Tag Archives: casting

NOW CASTING: Mexican shop owner in world premiere of new play ‘Runaway Home’ at Fountain Theatre

RUNAWAY HOME title imageThe Fountain Theatre is now casting the following role for its upcoming world premiere production of Runaway Home by Jeremy J. Kamps, directed by Shirley Finney.

[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.

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.

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.  

Email submissions to casting@fountaintheatre.com 

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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

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: 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.

NOW CASTING: Los Angeles Premiere of ‘My Name is Asher Lev’ at the Fountain Theatre

ASHER LEV logoThe Fountain Theatre is now casting the Los Angeles Premiere of the acclaimed new play, MY NAME IS ASHER LEV by Aaron Posner, adapted from the beloved best-selling novel by Chaim Potok (The Chosen). Winner of the Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding New Off-Broadway Play and the John Gassner Award. The LA Premiere runs February 15 – April 20, 2014, at the Fountain Theatre,  directed by Stephen Sachs

STORYLINE: Set in post-war Brooklyn, the powerful coming-of-age story of a Jewish boy’s struggle to become an artist against the will of his Orthodox parents, community and tradition. Asher Lev could be the next Picasso. But as the son of devout Hasidic parents who struggle to understand the value of his art, Asher Lev is torn apart. He knows he is commanded to honor his parents, but he must also be true to himself. As we glimpse the pieces of Asher’s painful past, we witness events that climax in his most famous work and the decision that will change his life forever.

SEEKING:

[RIVKEH LEV/OTHERS] – 35-45, versatile actress to play multiple roles: RIVKEH, Asher’s mother. A caring, broken woman torn between her husband and her son. Shattered by the sudden death of her brother, she becomes Asher’s tragic muse. ANNA, a gallery owner and talent seeker. RACHEL, a model.

[ARYEH LEV/OTHERS]– 40 – 55, versatile actor to play multiple roles: ARYEH, Asher’s father. A dedicated, well-respected man and stern father. Stubborn, close-minded, he struggles to understand how painting could be important to his son. YITZCHOK, Rivkeh’s warm-hearted, gregarious brother. REBBE, the wise leader of the Hasidic community. JACOB KAHN, a fiery older man and well-known artist, who becomes Asher’s blunt, life-affirming mentor.

[ASHER LEV] 20’s-30 (ages from 12 – 30). Sensitive, intelligent, aware. Wise beyond his years. A highly gifted painter, an observant Jew. Fiercely determined to discover his true self. Seeking strong actor with deep emotional well and stage command, speaks directly to audience.

Auditions: Dec 17 – Dec 20, 1pm – 5pm. By appointment only. 

Send pic & resume to: Fountain Theatre,  Attn: MY NAME IS ASHER LEV, 5060 Fountain Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90029

 

Things I Wish I Had Been Told in Theatre School

Callam Rodya 2

by Callam Rodya

Theatre school was great. It is great. But it can omit some of the more fundamental and important career lessons. School is, after all, a bubble. It’s not a natural professional environment.

So, with what little wisdom I have regarding a career as an actor, here’s a list of some things I wish somebody had told me in theatre school. Some of these lessons, I had to learn the hard way. Others simply would have saved me a bit of time.

  1. “Stealing the show” is not a compliment. The ensemble is more important than your “moments”.
  2. You’d be surprised how few people are willing to pay for theatre tickets when they aren’t your friends and family and have no personal connection to you whatsoever.
  3. No, you can’t actually play forty and fifty-year-olds in your twenties. At least, no one will pay you to do it.
  4. By the same token, there are very few roles in the theatre for twenty-year-olds.
  5. The stage manager always works much harder than you. And technically, you work for him/her, not the other way around.
  6. Most people don’t get drunk on Opening Night…because they have a show the next day…idiot. Oh, and cast parties are more likely to be cast dinners.
  7. Developing and producing your own work is the single MOST important thing you can do after you graduate.
  8. Background film roles don’t do shit for your career.
  9. Unions are awesome and the worst at the same time.
  10. When people said you would be poor thanks to your brilliant career choice, what they really meant was “completely fucking destitute.” And that’s okay.
  11. Auditions are on one level. Knowing the right people is a completely different level altogether.
  12. Directors, casting agents, and producers care as much about how easy you will be to work with as they do about how good you are for the role. If not more so.
  13. Remember how you used to have five weeks to get off book? NOPE. Get off book NOW.
  14. Save up a certifiable shit-ton of money if you’re going to move to Toronto. Like, a ridiculous amount. Student-loan worthy. That is, if you want to actually be able to go for auditions, take classes, network, and you know, any of those other career-building essentials.
  15. Don’t do everything. Seriously. Know when to turn something down. And believe me, you’ll know.
  16. It’s not unreasonable to expect to be paid for your work. And you should be. But you won’t always be. So when you do work for free, which will be a lot, make sure it’s work that you’re passionate about or will really be a career booster. And honestly, it should be both.
  17. Ninety percent of casting decisions have nothing to do with how you perform in your audition.
  18. Most of the time, when you don’t get the part, it’s not because you suck, but because of some other (probably superficial) reason altogether. Unless you suck.
  19. Energy is more important than appearance. So get more sleep instead of wasting your time making yourself look good. After all, there’s always a hair and makeup person on set. There’s rarely a person to spoon-feed you caffeine and cocaine.
  20. Take your “me” time. And cherish it. Because the pursuit of an acting career will totally consume your life.
  21. Don’t hide your “physical flaws.” Embrace them. And learn how to look at yourself objectively.
  22. Your “hit” is no joke. It’s what you’re selling. Either be okay with it, or figure out a way to change it and still look like a real human being.
  23. No matter how big of a star you were in school, out here, you are just a part of a team. So act like it. And give credit where credit is due at every opportunity.
  24. Acting is actually easier than you want to believe it is. And more people can actually do it than you want to believe. And most people behind the scenes work harder than you do. So don’t be a diva.
  25. You are replaceable.
  26. The camera really does add ten pounds. No shit.
  27. Stage and screen are completely different worlds requiring completely different approaches and are cast in completely different ways.
  28. You thought there was “technique” to acting on stage? Just wait till you get some serious face time with the camera.
  29. Rehearsals are a luxury. Don’t waste them.
  30. It is not okay to be drunk, stoned, high, or any other kind of intoxicated while you work. Not for “professionalism” reasons. But because you are, in fact, worse.
  31. Try not to get discouraged/cynical/jaded/resentful too early. This is a tough business. That’s just the way it is, and it’s not going to change any time soon. So be tough. Or get out.
  32. And finally, don’t go down this path just because you’re “good enough” to be a professional actor. For the love of God, do it ONLY because you cannot do anything else.

Always be brave and bold.

Callam Rodya is an actor, electronic music producer, graphic designer, writer, and filmmaker based in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada.