Charlotte play festival invites new actors to audition
It’s not every day you can try acting or directing a show.
Donna Scott Productions, a local theater and arts company, is putting on DSP Playfest, with readings of 10 short plays, all comedies about art – and some will be directed by and cast with people just starting to pursue an interest in the industry.
“It’s important for people to get an opportunity to try their hand at something,” said Donna Scott. “If they feel pulled toward it, it’s really important that they get an opportunity to try it, with actors, in front of an audience.”
The Charlotte Art League is still finalizing its new location (where the event was first scheduled to take place), so the festival will be held in a private room at The Packhouse restaurant, starting at 8 p.m. on Aug. 2 and 3. But the Art League is still sponsoring the event, and providing artwork for the readings’ backdrop. It was a way to directly involve her company’s partnership with the League, Scott said.
Each play is less than 10 minutes, and the restau- rant will be open for visitors before the show.
Auditions for actors will start at 6:30 p.m. July 23 at Corrigan & Johnston Casting. Both seasoned and new actors are sought.
After casting decisions are made, rehearsals will take place in the evenings in the week before the festival. The performance is meant to be casual.
“It’s exciting to have a project where you can go, ‘You know what? You don’t have to have a ton of acting experiences. If you think you want to do this come on out,’ ” Scott said.
Scott said 70 percent of the playwrights are women and 70 percent are from the Charlotte area. Forty percent of those selected are new to the genre. A few of the pieces come from seasoned playwrights, and have been produced in New York, Los Angeles and Toronto.
While Scott’s company is known for supporting women in the industry, she said, this is a unique opportunity for casting that’s not constrained by a script. When they asked for submissions in April, the comedies had to include a central female character, but also allow for diverse casting for the rest of the characters..
“This is one of those times we can say we need all ages, all genders, all races because that’s how we asked for them to be written,” Scott said. “That’s exciting, and we’re looking to meet a lot of new actors.”
Plays were submitted from as far away as England. A selection group narrowed the 40 submissions to 10 through a blind reading.
“We really wanted to judge the pieces on their comedy,” Scott said. “It’s good to laugh.”
IT’S EXCITING TO HAVE A PROJECT WHERE YOU CAN GO, ‘YOU KNOW WHAT? YOU DON’T HAVE TO HAVE A TON OF ACTING EXPERIENCES. IF YOU THINK YOU WANT TO DO THIS COME ON OUT.’ Donna Scott
A recent show from Donna Scott Productions: “Eat the Runt” with (from left) Stephen Seay, Stephen West-Rogers and Ericka Ross.