Blog Archives


Just got back from a cast party at Alan (the Bellman) Harner’s house and I’m exhausted. We played our last matinee to the biggest audience so far, then struck the set and cleaned the theater.

Just before I left I turned in my resignation from the Board… many reasons, but the most obvious one is that I have to spend my time now finding a job. We really need the income. I’ve spent a lot of time in the last year doing theatrical stuff and now I need a break.

Snark Opening Last Night… not as bad as I expected…

… in fact pretty good (my wife, son, daughter and grandkids back me up on this… and at least three of them have no trouble telling me what they REALLY think.)

I had a couple of problems… the tempo of the show was a little off and the Butcher dropped a line that he had dropped in rehearsals (but I found a way to prevent it from happening tonite… I think) and the set pieces weren’t placed correctly for the last scene… but these are easy notes. Joe Jurand, the Board President, made a long fund raising speech at the beginning of the evening… something you really shouldn’t do with an audience full of kids. They just don’t give a damn about getting a plaque on a donated wall for three years… they want to see a show.

I think I will put Eddy’s Walrus & Carpenter Oratorio on AFTER the Snark tonite, since a.) younger kids can go home if they are now too tired to watch (an 8 PM curtain is awfully late for 7- and 8-year-olds) and b.) Eddy will be here tonite to discuss the piece with music lovers and c.) this actually slows down the audience before Snark and I can’t let that happen.

So tonite is night two of The Hunting Of The Snark. There are tickets available (tomorrow’s matinee is a sellout to a major church group) and then more available for next weekend. If you are in the area come by and see it. Bring the kids… they’ll have a lot of fun.

I hate opening nights…

I used to be well known, in my NY days, as the guy who spent his opening nights across the street in a bar while the show went on. This was especially true during the Broadway show I produced with Berta Walker in the 70s, John Driver’s RIDE THE WINDS, where I sat on the bar at Ma Bell’s, a restaurant then on the end of Shubert Alley across the street from the Bijou Theatre.

As much as I love putting theatre pieces together… the creative aspect, I guess… my uncontrollable feeling that everything is about to fall apart is devastating, and I just can’t get into openings. Oddly enough, all subsequent performances are fine with me.

Oh well, tonite SNARK opens and I am already pacing around the house… I have to be at the theatre to set up early this afternoon. I’ve got family coming tonite )wife, mother, daughter, son, grandchildren). I’ll hear about how it went from them… even if I watch the show I won’t really be there in my head.

Day Before Snark Opening…

… and, as usual for the day before one of my shows opens, I’m a nervous wreck… too many things left to be done, problems coming out of all corners, etc.

I was on the radio this morning with Laura and Rudy from my cast (Barrister and Billiard Marker) on an AM station in Martinsburg. I was going to try to sleep this morning, as I was up all night worrying about the show after getting home late due to painting the stage floor after rehearsal.

Now I’m getting ready to walk the dogs and leave for the theater… and I have to solve the projection screen for Walrus And Carpenter.

Get your ticket orders in now… it will make me feel better.

Just got back from being on the radio.

This is too early in the morning for me to really get moving, but, that being said, I was on WSHC-FM Radio on John Case’s Winners and Losers Program. Laura and Rudy Bakin and Alan Harner (and of course John Case) sang a smidgen of the “thimbles variations” from Hunting Of The Snark on the air and we got to talk about the show with Case and his buddy John Reed.

I don’t know how we sounded, but I guess I’ll hear about it at rehearsal tonite.

Hunting Of The Snark Opening Date Moved (Due to weather holdups)

The new Opening Date for Hunting Of The Snark at Full Circle Theater Company in Shepherdstown, WV, will be Friday March 5. It will run two weekends through March 14.

I’d call in reservations now… before the dates changed we were starting to fill up on the opening… this will add to the pile.

Sunshine Today – The Snow Is Melting…

…and I have a big day ahead. This might limit my blogging today, but I’ll try to get in the stuff that comes up related to our current political scene.

I have a job interview today in Frederick, MD, and a rehearsal tonite of Hunting Of The Snark without my Music Director who is away for a couple of days. That means I have to get a background music recording ready, which also takes up some time.

Anyway, I hope you all have a good Monday… check in later for my updated comments and other things.

– Bill T.

Update on Hunting Of The Snark…

We acquired a new Butcher tonite and I couldn’t be happier. John Case, who I listen to on the Shepherd University radio station weekday mornings as I get up, has taken the role and he has a very nice voice. I think he’ll make a big difference. Now I just have to find one more baritone or low tenor to play Boots, one of the smaller, choral parts. That’s my goal for tomorrow (and beyond, if I can’t solve it then.)

There is another thing that has me really turned on concerning Snark.  One of the reasons Ed Roberts and I got into writing this small opera was the fact that I received a copy of Martin Gardner’s The Annotated Snark back in the 60s. I carried it around for years, thinking about the poem and the political and other ideas underneath it, until Ed and I were invited by the Whitney Museum in New York in 1971 to create it there.

Since Ruth Raubertas, our Music Director, and her husband own the local bookstore in Shepherdstown (Four Seasons Books), she got in a couple of copies of the current edition of Gardner’s book. Much has been added to it over the years and several editions… the thing which floored me was that I was mentioned twice in the notes in the back which cited the Whitney production. Now I’ll have to buy the new edition. I feel like a STAR!


Tuesday UPDATE: Looks like we just got someone to play BOOTS. Hopefully he’ll show up for tomorrow nite’s rehearsal. Laura Bakin, my BARRISTER, brought this one in.

The Hunting of the Snark has a new Problem… We’ve lost one of the major performers!

I got a call tonite from the fellow who was playing The Butcher in Hunting of the Snark, one of the best parts, and, due to a family illness and a Mother in the hospital, he has to pull out.

Geeps… we have less than a month until opening and I was already short one of the smaller male parts. Now I have to find 2 performers who are available immediately, can sing, and, since this is Community Theater, will work for free.

I fully believe this will be a great experience for anyone in the part… but I am out of people who auditioned and I don’t know anyone else. Tomorrow I’ll poll the cast and see who they can come up with.

I’m never going to sleep tonite!

(btw – if you are in the Shepherdstown area and would be interested in taking one of these parts, let me know at… I’ll be glad to hear from you.)

Rehearsal Today

Hunting of the Snark is going pretty well, although we have had to make some cast replacements and we are short one small part (the joys of Community Theatre) which may be filled today.

On Wednesday night, as we rehearsed the Sixth Fit (the scenes in Snark are called Fits – Lewis Carroll called his poem “An Agony in Eight Fits”) the cast started hitting chords which, for the first time since we started, brought back memories of the original show in the 70s.

Ed Roberts, the really great composer of Snark, sent me the first parts of the Oratorio we are adding to the beginning of te performance, The Walrus And Yhe Carpenter, and I was struck by the thought, when listening to the Midi file , that this had a sound that made me feel like a “Boardwalk Carnival”, and it gave me an idea for the staging that I am working out. More later on that… Ed should be getting me the rest of that piece in the next couple of days and I want to start putting it together next week some time.

BTW, it’s not too early to get reservations in for the February 19 -28 weekend performances… especially if you are bringing groups of kids (ages 6 and up) that I like to sit on the stage around the actors for interactive stuff. Of you are in the Sjepherdstown WV area (or Hagerstown, Frederick, Charles Town, Martinsburg, Berkeley or whatever), you can make online reservations at Full Circle Theater… just click HERE.

The information site for this production of Hunting of the Snark is HERE.

Second Rehearsal… Welcome to Community Theatre

So we started work on the second scene in Snark, a large number for the Bellman with everyone else becoming the chorus. And then we had one phone call at the start of rehearsal from the person I had playing the Broker citing new work problems that forced her to give up the part. I’m now missing 2 characters (the Boots still hasn’t been cast). One other performer had a problem and couldn’t make it tonite… so we had seven out of ten working on the show with the Music Director.

And it sounded pretty good. If I can get the rest of the cast filled I have great confidence in this production.

Third rehearsal tomorrow night and we may have a person to take the Boots part. Onward and upward.

Auditions in Shepherdstown, WV…


The Hunting of the Snark.


113 S. Princess St.
Shepherdstown, WV

December 1, 2, 16 & 17 at 7:00 PM and Saturday Dec. 12 at 1:00 PM
Or by Appointment.

Director: Bill Tchakirides

Music Director: Ruth Raubertas

5 Male
3 Female
All Vocal Ranges Needed!

Please bring recorded accompaniment for audition pieces…

Remember, we’d like to hear how you sing!
We’re looking for a wide variety of physical types.

If you are interested, sheet music samples are available from the score with connected MIDI sound files which we can e-mail to you as audition material. If you request these, let us know what vocal range you sing in (Baritone, Bass, Alto, Soprano…) Contact or call 301-467-9607.

Audition information for THE HUNTING OF THE SNARK…

…at the Full Circle Theater has now been posted. Auditions start on Dec. 1. Go HERE for all the information.

Putting Together Audition Materials

I’m about a month away from Auditions for The Hunting of the Snark at Full Circle Theater, and Elly, who is putting together posters for Full Circle, asked where the Snark poster was.

Well, here’s where it is so far. Feel free to post it around places on the Web that might be interested, Please, however, make sure if you post it that people can go to for information, and to Full Circle Theater for schedule and reservations.

For singers interested in Auditioning, I am making parts of the score available (related to specific characters) that can be used as audition materials. Please let me know at my e-mail address (above in this post) if you would like to do this… but let me know your vocal range and perhaps send me a photograph so I get a sense of who you are if I don’t know you. We’ll be doing five to six weeks of evening and Saturday rehearsals through January and up to the opening.