Director: Jonathan Shepherd
Assistant Director: Savana Walthinsen
Choreographer: Jimena Shepherd
Book by Jonathan Shepherd
Music by Jonathan Shepherd and European and African artists throughout history
THE YEAR IS 1899.
On the advent of a new, modern century,
the nations of Europe bring civilization to the shores of the dark continent, Africa.
A young Belgian girl sails to meet her father, governor-general of the colony Boma, capital
of the Congo Free State. But quickly she realizes that the stories of paradise told
back home ill prepared her for a land ruled by bloodshed and brutality.
By chance, she meets the African boy, Congo, and to spare him mistreatment
accepts him as her slave, only to learn that he is a prince deposed,
rightful heir to the throne, exiled, in search of his mother.
And together they begin an incredible adventure
of courage, faith, and sacrifice, on a quest to
Free Congo is our next major musical theatre production in our popular "History Performers" tradition. Set during the Scramble for Africa and King Leopold II's notorious reign over the Congo Free State, Free Congo features songs in English, French and Lingala, and dance in classical European and powerful African traditions. This is an ensemble-heavy show with approximately thirty speaking roles and numerous ensemble scenes and musical numbers.
Our rehearsal schedule is only two days a week, (preferably three for principals) but otherwise rigorous, and students are expected to practice outside of rehearsals. Enrolled actors will audition to be cast into appropriate parts, although everyone is guaranteed an ensemble role just by registering. Theatre is hard work, especially musical theatre, but we also make unforgettable memories and friendships before the end.
Our mission is to serve both the Bend and Redmond theatrical communities. For Free Congo, we are offering rehearsals in both cities. These two groups will rehearse separately for seven weeks, then merge together for another four, alternating between Bend and Redmond, before our tech week and opening weekend at COCC.
• Bend Monday rehearsals: Grace Reformed Presbyterian Church, 62162 Hamby Road, Bend, OR 97701
• Bend Tuesday rehearsals: Gotta Dance Studio & Company, 917 NE 8th St, Bend, OR 97701
• Redmond Thursday rehearsals: Miss Kimber's Dance Magic 628 SW Glacier Ave, Redmond, OR 97756
• Redmond Friday rehearsals: Miss Kimber's Dance Magic 628 SW Glacier Ave, Redmond, OR 97756
• Saturday Principal rehearsals: Shepherd's House, 2241 NE Hyatt Ct. Bend, OR 97701
• Shows: Pinckney Center for the Performing Arts 2600 NW College Way, Bend, OR 97703
Auditions and Requirements
• Ages 9 - 18: Actors outside this age range may register by director approval only.
• A liability waiver, including a photo release, must be signed at auditions.
• A conflict sheet against our rehearsal and show dates must be submitted at auditions.
• Auditions will involve prepared songs, monologues, and an unprepared dance audition.
• Specific audition details and expectations, including a short synopsis of each character, will be e-mailed to registered families.
Tuition and costs
• $225 first child
• $210 second child
• $200 third child
• $195 fourth child and on
We ask for tuition at first rehearsal, but it is not due until May 31st. The only other additional cost may be clothes or shoes to be worn beneath or as a part of your costumes.
Limited partial scholarships are available. Please comment during registration if you are interested in Free Congo but tuition is cost prohibitive. Limited partial work scholarships are also available. Parents and some older actors may agree to complete various costuming, set-building, or other projects and/or join some of our group work days.
Contact and Scheduling
E-mail: Theatre@OvationPA.com Phone: (541) 815-4160
See calendar below for complete audition, read-through, rehearsal and performance dates.
We understand that not every date works for every student. A complete conflict sheet must be submitted at auditions. But excessive conflicts must be discussed with the directors and may result in denial of registration. And unexcused absences may result in loss of lines, roles and/or reduction of participation in performances.
General Rehearsal Schedule (look at schedule below for more details)
Bend: Mondays and Tuesdays, 1:30 - 4:30, April 1st - May 14th
Redmond: Thursdays and Fridays, 12:30 - 3:30, April 4th - May 17th
Principals are expected to be available every Saturday 10:00 - 2:00.
Bend, Thursday and Friday, May 23rd at Gotta Dance 12:30 - 3:30, May 24th at Grace RPC 12:30 - 3:30.
Redmond, Thursday and Friday, May 30th and 31st at Miss Kimber's Dance Magic 12:30 - 3:30.
Bend, Thursday and Friday, June 6th at Gotta Dance 12:30 - 3:30, June 7th at Grace RPC 12:30 - 3:30.
Redmond, Thursday and Friday, June 13th and 14th at Miss Kimber's Dance Magic 12:30 - 3:30.