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   April 14, 2006

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LA Event Focuses on Non-Traditional Casting

The Western Equal Opportunity Committee presented It Takes A Village: An Ethnic Mix of Non-Traditional Casting on February 6, 2006 in celebration of African American Heritage month. The focus of the evening, according to Event Chairperson Barbara Roberts, "was to further examine innovative and creative ways to use 'all people' when casting theatre and to further support the career of theatre professionals." The evening also offered casting access, she said, "in that a seasoned professional panel was there to share, educate, enlighten and guide audience members through the process of gaining employment, starting with preparation and getting the job."

The panel included director Shirley Jo Finney; Actor Amy Hill; Sheldon Epps, Artistic Director of the Pasadena Playhouse; Actor Ted Lange (Love Boat); and casting director Cydney McCurdy. Michael Michetti, Co-Artistic Director of the Boston Court Theatre in Pasadena also was in attendance. The panel discussed opening up doors, presented some do's and don'ts and disseminated pertinent information and resources. In addition, a series of scenes were presented highlighting non-traditional casting.

"The 'thank yous,' and 'When is the next one?' and 'I am so happy that you did this,' and 'I learned so much,' says a lot about the success of the evening," according to Ms. Roberts, who also thanked Kathlyn Miles, EEO Committee Chair; Business Representative Michael Van Duzer; Ivy Bethune, Nancy Daly and Pat Loeb for their help.

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