“BLAST!” has open call to cast members for U.S., Europe and Asia tours

Anticipating the casting for several new productions of the highly successful stage show “BLAST!,” an immediate and open call is going out to age-outs of the drum and bugle corps activity to inquire about positions in the brass, percussion and visual ensemble.

A majority of the performers who have been in previous productions dating back to the fall of 1999 have been from the activity and the producers are looking to drum corps once again for tours that will take the show on its first European tour, a third visit to Japan and another U.S. tour. The Asian trip may also include dates in Korea and China.

Because of the on-going need for “BLAST!” and other new productions planned by the organization, a consistent pipeline for experienced and enthusiastic members is being established. Full details can be found by visiting the Web site, www.blasttheshow.com. An application can be downloaded.

Initially, selections will be made as a result of videotapes submitted with applications and then follow-up conversations.

Producers see this as an opportunity for talented young people to combine daily performing with extensive travel after competing participation in junior corps. “BLAST!” is for those of extraordinary talent and passion who wish to excite audiences around the world in this theatrical genre.

Especially needed are people who are also able to cross over into other areas — brass players who can also play percussion instruments or manipulate props and visual people who are also able to play musical instruments.

Applications are being accepted now for positions in the first new production that will begin touring this spring, as well as for a second cast that will tour beginning later in 2005.

“BLAST!” debuted in December 1999 in London, England. Following a six-month schedule in the U.K., and the filming of a PBS documentary that subsequently won an Emmy Award, the show did a brief U.S. tour before opening on Broadway in the spring of 2000, where the production won a Tony Award.

Beginning in September 2001, the show toured the U.S. for nearly two years and since then has been staged in Japan twice, playing to sold-out audiences of 2,000 consistently.

A second show called “Shockwave” began with a 30-minute version at Walt Disney World, followed by a short U.S. tour of the full show.

In the fall of 2003, “Cyberjam,” which evolved out of “Shockwave,” was produced in the West End theater district of London where it played successfully for four months. A compact disc of that production was released this fall. See the advertisements in the October and November issues of DCW for purchasing information.

The production team, based in Bloomington, IN, is led by James Mason, one of the founders and director of Star of Indiana and the individual who originally put together the show. The       principal designers are James Mason, Jon Vanderkolff, Jeff Lee, George Pinney, Wayne Downey, James Prime and Jim Moore. The   associate producer is Donnie VanDoren.

“BLAST!” resulted from a series of summer shows called “Brass Theater” that developed out of the Star of Indiana Drum & Bugle Corps following the 1993 season. The first three years included a joint venture with the Canadian Brass. Eventually the short-term concept show ended up in Branson, MO, before being redesigned for a considerably larger cast that became “BLAST!”
Producers have several other shows that are currently in development.

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Drum Corps World is published as an on-line electronic magazine by Sights & Sounds, Inc., Madison, WI. It is supported by advertising from manufacturers, service providers, corps, circuits and show sponsors. The publication began in October 1971 at the same time Drum Corps International was formed and has been produced continuously as a tabloid newspaper until April 2011 and on the Internet since May 2011. It is released monthly, as well as six additional e-mail blasts, one in late June, three during July and two in August.

The worldwide staff of writers and photographers provide show reviews during the season and interviews, feature articles, news and human interest stories during the off-season. The photographs that appear in the magazine are provided by 27 staff members who are scattered around the world. The publication covers World and Open Class Drum Corps International corps, Open and Class A Drum Corps Associates corps, alumni, mini-, parade and standstill units, as well as the growing activity in Europe, the Far East, Southeast Asia, the Philippines and South Africa.