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January 16, 2003

Washington/Baltimore Update: January 2003

by Gregory Gorton

In the wake of September 11th, 2001, we in the theatre community were still a bit shaky and somewhat unsure what lay ahead of us. The ripples of this national tragedy were felt emotionally and financially by every American, but all of us in the world of professional theatre were especially touched. Like many Americans too, professional actors found a way to make the future hopeful. In Washington D.C. , the Washington/Baltimore/Northern Virginia Equity Liaison Committee began the year with the first area wide Equity auditions. These auditions were a huge success, and we are once again holding two days of Equity auditions to begin 2003.

The area wide auditions are open to anyone in the country who is an Equity member in good standing. The auditions will be held on Monday, January 27th and Tuesday, January 28th, from 10:00 AM until 6:00PM. The auditions will be held at the Olney Theatre Center in Olney Maryland. There will be a stand-by list started when all of the time slots have been filled. To schedule a time for Monday, January 27th, call Gregory Gorton at 310-656-4827. To schedule a time on Tuesday, January 28th, E-mail ActorsEquityDC@aol.com; or call Barbara Pinolini at 301-495-3344.

Many people got work directly from these auditions and we encourage all members of Actors' Equity to come to these auditions. Over fifty area theaters have been invited, including theaters in southern and western Virginia, Pennsylvania, and other theaters in the East-coast region.

The year 2002 ended on a very positive and harmonious note for many of our local theaters. Studio Theatre had great success with its production on THE SHAPE OF THINGS by Neil LaBute. Director Will Pomerantz won critical raves for his show and for actors Holly Twyford and Scott Barrow. Arena Stage ended the year with a wonderful production of August Wilsonís, MA RAINEY'S BLACK BOTTOM. Casting director Eli Dawson, who has always been a strong supporter of the DC talent pool, has an exciting season to cast in 2003. Check out Arena Stage's great web site, for details on the coming season.

Local Washington actress Faith Potts recently completed a two play sojourn at Wayside Theater in Winchester, Virginia. Waysideís Artistic Director Warner Crocker was the director for both productions. Faith and James Laster played Annie and Hector Nations in FOXFIRE, by Hume Cronyn and Susan Cooper. Faith was the house keeper/narrator in Robert Johansenís adaptation of WUTHERING HEIGHTS. The talented cast included Thomasin Savaiano, Jim Fleming, John Stainer and John Alcott. Ford's Theatre spent the better part of 2002 renovating the space but had all the pieces fit in time for their annual holiday tradition of Charles Dickensí A CHRISTMAS CAROL.

The holiday cheer continued with another Washington tradition. The Warner Theatre brought a little bit of Texas to the nationís capitol (okay, a little bit more...) with the always hysterical A TUNA CHRISTMAS. Actors Jaston Williams and Joe Sears bring to life many of Tunaís celebrated citizens for a special holiday production that Washingtonians always enjoy.

Host of the Equity auditions, Olney Theatre, brought the beautiful musical A SECRET GARDEN to the boards of Olney as they wound up their musical year.

As always, all of us who are members of the Washington/Baltimore/Northern Virginia Actorís Equity Liaison Committee wish to thank Olney Theatre and its outstanding staff for turning the place over to us for the duration of those two audition days. The cooperation and commitment form the staff and the auditors of the participating theaters make these auditions truly as pleasure to produce. We look forward to as many Equity members as possible coming to the auditions and that we all find more work than we can handle in 2003. On behalf of everyone on the DC/Baltimore./Northern Virginia Equity Liaison Committee , we wish you a happy, a harmonious and a peaceful New Year.

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