An Unfortunate First
We have always enjoyed the excitement of auditions, whether meeting talented newcomers or welcoming familiar faces. Adrenaline is high, directors are on alert — everyone looking for the perfect fit. Even the actors who aren’t cast (and we know how that feels) serve an important role in assisting the directors make their selections. This time. But there’s always next time. For fourteen seasons, auditions have been a significant and familiar part of the process of mounting a production.
Until COVID-19 brought everything to a standstill.
Initially, we hoped to postponed the auditions (and the Festival) for a few months. But clearly, that became an impossibility. Most theaters won’t even consider opening their doors until sometime next year. Our directors were very uncomfortable with the idea of gathering actors to audition as in the past, and we suspect few actors would be any less comfortable. And there were no stages open on which to rehearse much less perform. Hence, our decision to mount this festival on the stage of the imagination — no lights, sets, props, costumes. Just voices in the dark.
So for the first (and we hope the only) time, plays have been cast without auditions. Directors have reached out privately to find appropriate actors who will also be comfortable in a recording studio space — even with appropriate social distancing. We regret the necessity but felt it necessary to proceed with the recording sessions as soon as possible.
Like all of you, we view auditions as an intrinsic and valuable part of the process and pray that the future holds many more for all of us.