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    Posted December 29, 2010

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Washington/Baltimore Equity Liaison Committee Auditions Celebrate 10th Anniversary

by Gregory Gorton

Our Nation's Capitol is a city that is often best defined by its inconsistencies; The Weather. The Redskins. And, of course, Congress.

But there is one constant to be found among all the incongruities. It is found in our theatrical community and that is The Washington/Baltimore Equity Liaison Committee Auditions.

This year will be the tenth anniversary of our committee's auditions, a milestone to be well recognized, especially in the world of theater. It has continued to grow in popularity and thrive within the performing community throughout the years.

The idea grew from a yearly meeting featuring some of the area theater's casting and artistic directors. After a lively discussion, it was agreed that more audition opportunities would be available if casting personnel could see talented local Equity members in a Committee-sponsored combined auditions event.

By December 2000, the plans were more than halfway complete. The then members of the Equity Liaison Committee, along with a dedicated group of volunteers set their goals for launching the auditions in January, 2001. With an enormous amount of work, some very supportive and generous individuals at The Olney Theater, and a little bit of luck, the auditions became a reality on that winter.

Looking back, many of the people involved remembered exactly how the pieces all came together. Carl Randolph recalls, "I first worked on the auditions as a volunteer, joined the committee and continued working on them. Now, as Chair, I have the honor to host the 10th annual Equity Liaison Committee Auditions! Well, by host, I mean to let my predecessors who created them continue to do the fabulous work they do."

Area Liaison Committee member Laura Gianarelli was tasked with assuring the auditors were well fed with abundant food and drink. Her dedication, charm, and good humor always adds to the flavor of the day.

Laura considers her role of official hostess with pride and a touch of whimsy: "We set up our snack and beverages in the green room of The Gudelsky Theater at Olney. At every break the auditors would come in and load up their plates like seniors at an early bird buffet. It always amused me to think of some casting director pulling out a resume months later and being pleasantly reminded (by the smear of cream cheese or chocolate across the actor's credits) of the tasty treat they'd had at the winter Liaison Committee auditions. And also the fact that the actor was pretty talented too."

Chair Emeritus Ilona Dulaski was especially active in making these auditions a reality. She remembers, "We all decided to really do an outreach to our auditors. We all took some theaters to work with and get some information on them. We reached out to theaters in West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Delaware and we even contacted the Pittsburgh Playhouse."

Audition Schedule and Information

The auditions will be held on Monday, January 31st and Tuesday, February 1st, 2011 at the Round House Theater, 8641 Colesville Road in Silver Spring, Maryland. Each day the auditions will run from 10:00 AM until 6:00 PM, with the final time slot scheduled at 5:30 PM. There will be a lunch break from 1:00 PM to 2:30 PM. Actors are required to be at the theater at least one hour before their scheduled audition time. Please bring 50 head shots and resumes stapled together, as well as your Equity membership card. If you are planning to sing, do not forget your sheet music. We will once again have the Helen Hayes Award winning dynamic digits of Chris Youstra as our accompanist.

For complete information go to these Casting Call notices:

Click here - Monday, January 31, 2011...

Click here - Tuesday, February 1, 2011...

There will also be a stand-by sheet and we encourage EMCs to sign up as well. EMCs are reminded to please bring their EMC cards with them.

Actors have a total of three minutes for their audition to be utilized however they wish; A monologue or two, a monologue and a song. Don't feel obligated to fill the entire three minutes as sometimes less is more.

Continuing the precedent set by the 2010 auditions, the Washington/Baltimore Equity Liaison Committee Auditions encourages stage managers to bring their resumes to the auditions. It is the hope of everyone on the Committee that this will enable more employment possibilities for our stage management colleagues.

Upwards of thirty to forty theaters and casting associates have attended since we inaugurated the auditions in 2001. Hundreds of actors from across the country have participated. Chairman Carl Randolph comments, "We are always looking to improve this process and want to hear what everyone's experience is; whether from our membership or the producers. I am proud to say that these auditions have become a staple for the Washington/Baltimore theater community, serving both the membership and the producers, and that they complement the dozens of Equity auditions our local producers hold every season."

For the most up to date and detailed information regarding when the sign-up process will begin and how to go about it, please check Casting Call on AEA's website, the DC/Baltimore HOTLINE: 877-AEA-1913 ext 839, beginning January.

Many thanks to our fellow Committee members so integral in bringing these auditions to life; Jim Brady, Terri Price, Barbara Pinolini, Peter Gil, Bill Largess, Ilona Dulaski, Lynn McCune, Laura Gianarelli, Maureen Kerrigan, and the many other members and volunteers.

If you will indulge me loyal readers, your humble narrator was also one of the committee members who helped in birthing the auditions. My recollections are of the most hard working, dedicated and professional people I have worked with. I also remember that we had a blast even when challenging the late night hours. Terri Price and I had the honor of creating these auditions version of the "Mama Duck" (thank you Michael Johnson); escorting, informing, relaxing and encouraging the actors on their way into the waiting area. It was hard work and it was a great time .

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