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Auditions for Spooky Dog & the Teen- age Gang Mysteries at Tugun Theatre Company

Are you a fan of improv and stand-up comedy? Tugun Theatre is holding auditions for their upcoming November show – Spooky Dog and the Teen-Age Gang Mysteries – on Monday, July 10th. This improvisational parody of a famous Saturday morning cartoon is guaranteed to be a hit, and director Nathan Schulz is seeking talented performers to help bring the laughs. Don't miss out on this opportunity to try something new and become a part of the local theatre scene! GCTAI asked a few questions on what to expect.

Q: Tell us about yourself:

A: My name is Nathan Schulz, also known as The Drama Merchant. On the Gold Coast Community Theatre Scene, I have directed and performed in various productions, working with a range of mentors and individuals as both an actor and director. You can find a list of my other productions in the Gold Coast theatre scene here.

In 2015, I ventured into the world of independent theatre, with my approach of take scripts traditionally performed on stages and give them an intimate, site-specific treatment. My last site specific production was Venus in Fur. You can find out more about these innovative productions by clicking here.

I love collaborating with other creatives and pushing the boundaries to create a unique brand of entertainment. For me, the impossible is always within reach, and I'm looking forward to bringing a unique stage experience with Spooky Dog.

Q: Tell us about your team:

A: It is my pleasure to introduce the assistant directors and stage managers, Imogen Saxton-Heine and Marina Cerra. The set pieces for the show will be painted by the talented Kate Paraskevous and Sophie Lawson. I'm also thrilled to have Millie Talbot on board to help with the costumes, and Noah Johnson and his band, The Merchants, providing some groovy 70s-80s live music.

Q: Are you looking for anyone to help with sound/lighting & backstage?

A: I am still seeking individuals who are passionate about lighting and sound operation to join our team. This show is expected to be challenging, so I'm looking for individuals who can work within the limits of the Tugun Community Centre and rise to the occasion. I see lighting and sound operators as artists themselves, and love collaborating with them and giving them a canvas to "paint" on. I'm also looking for backstage crew who will be "puppeteers of a sort" and "set movers" as the show transitions between scenes. The backstage/onstage crew will play an equally important role as the cast, so I'm looking for individuals who are dedicated, reliable and work as a team. If you would like to help out in these areas please feel free to contact via this email address

Q: Tell us a little about the play

A: Spooky Dog takes inspiration from the Saturday morning cartoons of the past, making explicit the themes that our parents knew were there but we, as children, were oblivious to. The Teen-Age Mystery Gang embarks on a quest to find a missing pop culture icon, suggested by the audience, at the creepy county fair. Along the way, they'll confront a range of colourful characters, including a ghostly country singer and a not-so-psychic fortune teller. But that's not all – our intrepid gang must also contend with their own burgeoning sexual desires, unexpected side effects from tasty dog treats, and a newfound love of dance.

The show's aesthetic, including costumes, sets and props, will be bright, colourful, and two-dimensional. However, the characters themselves will be anything but flat – clueless yet somehow real, at least in their own minds.

Q: Why did you choose to do this production, what drew you to it:

A: In 2014, I read the script of Spooky Dog and the Teen-age gang mysteries and was thoroughly amused by the mischievous antics that took place. As a fan of the iconic dog and those pesky kids, I appreciated all the innuendos and adult humour that the writers incorporated along with improvisation that was needed to help bring this show to life. I saw this as a challenge to my abilities as a director and a show which is a treat for baby boomers and anyone who grew up watching Saturday morning cartoons from the 1970s to the early 2000s. I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to bring a cartoon to the stage once again, having not done so since I directed Bullshot Crummond in 2013 at Tugun Theatre. The team and I designed that show to emulate the old TV series Rocky and Bullwinkle, which was a huge success. My team and I intend on doing the same with Spooky Dog.

While I was close to producing the show as The Drama Merchant in 2021, the intended venue closed down, and I was left with no choice but to postpone the production. However, when Tugun Theatre agreed to include Spooky Dog in their 2023 season, I was elated that a Gold Coast theatre had shown interest in the script and my vision for the show.

Q: What kind of challenges / experiences will the performers look forward to if successful in audition.

A: Every joke, comment, and visual gag in the script is carefully crafted to be a double entendre, filled with sexual innuendo or other significance, yet the characters are entirely unaware. Ted, Tiffany, Thelma, Scraggly, and Spooky are oblivious to the hidden jokes, and the reveal will be gradual. As they chase each other and the phantom, they'll let their true selves show. Tiffany uses her sexuality openly, while both Ted and Thelma openly flirt with her. Spooky and Scraggily are... well, let's just say they're not themselves, and even the Phantom is in on the hijinks.

The comedy must be a slow burn for both the audience and characters. If it's too much too soon, it will lose its charm, like Thelma's elusive Phantom footprints. In addition to the regular lines to learn, prospective cast members must also be skilled at improvisation and on-the-spot creativity. Each night will be a new and unique experience, with the cast improvising dialogue and stories about celebrities. Therefore, confidence in improvisation, quick thinking, and spontaneity is key.

The potential cast will be encouraged to stay up-to-date on anyone heavily featured in pop culture news at the time. Though it may be challenging, the potential cast should be well-prepared for whatever is thrown at them on any given night.

Q: What sort of availability should those successful in auditions have for rehearsals?

A: Here's everything you need to know about rehearsals:

  • Read throughs and some scene rehearsal will begin on July 17th and take place on Mondays at Oxenford from 7:30pm.

  • Starting August 14th, rehearsals will switch to Monday nights only and take place at Tugun Community Hall for the duration of the show.

  • From August 29th onward, rehearsals will resume on both Monday and Thursday nights.

  • Cast members must arrive at the theatre by 7:15pm for a prompt 7:30pm start.

  • It is essential for those auditioning for the roles of Ted, Thelma, Tiffany, and Scraggily to attend every rehearsal.

Show dates are: November Evenings on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.

9th, 10th, 11th, 16th, 17th, 18th, 23, 24, 25 - 7:30PM

Matinee Shows: Saturday 11th & 18th - 2:00PM

Q: What are you looking in during auditions?

A: Auditions will consist of both a cold script reading and an improvisation game called 3 Random Acts, as Spooky Dog heavily relies on improvisation. The show highlights improvisation and on-the-spot creativity, and as such, be prepared to improvise dialogue and stories about celebrities.

Those interested in auditioning will be required to perform cold readings from the script. Though no prior preparation is necessary, character work should be considered to be adequately prepared. Additionally, those auditioning for the roles of Ted & Tiffany should be prepared for a brief karaoke session, singing The Turtles' hit "Happy Together".

Finally, please note that this show is intended for mature audiences only, and no one under 21 years of age will be admitted to audition under any circumstances.

Q: When are auditions taking place and how can people apply.

A: I welcome you to audition for Spooky Dog on Monday, 10 July from 7:30pm to 9:00pm at Tugun Community Centre located at 414 Coolangatta Rd. Doors will be open from 6:30pm. To register your interest and learn more about the characters, please click here. After registering, an email containing two scenes will be sent to you. These scenes are not for the audition, but rather to provide you with a preview of the show.


Interested in tickets or finding out more information about Tugun Theatre's next show PROOF by David Auburn? Then click the image below and visit their website!

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