Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Georgia Shakespeare is excited to announce... the Winner of the Search for Ralphie, Lead Role in 'A Christmas Story'

“You’ll shoot your eye out, kid!”

Georgia Shakespeare announces that the city-wide competition The Search for Ralphie has come to a pitch-perfect conclusion. After four open calls across the city, semi-finals and finals rounds, 13-year-old Cooper Driskell has been selected to portray Ralphie on stage in this December’s production of A Christmas Story. The competition also sought and found six other kids’ roles: Ralphie’s brother and his friends.

Georgia Shakespeare is thrilled to produce the regional premiere of A Christmas Story, directed by Drew Fracher, written by Philip Grecian, based on the motion picture “A Christmas Story”
(© 1983 Turner Entertainment Co., Distributed by Warner Bros.), written by Jean Shepherd, Leigh Brown and Rob Clark and based on the book In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash by Jean Shepherd. The show runs December 7-26; evening performances begin at 7pm.

“The Search for Ralphie” took place across Atlanta over four successive weekends in September, beginning at the Decatur Book Festival, moving to Imagine It! The Children’s Museum of Atlanta, then to Chocolate Perks in Duluth, and winding up at Bloomingdale’s Lenox Square. Overall, the judges saw over 150 auditions in this process.

"Auditions were a blast, all the kids did a tremendous job and made the decision process difficult in giving me so many possibilities!” says director Drew Fracher. “I'm so impressed with the quality of the casting pool here in Atlanta and can't wait to get started with our talented bunch."

The semi-finals brought ten “Ralphies” before the judges, and were conducted at the Atlanta Parent Magazine Family Block Party on October 9. On October 16 and 17, five “Ralphies” came before the judges at finals, conducted at Georgia Shakespeare.

The judges were radio and TV personalities Holly Firfer and Tom Sullivan; Atlanta-based actor Brad Sherrill; Whole World Improv Theatre’s Artistic Director Chip Powell; Georgia Shakespeare’s Producing Artistic Director Richard Garner and Education Director Allen O’Reilly, and A Christmas Story Director Drew Fracher.

The cast is announced:

Ralphie – Cooper Driskell
Randy – Ian L’Abate
Flick – Eric Broner
Scut Farkas – Whit Weinman
Schwartz – Giovanni Tortorici
Esther Jane – Shea Jones
Helen – Alice Garriga
Ralph (the narrator) – Allan Edwards*
The Old Man – Mark Kincaid*
Mother – Sherman Fracher*
Miss Shields – LaLa Cochran

*Indicates member of Actors' Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States

Ralphie Parker wants just one thing for Christmas, just one thing: an Official Red Ryder Carbine-Action 200-Shot Range Model BB Rifle with a Compass in the Stock. But can Ralphie survive the last several days before Christmas and overcome the seemingly insurmountable obstacles to his owning the precious Red Ryder BB gun? “You’ll shoot your eye out, kid.”
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