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Making a Splash in the Talent Pool Your 2001 Guide to Regional Combined Auditions

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You say you've been in New York for a year or two now, and still don't have your Equity card? Tired of waiting all day at EPAs hoping they'll see non-Equity people at the end of the day, only to be turned away? Well, there's a glimmer of hope on the horizon, because spring and summer are the non-Equity actor's turn to shine. Summer stock beckons, and there are literally thousands of jobs open for those without the magic card. And some of them even carry EMC points, which will take you closer to the "open sesame" of union membership.

Should you make the effort to attend one of these marathon weekends? Unless you have the capability to otherwise attend individual open calls for at least 30 summer theatres, the answer is a resounding "yes!" As always, we feature five of the Eastern auditions, as some of those most accessible to our readers: the New England Theatre Conference, held in the Boston area as usual; Southeastern Theatre Conference, this year held in Jacksonville, FL; the Institute of Outdoor Drama auditions in Chapel Hill, North Carolina; StrawHat auditions, held here in New York; and the Unified Professional Theatre Auditions, held down in Memphis.

The big question this year may be which audition to attend, as some of the dates overlap. SETC, which normally falls on the first weekend of March, has been delayed until March 15-17. This caused a crunch for both NETC and StrawHats, so that these two auditions actually overlap, with StrawHats in New York from the 22nd to 24th (condensed into only three days this year, instead of their usual four), and NETC's in Boston from the 24th to 26th. And to make matters even more complicated, the Outdoor Drama auditions also fall that weekend, on March 24.

For an actor in the Northeast, then, one might request a Thursday or Friday audition slot at StrawHats, and a Sunday or Monday slot for NETC's, and cover both. (If you're really a glutton for punishment, we suppose you could hit StrawHats on Thursday, fly to North Carolina for Outdoor Drama auditions on Saturday, and back to Boston for NETC's on Monday.) But if one has to make a choice, it may help to note that NETC auditions tend to have more college students in attendance—many coming east from colleges in the Midwest or even Texas and California—while StrawHats tend to have a greater proportion of non-Equity performers who are out of school and have been in New York for a year or more. But probably the best means of determining which to attend is to look at the theatres listed as having attended in the past, and decide on the basis of which theatres are of greatest interest to you as an actor. Note that StrawHats has a limited number of "acting only" slots, falling on Thursday, March 22, while NETC has an "acting only" room which runs concurrently with the "acting/singing" room all weekend. At both auditions, there are more producers watching the singing auditions than the non-singing, but NETC generally has a larger number of companies in the "acting only" room than attend StrawHat's non-singing auditions on that Thursday.

Other auditions in the Midwest and the West are listed at the end of the article, and if you have a hankering to travel, or a home base outside of the East, this might be the year to try one of those auditions further afield. While you're deciding where to go, take a look at our sidebars to see what to take along ("Be Prepared") and how you might parlay a related skill into a bargaining chip this summer ("So, What Else Can You Do?").

The NETC auditions bring together more than 60 producers from New England and outside the region for three days of non-Equity auditions, as well as staff and technical interviews. 2001 auditions will be held March 24, 25, and 26, again this year at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Natick, just west of Boston. As always, NETC will run two separate performing areas to accommodate double auditions running concurrently: one for actors and the other for actor-singer-dancers. In spite of the "organized chaos" inherent in the sheer numbers of producers and auditionees, NETC always runs like clockwork, thanks to organizer Joe Juliano and his accommodating and experienced crew.

Time slots for 750 hopefuls are available for non-Equity actors, and Equity Membership Candidates, but are not open to members of Equity. Applicants may be college students or adults, but must be at least 18 years old. Minority performers are strongly encouraged to apply. College students must have their instructor or department chair verify the information on their resume, and then have a director or teacher recommend them by making comments and signing off on the application.

To receive an application, mail a #10 business size SASE (self-addressed, stamped envelope) to NETC, c/o Northeastern University Dept. of Theatre, 360 Huntington Ave., Boston, MA 02115. The form you will receive in your SASE must be filled out and mailed to the audition headquarters in Connecticut, postmarked by Jan. 31—although earlier application is advisable—to be considered for an audition slot. E-mail requests for applications are not acceptable; you may save time, however, by downloading an application form from the NETC website at www.netheatreconference.org. (Click on "info" on the homepage, and then "annual auditions" to find the application; you'll need to download Adobe Acrobat Reader if you don't have it on your computer.)

Whether you download your application or use an old-fashioned typewriter, it's important to follow instructions to the letter, as incorrect applications will automatically be screened out. The applicant must return the completed form to NETC with a small photo (not an 8x10), another #10 SASE, and the appropriate fee (by money order, not personal check). There is a $30 audition fee for NETC members; if you are not a member, the fee is $45 for students and $55 for non-students, both fees including NETC membership through August. For an extra $5, one may apply as both an actor and technician; these people need to fill out two separate application forms and return them with two photos and SASEs. Technical and staff applications are accepted until two weeks before the auditions.

A panel of theatre professionals screen performer applications; generally, about 70% of applicants receive either an audition time or a "stand-by" position. Applicants request either an "acting-singing" or "acting only" audition time; those requesting acting-singing should have substantial musical credits on their resume. Although the selection is based largely on training and experience, students without professional credits should not be concerned that they will necessarily be screened out, as many of the companies attending are seeking performers for apprenticeships, internships, and chorus work. Applicants should also consider that last year, fewer people applied for "acting only" than for "acting-singing" slots; thus a candidate with weak musical credits would have a better chance in the non-singing pool. Those applicants who are not selected for an audition will have their resumes distributed to the theatres attending the auditions; the application fee is non-refundable, whether or not the performer receives an audition time. (Those who don't can still have their material distributed to all the producers attending auditions.)

Those performers who are selected will be notified of their time slot (via the SASE) about three weeks before the auditions. A limited number of applicants who don't get a time slot are designated "standbys" and are seen in place of auditionees who don't show for their appointed time. Standbys check in and sign up at an appointed audition session, and are accommodated on a first-come, first-served basis as slots open up during that session; all standbys who check in will be seen during the course of the weekend.

Performers have a total of two minutes audition time. Singers are instructed to prepare one song and one brief monologue, or two musical numbers; non-singers should prepare two brief, contrasting monologues. An accompanist is provided in the musical audition room, and singers must bring their own sheet music, in the correct key. Those who wish may provide their own accompanist; NETC strongly advises against singing without accompaniment or with a tape. Callback lists are posted every hour, and Dance Call is held at the end of each audition day. Callbacks or interviews are held at the discretion of the producer, either at designated tables in a large hall or in smaller callback rooms; alternatively, producers may ask applicants to attend a later callback elsewhere, or may contact them at a later date.

Producers will also be auditioning musical directors, and interviewing applicants for technical and staff positions and internships, on Monday afternoon, March 27. Staff and tech applicants are virtually never "screened out"; along with notification of their acceptance, they will receive a list of attending theatres and openings available. For the interviews, applicants should bring portfolios, pictures, recommendations, or other appropriate support material, along with a good number of resumes, since the application only has space for a minimal listing of credits. It has been often noted that technical and staff positions greatly outnumber appropriate applicants at these auditions—anyone seeking such a position would be wise to apply, as this one afternoon of interviews is likely to result in a number of offers to a well-qualified person. (See our sidebar "So, What Else Can You Do?" for more on this.)

The following theatre companies and training programs attended NETC auditions in 2000 and are likely to return in 2001. (Some of the companies listed here and in other lists are Equity theatres, which generally attend these auditions to find performers for their apprentice, intern, or second stage companies.)

Acadia Repertory, ME; Actors Theatre of Louisville, KY; Allan Albert Productions/Hersheypark, NY/PA; American Family Theater, PA; American Stage Company, NJ; American Stage Festival, NH; Arundel Barn Playhouse, ME; Atlantic Overtures/Royal National Theatre of Great Britain; The Barnstormers, NH; Beechwood Theatre Company, RI; Berkshire Theatre Festival, MA; Booth Theatre, ME; Circle In The Square Theatre School, NY; Connecticut Repertory, CT; Dorset Theatre Festival, VT; Fiddlehead Theatre Company, MA; Foothills Theatre, MA; Forestburgh Playhouse, NY; Fredericksburg Theatre Company, VA; GATE (Gregory Abels Training Ensemble, NY); Hackmatack Playhouse, ME; Hampstead Players, NH; Hangar Theatre, NY; Horse Cave Theatre, KY; Lakes Region Summer Theatre, NH; Lost Nation Theater, VT; Maine Shakespeare Festival, ME; Maine State Music Theatre, ME; Missoula Children's Theatre, MT; Mount Washington Theatre Company, NH; The National Players, MD; National Shakespeare Company, NY; National Theatre of the Performing Arts/Dandelion Productions; New Bedford Festival Theatre, MA; New Century Theatre, MA; New Hampshire Shakespeare Festival, NH; New London Barn Playhouse, NH; North Country Center for the Arts, NH; North Shore Music Theatre, MA; Northern Stage, VT; Peterborough Players, NH; Playhouse On The Square, TN; Porthouse Theatre Company, OH; Royal Caribbean, International, FL; SagamoreInstitute Theatre, NY; Saint Michael's Playhouse, VT; Saxton's River Playhouse, VT; Seacoast Repertory Theatre, RI; Shenandoah Shakespeare Express, VA; Six Flags New England, MA; Summer Theatre at Mt. Holyoke, MA; Theatre at Monmouth, ME; Tri-State Center for the Arts, CT; Trinity Repertory Company, RI; Turtle Lane Players; Universal Studios, Japan; The Vineyard Playhouse, MA; Walnut Hill School Summer Theatre, MA; Walt Disney World, FL; The Waraehouse Theatre, SC; Weathervane Theatre, NH; Williamstown Theatre Festival, MA.

For the twenty-second consecutive year, StrawHat Theatrical Services will once again be sponsoring their New York City StrawHat Auditions, from Thursday, March 22 through Saturday, March 24. Thursday morning is set aside for non-singers' auditions, while Thursday afternoon and all auditions on Friday and Saturday will include singing. Although StrawHats, like NETCs, are for non-Equity performers, a number of Equity theatres seeking Membership Candidates, interns, and second-company performers attend these auditions also.

Anyone who has attended StrawHats in the past should already have received an application form for this year. If you're a newcomer, we suggest you check out their website at www.strawhat-auditions.com, where you can learn all about the audition process, and download application forms, either in html or with Adobe Acrobat Reader. If you don't have Internet access, you can write for an application by sending a business size (#10) SASE to StrawHat Auditions, 1771 Post Road East, #315, Westport, CT 06880. Please mark on your envelope either "Auditions" or "Staff/Tech" to receive the correct application. The deadline for returning applications is Feb. 12 (Feb. 28 for tech), but early application is strongly suggested, since slots generally fill before the deadline.

There is a change in the fee structure for performers this year. There is a registration fee for all applicants of $25, which entitles them to membership services at StrawHat-Auditions.com, which includes: use of The Casting Network, an online service that publishes casting notices for theatre, TV, and film from all over the country, available through March 15, 2001; your picture and abbreviated resume in StrawHat's National Resource online (this replaces the national Resource Book that they previously distributed to producers at auditions); a bulletin board where you can post questions to the staff or to fellow auditionees; and information on attending theatres, advice on auditioning, and feature articles. In addition, there is a $40 audition fee (reduced from $48 in the past), which will be returned if you are not successful in obtaining an audition slot.

For staff/tech/design, the registration fee is $25, which includes your resume online until September 31, 2001. For an additional $15, one can add three photos from your portfolio to the online resume; if you have a website or an online portfolio, your resume on the StrawHat website will include a link to that. Once registered, you can get into the members only part of the website to see job openings. Because the website has worked so well in the past few years to hook up jobs with applicants, the organizers of StrawHats have eliminated the afternoon of job interviews at the auditions, although producers may set up individual interviews with people they contact through the website.

Performer applicants submit their 8x10 picture/resume, which is reproduced in a spiral bound book and distributed to producers at auditions. Some screening is done—based on training and experience—and the application form asks about a performer's interest in apprentice or intern programs. Standby slots are available to a limited number of applicants who don't get an audition slot. Those who are selected as standbys are guaranteed an audition, but must be available for the entire day; they will step in at short notice to take the place of a cancellation or "no show." There are still no walk-ins accepted at the audition site; standbys are prearranged, and actors should indicate on their application form if they wish to be considered for standby positions.

Performers have 90 seconds to present two pieces; singers are asked to present their musical selection first (a professional accompanist is provided), followed by a monologue. As to whether or not one should apply for a singing slot, StrawHat instructions suggest, "If you are not regularly cast in musicals, and you honestly do not sing to a performance standard, it is our experience that you can only harm your chances by trying to bluff your way through a musical audition." At the same time, they warn that usually only about one third of the attending companies are present for the non-singing auditions. Those who are, however, are looking primarily for actors, so a performer with weak singing abilities still has a better chance of being called back by one of these than he or she would competing for musical roles at the singing auditions. Callbacks are posted hourly, and the callbacks continue into the evening hours, with a break for dinner and the group dance call.

At last year's StrawHats, over 500 performing positions were open to participants with the following companies (* indicates that they attended non-singing auditions):

Allenberry Playhouse, PA; Arundel Barn Playhouse, ME; Blatt's Dinner Theatre; Blue Man Group: Tubes*, NY; Bristol Valley Theatre*, PA; Cain Park Theatre, OH; Cedar Point Live Entertainment, OH; Connecticut Repertory Theatre, CT; Cumberland County Playhouse, TN; Dave Clemmons Casting; Delaware Heritage Theatre, DE; Depot Theatre*, NY; Dorney Park, PA; Dorset Theatre Festival*, VT; Forestburgh Playhouse, NY; Fort Salem Theatre*, NY; Fredericksburg Theatre Company, VA; Goodspeed Opera House, CT; Great American Melodrama, CA; Greenwoods Theatre, CT; Jeffrey Finn Productions; Jekyll Island Musical Theatre, GA; Kennedy Entertainment; Lincoln Amphitheatre, IN; Main Street Theatre*, PA; Maine State Music Theatre, ME; Mt. Washington Valley Theatre Company, NH; New Harmony Theatre*, IN; New London Barn Playhouse*, NH; The River Rep*, CT; Riverside Stage Company*, CT; Royal Caribbean International, FL; Shadowland Theatre*, NY; Shawnee Playhouse, PA; Showplace; Surflight Theatre*, NJ; Theatre On The Hill, MD; Timbers Dinner Theatre, PA; Walt Disney World Company, FL; Weathervane Theatre, OH; Weston Playhouse, VT.

The largest combined audition in the country is sponsored by SETC as a part of its annual convention, this year held in Jacksonville, FL, March 14-18. In conjunction with the Spring Auditions, attended by approximately 95 companies, the convention hosts a Job Contact Service, for jobs in college theatre departments as well as theatres. But there is much more to the convention, which this year boasts playwright Edward Albee, Yugoslavian Director Djiana Milosevic, and TCG Executive Director Ben Cameron as its three keynote speakers. Over 3,400 attendees are expected for the five-day event, which includes the annual regional festivals for community, children's, and secondary school theatre; college entrance and scholarship auditions for high school students; a staged reading of the annual New Play Award winner; the annual design competition; commercial exhibits; plus over 225 presentations and workshops.

Auditions take place on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday (March 15, 16, 17) of the convention, and SETC estimates that, in 2001, the 95 attending producers will again be looking to cast approximately 2,800 roles, hire 500 interns and apprentices, and fill over 1,000 jobs with designers, technicians, and management people, as well as numerous academic jobs for the fall.

While SETC is the largest of the combined auditions, with the greatest number of producers attending, it is also the priciest, since one cannot audition without becoming a member and registering for the convention. Fees for professionals are: $50 membership in SETC, $50 Convention registration, and $15 audition fee, for a total of $115. Students get a little better break, at $55: $20 membership, $20 registration, and $15 audition fee. Of course, the fees entitle you to attend not only the auditions, but also all other convention events in Jacksonville. Our recommendation—having seen the size of this convention, and the likelihood of auditions being delayed due to sheer numbers—is to allow yourself several days for this marathon. If you're going to spend the money, then do it right, and stay at the convention for at least the night before and the night of your audition. Generally, there are several rooming options, and if you share with a friend or two, and register early, the hotel costs can be kept reasonable. This way, you have a day to get oriented to the place before your audition day, and another day to follow up on any loose ends afterward. And you may even get to a workshop or hear one of the keynote addresses, or at least visit the exhibition hall.

College students must have passed their state screening process, which takes place in the fall at state theatre meetings of the 10 states within the SETC region. Non-Equity and Equity professionals should write for an application form (include SASE) to: SETC Central Office, P.O. Box 9868, Greensboro, NC 27429-0868. Telephone: (336) 272-3645; Fax: (336) 272-8810; E-mail: setc@mindspring.com. Application forms must be completed and returned to SETC by Feb. 1. Prefer to do it electronically? SETC has a website, http://www.setc.org, which has complete information about the convention and auditions, and application forms you can download. (This requires Adobe Acrobat Reader, which can be downloaded into your computer from the website.)

Auditionees are allowed one and one-half minutes for acting and singing, and one minute for acting only or singing only. Dance auditions are held at 6 pm each day. There is a briefing for auditionees at 9 am on the day of their audition, and callbacks run into the evening on each of the audition days.

The SETC offers a job contact service for staff and technical positions. Companies send information on job openings, which is posted at the convention, with the room where interviews will take place. Staff/tech can sign up for specific interview times with companies that advertise an opening in the applicant's area. Membership in SETC also includes a monthly job bulletin for teaching, staff, and technical positions (not auditions).

Companies that attended SETC in 2000 and are expected to return in 2001:

Actors' Theatre of Louisville, KY; Allan Albert Productions/Hersheypark, PA; American Family Theatre, PA; American Stage Festival, NH; Americulture Arts Festival; Appalachian Educational & Historical Society, NC; Arkansas Repertory Theatre, AR; Arundel Barn Playhouse, ME; The B Street Theatre; Barter Theatre, VA; Bearcreek Farms; VA; Bigfork Summer Playhouse, MT; Birmingham Children's Theatre, AL; Blue Jacket Outdoor Drama, NC; Blue Man Productions, NY; Busch Gardens, FL, VA; CalRep Pennsylvania, PA; Center Stage 2000, TX; Central Piedmont Summer Theatre, NC; Cheri Amour Productions; Cherokee Historical Association, NC; Cincinnati Shakespeare Festival, OH; CLIMB Theatre Co., MN; Cumberland County Playhouse, TN; Dave Clemmons Casting; Dollywood Entertainment Productions, TN; ECA Educational Services; Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati, OH; Fiesta Texas, TX; Flat Rock Playhouse, NC; Florida Repertory Theatre, FL; For A Good Time Theatre, MI; Fort Harrod Drama Productions (The Legend of Daniel Boone), KY; Fort Salem Theatre, NY; Fredericksburg Theatre Company, VA; Galveston Island Outdoor Musicals, TX; Georgia Shakespeare Festival, GA; Granbury Opera House, TX; Greenbrier Valkley Theatre, WV; The Hampstead Players, NH; Heritage Repertory Theatre, VA; Horn in the West, NC; Jekyll Island Musical Theatre, GA; Jenny Wiley Theatre, KY; Kaiser Permanente Educational Theatre, GA, OH; Kentucky Shakespeare Festival, KY; KEY Players; Lakes Region Summer Theatre, ME; Lees McRae College Summer Theatre, NC; Lexington Children's Theatre, KY; The Lincoln Amphitheatre, IN; Mac-Haydn Theatre, NY; Main Street Theatre; Merry-Go-Round Playhouse, NY; The Missoula Children's Theatre, MT; Nebraska Theatre Caravan, NE; New Harmony Theatre, IN; North Country Center for the Arts, NH; Ohio Outdoor Historical Drama Assn., OH; Orlando - UCF Shakespeare, FL; Paradigm Entertainment Productions, Children's Theatre International, VA; Paramount Show Services International, NC; Patchwork Playhouse; Pennsylvania Rennaisance Faire, PA; Peter Grey Terhune Presents; Phoenix Theatre Circle, OH; Playhouse on the Square, TN; Poetry Alive! NC; Repertory Theatre of America; Riverside Theatre, Inc., IA; Roanoke Island Historical Association, VA; Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre, CO; Rylander Theatre, GA; Seaside Music Theatre, FL; Shadowbox Cabaret, OH; Shenandoah Shakespeare Express, VA; Shenandoah Summer Music Theatre, VA; Six Flags Over Georgia, GA; Smoky Mountain Shakespeare, TN; Snow Camp Outdoor Theatre, NC; Southern Appalachian Repertory Theatre, NC; Spirit Cruises; Student Life, Inc.; Tarradiddle Players; Tecumseh!, OH; Theatre IV, VA; Theatre West Virginia, WV; Universal Studios Escape, FL; University of Findlay Summer Stock, OH; Virginia Shakespeare Festival, VA; Virginia Stage Company, VA; Walt Disney World Co, FL; The Warehouse Theatre, SC; Wayside Theatre, VA; Weathervane Playhouse, OH.

Looking for something a little different this summer? How about performing under the stars, maybe sharing the spotlight with...your horse? Once again, a wide variety of summer positions in acting, singing, dancing, and technical theatre will be filled at the National Combined Outdoor Drama Auditions, sponsored by the Institute of Outdoor Drama.

Dramatic history, music, dance, and spectacle performed by casts ranging from 30 to 180, in scenic amphitheatres seating from 500 to 6,000 people, on the sites where the events actually occurred, are the hallmarks of the American Outdoor Historical Drama. 3,000 actors, singers, dancers, and technicians are employed in outdoor dramas each summer, and if you're one of them you will be following in the footsteps of such luminaries as John Cullum, Andy Griffith, David Schramm, Kathleen Turner, Denzel Washington, Jr., Goldie Hawn, and Raquel Welch, all of whom spent at least one summer performing under the stars.

Outdoor theatre offers an unconventional environment for actors and technicians to expand their skills while gaining invaluable experience in a large-cast, long-run production. This can be a valuable experience for college actors, who may never have run a show for more than six or eight performances. The production is mounted in two or three weeks in June, and then settles in for a summer-long run, unlike the typical summer stock theatre, which will produce a different show every one to three weeks. At some outdoor companies, this means extended free time for the performers once the show opens; other companies run a second show in repertory, or they may provide classes or alternative production venues for performers.

In addition to performers, outdoor historical drama is rich in opportunities for specialists and technicians: the productions need the expertise of stunt or combat professionals, pyrotechnicians, horseback riders, historians, and others. Staff skilled in design, installation, and maintenance of equipment for sound, voice reinforcement, special effects, and lighting are also in demand.

While most of the regional auditions around the country will be attended by at least a few outdoor dramas, The Institute of Outdoor Drama (a public service agency of the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill) sponsors the only audition that consists exclusively of outdoor historical dramas, and does not cater to other venues such as theme parks, summer stock, and regional theatres. At press time, at least 16 of the outdoor historical dramas—from Kentucky, North Carolina, Ohio, Texas, New Mexico, Virginia, and West Virginia—were planning to converge on the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on Saturday, March 24. There, in one day, they hope to cast 350 performers, and also to interview and hire their technicians.

The auditions on March 24 are open to anyone 18 or older with previous theatre experience. Actors present a one-minute prepared monologue and may be asked to offer another at callback interviews. Singers should prepare a one-minute song. Both actors and singers should be able to communicate emotion clearly and, as most productions do not use microphones or vocal reinforcement, to project their voices with ease and versatility. Dancers will follow a choreographer in combinations using modern, ballet, and folk styles. Technicians will be interviewed.

Jobs require a nine-12-week commitment, including two weeks of rehearsal. Some of the larger companies offer subsidized or paid housing, or will assist in locating housing for company members. Although most jobs are non-union, some companies will hire a few Equity actors in leading roles, and some will offer Equity Membership Candidate weeks to non-union performers.

To request an application, send a self-addressed, stamped business envelope to: Auditions Coordinator, Institute of Outdoor Drama, UNC-CH, CB# 3240, 1700 Airport Road, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3240; or access the Institute's home page at http://www.unc.edu/depts/outdoor/. The application requires a non-refundable audition fee of $30, a photo, and a statement of support from a teacher or director. Completed applications must be received no later than March 19. For more information, call the Institute during business hours at (919) 962-1328, e-mail them at outdoor@unc.edu, or consult the Institute's home page.

At press time, the following companies plan to attend the 2001 Auditions in Chapel Hill (additional companies may register). Companies marked * are those in which a limited number of positions may be available under the Actors' Equity Association Outdoor Drama Agreement:

BLUE JACKET*

Xenia, OH. W.L. (Rusty) Mundell, playwright; Michael Rasbury, composer; Jan Abel, executive producer; Drew Fracher, director. "Blue Jacket" is a visually spectacular outdoor drama recounting America's struggle for peace and freedom in Ohio. Rehearsals May 23-June 7 (two and a half weeks); performances June 8-Sept. 2 (12 weeks). Hiring 60 people. $160-Equity scale/week. Stage combat workshop (taught by Society of American Fight Directors certified instructor), workers' comp, pre-show musicians, tour guides.

DREAMS AND DRILL BITS

Farmington, NM. Mark R. Sumner, playwright; Shawn F. Lyle, general manager; Chris Parsons, director. This new epic drama about life in the Four Corners area of New Mexico from the farming days of the 1920s to the struggles of the oil and gas boom of the 1950s, tells of the young Kirkland family and their fight to build a new way of life. Rehearsals May 21-June 19 (four weeks); performances June 20-Aug. 11 (seven and a half weeks, Wednesday through Saturday). Hiring four actors. $200 and up/week. Housing.

HORN IN THE WEST

Boone, NC. Kermit Hunter, playwright; Peter MacBeth, composer; Curtis Smalling, general manager; Bud Mayes, director. Set in the southern Appalachian mountain region of North Carolina during the American Revolutionary War, the drama follows frontiersman Daniel Boone and his band of settlers. Rehearsals June 8-21 (two weeks); performances June 22-Aug. 11 (seven weeks, Tuesday through Sunday). Hiring five actors, 10 singers, 12 dancers, 12 technicians. $136-$230/week. Assistance in locating housing, workers' comp, apprentice program, reciprocal admission, community discounts.

THE LOST COLONY*

Manteo, NC. Paul Green, playwright; Terrence Mann, director. "The Lost Colony," presented where the real-life events occurred more than 400 years ago, uses song, dance, comedy, and special effects to tell the story of the mysterious disappearance of America's first English colony (1584-87). Rehearsals May 14-May 31 (two and a half weeks); performances June 1-Aug. 24 (12 weeks, Monday through Saturday). Hiring 120 actors, singers, dancers, and technicians. $120-$600/week, depending on position. Apartment housing provided for $15/week, workers' comp, theatre class/lecture series offered through Professional Theatre Workshop, sound-side setting and minutes from the famous Outer Banks beaches.

ROANOKE ISLAND FESTIVAL PARK

Manteo, NC. Deloris Harrell, executive director; Horace Whitfield, captain of Elizabeth II and director of education and interpretation. At this living history museum, actors portray English soldiers, mariners, and gentlemen as they interpret shipboard life aboard the Elizabeth II, a 16th century sailing vessel, and settlements of 1585. All site activities celebrate history, education, and the arts as they relate to the birthplace of English speaking America. Hiring 12 actors. Training/rehearsals: May 29-June 2 (one week); performances June 3-August 18 (10 weeks). Site is open seven days per week. $6.50/hour with performance evaluation raises. Housing available at $50/week, workers' comp.

SNOW CAMP HISTORICAL OUTDOOR THEATRE

Snow Camp, NC. James Wilson, general manager. "The Sword of Peace," by William Hardy, directed by Ed Whitehead; dramatizes, through the lives of Simon and Elizabeth Dixon, the conflict faced by the Cane Creek Society of Friends during the Revolutionary War when, as peaceful Quakers, they are forced to defend their basic tenet of nonviolence. "Pathway to Freedom," by Mark Sumner; directed by Ed Whitehead; addresses racial conflicts and slavery in the South prior to the Civil War. "Carolina Calhoun," an original musical by Robert Watson. Plays run in repertory. Rehearsals June 3-19 (three weeks); performances June 20-Aug. 25 (10 weeks, Wednesday through Saturday). Hiring 15 actors/actresses, $150/week. Hiring costumer, technical director, stage manager, $200/week. Housing, workers' comp, children's theatre.

SMOKEY MOUNTAIN SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL

Knoxville, TN. Robert Nathan, producing director; Charles Miller, director. "A Midsummer Night's Dream," by William Shakespeare. "Cyrano de Bergerac," by Rostand. Rehearsals May 21-June 14 (four weeks). Performances June 15-July 22 (four weeks). Hiring eight actors and 13 interns. Actors $250/week; interns $100 week. Housing, workers' comp, college credit for interns.

TECUMSEH!*

Chillicothe, OH. Allan W. Eckert, playwright; Carl T. Fischer and Frankie Lane, composers; Marion N. Waggoner, producer; Brent Gibbs, director. "Tecumseh!" tells the story of the famous Shawnee leader Tecumseh and his efforts to protect his homeland from white settlers in southern Ohio. Also, "A Midsummer Night's Dream," by William Shakespeare; Malcolm Haymes, director. Rehearsals May 21-June 7 (three weeks); performances June 8-Sept. 1 (12 weeks, Monday through Saturday). Hiring 30 non-Equity male actors; 10 non-Equity female actors, 10 technicians. $170/week up through Equity scale. Free housing, kitchen and laundry, workers' comp, studio shows, Equity Membership Candidacy possible, extra employment by contract only.

"TEXAS" MUSICAL DRAMA

Canyon, TX. Paul Green, playwright; Isaac Van Grove, composer; Blaine Bertrand, general manager; Neil Hess, director. A musical romance of Panhandle history, pitting cattleman against farmer on the vast Texas grasslands. Rehearsals May 13-June 6 (three and a half weeks); performances June 7-Aug. 19 (11 weeks, open nightly, closed Wednesdays, special Fourth of July performance). Hiring 14 actors/actresses, 29 dancers, 34 singers, five instrumentalists, 17 technicians, two interns, 30 customer service reps. Salaries for university-age company members begin at $2,300; customer service reps. are paid per shift. Workers' comp, free dance classes, college credit hours available through West Texas A & M University. Schedules permit time to enroll in courses at WTAMU. Cast members may attend dance classes at no cost.

THEATER AT LIME KILN*

Lexington, VA. Don Baker, playwright; Robin and Linda Williams, composers; Jennifer D. Anderson, executive director; John Healey, artistic director. "Stonewall Country," plus two plays TBA. "Stonewall Country" is a musical dramatizing the life and times of General Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson with exciting battle scenes, vivid portraits of Civil War heroes, and unforgettable music. Rehearsals June 18-July 3 (two and a half weeks); performances July 4-Aug. 4 (four weeks). Hiring 14 actors, three musicians, six technicians. $150-$300/week. Housing, workers' comp.

THEATRE WEST VIRGINIA

Beckley, WV. Gayle Bowling, general manager; Marina Hunley-Dolinger, artistic director. The musical drama, "Hatfields & McCoys," by Billy Edd Wheeler, Ewel Cornett, composer, dramatizes the fierce mountain pride that fueled the world-famous conflict between the Hatfields of West Virginia and the McCoys of Kentucky. Rehearsals are May 21-June 11 (three weeks). Also, "Honey in the Rock," by Kermit Hunter, Ewel Cornett, composer. This musical-drama tells how West Virginia was born out of the anguish of the Civil War and dramatizes what the Indians encountered when they first settled in the land and discovered its natural gas wells, which they called "honey in the rock." Rehearsals are May 21-June 3 (three weeks). "The Sound of Music," by Rodgers and Hammerstein, will be produced in repertory from mid-July through August. Rehearsals June 22-July 16 (three weeks). Performances June 12-Aug. 26 (11 weeks, Tuesday through Sunday). Hiring 30 actors/singers, eight dancers, 12 technicians. $160-400/week. Workers' comp, dance class, stage combat class, whitewater rafting trips.

TRUMPET IN THE LAND

New Philadelphia, OH. Paul Green, playwright; Frank Lewin, composer; Margaret Bonamico, general manager. Witness the founding of Ohio's first settlement, Schoenbrunn, in 1772, as this production takes audiences back in history to a time when Ohio was the western frontier of America. "The White Savage," written by Joseph Bonamico and Mark H. Durbin, tells the story of Simon Girty, labeled a savage due to his alliance with the Native Americans. Also, a musical TBA. Rehearsals May 22-June 7 (3 weeks); performances June 8-Aug. 25 (11 weeks, Monday through Saturday). Hiring 20 actors, six dancers, five technicians. $130-$350/week. Workers' comp, some food allowance.

UNTO THESE HILLS

Cherokee, NC. Kermit Hunter, playwright; Jack Kilpatrick and McCray Hardy, composers. Barry Hipps, general manager; Peter Hardy, director. From the arrival in the Appalachians of Spanish explorer Hernando DeSoto in 1540 to the removal of the Cherokee Indians to Oklahoma along the tragic "Trail of Tears," this drama paints a vivid portrait of the Eastern Band of Cherokee and their brave leaders, Junaluska, Tsali, and Sequoyah, who fought for survival. Rehearsals May 25-June 12 (3 weeks); performances June 13-Aug. 25 (11 weeks, Monday through Saturday). Hiring one actor, six actor-techs, five dancers, two costume crew, two assistant stage managers. $165-400/week. Room and board for $39 per week (dining hall on premises), workers' comp, college credit, swimming pool, second season.

The Unified Professional Theatre Auditions, taking place Feb. 3-5 this year, claim they strive to create "the most diverse combined audition in the United States," and have grown from 25 participating theatres in 1995 to 87 in 2000. Held at Playhouse on the Square in Memphis, TN, this year they expect to host 85 to 100 theatres from around the country, and over 500 performers and production personnel.

The "UPTAs" are more stringent in their eligibility requirements than many others in the field. This is the second year there will be separate Pre-Professional Auditions, held on Saturday, for performers who will have an undergraduate degree by Sept. 1, 2001, and are available for year-round work. These performers must have their registration signed by the head of their theatre department. To be eligible for the regular auditions on Sunday and Monday, an auditionee must be available for employment throughout the year and must meet at least one of the following criteria: have attended a previous UPTA; have a post-graduate degree in theatre (MA, MFA, PhD, etc.) by Sept. 1, 2001; be a member of Equity or an EMC; or have their registration signed by a TCG member theatre or by a registered 2000 or 2001 UPTA theatre. Tech and administrative candidates must be available for employment throughout the year and: have completed their undergraduate degree in technical or administrative theatre by Sept. 1, 2001, or have their registration signed by a TCG member theatre or by a registered 2000 or 2001 UPTA theatre. Equity stage managers are also eligible.

Each theatre attending the audition must offer paid year-round employment, paid job-in employment, or paid internships. The auditions are for acting and singing only, with separate dance calls. Technical interviews are held on Saturday, along with the Pre-Professional Auditions.

The auditions will be held on stage at the Playhouse on the Square with callback locations at the adjacent French Quarter Inn. Actors have one and one-half minutes to present a monologue or a monologue and a song; an accompanist is provided. Registration information is available from Michael Detroit, Audition Coordinator, UPTA, 51 S. Cooper St., Memphis, TN, 38104; (901) 725-0776; fax (901) 272-7530. Actor registration fees are $30, and auditionees must send copies of their photo/resume with registration (60 copies for pre-professional, 100 copies for regular auditions), to be distributed to the attending producers.

Among the more than 80 companies expected in 2001 are:

Alaska Cabin Night Dinner Theatre, AK; Allied Theatre Group, TX; American Family Theater, PA; Arkansas Arts Center Children's Theatre, AR; Arkansas Repertory Theatre Company, AR; Barter Theatre, VA; Beechwood Theatre Company, RI; Beef and Boards Dinner Theatre, IN; Big League Theatricals, NY; Birmingham Children's Theatre, AL; Bridgework Theater, IN; Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre, FL; Busch Gardens, VA; California Theatre Center, CA; Carousel Dinner Theatre, OH; Center Stage Theatre, MI; The Children's Theatre Company, MN; Cincinnati Shakespeare Festival, OH; Cleveland Signstage Theatre, OH; CLIMB Theatre, MN; Commonweal Theatre Company, MN; Creede Repertory Theatre, CO; Crown Uptown Dinner Theatre, KS; Cumberland County Playhouse, TN; Derby Dinner Playhouse, IN; Diamond Circle, CO; Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre, PA; Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre, PA; For A Good Time Theatre, MI; Great American Melodrama, CA; Greenbrier Valley Theatre, WV; Hampstead Players, NH; Horse Cave Theatre, KY; Jenny Wiley Theatre, KY; Kaiser Permanente Educational Theatre, GA, OH; Kentucky Shakespeare Festival, KY; La Comedia Dinner Theatre, OH; Lexington Children's Theatre, KY; Madcap Productions Puppet Theatre, OH; Melodrama Musical Theatre, CA; Memphis Black Repertory Theatre, TN; Merry-Go-Round Playhouse, NY; Metro Theatre Company, MO; Missoula Children's Theatre, MT; Music of Denali Dinner Theater, AK; Naples Dinner Theatre, FL; National Theatre for Children, MN; Nebraska Theatre Caravan; New Stage Theatre, MS; North Shore Music Theatre, MA; Northern Lights Playhouse/Pinewood Dinner Theatre, WI; Oklahoma Shakespearean Festival, OK; Old Creamery Theatre Company, IA; The Old Schoolhouse Theater, FL; Phoenix Theatre Circle, OH; Playhouse on the Square, TN; Poetry Alive! Inc., NC; Pritchard Productions, MI; Red Barn Playhouse, MI; Roxy Regional Theatre, TN; Rylander Theatre, GA; Ryman Auditorium, TN; Sandstone Productions, NM; Shadowbox Cabaret, OH; Shenandoah Shakespeare Express, VA; Show Palace Dinner Theatre, FL; Smoky Mt. Shakespeare, TN; Springer Opera House, GA; St. Croix Festival Theatre, WI; Stage Centre Company, AL; Stage One: Louisville Chiuldren's Theatre, KY; Tecumseh!, OH; Tennessee Repertory Theatre, TN; Texas Shakespeare Festival, TX; Theater at Lime Kiln, VA; Theatre IV & ArtReach, VA; Theatre Memphis ShoWagon, TN; Theatre West Virginia, WV; Tibbits Summer Theatre, MI; Timestep Players Children's Theatre, IL; Troupe America, MN; Virginia Stage Company, VA; Wagon Wheel Theatre, IN; Walt Disney World Co., FL; Wayside Theatre, VA.

CALIFORNIA EDUCATIONAL THEATRE ASSOCIATION will be held Jan. 31 and Feb. 1 at California State University at Fresno. The region includes CA, NV, AZ, UT, HI, and Guam, and companies attend from these and other states. The application must be postmarked Jan. 10. Application fee is $25; performers must be non-union, current college students, or within one year of having left a program. Format: four minutes for two monologues or a monologue and a song; accompanist is provided. Callbacks each day; actors must bring 50 picture/resumes. Directors, designers, stage managers, and tech have five-minute portfolio presentations, and should bring 25 copies of resume. For application: Buddy Butler, Director, CETA Auditions & Interviews, at (408) 924-4557 or e-mail washingt@chapman.edu or download from the website, www.cetaweb.org/aandi/.

EAST CENTRAL THEATRE CONFERENCE (ECTC) is the regional organization of professional, educational, and community theatres serving NY, NJ, PA, DE, MD, and the District of Columbia. Auditions will be held Feb. 18 and 19 at Crowne Plaza Hotel in Philadelphia, PA, as part of the ECTC annual conference. The application must be postmarked Jan. 31. The fee is $30 for the audition and also includes affiliate membership in ECTC and attendance at the conference workshops. Format: two minutes for one or two monologues, or one monologue plus a song. There are no interviews for staff positions. For applications, send SASE to: ECTC Auditions 2001, Stephanie Mykietyn, 231 Newark Pompton Tpke., Wayne, NJ 07470.

ILLINOIS THEATRE ASSOCIATION will hold auditions at the Theatre Building in Chicago, March 2 and 3. Fee is $30, or $25 for ITA members. Format: a three-minute audition without a song, or four-minute audition with a song (accompanist provided). No tech/staff interviews, except stage managers. For information, write or call: Mr. Wallace Smith, Executive Director, Illinois Theatre Association, 1225 West Belmont, Chicago, IL 60657; (773) 929-7288, ext. 18 or 19.; fax (773) 327-1404; e-mail iltheasssoc@aol.com.

INDIANA THEATRE ASSOCIATION will hold auditions on Feb. 18 at DePauw University. The application deadline is Feb. 1. The audition fee is $20. To be eligible, one must be a member of a professional union, or have a recommendation from a university or professional director. Format: auditions may be singing or non-singing, two-minute limit, separate dance auditions. Interviews for tech/design/management. For application, send SASE to Ron Dye, Indiana Theatre Assn., 106 Poplar St., Geencastle, IN 46135, or see their website at www.intheatre.org/works.html.

MIDWEST THEATRE AUDITIONS, sponsored by the Conservatory of Theatre Arts, Webster University, hosts 50 companies. Auditions this year are Feb. 23-25, with tech and designer interviews Feb. 24, at the Loretto-Hilton Center, Webster Univ., St. Louis, MO. (Unfortunately for Back Stage readers, applications were to be postmarked by Dec.10, so this is one to put on your calendar for next fall, if you wish to attend in '02.) Non-Equity performers are eligible, and must have their application form signed by an instructor or director. Fee is $25. Format: one and one-half minutes for one or two pieces; one must be non-musical, but musical pieces are encouraged, and an accompanist is provided. Dance calls are held each day after general auditions, and tech/design interviews at 10 am on Feb. 24. Actors bring at least 20 copies of picture/resumes for callbacks; design/tech folks present their portfolio at their interview. For future reference, and to get an application for next year, write to Peter Sargent, Coordinator, Midwest Theatre Auditions, Webster University, 470 E. Lockwood, St. Louis, MO 63119-3194; e-mail is .

NATIONAL DINNER THEATRE ASSOCIATION will hold auditions for Equity and non-Equity companies on Saturday, March 12, in Chicago, IL. Application deadline is March 2. The fee is $25; $30 after March 2 if there is space left, and $35 on the day of audition (again, if there is room). Format: one minute for a monologue, with 16 bars of a song optional. Technicians can send their resume to be made available to producers. Applications are screened. Write for application (enclose SASE) to: NDTA Auditions, c/o David Pritchard, P.O. Box 726, Marshall, MI 49068; (616) 781-7859.

NEW JERSEY THEATRE GROUP (NJTG) is the association of the state's 21 professional (AEA) and 10 affiliate (AEA track) theatre companies. NJTG holds a job fair, for interns and entry level technical and management staff, in March, plus Equity and non-Equity auditions, which are held in mid-February and late August. (NJTG also operates a year-round actor search referral service for AEA and non-Equity performers.) For more information, write Wendy Liscow, Director of Programs & Services, NJTG, 17 Cook Ave., Madison, NJ 07940. (973) 593-0189; e-mail: wliscow@gti.net; website: www.njtheatregroup.org.

NORTHWEST DRAMA CONFERENCE will hold auditions Feb. 17 for entry into professional actor training programs in the Northwestern and Western U.S., and for regional summer theatres; there will also be interviews for tech and management. This year, the location is the University of Alaska at Anchorage, AK. A limited number of slots are available, and pre-registration deadline is Jan. 30; any slots left after the deadline may be filled for an additional $10 late fee. Otherwise, fees are $45 for students and $75 for non-students, plus $10 conference registration. Format: Performers have four minutes to include two monologues, or five minutes for two monologues and a song; accompanist is not available. Five minutes each are allotted for technical interviews. For information write Northwest Drama Conference Auditions, att.: David Edgecombe, Theatre Arts Dept., University of Alaska at Anchorage, 3211 Providence Dr., Anchorage, AK 99508; (907) 786-1794.

OHIO THEATRE ALLIANCE holds auditions attended by 40-50 companies on Jan. 27 at the Ohio Theatre in downtown Columbus. The application deadline was Dec. 15, but slots may still available, with a $5 late fee. Auditions are primarily non-Equity, and you must be an OTA member and must be pre-registered. The audition fee is $35, with a $5/person discount for groups, or $45 to attend both actor/tech, with the same discount for groups (pay by money order or check). Format: Applicants have one and one-half minutes, and must bring a taped accompaniment with tape player, if singing. Callbacks are scheduled the same day, and there are interviews and a short portfolio review for tech and management. For application, contact OTA Auditions, c/o Shawn Dougherty, Franciscan University of Steubenville, English Dept./Theatre Division, 1235 University Blvd., Steubenville, OH 43952; (740) 283-6245 ext. 212; e-mail: ota@netset.com or sdougherty@franuniv.edu; website: http:\\www.ohiotheatrealliance.org.

ROCKY MOUNTAIN THEATRE ASSOCIATION SUMMER THEATRE AUDITIONS includes companies from ID, MT, WY, CO, UT, and other states, and is held as part of the RMTA's "Festivention," held Friday, Jan. 26 of this year, at the University of Colorado at Boulder, CO. The application deadline is Jan. 12 and the total fee is $95, or $80 if you're a student: $65 ($55 student) registration for Festivention, plus $25 membership ($20 student), plus $5 audition fee. Format: a total of two minutes for two contrasting monologues; or two and one-half minutes, if including 16 bars of a song (tape deck provided); technical/design/staff have a two-and-one-half-minute time slot for a self-introduction and to show their portfolio. For application write Festivention 2001—Summer Theatre Auditions, c/o Bud Coleman, Festivention Host, University of Colorado, Dept. Of Theatre and Dance, CB 261, Boulder, CO 80309-0261, or see their website, www.rmta.net.

SOUTHWEST THEATRE ASSOCIATION includes companies from AR, LA, NM, OK, TX, and auditions will be held on March 3 at the Holiday Inn in Tyler, TX. Applications must be postmarked by Feb. 11. Fees: $20 for SWTA members, $60 for non-members, $35 for student non-members. Format: Equity and non-Equity actors have one and one-half minutes plus 32 bars or 30 seconds of a song (bring audio tapes for accompaniment). Tech/staff should bring portfolio for interview (five minutes). For application, send SASE to SWTA Professional Auditions, 3000 General Pershing Blvd., Oklahoma City, OK 73107; (405) 946-9380; or e-mail swtajimmy@theshop.net.

THEATRE AUDITIONS IN WISCONSIN for approximately 30 companies will be held on Feb. 10 at Memorial Union in Madison, WI; pre-registration is recommended by Jan. 26. Fee is $30. Auditions are for non-Equity only. Format: two minutes for acting only; actor/singers get two and one-half minutes; tech/design/administrative interviews also will be held. For application, write Theatre Auditions in Wisconsin, Liberal Studies and the Arts, room 721, Lowell Hall, 610 Langdon St., Madison, WI 53703-1195; (608) 263-6736; fax (608) 262-1694, or contact Richard Klemm: rlk@mail.dcs.wisc.edu.

THEATRE BAY AREA GENERAL AUDITIONS, attended by 60-70 San Francisco & Bay Area companies, will take place Feb. 23-25, but application deadline was Dec. 15 (for future reference, all necessary registration information is published in November and December issues of the TBA newsletter, Call Board). You must be a TBA member and, if non-union, must have one year full-time acting training, or have appeared in six productions outside of school, or be EMC. Priority is given to Bay Area residents. For TBA membership information, write to Theatre Bay Area, 870 Market St., Ste. 375, San Francisco, CA 94102; (415) 430-1140; fax: (415) 430-1140, or check www.theatrebayarea.org.

VERMONT ASSOCIATION OF THEATRES AND THEATRE ARTISTS will hold statewide auditions for about 20 companies in Vermont and Upstate New York on Saturday, March 3, at St. Michael's College, Winooski, VT. The deadline is Feb. 23. Audition fees are $20, $30 if out of state; $15 for design/tech/staff, $25 if out of state. The registration fee includes a $10 non-refundable administrative fee, and there are no refunds after Feb. 15. Applicants may be Equity or non-Equity, but first preference will be given to Vermont residents, or students at a Vermont college. After Feb. 1, time slots will be opened to out-of-state artists; latecomers are not guaranteed an audition time, but applications will be taken until all slots are filled. Late applicants pay a non-refundable $10 late fee. Performers must submit 22 copies of their picture resume, or one copy with an additional $10 to have copies made. Format: Performers have three minutes to present two contrasting monologues, with eight bars of a song optional (bring taped accompaniment, tape deck is provided). Tech/design/staff interviews at the end of the day (2-3 pm). A special feature of VATTA auditions is the "Shmoozefest" following auditions, from 4:30-6 pm, allowing all theatre folks the chance to network—there is no charge for auditionees to attend. Send an SASE to VATTA Auditions, c/o Champlain Arts Theatre Company, P.O. Box 1091, Burlington, VT 05602-1091.

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