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Open auditions: Kristian Bush musical 'Troubadour' at Alliance Theatre

Janece Shaffer was at the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville, looking at a Porter Wagoner jacket “with bedazzled craziness” and noticed the one next to it was brown and plain.

That was the moment the kernel for “Troubadour” was planted.

A country music legend is retiring and he has a son, but is he worthy of the musical legacy?

The condensed explanation of the new musical premiering at the Alliance Theatre in January 2017 is this, according to Atlanta playwright Shaffer: “It’s about this moment…the king of country has a son, but can he step into the spotlight? His dad is a narcissist, they have a falling out. The son meets a songwriter from Alaska and a Russian-Jewish tailor and they spend three days in a dirty gas station helping this guy transform.”

If that sounds appealing and you’re a musician with acting chops – or perhaps would like to work with Shaffer and her musical partner, the renowned Kristian Bush of Sugarland who is writing the music and lyrics for the show – time to plan for the open auditions for “Troubadour.”

The creative team will hold auditions beginning at 9 a.m. Monday at the Alliance Theatre (1280 Peachtree Street).

Artists are required to be proficient on guitar with strong vocals, and are required to bring their own guitar to the audition. “Troubadour” begins rehearsals in mid-December with a run from Jan. 25-Feb. 12. Do not audition unless available for the rehearsal and show schedule (take a look at the particulars below).

“The songs are part of the characters themselves,” Bush said about the music he’s writing for the show (his brother Brandon will serve as music director and Susan V. Booth is directing). “Country music is constantly in flux. Your country and your grandparents’ country are never the same. And you wake up one day and realize you’re no longer the parent.”


For a World Premier Production with Original Music by Kristian Bush

Seeking male and female performers to star in the World Premiere, TROUBADOUR , written by ATL playwright Janece Shaffer, with original music and lyrics by Kristian Bush (Sugarland), and musical direction by Brandon Bush.


INEZ – Female, 20ish singer/songwriter from smalltown Alabama.  Sweet with steel underneath if need be.  Guitar player.

JOE – 20ish son of a well-known man – has sung and played backup to his father all his life.  Handsome without effort and uncertain of his prospects.  Guitar player.

BILLY – mid 50s, iconic king of country music, can command a crowd, a room, a family.  The attention’s always been on him and you can tell.  Guitar player.

POOCH – 50ish radio personality – knows everyone and everything about country music and is a good-humored guy who can look out for himself.  Ideally also a singer and guitar player.

MUST be proficient on guitar with strong vocals



Sign up at 9:00 AM at the Alliance Theatre Lobby

 Address: Woodruff Arts Center (1280 Peachtree Street NE, Atlanta, GA 30309)

*To guarantee an audition slot, contact Emily Kleypas at *


One verse and the chorus of one of the songs below , or a song with a similar feel (1950s, old country). Songs do not have to be gender specific.  Please bring your own guitar.


Man of Constant Sorrow - Oh Brother Soundtrack

Hey Good Lookin’ - Hank Sr.

I’m So Lonesome I could Cry - Hank Sr.

There’s a Tear in my Beer - Hank Sr.

I Saw The Light - Hank Sr.

Lost Highway - Hank Sr.

I’ll Fly Away - Hank Sr. or Oh Brother Soundtrack

Jolene - Dolly

It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels - Kitty Wells

Orphan Girl - Emmylou Harris or Gillian Welch

Production dates are as follows:

First Rehearsal: December 19th, 2016

Opening: January 25th, 2017

Closing: February 12th, 2017

*NOTE:  This is a full-time gig with daytime rehearsals and evening & matinee performances.         PLEASE ONLY AUDITION IF AVAILABLE FOR THE SHOW.


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About the Author

Atlanta Journal-Constitution staff writer Melissa Ruggieri covers the Atlanta Music Scene and entertainment news for print and online.