While Mobile has its identity sunk completely into live oaks, the Alabama state tree is taller, skinnier and far more proliferate. The Longleaf pine currently occupies just 3 percent of its former range on the coastal plains of the Gulf Coast but it’s about to make a new appearance this month in Lower Dauphin as the Mobile Arts Council showcases stately conifers in a pair of exhibits at its 318 Dauphin St. locale. One spotlights local talent while the other comprises some new names.

The Alabama State Council on the Arts’ show “PINE” will be in the Skinny Gallery. It features work from artists across the state and appears concurrent with the Alabama Forestry Commission’s convention in Mobile.

Sculptor and furniture maker Ethan Sawyer and sculptor Chuck Moore have transformed salvaged pine and given the wood new life as artwork. Photographers Chuck Hemard and Elmore Demott will each showcase their own series depicting the life cycle of pines, controlled burns and our old-growth pines in forests.

MAC’s smaller room will house “PleinAirSouth in the Pines,” wherein Joanne Brandt helped organize PleinAirSouth artists Gail Bramer, Joanne Brandt, Carolyn Green, Satomi Kamei, Tamara Lindsay, Ainsley McNeely, Missy Patrick, Melissa Root, Karen Spaulding and others in order to bring a local variant to the “PINE” show. These Mobile Bay area artists who enjoy the tradition of painting “en plein air,” i.e., painting from life outdoors, have captured scenes from the Longleaf Pine Preserve at the Mobile Botanical Gardens and other pine forests along the Gulf Coast.

Meanwhile, in the Danielle Juzan Gallery, Ardith Goodwin’s show “Red Energy — The Dynamic Movement of Competitive Sports” will be on display. The topic is self-evident.

“As an athlete in my younger years, dynamic movement was integral to performing well, and my love for it never left. As a painter, it is part of my technical framework and how I manipulate marks and color to convey meaning,” Goodwin said in her statement.

An opening reception will occur during the June 10 LoDa Artwalk from 6-9 p.m.

The gallery is open to the public Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Entrance is free. For more information call 251-432-9796 or go to mobilearts.org.


Auditions at JJP in mid-June
Feel like being a little musical and bloodthirsty all at the same time? There’s a stage play coming just for you.

The Joe Jefferson Players will hold open auditions for “Sweeney Todd” for two nights only, June 13 and14, at 6:30 p.m. at their facility, 11 S. Carlen St. Stephen Sondheim’s Tony-winning musical thriller about a murderous barber who returns to England after a 15-year exile to exact revenge on the judge who tore his family apart will run Aug. 21 through Sept. 11.

Those performances will be Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. with Sunday matinees at 2 p.m.

This local version will be directed by Eric Browne, with musical direction by Daniel Driskell.

Those auditioning are asked to bring piano music and be prepared to sing 36 measures. Music performed may be from a traditional musical theater piece or a song from the show itself. Sides will be provided for the cold read which follows.


Chickasaw looking for actors
Chickasaw Civic Theatre will hold auditions for “Thoroughly Modern Millie” later in June. Based on a 1967 film of the same name, the Jazz Age musical stage play won six 2002 Tony Awards.  

Centering on the life of a young woman ready to set New York City of the Roaring Twenties on its ear, the song and dance extravaganza features flappers, dolls and even a dragon-lady villainess. Stage director Stacey Driskell is looking for “actors who can be silly, melodramatic, passionately in love and wildly excited all while tapping and flapping across the stage.”  

Auditions will be held June 20 and 21, 6:30 p.m., at the Larkins Music Center (257 Dauphin St.). Rehearsals begin in late June and for others on July 10.

The show will run Sept. 9-25, with Friday and Saturday shows at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m.

Auditions are open call with no advance registration required. Be prepared for a vocal and dance audition. Those auditioning for a principal role are asked to sing from the show. Selections from the show can be found at the CCT website.

Those auditioning for “The Moderns” or ensemble may sing from the show or any selection that shows your vocal talents. An accompanist will be available; if you choose to sing a selection not from the show, please bring sheet music.

Audition packets detailing roles available, their descriptions and vocal ranges are available at cctshows.com and should be brought to the audition.

For more information, contact stage director Stacey Driskell at staceybd@gmail.com.