Through pea-soup fog and an intermittent rain, cars from as far away as Orange County , New York entered the parking lot at the Lutheran Church on Pittsburgh Avenue for local auditions for the 2017 season of Cape May Stage. The Robert Shackleton Playhouse was closed in February for maintenance and without heat or water it would be impossible to audition actors so Pastor Elliott offered his church for the auditions which gave an added peaceful feeling to what can be a fraught experience for some artists.
One by one actors came into the meeting room to share a prepared monologue and say what roles they wanted to play. Auditions in New York have long lines of actors waiting to be seen and Actors Equity Association, the actor’s union, encourages me to keep things moving so we can see as many actors as possible. At the end of the day a large stack of photos and resumes are given to me of Equity actors who waited and did not get in. Another even larger stack of actors who were Equity Membership candidates was presented next. Finally, a third stack of non-Equity actors was given to me. Some of the actors who journeyed to Cape May were in those stacks of photos and resumes.
We can take more time in Cape May. I am so appreciative of the effort these actors have made that I feel the need to really give them my attention. A few were ex-students. I’d see my name on their resumes and joke “I know him”.
I go back to New York for the final call-backs of putting people together to see how they work with each other. Cape May Stage is really doing an interesting season in 2017 that requires very special actors.