So, an email went out last night to about 60 actors I know (edited slightly here):
First, Happy New Year from Berit and myself!
This is going out to many of the actors that I've either directed in shows, or acted with, or seen in shows, or auditioned but had nothing for, or always wanted to work with but it didn't happen. Or whatever. Just a list of people I think would work for one or more of the shows we're doing this year, even if a few of you don't act all that much anymore (nothing ventured . . .). Sorry about the length, as always.
I have 6 or 7 productions (some big, some small) happening this year, and, as opposed to recent years, where I have wound up doing far too much at the last minute and been horribly rushed at the end, I am attempting to make this year's shows a much longer and deep process, with leisurely time to explore the work without cramming it all together. So I'm trying to cast and start the work this month for productions in June and August (as well as smaller ones going up sooner). I hope you are interested in one or more of the shows. The idea is to work on them from January to May, with a bit more focus on the June show (which might have a small July extension), and to have them pretty much together and ready (including sets, props, costumes, tech) by the end of May, with July as final brush-up time for the August shows.
I know this is a hard, full commitment to make, and I fully expect to lose and have to replace some people between casting and opening to paying gigs or other sudden commitments, but I'd rather start with full casts and have to deal with a few replacements in parts that are already formed than wait to know if everyone will make it the whole way. So, if you're interested in at least starting the process, please come along. I'll try and make this as brief as I can (too late).
First, I need a chorus of actors forMerry Mount, an adaptation by Trav S.D. of Hawthorne's "The May-Pole of Merry-Mount" which will go up in Metropolitan Playhouse's Hawthornicopia for four performances later this month (schedule at their website). This takes place in Puritan Boston, 1628, and I need several non-speaking performers for this short work (12 minutes or so, maybe) with very little rehearsal requirements - 3 male PURITANS, and 6 PAGAN REVELLERS, 2 male, 4 female, preferably - one woman has a line as the LADY OF THE MAY. Interested? Let me know ASAP.
I will be directing an episode of Brian Enk/Matt Gray's serial melodramaPenny Dreadful in March at The Brick - no idea yet what the casting requirements will be for that.
In June, I'm doingThe Magnificent Ambersons by Orson Welles: A Reconstruction for The Film Festival: A Theater Festival at The Brick. This will require a cast of 16 (8 principals, 8 others in many multiple roles) in a stage adaptation of the original version of Welles' mangled-by-the-studio second film, which version exists only now as a transcript and photos. This has very specific casting requirements, and while I have some of you in mind for some parts (and will be in touch), will need auditioning for the rest, preferably from this group. It will have 4 performances in June, and maybe another 6-10 in July. Maybe. Big big maybe.
August shows at The Brick, which will get 10-12 performances each:
Harry in Love: A Manic Vaudeville by Richard Foreman - a restaging of my 1999 production - is mostly cast, and I'll be with contact some of you specifically about the roles that aren't.
Spell - is an original play, some of it written, some of it to be created in collaboration with the company - about perception, sanity, identity, language, and terror - quiet, meditative, semi-abstract, inside the head of a woman (who may really be a man) who has done something terrible. Probably 110-115 minutes long. This has no set cast breakdown apart from needing 4 women and 2 men, at least, and will be created specifically around the actors who want to be in it. I have one or two people in mind specifically for this, but apart from that it's open to anyone on this list who's interested.
Invisible Republic (working title) - is another original, to be created entirely with and around the company from scratch, that needs primarily people with strong dance/movement skills. It's about business, specifically selling things that probably aren't needed, the worth or lack of it of anything in the USA today, violence as a capitalist tool, and the military-industrial-entertainment-
Also, a number of members of the cast ofThat's What We're Here For have expressed a desire to get back together and redo that, which I would also very much like to do, with some serious cuts, restructures, and fixes, but only if I get at least 2/3rds of the original cast. So, since the whole original cast is on this list, let me know if you want to work on it (and if it won't work by August, I'd like to start now on it for 2009).
So, if you're interested in any or all ofMerry Mount, Ambersons, Spell, Invisible Republic, or That's What We're Here For, please let me know ASAP and I can start pulling together the casts and rehearsal schedules. If you want more info, let me know.
hope to hear from you soon, and best to you and all in your world,
[NOTE: If you're an actor friend who didn't get this and probably should have, let me know - either I missed your email or have a wrong one or your spam filter ate it. Well . . . or I thought you wouldn't be interested in the first place. Or I don't think you're right for any of these shows. But probably I just screwed up. So let me know!]
So far I've had responses from 16 actors - 4 to say "I'm in for anything you want me for that I can do," 9 to say "I'd really be up for this show (or shows)," 2 to say "I'd like to be in, but can I have some more information about these shows," and 2 to say "let me know when you have something more specific you want me to read for." A good start.
So, with the responses of interest thus far, the potentials I have right now are 1 more person for Merry Mount (with four already cast, five more needed), 2 for Penny Dreadful, 11, maybe 12, for Ambersons, 12 for Spell, 7 for Invisible Republic, and 3, maybe 4, people returning for That's What We're Here For (an american pageant revisited).
Yes indeed, a good start.