Tina Radtke, executive artistic director for KTG, said 34 people were cast for the musical, including Shelby Potter as Princess Diana, Bryce Hurst at Prince Charles and Christy Peters as the Queen.
“This is the 20th anniversary of (Princess Diana’s) death,” Radtke said. “There are Millennials out there that don’t know the impact that Diana had on society and the world, so I’m excited for that generation to see the story from her point of view.”
The musical, written by Karen Javitch, tells the story of Charles and Diana from Diana’s perspective, starting with their first formal meeting at Charles’ 30th birthday party. From there, it details the couple’s marriage and hardships, all the way up to her car crash.
Auditions took place over a two-day span and were open to the public. Because the musical had drawn so much attention, Radtke said many people came to the auditions, several of whom had never auditioned for a KTG role before.
During the auditions, Radtke said each person had to perform a monologue, a song, a vocal exercise and a short dance demonstration. The casting decisions were made based on each of those four parts.
Potter said the role of Diana is her ninth or 10th role with KTG. After finding out that she had gotten the part, Potter said the moment was special for more reasons than one.
“It was my mamaw’s birthday when I found out, and she had recently passed away,” Potter said. “She would have been one of the first people I told, so to find out on her birthday that I got it made it even more special.”
Radtke said rehearsals have already begun, including British dialect workshops with Michael Gerber of Barter Theatre. In the meantime, KTG is selling tickets to all five showings of the musical, and Radtke believes each show will draw a full house.
“It’s already gotten a lot of interest. We’re already selling tickets, and we expect to sell out.”
The show will be performed June 15, 16, 17 and 18 at the Kingsport Renaissance Center. To purchase tickets online, visit kingsporttheatre.org.