Wilson

The creators of the musical, David Nehls and Betsy Kelso have granted permission for members of the Circle Theatre cast and band to record these 6 new songs and share them for the very first time.

Listen to samples below!

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Hans’ Musical Director’s Notes for The Great American Trailer Park Musical

When this show was produced at the Out of the Loop Festival at WaterTower in Addison, it sold out very quickly and was almost immediately slated to return for a second run at that venue. That extended run sold out almost every night as well – often with patrons attending for a second or even third time. One well-known critic wrote that she sneaked out of a different production and into ours at intermission because she enjoyed it so much the first time.

The question for me is – Why is this little show such a joy to watch? Don’t get me wrong.  The book is hilarious and the music is a blast to listen to, but what is it about this show that entices audience members to buy another ticket and bring their friends? (Trust me producers would love an answer to this question too.)

For me, it’s a one-two punch of a couple elements that catapult this show and others in the genre to the top of my must-see list. First, the audience can identify with the characters almost immediately and second the fourth wall has been removed completely so that the audience is included in the show.

Whether we want to admit it or not – many of us don’t have to wander too far out on the limbs of our family tree to find a Norbert, Jeanie or even a Duke.  These representations make great comedy, but the humor comes from the reality of recognizing our own lives in them.  Director, Chris Robinson, was emphatic that the actors’ characters should not turn into caricatures.  They are real people with huge “Jerry Springer-style problems. We laugh, but we also empathize with their basic emotions.

A great friend of mine recently summed up her almost 60 years of success as an actress in one minute.  This is what she said, to the best I can recall. “Audiences come to the theatre to see a reflection of themselves in the performers. It doesn’t matter what is being portrayed. If you can find a common thread between the character you are portraying and the guy or gal in the seat watching – then you’ve got that person by the heart and you can take them anywhere.”  At its heart, I think that’s what brings people back. This show provides an honest accessible reflection of our own struggles.

The other key element in the endearment of this show is that the “fourth wall” is torn down from the very first line of the show. Sara Shelby Martin’s character welcomes audience members and continues to acknowledge them throughout the show.

I was always taught that actors “breaking the fourth wall” was taboo and a desperate act. However, although it can easily be abused and misused, I feel it really meets a need for audiences to be seen and noticed. TV and film can’t do this like live theatre can. It is that two-way communication that separates live theatre from other popular entertainment formats.

The real art for an actor is to see and acknowledge the audience by showing them a raw glimpse of their soul, rather than speaking directly to them.  But we can’t always achieve such a lofty goal – particularly in a trailer park.  So why not follow Pickles’ example and just pass them a moon-pie from your bra and ask ‘em to sit back and enjoy.

Perhaps, this is all a little too over-thought for a show about seven crazy trail park residents… but you may just find yourself sneaking back for an encore performance without knowing what it was that made you a repeat “attender”. I hope these ramblings will help bring things into focus so you can rationalize coming back with your friends to visit us in Starke, Florida again and again before the end of the run.

-Hans Grim, Music Director

The Great American Trailer Park Musical – AUDITIONS

Fort Worth’s Circle Theatre is presenting The Great American Trailer Park Musical April 29th through May 29th. (Rehearsals will begin the week of April 5th)

Directed by Chris Robinson
Musical Directed by Hans Grim

The roles of Norbert and Duke are already cast (Jim Johnson and Andy Baldwin, respectively).

The 5 female singing roles are available for audition.

Auditions will be held by appointment only on Saturday Jan 23rd from 3:00pm – 6:00pm and on Sunday Jan 24th from 1:00pm – 3:00pm

Callbacks will be on Sunday Jan 31st beginning at 1:00pm.

Please call 817-877-3040 Monday-Friday between noon and 5:00pm to schedule your audition.

Actors may do cold readings of monologues or sides from the show. A prepared contemporary comic monologue of 1 to 2 minutes is strongly encouraged.

Please be prepared to sing a pop ballad and an uptempo rock or blues selection. Singing from the show is encouraged, but make sure you are comfortable with the song – we want to see you at your best. Bring music in your key for an accompanist.

Perusal copies of the script will be available at Circle Theatre and at S.T.A.G.E. (for members only).

Sides are available here and will also be posted on the Circle Theatre website.

Here are some excerpts of music from the score for Callbacks – (or your audition if you’re feeling brave)

Musical Excerpts

JEANNIE – an agoraphobic woman whose husband is having an affair with an exotic dancer, who is on the run from her gun-toting, glue-sniffing ex.
Flushed Down the Pipes- Music Side (Click for MUSIC PDF)
Flushed Down the Pipes – DEMO RECORDING
Flushed Down the Pipes – Jeanie (Piano Only)
But He’s Mine (end)- Music Side
Owner of My Heart – Music Side

PIPI – Stripper who steals Jeanne’s husband
But He’s Mine (Click for MUSIC PDF)
But He’s Mine – Pipi (DEMO)
But He’s Mine (Piano Only)
It’s Never Easy – Music Side

Betty – runs the leasing office – a self-proclaimed “bad-ass”
That’s Why I Love My Man (Click for MUSIC PDF)
That’s Why I Love My Man – Betty (AUDIO DEMO)
That’s Why I Love That Man – Betty (Piano Only)

Pickles – , aka Donna, is called “Pickles” because she is perpetually hysterically pregnant.
That’s Why I Love My Man (Clcik for MUSIC PDF)
That’s Why I Love My Man – Pickles (DEMO)
That’s Why I Love That Man – Pickles (Piano Only)

Lin – short for linoleum, because her mother gave birth to her on the kitchen floor
That’s Why I Love My Man (Click for MUSIC PDF)
That’s Why I Love My Man – Lin (DEMO)
That’s Why I Love That Man – Lin (Piano Only)

More Show Info

Synopsis

Click here for a little bit of the libretto which has a character synopsis.

And here’s a link to a page that has audio samples

If you have any questions, please use the comment form below to contact the musical director: