From Page To Stage: The birth of Artless Charlie – Part 3

2/1/03

After holding auditions today, I feel that we are in relatively good shape as far as casting goes.  I must say I was pleasantly surprised by the large turnout we received.  I am glad that we were able to generate a buzz about the auditions and I think that by holding the first auditions of the semester in terms of scheduling, we helped to tip the scales in our favor.  About 30 people showed up to audition for the 5 roles, and I sense many of them are fully capable of taking on these parts.  Unfortunately, most of those whom we auditioned seemed to fit the parts of Madeleine, Joe and Walter.  There were far fewer choices as far as Grace and Charlie are concerned.  I’m inclined to say that our frontrunners for Grace are Emily H. and Kirsten S., and Dan W. looks like the best Charlie. However, we still need to audition P Mills tomorrow, and I think that he is certainly capable of playing the role of Charlie.  I was trying to pay particular attention to what, if any, chemistry existed between the various pairs. Though there were very few combinations that really “clicked,” I was impressed how well Dan and Kirsten read together.  I know that the two of them have worked together in the past on Spectrum’s production of Closer, and I think that may have helped them connect better with one another during the audition.

All who auditioned read directly from the script and seemed to sink quite easily into the flow of their respective scenes.  It is interesting to note that after hearing the text read out loud for only the first time, both Adam and I already have some specific lines that we feel need addressing.  There were some particular lines and/or speeches that just didn’t sound right or seemed a bit to wordy to flow naturally off the tongue.  Among these awkward lines were some of Madeleine’s text in 1.6.  They sounded unnatural when read out loud versus how I heard them in my head, from the page.  We both marked those lines in our scripts and we’ll look at those once rehearsals begin.  Changing too much now, we decided, might be a bad idea as we haven’t had time to work with the moments, and we don’t want to discard anything just because it doesn’t work immediately.  Perhaps is just doesn’t work yet!

Adam and I took particular care to address the group before auditions started and fill them in on what kind of project this was going to be.  We talked about how this is a new work we are creating and we’re looking for individuals who are eager and willing to experiment and work with both Adam and myself in order to create this piece.  We also made clear that the actors would be an active part of the process and really be doing something special by creating these characters for the first time.  We tried to stress the point that the cast would ultimately be involved in a number of the choices made concerning their respective characters, and we need actors who can think on their feet as well as actors we can trust.  After we discussed this with the group, they all seemed very excited about the prospect and many of them expressed how eager they were to be involved with the show.  

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