Festival talent show is back

Heather Latter

In order to kick off its 77th season, the Rainy River District Festival of the Performing Arts once again will host a talent show fundraiser, with performers of all ages encouraged to take part.
Performers will audition with their prepared number on Jan. 19 at 6:30 p.m. in McMillan Hall (Knox United Church), then those selected will participate in the talent show there Feb. 2 at 6:30 p.m.
“The talent show last year went very well,” enthused Festival committee chair David Schwartz.
“We had an excellent crowd and a great variety of performers,” he said, noting 15 performers took to the stage.
Schwartz said this year’s event will follow a similar format and one again will be held at McMillan Hall.
“It’s an intimate venue so it’s great because it isn’t as scary for first-time performers,” he reasoned.
“And we are hoping to see some new performers out,” added Schwartz, noting it’s a wondering chance for people to try out a new talent or something they have been working on.
He said any kind of talent is welcome—from magic, comedy, or dance to singing, instruments, or poetry.
“We are looking for performances that are anywhere from 30 seconds to five minutes long, and are hoping to keep the show at about 60-90 minutes,” Schwartz explained, noting they will be selecting around 20 acts depending on the length of each.
“Performances don’t have to be polished to perfection, but the performer should be reasonably familiar with the material/routine,” he remarked.
Schwartz said all performances must be family-friendly, and there will be no changes to a performance after it has been auditioned and accepted.
Those auditioning should come with their music, costume, and anything else they’ll require for the performance.
Music stands and microphones will be available for those who need them.
“You can plug an iPod or smartphone into the sound system for music,” Schwartz noted, though stressing the device should be brought to the audition to make sure it works with the system.
“I would also advise you to bring someone, preferably an adult, who can start the music on the device when you are ready,” he suggested.
“They should be able to log onto the device and find the music if the device times out and goes back to the home screen.”
A piano also will be available on the floor in front of the stage.
“Please let us know if an act requires special set-ups,” Schwartz added.
Organizers, meanwhile, don’t want to discourage those who don’t get chosen for the talent show.
“What we are trying to do is create a well-rounded show,” Schwartz explained. “Sometimes certain performances just aren’t quite ready, but with some more practice, they would be ready to perform in the Festival, which is in April.
“This is a fun event that lets performers stretch their wings a little and get a taste for performing in front of an audience,” he enthused.
“We thought it would be a good way to help performers, both seasoned and new, prepare for and get excited about the upcoming Festival.
“We wanted to do something and [a talent show] really fits in with our whole purpose,” he added.
Schwartz also stressed people do not have to have participated in the Festival before to get involved.
“We just want to showcase all the talent there is in the Rainy River District,” he reasoned.
The Festival has been providing a fun and rewarding opportunity for people from across the district to showcase, develop, and nurture their dramatic and/or musical abilities for more than 75 years.
Schwartz hopes there will be a good turnout for the auditions, as well as the talent show itself.
“By January, Festival performers are beginning to prepare their pieces so the timing is good for that,” he noted, adding information about the Festival also will be on hand that night.
As well, the talent show will include a bake sale so anyone interested in donating baking can let Schwartz know.
For more information, contact Schwartz at 274-6031 or via e-mail at daveschwartz611@gmail.com