No three evenings in any Near West Theatre season are more welcoming or diverse than the late-summer auditions we hold for our fall show. Throughout the year we encourage and welcome people of every skill level, race, neighborhood, educational level, and almost every other measure of diversity you can think of. (We’ll be able to expand that even further some year soon when we build a new theater without the stairs that currently prevent people with certain disabilities from taking part.) But because the fall show is for all ages, 7 and up, its auditions attract the widest range of people we see. People aged 7 to 80 were cast in our 2011 fall show, Oliver!
And what fun the audition is. You don’t have to prepare anything. Because we want everyone to have an equal chance, we don’t ask for the short memorized speech or 16-bar musical solo that are common in theater auditions. Instead, it’s an evening of learning, improvising, singing and moving together, guided by our director, musical director and creative staff. They’re looking for how loose and fun you can be, how well you can work and improvise with others, and how much you’re willing to take a risk, be present “in the moment,” and bring all that you are to the creative act of telling a story through musical theater. People who have tried it, even if they’ve never been cast in a show, have said our auditions are a great way to spend an evening in and of themselves. Our director, Bob Navis Jr., who is also the theater’s artistic director, talks a bit about the process in the brief video below, shot at the start of an audition in February 2012.
Auditions for Children of Eden will be Tuesday, Aug. 21, Wednesday, Aug. 22, and Thursday, Aug. 23, at our performance space, 3606 Bridge Ave., Cleveland. The audition process is the same each night, so pick one, come at the appointed time, and stay the whole time. Ages 7 through 12: arrive at 5:45 p.m. to register; audition is from 6 to 7 p.m. Ages 13 through adult: arrive at 7:15 p.m. to register; audition is from 7:30 to 10 p.m. Rehearsals for those who are cast will start in September. The show will be on stage Nov. 18 through Dec. 2, 2012. Audition details are here. Come try it!