Director Greg Scherer, left, uses his classical dance background to coach Cheryl DiPietro and Michael Sickles in a waltz. Photo courtesy of Olympic Theatre Arts

Director Greg Scherer, left, uses his classical dance background to coach Cheryl DiPietro and Michael Sickles in a waltz. Photo courtesy of Olympic Theatre Arts

OTA’s ‘Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks’ is cast, in rehearsal

Scheduled to run in March but postponed by the peninsula’s “Snowmageddon,” Olympic Theatre Arts’ production of “Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks” is now cast and in rehearsal.

In this comedy-drama by Richard Alfieri, Lily, an “aging but formidable retiree,” hires Michael Minetti, an acerbic dance instructor, to give her dance lessons in her condo in St. Petersburg Beach, Fla. Antagonism between a gay man and the wife of a Southern Baptist minister gives way to profound compatibility as they swing dance, tango, foxtrot and cha cha while sharing barbs and intimacies along with the dance steps, play production staff say.

Director Greg Scherer, recently seen in OTA’s musical comedy production of “First Date,” said he is pleased with his two-person cast.

“I have two outstanding actors for this show,” Scherer said. “But they are as different as night and day and chalk and cheese, and that’s part of the beauty of this play. These two strong characters come together – her world as a senior, his dance world. The clash is comedic, but the caring underneath is what really makes the show.”

Cast as Lily, Cheryl DiPietro calls the production “a real sweet story.”

“She’s very leery of a stranger coming into her home, but as time goes on they get to be friends. I think people in Sequim are going to be able to relate to a lot of the themes in this play.”

Michael Sickles, who is involved with both the Port Angeles Community Players and OTA and was last seen at OTA as Happy in “Death of a Salesman,” plays Minetti.

“It’s a drama about creating friendship,” Sickles said. “And you get to watch that blossom. Then the comedy is just all around, because they’re both funny, genuine people. They’re very different, and that’s what so beautiful. But they’re also similar – they’re both caring, they’re both sassy, they both have a strong will about them.”

“Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks” runs June 7-16; performance times are Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m., Sundays at 2 p.m. Pay-What-You-Will night is Thursday, June 13.

Tickets are $18 for the general public, $16 for OTA members and $10 for students with school identification card. Tickets are available at the OTA box office from 1-5 p.m., Monday through Friday, or online at www.OlympicTheatreArts.org.

For more information, call 360-683-7326.

OTA sets auditions

Olympic Theatre Arts in Sequim will host open auditions for its production of “Immigrant Garden ~ Letters” by Caroline Wood.

Auditions are at 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 15, and 10 a.m. Saturday, May 18, at Olympic Theatre Arts, 414 N. Sequim Ave.

Set in 1910, “Immigrant Garden ~ Letters” tells the story of the unlikely friendship of two women — one a young woman from Kelso, Wash., and the other a matronly but spry woman from Yorkshire, England — over their love of flower gardens.

Directed by Cathy Marshall, this production requires six actors: A woman in the age range of 17-21; a woman in the 60-plus age range who can speak with a British accent, a man in the 50-plus age range; a young man aged 18-22; a middle-aged man; and a middle-aged woman who can also speak with a British accent.

While this is readers theater, OTA representatives note, at times performers will not be reading from the script and will move about the stage.

Those interested but unable to make the audition times are asked to contact Marshall at 360-808-8588 to set up a time.

“Immigrant Garden ~ Letters” is set to run July 12-21, during Sequim’s Lavender Weekend.

OTA is also looking for creative people to fill out the production team; those interested in helping out behind the scenes are asked to contact Olympic Theatre Arts at 360-683-7326 for more information.

See olympictheatrearts.org.

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