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March 24, 2003


by Gregory Gorton

On January 27th and 28th , 2003, the Washington/Baltimore Liaison Committee sponsored two days of Equity-only auditions. The Olney Theatre Center for the Arts was once again the host venue for the auditions. One hundred and ninety auditionees performed for over forty theaters and casting associates.

As these auditions were open to any eligible Equity member, many actors from regional branches spread across the country joined with their fellow DC area members; some coming from as far west as Seattle and as far north as Boston. Actors from the Philadelphia, Cleveland and New York areas also participated in the D.C. auditions.

These auditions truly represented the range and diversity of the Washington theater community. It was a terrific showcase for the depth and degree of talent available here in D.C. The Olney Theatre continues to be gracious and generous in allowing the Committee to have the run of the place. The staff there was always available and helpful, and made the two days an enjoyable and pleasant labor of love.

Brad Watkins shared his impressions of the day: "I think they were great. I don't think I've seen a bad audition yet. I have a full stack of pictures and resumes that I'll be hanging on to."

Barbara Pinolini, who performed the dual function of auditor and auditionee, found the two days very satisfying. "I always find it interesting and advantageous to be in the position of both auditionee and auditor. It is very enlightening to witness how folks deal with this disconcerting process. Choice of material and how well the actor uses his allotted time are clear indications of how well they know themselves. Fortunately for the performers here, the auditions were so well organized and presented in such a positive and supportive atmosphere that folks could not help but do their best."

Ilona Dulaski, co-chair of the Liaison Committee, was proud of the process as well as the participants. "I thought the auditions went smoother this year, since we had a whole year to prepare. I am very excited that we had about ten more theaters represented this year. Our membership was very professional, very prepared. They made very good use of the three minute time allotment. We are definitely making these Equity-only auditions a yearly event for our members."

While these auditions are the result of countless hours of work and preparation by the entire Liaison Committee, it could not have happened without the dedicated leadership and guidance of Ilona Dulaski.

Other Committee members whose contributions were truly invaluable were: Terri Price, Ray Ficca, Barbara Pinolini, and Jim Brady.

Several members of Regional Liaison Committees attended the auditions. Tom Helmer, of the Philadelphia Liaison Committee said, "The auditions were run with great spirit, efficiency and comfort. It was good to 'compare notes' to contrast how the Theatre Alliance of Greater Philadelphia auditions are coordinated. The Philadelphia Liaison Committee will bring some fresh ideas for Theatre Alliance to consider; one of them being to open up the TAGP audition process to actors outside of Philadelphia."

Paul Floriano and Joe Ruffner of the Cleveland Liaison Committee found the long drive well worth it. "This was a great experience." said Floriano. "We're definitely going back with a very positive and fulfilled feeling. It was great that so many of the area's theaters showed their support."

Many of you reading this will be asking, "Hey...great job. But did anyone get any work from the auditions?" The answer is a very emphatic "Yes." Pennsylvania's Allenberry Playhouse, southern Virginia's Theatre At Limn Kiln and Wayside Theatre in Winchester, Virginia all called in actors as a direct result of seeing them at the D.C. Equity auditions. Local theaters too, used the opportunity to see more Equity actors, and responded with job offers for Folger Theatre, Theatre of the First Amendment, Signature Theatre, Olney Theatre and Theatre J. Plans are currently under way for the 2004 auditions. Auditions details will be well publicized both locally and nationally, and will appear on this web site.

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