NEPA Scene Staff

PATAsphere holds open casting call for new musical ‘Just a Penny’ at Kirby Center in Wilkes-Barre July 1-3

PATAsphere holds open casting call for new musical ‘Just a Penny’ at Kirby Center in Wilkes-Barre July 1-3
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From a press release:

PATAsphere, a nonprofit organization based in Dallas, and the F.M. Kirby Center in Wilkes-Barre will host an open casting call for “Just a Penny,” a full-length original musical by O.R. Barone.

A synopsis of the show reads: “In the moments before the opening of their musical, flashbacks tell the story of how the director and her talented crew exceeded expectations, defied the odds, and discovered that all they needed was a little hope, each other, and just a penny.”

PATAsphere is seeking males and females ages 18+. All actors auditioning should be prepared to perform a short monologue (under one minute) and sing a portion of a song of their choice (16 bar cut) to an audio track or a capella. Lead roles in the production require both acting and singing (some dance experience is preferable but not required). Dancers have an opportunity to audition to be a part of the dance core.

Auditions will be held at the F.M. Kirby Center for the Performing Arts (71 Public Square, Wilkes-Barre) on a first-come, first-serve basis on Sunday, July 1 from noon-5 p.m. (acting/vocal auditions); Monday, July 2 from 6 p.m.-9 p.m. (acting/vocal auditions); and Tuesday, July 3 from 6 p.m.-9 p.m. (dance core auditions). Callbacks are on Sunday, July 8 from noon-6 p.m. (by invitation only).

“Just a Penny” will be performed at the Kirby Center on Sunday, Dec. 9. Rehearsals will begin in mid-August and will be held weekly through late September and bi-weekly in October and November. Nightly rehearsals will be held Monday through Saturday, Dec. 3—Dec. 8. The exact rehearsal schedule will be determined based on cast and crew availability. There will be no financial compensation for participation in the show.

PATAsphere is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in Dallas, Pennsylvania. The only academy of its kind in Northeastern Pennsylvania, PATA integrates the magic of theater and performance with key principles of anatomy, physiology, and current learning theories.

PATA was founded by Dr. Cari Tellis, a professor at Misericordia University and a voice specialist with certification as a master teacher and course instructor in the Estill Voice Training System. A singer, voice scientist, and voice therapist with nearly 20 years of experience working with professional speakers and performers, Tellis approaches voice training from the perspective of physiology and science, merging this approach with the artistry of speaking and singing.

Research indicates that involvement with the performing arts improves academic performance, including reading comprehension, verbal skills, and standardized test scores in typically developing children as well as children with learning differences. Participation in performing arts programs have also been shown to build self-confidence and self-esteem and improve children’s attendance at school.

A primary objective at PATA is to promote vocal health and vocal awareness and to instill in young performers the foundational knowledge of physical movement to decrease the risk of vocal and physical injury related to speaking, singing, and dancing. This knowledge makes it more likely that young performers will be able to perform for as long as they desire. While not every young individual who participates in the performing arts will pursue a career in theater or the arts, many will seek jobs where their voices are essential to their work and communication with others – teachers, lawyers, managers, and those in allied health professions like speech-language pathology, nursing, physical therapy, and physician assistants.

The skills they learn at PATA will not only prepare them to communicate effectively with kindness, empathy, and respect, but will help to nurture future leaders, fostering critical thinking and interpersonal skills.

PATA Acting and Leadership Coach Lonnie Barone (Orlando R. Barone) is an executive coach at the Wharton School of Business, where he has also instructed undergraduates in executive presence and leadership. He is a graduate MBA instructor in business communication skills at the Fox School of Temple University. He presents on use of voice and gesture in public settings and is on the adjunct faculty at the Harvard School of Public Health, where he instructs on credibility, negotiation, and conflict resolution.

Barone co-wrote the bestselling textbook on the effective use of voice and gesture, “Your Voice Is Your Business,” now in its second edition. His college text, “Counseling and Interviewing in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology: A Therapy Resource,” was released to critical praise from Jones and Bartlett in 2016. His op-ed pieces appear regularly in the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Barone wrote the scripts for all the PATA summer musicals, including the scripts and lyrics for the original shows “A Musing Tale” and “Just a Penny.” PATA’s 2018 musical “North Star Alley” will be next.

For more information, contact PATAsphere Director Cari Tellis at or