The Virgin Valley Theatre Group held auditions for ‘Agnes of God’ and ‘The Marvelous Wonderettes’ on Nov. 2 and 3.  Approximately 25 women showed up for the dual auditions and seven women were cast in the two productions.

‘Agnes of God’ which will be directed by Glen Bjornson and opens on Jan. 16 will include the following cast members:  Rebecca Jones in the title role of Agnes.  Along with Jones are fellow cast members Mike (Marilyn) Brenner as Mother Miriam Ruth and Teri Nehrenz as Dr. Martha Livingstone.

Agnes of God is a story of a young nun who is accused of murdering an infant she gave birth to in a cloistered convent. The psychiatrist, Dr. Martha Livingstone, assigned to her case meets opposition in the convent’s Mother Superior, Mother Miriam Ruth. All three women explore questions of faith, memory, and the meaning of sainthood.

While working as an Intern in Minnesota’s famous Guthrie Theatre, Bjornson had the privilege of meeting the playwright, John Pielmeier.  Bjornson expressed his desire to do this play for a very long time.  He was hesitant to put the show into the season’s lineup wondering if he would be able to cast the part of Agnes.  The group of thespians who generally audition for the theatre are mature and the part of Agnes had to be cast by a fairly young women.  The tricky part about casting Agnes didn’t stop at the age issue; Agnes also has to have the ‘voice of an angel’ which is referenced several times in the play.  Bjornson said, “If I can’t find the right Agnes, I won’t do the show. We’ll go to plan B.”

After finding the right person to play Agnes and the cast set, Bjornson is excited about beginning rehearsals on Nov. 9.

Agnes of God is scheduled to open on Jan. 16, 2016 at 7 p.m. with additional performances on Jan. 17, 22, 23, 29 and 30 at 7 p.m. along with a matinee performance scheduled at 2 p.m. on Jan. 24, 2016.

Because the VVTG was casting two shows that involve music, their need to work extra rehearsals for the season’s musical and the fact that both shows contain an all-woman cast, auditions for the ‘Marvelous Wonderettes’ which will be directed by Diana McKinney, were also held on Nov. 2 and 3.

The cast for the ‘Marvelous Wonderettes’ include Felicia Smith as Cindy Lou, Nancy Hewitt as Betty Jean, Michele Ramsey as Missy and Cheryl Maxfield as Suzy.

The ‘Marvelous Wonderettes’, which uses pop songs from the ’50s and ’60s as a vehicle to tell its story, pays homage to the high school song-leader squads of the 1950s.

When called upon to perform at their senior prom as a last minute replacement, Springfield High Song-leaders, Betty Jean, Cindy Lou, Missy and Suzy, rally together to entertain their classmates in four-part harmony.

Songs in the show include: ‘Lollipop,’ ‘Dream Lover,’ ‘Stupid Cupid,’ ‘Lipstick on Your Collar,’ ‘Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me,’ ‘It’s My Party’ and  ‘It’s In His Kiss’ (The Shoop Shoop Song).

The ‘Marvelous Wonderettes is scheduled to open at the Mesquite Community Theatre Mar. 11, 2016 with additional shows Mar. 12, 18, 19, 25 and 26, at 7 p.m. with a matinee performance scheduled at 2 p.m. on Mar. 20, 2016.