Tag Archives: audition

New Casting Update: Seeking black actress for world premiere of ‘Runaway Home’ at Fountain Theatre

RUNAWAY HOME title imageUPDATE: The Fountain Theatre is casting for its upcoming world premiere production of Runaway Home by Jeremy J. Kamps, directed by Shirley Finney. Much of the cast is in place. The Fountain is still seeking the following supporting roles:

[SHANA] 35-45, Black, female. The unofficial “mayor” of the Lower 9th Ward in New Orleans. Moral courage, brash exterior, soft interior, lives by high standards of truth, courage and morality and expects the same from others, loyal and on the flip side, holds grudges, can be stubborn and judgmental, but 100% reliable to be the foundation, indefatigable, righteous in a way that sometimes bleeds into not being realistic. 

STORYLINE: Set in New Orleans, Lower 9th Ward, three years after Hurricane Katrina. In this funny and deeply moving story, 14 year-old Kali embarks on a journey. Rhyming, stealing, and scamming her way through her still-destroyed neighborhood, engaging the lively folk who remain and running from her worried mother, Kali picks through the wreckage of what used to be her life and is forced to confront the cost of moving forward and embrace the loving power of family.

In addition still casting:

[ARMANDO] 35 to 45 years old, Mexican male. Owns and runs the small local store in the Lower 9th Ward, New Orleans. Has two daughters in Mexico. Guarded, vulnerable, empathetic, longing, wistful, independent, self-sufficient, courageous, inner-turmoil, soft but with a temper. He offers Kali a job in his store, trying to help the young runaway girl, which leads to a harrowing but hopeful end.

Rehearsals start August 7th. The production opens September 16th and runs to November 5th.  The Fountain Theatre operates under the new AEA 99 Seat Agreement. Auditions will be held next week.  

Email submissions to casting@fountaintheatre.com 

NOW CASTING: 3-week development workshop for new theatre/dance work ‘Freddie’

Freddy rooftopThe Fountain Theatre is now casting a 3-week development workshop for Freddie, a new project by Deborah Lawlor that combines theatre, dance and music to tell the unforgettable true story of a legendary dancer.  

STORYLINE:
Based on a true story. Greenwich Village, 1964. Freddie Herko was a brilliant 28 year-old ballet dancer of extraordinary charisma and talent haunted by dark self-destructive demons. A fiery denizen of Andy Warhol’s Factory, Herko became more eccentric, unpredictable and self-destructive. While dancing in his NY apartment to Mozart’s Coronation Mass, Herko leapt out the window and fell to his death five stories down. The project “Freddie” chronicles the friendship between Freddie and Shelley, the naive young woman caught under his spell who desires to be a dancer. By fusing theatre, music, dance and video, the project will capture the explosive spirit of a passionate artist and a turbulent era. 

Director: Frances Loy
Writer: Deborah Lawlor
Producer: Stephen Sachs
Co-Producer: Simon Levy
Associate Producer: James Bennett
Casting Director: Frances Loy

Dates: 3-week rehearsal period in October, culminating in 3 public performances. Exact dates to be determined based on artist availability. 

SPECIAL NOTE:
This is a 3-week developmental workshop of a new theatre piece combining theatre, dance/movement and music. To explore and discover how the text intertwines with dance/movement.  It will culminate in 3 public performances. This project is supported, in part, by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. 

Roles:
[FREDDIE]
20 to 30 years old, male. Charismatic, dynamic, tortured soul. Must have strong training and experience in classical ballet.
[SHELLEY]
20 to 25 years old, female. Naive, innocent, excitable, light quality. Must have strong training and experience in classical ballet.
[GLORIA/DIANE DI PRIMA/MARGARET/BABY JANE]
30 to 50 years old, female. Seeking versatile actress to play multiple roles. Grounded, motherly quality. Flirtatious and exuberant. Must have some training in classical ballet.
[TINA/ONDINE]
30 to 40 years old, female. Darkly mystical and mysterious. Must have some training in classical ballet.
[ANDY/JOHNNIE/GEORGE/EDDIE]
20 to 40 years old, male. Seeking versatile actor to play multiple roles, including aloof to friendly to intimidating to gregarious. Must have some training inn classical ballet.
[BILLY/RALPH/SERGIO]
20 to 40 years old, male. Seeking versatile actor to play multiple roles, including gregarious Italian and down-to-earth dependable.
[JIMMY WARING/ROTTEN RITA]
40 to 50 years old, male. Two roles: sober, sage “mentor” type plus lightly effeminate with strong comedy skills.
[PETE/ONDINE/ARTHUR]
30 to 40 years old, male. Seeking versatile actor to play multiple roles: from opera nut who holds forth to straight, strong and dependable husband of Shelley.

There is pay.

Submit electronically via Actors Access  

or via email: casting@fountaintheatre.com

The Artist’s Life: How to keep going when the answer is “no”

rejection
by Brent Eickhoff

Rejection is a part of life, just as much as it is a part of theatre. In a world where so many of us must market ourselves and are personally invested in our work, rejection can sting even more. Geraldine Downey, PhD, whose research centers on rejection, explains in an article for the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology that rejection is synonymous with the feelings of not being wanted or valued. Especially in a community-driven medium such as theatre, these feelings of ostracization and denial can be detrimental to an artist’s outlook on the work. Despite theatre’s vast subjectivity, and the myriad reasons anyone may miss out on an opportunity, the person we blame the most in the face of rejection is our self. Guy Winch, PhD, a frequent blogger for Huffington Post, contends that in many cases, “we start with this high volume of negative self-talk and criticism that takes the rejection to another level.” Unfortunately, competition, criticism, and casting decisions will always be an element of making theatre.

In his book Emotional First Aid, Winch offers up several ways of understanding rejection. He claims that, as an emotion, rejection quickly clouds all reason and will even supersede logic in the most dire of circumstances. Winch details an experiment in which participants were randomly excluded from a computerized program and were unable to ease their pain, even when the scientists provided a host of reasons why each test subject had been excluded. The scientists explained that nobody had legitimately excluded participants, and the results were, in fact, rigged, but subjects were still upset and emotional for being rejected. Even when the scientists told a group that the group responsible for excluding them was comprised of members of the Ku Klux Klan, individuals were still hurt. Winch concludes “reason, logic, and common sense are usually ineffective when it comes to mitigating the pain we feel.” Clearly, rejection is a powerful emotion. These findings explain why even armed with the knowledge that a casting decision was completely subjective, an actor may still struggle to come to terms with the loss of a role.

Another element of rejection is the concept of “rejection sensitivity.” In a nutshell, this idea addresses an individual’s inclination to expect or overreact to rejection. While this principle primarily applies to social rejection, theatre is, in its essence, a social art form. From being “accepted” into the cast or production team, to finding your artistic home in a new city, or gaining favorable reviews from an audience or critics, theatre is arguably more communal than more individualized artistic practices. Rejection sensitivity can be particularly detrimental to actors expecting the worst from auditions. As Shurtleff explains in a later chapter in Audition, persistence and discipline may be the key factor in an actor’s success. He even goes so far as to explicitly state that an actor can fail because “they are victimized by their limitations and prejudices” or are “ruled by their negative side.” Both of these traits are inherent in someone with high rejection sensitivity and no positive outlet for tackling their mindset.

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Understanding Rejection: The Artists’ View

One of the first places many of us confront rejection is in middle and high school. From cliques, to school dances, relationships, and spring play cast lists, the potential for rejection is at an all time high. When she discussed it with me, high school theatre teacher Carrie Reiberg said that rejection comes with the territory when casting a play. “I see rejection happen a lot when casting…it wouldn’t be realistic or honest of me to cast every actor every time they audition,” she says. She discusses that fairness is at the heart of her classroom, since if she doesn’t cast the best actor for the role at the time, “you are setting actors up to fail in the ‘real world’ when they try to make a living as working actors.” If the same actors get the leading roles throughout the formative years of their acting career, they may develop unhealthy expectations for what will happen post-graduation.  Continue reading

NOW CASTING: West Coast Premiere of Tennessee Williams’ ‘Baby Doll’ at Fountain Theatre

BABY DOLL ad

The Fountain Theatre is now casting the West Coast Premiere of a new stage adaptation of Tennessee Williams’ Baby Doll, adapted by Pierre LaVille and Emily Mann from Williams’ screenplay. Not yet seen in Los Angeles, Baby Doll premiered at McCarter Theatre in Princeton, NJ, 2015. The upcoming Fountain production will open July 16, directed by Simon Levy.

Producers – Stephen Sachs and Deborah Lawlor
Director – Simon Levy
Stage Adaptation – Pierre LaVille and Emily Mann, based on Tennessee Williams’ screenplay
Casting – James Bennett
Previews 7/13-7/15
Opens: 7/16
Runs: Friday-Monday thru 8/28
Casting Director: James Bennett
Interview Dates: April 18-20, 2016
Callback Dates: April 23, 2016
Start Date: May 30, 2016
Pay Rate: AEA 99-Seat Code, $200 rehearsal stipend, plus $25.00/performance

STORY: 1950s, Mississippi. Dilapidated plantation mansion. Comedy/Drama. 19-year-old married virgin, “Baby Doll” Meighan, must consummate her marriage the next day on her 20th birthday, as long as her middle-aged husband, Archie Lee Meighan, upholds his end of the bargain: to provide her with a comfortable life. But Archie Lee is having a lot of problems, with his finances, his wife, and his cotton gin business. After Archie Lee spitefully burns down his neighbor’s gin to save his failing business, his rival, Silva Vacarro, arrives to seek revenge. There he meets Baby Doll, who becomes instrumental in his erotic form of Sicilian revenge. What ensues is a complex mix of desire and desperation, with Baby Doll as both player and pawn. Williams’ unconventional depiction of gender roles, adultery, and female sexuality is as steamy today as it was in the 1950s.

SEEKING:

[“BABY DOLL” MEIGHAN]– LEAD – female,open ethnicity, able to play 19; Southern; wife of Archie Lee; she’s a fascinating contradiction: childlike; still sleeps in a crib; innately sexy and seductive, but still a virgin; charismatic; turns heads wherever she goes; naïve but also coy; uneducated but smarter than she seems.

[ARCHIE LEE MEIGHAN]– LEAD – male, ethnicity, 40s-50s; Southern; owner of failing cotton gin; unshaven, dirty; often comically baffled by Baby Doll and life in general; easily overwhelmed; a closet alcoholic, which can make him abusive; a product of deep-seated Southern prejudices; desperate to be a success and impress Baby Doll and consummate the marriage.

[SILVA VACARRO] – LEAD – male, ethnicity, 30s; Sicilian immigrant who’s lived in the South for a while; successful owner of rival cotton gin; dark, the “foreigner”; attractive, sexy; enjoys toying with Baby Doll and Archie Lee; he doesn’t like to lose.

Submissions accepted via Breakdown Services and Actors Access

Or email headshot & resume to: casting@fountaintheatre.com  

NOW CASTING: The Los Angeles Premiere of new comedy/drama ‘My Manana Comes’

MANANA ad

Director: Armando Molina 
Playwright: Elizabeth Irwin 
Producer: Stephen Sachs 
Rehearsals: start on/about March 1 
Perf Dates: April 9 – June 5 
Performances: Sat 3pm & 8pm, Sun 3pm, Mon 8pm 

STORYLINE: Four busboys in the kitchen of an upscale restaurant learn the hard way how to deal with pay cuts that could jeopardize their dreams for a better life, their dignity and their friendship. Fast-paced, hip and funny, the play brings to colorful life the camaraderie, sharing of dreams, competition and traitorous backstabbing that climaxes with a powerful dramatic turn at the end. Immigration, the minimum wage crisis, rights for undocumented workers, and citizenship lie at the center of this fast-moving, funny and powerful new LA premiere that examines the true meaning of ”home” and how far we’re willing to go to get there. 

NOW SEEKING: 

[PETER] – African American, 25-35, lives in Harlem. The confident crew leader and firecracker-in-chief, quick-witted, high-spirited, veteran of the place, ambitious, driven, seems to have a bead on how every aspect of the business runs. Painfully aware that his managerial skills far surpass his current position. Teases and bucks up his teammates, keeps a watchful eye, a natural storyteller and mimic. His energetic demeanor belies his worries over keeping his young daughter happy and safe. He is cool, in command, seemingly unshakeable. Until … 

[WHALID] – 25 -35, third-generation Mexican American. A brash, trash-talking jokester from Brooklyn whose work ethic is decidedly more lax. Cocky, wisecracking, handsome. He is so well assimilated that he thought he was Puerto Rican until he was a teenager. Busing tables is just a stop on the way to becoming an EMT. Or something. 

[PEPE] Mexican, 20s, from the drug-running city of Juarez only three months ago.  Simple-minded illegal worker. Eager to learn and please, restless, vulnerable. Naive and happy in his new life and sending as much as he can to his brother in Mexico, yet prone to blowing his pay on nightclubs and new clothes.   

[JORGE] Mexican, 25 – 30, been at the restaurant the longest. Peter’s right-hand man and best friend on the job. Serious, single-minded, simmering with a quiet intensity, lives frugally so he can faithfully send money back home to someday build a house for his wife and children in Puebla. Reserved, level-headed, a quiet maturity, deliberate. A strong, deep, quiet sense of judgment. 

This casting notice is also appearing on Breakdown Services and Actor’s Access.

To submit via email: casting@fountaintheatre.com

NOW CASTING: World Premiere of ‘Dream Catcher’ by Stephen Sachs, directed by Cameron Watson

mojave_desert_4-8-11_50d_083The Fountain Theatre is now casting and holding auditions for the world premiere of Dream Catcher by Stephen Sachs, directed by Cameron Watson. The new play will open January 23rd, launching the Fountain’s 2016 season.

STORYLINE:

Inspired by a true event. Solar power confronts spirit power in this new drama about climate change, cultural change and the moral consequences of personal choice. Roy is the youngest member on a team of high-level engineers brought in to launch the most important project of his young career: the construction of a solar energy plant in the middle of the Mojave desert. But Roy suddenly finds himself thrust into the center of a crisis when the discovery of long-buried Native American artifacts threaten to bring the billion-dollar operation to a halt. The disaster gets deeply personal when the whistle-blower turns out to be Opal, the fiery and unpredictable young Mojave Indian woman with whom Roy has been having an affair.

SEEKING:

OPAL 
Female, 20’s, Mojave Indian. Tough, edgy, bold, sensual, fiery “Rez chick”. Passionate, wild, unpredictable, powerful, foul-mouthed, speaks her mind. Under-educated but world-wise, smarter than she looks. Burns for love and a better life but feels unworthy of both. A fighter, a survivor, she suddenly finds herself thrust into a turning point that could change her life path. Seeking a strong, skilled powerful Native American stage actress with a very wide range and a deep emotional well.
RAY  
Male, 30’s, solar power engineer. Clean-cut, nice-looking, WASP New Englander. Well educated, articulate, logical, science-minded. Aches with ambition and the need to be seen and approved by his colleagues. The Genesis power plant is his life-or-death opportunity to make a name for himself. His driving ambition blinds him to the painful truth about himself. His fierce desire for success hides a sad, inner loneliness. Seeking a strong, skilled powerful stage actor with a very wide range and a deep emotional well.
SCHEDULE
  • Auditions start December 2nd, 2015
  • Rehearsals start on/about December 14, 2015
  • Previews January 16 – 22, 2016
  • Opens January 23 – March 14, 2016

CONTRACT/RATE: AEA 99-Seat Transitional, $25 per performance plus $200 rehearsal stipend. Non-union permitted.

Submit headshot & resume to: casting@fountaintheatre.com

Multiple award-winner Stephen Sachs is the author of twelve plays including such Fountain productions as Citizen: An American Lyric (adaptor), Bakersfield Mist, Cyrano, Heart SongMiss Julie: Freedom Summer, Sweet Nothing in my Ear and Central Avenue.

Heralded by The Los Angeles Times as “one of our finest contemporary directors,” Cameron Watson has earned critical acclaim for recently directing Picnic and Top Girls at Antaeus Theatre Company, Cock at Rogue Machine Theatre, and Trying at The Colony Theatre starring Alan Mandell.

This notice will also be posted on Breakdown Services and Backstage.com.

 

 

10 Audition Tips From The Other Side of the Casting Table

Heather Wolf at the casting table for 'I And You' at the Fountain Theatre.

Heather Wolf at the casting table for ‘I And You’ at the Fountain Theatre.

What I Learned Watching Other Actors Audition 

by Heather Wolf

Ready? Show of hands: How many actors have ever wished to be the proverbial fly on the wall at an audition? Well, volunteering to be an audition reader may just contribute to that most integral tool in an actor’s arsenal: keeping your sanity.

I was given the opportunity to sit on the other side of the casting table during the Fountain Theatre’s casting of I and You, directed by Robin Larsen. It really was an invaluable experience. In preparation for the actor’s life (read constant, unavoidable rejection), there are countless articles, books and instructors all trying to drill in to our sensitive, artist brains that it is not personal. Well, let me add my voice to the throng: It is NOT PERSONAL.

How can I say such a thing? Knowing that it is, quite literally, your life? I know what makes it such a personal and consuming experience for an actor. But across that table, it really is nothing personal. In a good way. Guess what? While you walk out the door obsessing over every moment from your audition, your pic & res is already in the “Yes”, “No” or “Maybe” pile and probably not for the reasons you think.

You may have been the production team’s favorite actor and won’t even get a callback because of [insert-­character- ­stat-here]. How is that fair? How is this supposed to help with the whole staying sane thing? What you keep hearing is true: all you can be is you, all you can control is your work, let the rest go.  I am a witness.

More good news: everyone staring at you from across that casting table is on your side. They want you to be great as much as you do. They understand the courage it takes just to walk through that door. When they smile and welcome you and try to put you at ease, it is genuine. So breathe, try and calm those pesky nerves and remember why all those people are there. Putting actors first is the modus operandi of The Fountain Theatre and they actually deliver. Even if you’re just passing through on an audition. After hearing the same lines read over and over, hour after hour, day after day,  they are still rooting for you when you walk through that door; hoping that you will be the answer to their casting prayers.  It is as difficult for, and means as much to, the people on the other side of the casting table as it does to you.

The audition room at the Fountain Theatre.

The audition room at the Fountain Theatre.

As an actor, I intellectually understood these concepts. But experiencing it first-­hand from the other side of the casting table is another thing altogether. Every actor should be an audition reader at least once. If offered the opportunity, grab it. It really is a priceless and freeing experience for any actor. 

So, here are my ten audition tips taken from the other side of the table:

  1. Relax. They want you to be there. They are on your side. They want every single actor who walks in — including you —  to be the answer to their casting prayers.
  2. Be professional. Be prepared.  Be on time. Arriving early is on time and on time is late.
  3. Always bring your headshot and resume. Even if you know they already have it. At the end of the day when the headshots are spread across the casting table so they can make their callback choices, you want your lovely face shining up at them from that table reminding them who your are. Not an empty blank white sheet of paper with your name scribbled on it.
  4. Do your work. All you can really control is what you put into your audition. You may be a cold-read ninja and think you can just walk in and nail it.  But if you have actually been provided advanced notice with the sides and the script, take that gift! Give yourself every advantage. You’ll need it.
  5. You don’t have to memorize the lines. It impresses no one. I know many actors feel that having their lines memorized is part of doing the work, but that is not what matters most. This from Stephen Sachs, award-winning director and co-founder of The Fountain Theatre: “We really don’t care if the lines are memorized or not. It means nothing to us. What matters is their performance, the freedom of their work. Often, an actor will memorize the lines thinking it will “free” them and enable them to do their best work but then they are concentrating so hard on remembering the words that it completely locks them up. I see it all the time.”
  6. It is okay to make mistakes. Honestly. Skipping a line, having to start over, glancing at your sides, does not impact whether you’re cast or not. Strive for perfection, just don’t be derailed when imperfection strikes. It may be the best part of our day.
  7. Be flexible and directable. Most actors claim they love direction.  Listen and process what you are being given. Because if you go back and give the exact same read? Your goose is pretty well cooked. If you need clarification, ask!
  8. The audition room is a “no fly” zone. Walk calmly, don’t fly in and out the door. The second you have said your last line and hear “thank you” doesn’t mean you are required to turn tail and run. Gather your things, say your final “goodbye” or “have a nice day” and exit at a reasonable pace.  I promise, you have the time.
  9. Leave it in the room. However you feel you did, leave it in the room. Your job is done.  It is out of your control. Just keep on keepin’ on.
  10. Be an audition reader at least once. Volunteer, ask friends, do a show and run your own session, but find a way. The perspective it gives you as an actor, the understanding of the process, knowing first hand what the other side of the table has to deal with and what you can and cannot control, is genuinely priceless. At least it was for me.