Snake selected for upcoming theater production.

An actor that takes a dinner break every week and a half and changes his wardrobe once a month would be a dream come true for a director -- unless the actor is an 8-foot, 35-pound Bermise snake.

Moi, the animal chosen for the opening scene of the University Theater production "Sideshow," had his audition Tuesday evening. Director Judy Yordon cast him immediately because he was the only snake to show up for the audition.

"We wanted a snake for the show to add an 'ick' factor," Yordon said. "It's a show about freaks and we wanted anything that would contribute to a freakish atmosphere."

Stage manager Victoria Goodspeed knew in the summer that a snake would add to the production.

"We put up signs that we needed snakes and got no responses," Goodspeed said. "When we presented it like an audition, we got some interest."

Until snake owners responded to the advertisements, Goodspeed said, she was looking for agencies and breeders to provide a snake.

"I'm not sure if that would have cost us anything," Goodspeed said. "It depends on the breeders."

Because the snake will only be featured in the opening sequence, Goodspeed said it was convenient that a local snake owner could provide the talent for free.

Goodspeed and Yordon said the reason to have the snake is to shock the audience.

"The actress will be walking down a runway into the middle of the audience," Goodspeed said. "If they scream, great."

Yordon said, for this purpose, a real snake would be better than a fake one.

At the time of the audition, some cast members waited outside the theater until the snake had been taken away.

"Some of the cast members are really afraid of snakes," Goodspeed said.

Although Moi will perform for 30 seconds in the opening sequence of each production, his owner and agent, senior Theo Plothe is excited.

"Moi is definitely a showman," Plothe said. "He does tricks and gives kisses."

Plothe will be present at every rehearsal and performance to help cast members handle the snake.

The opening sequence in which Moi makes his acting debut will be shared with senior Katie Pfadt, who plays the Snake Lady in the production. During the audition, Plothe placed Moi on Pfadt's shoulders to see how Moi adjusted to her. This was not Pfadt's first experience handling snakes.

"I used to volunteer at a children's museum and I worked with a boa," Pfadt said.

When it was time for call backs for the human auditions, Pfadt mentioned her previous work experience.

"It's something I would put on a resume," Pfadt said. "It worked for this show."$$2*'*I%-+@` +âc-+ f 2b™-++â-å-¦ Ha+â-£-¦+â-¡?-¦?+â-ô-¦ ?*+â-Ö-+~$0-»?J-++â-¬!-«+â-â? -í-¼-í-¬-ú0+â-++â-ñ*-»f`@<`V-ú+â-à<`+â-ïA+â-à+â-ï-óA+â-Ñ-¦?-+@!+â-è+â-º+â-à+â-ï**8p<A-»USF+â-ë$TY`+4@+â-¦?

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