It is proving to be a busy second half of the year for Rotorua Musical Theatre as preparations for two upcoming shows are now in full swing.

Rock of Ages will hit the stage for 'Rocktober' from October 12 to 27, while some of Rotorua's talented young ones will be taking to the stage for Madagascar - A Musical Adventure Jrfrom January 10 to 20.

Auditions are coming up for youth who are interested in being a part of the junior production.

Rotorua Musical Theatre president Natasha Benfell said they were looking for juniors aged 10 to 18-years-old.


"I think it's got great music. It's a lively and bubbly show.

"It's a great show to watch, but it also has great messages behind it of friendship and acceptance."

She said the set would also lend itself to being a colourful show which would be accessible to all ages.

Benfell encouraged children to audition because opportunities like this did not come along enough.

"It's a way to get involved in community theatre which is different and you make new friendships."

Benfell is the director, but this time the theatre has taken on some students to help out with different roles.

"It's a real collaboration with youth. We are getting that buy-in from the students right from the start so they participate in the creative process."

Western Heights High School student Kira Lees, 18, is the assistant director of Madagascar - A Musical Adventure Jr.


She said it would be a great show because everyone knew the characters.

Lees said everyone holding the auditions were there to support the youth, and that the theatre was an open and inviting community.

Western Heights High School student Daisy Fisher, 17, is the assistant production secretary, and said it would be great to bring the movie to life.

Her advice to those who were wanting to audition was to just "come in and do it".

"We've all been through it and are very understanding.

Western Heights High School student and assistant stage manager Mikayla Heasman, 17, said the theatre was also looking for more young people to work backstage.

The show will be held in the BayTrust Forum room at the Energy Events Centre.

Young actors, singers and dancers who would like to audition can email to book a time.

Audition dates are Friday August 24 and Saturday August 25, with call-backs if necessary on Sunday August 26.

The cast of <i>Rock of Ages</i>. Photo/Supplied
The cast of Rock of Ages. Photo/Supplied

Meanwhile Rock of Ages director Steve Holmes said the cast of 23 had been rehearsing for four weeks.

"We've got a really awesome cast and we've got a great choreographer and vocal director who have really brought the cast up to the level they are at."

Rock of Ages was set in the 80s and includes all the 80s' classic rock numbers.

"I think it's a show where everyone will know the music, even the new generation.

"It's a well-known and popular Broadway show and I think it will appeal to a wide variety of people."

He said this was his first time directing, and he had planned this show for the last two years.

"I'm really excited about it coming to life on stage."