Auditions

Audition Notice

Music by Marvin Hamlisch
Lyrics by Edward Kleban
Book by James Kirkwood Jr. and Nicholas Dante

Fredericktowne Players Production

Direction by Christopher Berry
Choreography by Laurie Newton
Musical Direction by Matthew Dohm

Key Dates

Auditions:               November 18, 19, Callback November 25, Casting Notice November 26

Rehearsals Begin:    Week of November 26 (with minimal rehearsals December 21 – January 1)

Technical Week:       January 27 – 31 (no conflicts accepted for tech week)

Performances:          February 1, 2, 8 and 9 at 8:00 pm, February 3 and 10 at 2:00 pm

Auditions Details

Open Drop-in Audition:  Sunday, November 18, 3:00-6:00 pm or Monday, November 19, 6:00-9:00 pm

Callbacks: Sunday, November 25, 3:00 pm

  • All roles are open and are non-paid. Prospective cast may indicate preference for roles.
  • While a live audition is preferred, we are also accepting video submissions for auditions prior to Monday, November 19: berrychristophers@yahoo.com
  • There will be forms and a sign in sheet upon arrival, please fill them out to the best of your ability.
  • Please bring a calendar with all conflicts during the entirety of the rehearsal period.
  • Bring a performance resume and head shot if you have one or both.
  • Prospective cast members are welcome to attend the audition at any time during the window.
  • Callbacks are by Invitation only and will be held Sunday, November 25 beginning at 3:00 pm.
  • Auditions & Callbacks will be held at the Fredericktowne Players Studio 306 East Patrick Street, Frederick MD 21701. The studio is a very non-descript one-story, burgundy cinder block building with no obvious signage.

 

Audition Preparation
Seeking actors and actresses 16 and up for a wide variety of roles. Prospective cast are encouraged to view Youtube professional productions of the original 1970’s cast production or the 2006 Broadway revival. This vision for the FtP production is one heavily influenced by the original 1970’s Broadway production, including dialogue, choreography and costuming.

As A Chorus Line is a heavy dance show, emphasis will be placed in the audition on dance ability.

  • Come dressed to dance, and bring character shoes if you have them.
  • Character shows will not be necessary for the entirety of the audition.
  • Prospective cast will be taught and execute dance combination in a jazz style with some ballet to determine suitability for At the Ballet.
  • Cast members wishing to audition for the role of “Mike” (I Can Do That) should bring tap shoes.

The open audition will also have a vocal audition. Please come prepared to sing with 16-32 bars of music in the general style of A Chorus Line.

  • Choose music which highlights your vocal style and strength.
  • Please try to avoid using music from popular new musicals such as Hamilton or Frozen.
  • Please be sure to bring sheet music for the accompanist preferably in a binder so they can follow along.

As time permits, there will also brief cold dialogue readings from the show during the open audition. The majority of acting auditions will be held at callbacks. Actors wishing to be considered for the role of “Zach” (non-singing and potentially non-dancing) will do a cold reading from the script. A prepared monologue will also be considered.

Questions: If you have any questions, contact our production team at: berrychristophers@yahoo.com

Show Characters

  • Zach – male, 30-50’s, the imperious, successful director running the audition; non-singing and non-dancing; he is a perfectionist and businesslike, to the point and sometimes rude; had an affair with Cassie; does much of his dialogue from the back of the theatre.
  • Larry – male or female, Zach’s assistant who helps with the audition process. (non-singing)

The Auditionees (all 20-30’s, except for Sheila and Cassie, who are definitely 30’s-40’s and a bit wiser):

  • Don Kerr – a classic young man, All-American young jock; married and once worked in a strip club.
  • Maggie Winslow – an attractive, sweet dreamer, with some old family issues that still affect her life.
  • Mike Costa – an Italian tap dancer; used to be teased at a young age; very straight and full of energy; must be able to tap dance.
  • Connie Wong – a petite Chinese-American; bright, happy and outgoing. Can be played by non-Asian, but must be shortest in show.
  • Greg Gardner – a sassy Jewishgay man who is camp; arrogant and overtly confident; divulges his first experience with a woman.
  • Cassie Ferguson – a once successful solo dancer with star power; down on her luck and a former love of Zach’s; now can’t get work and wants to rejoin the chorus.
  • Sheila Bryant – a sassy, sexy, aging, been-around-the-block somewhat older dancer who tells of her unhappy childhood.
  • Bobby Mills – flamboyant, funny, clever; picked on in school for being gay; smooth with dialogue; Sheila’s friend who jokes about his conservative upbringing in Buffalo, New York.
  • Bebe Benzenheimer – a young modern dancer; down to earth, quiet and lacks self-esteem; mother told her she was unattractive; dancer who only feels beautiful when she dances.
  • Judy Turner – nervous, scatterbrained, gawky, quirky and warm dancer; comedic role.
  • Richie Walters – an enthusiastic, high-energy and good-natured black man; once planned to be a kindergarten teacher; can be played by other races.
  • Al DeLuca – an Italian-Americanwho takes care of his wife, Kristine; aggressive yet humorous.
  • Kristine Urich (DeLuca) – Al’s scatter-brained wife who can’t sing. Happy, well-adjusted and sexy; needs to have good comic timing, but doesn’t need to sing well.
  • Val Clark – a foul-mouthed but excellent dancer who couldn’t get performing jobs because of her looks until she had plastic surgery; sexy, .
  • Mark Anthony – the youngest dancer, optimistic newcomer to Braodway; naïve, charming and sex-obsessed; good story teller; recounts the time he told his priest he thought he had gonorrhea.
  • Paul San Marco – a shy introverted gay Puerto Ricanwho dropped out of high school and survived a troubled childhood. Friend of Cassie; emotional role.
  • Diana Morales – Paul’s friend; another energetic, humorous Puerto Rican who was underestimated by her teachers; speaks from the heart; must be an strong singer.

Show Synopsis

Before there was reality TV, there was A Chorus Line. When it opened on Broadway in 1975, it was hailed for its real, unvarnished look at the behind-the-scenes world of live theatre. Centered on seventeen Broadway dancers auditioning for spots on a chorus line, the musical is set on the bare stage of a Broadway theatre during an audition for a musical. A Chorus Line provides a glimpse into the personalities of the performers and the choreographer as they describe the events that have shaped their lives and their decisions to become dancers. It is part comedy, part drama, part traditional musical and part documentary.

The show opens in the middle of an audition for an upcoming Broadway production. The formidable director Zach and his assistant choreographer Larry put the dancers through their paces. Every dancer is desperate for work (“I Hope I Get It”). After the next round of cuts, 17 dancers remain. Zach tells them he is looking for a strong dancing chorus of four boys and four girls. He wants to learn more about them, and asks the dancers to introduce themselves. With reluctance, the dancers reveal their pasts. The stories generally progress chronologically from early life experiences through adulthood to the end of a career.

 The first candidate, Mike, explains that he is the youngest of 12 children. He recalls his first experience with dance, watching his sister’s dance class when he was a pre-schooler (I Can Do That). Mike took her place one day when she refused to go to class—and he stayed. Bobby tries to hide the unhappiness of his childhood by making jokes. As he speaks, the other dancers have misgivings about this strange audition process and debate what they should reveal to Zach (“And…”), but since they all need the job, the session continues.

Zach is angered when he feels that the streetwise Sheila is not taking the audition seriously. Opening up, she reveals that her mother married at a young age and her father neither loved nor cared for them. When she was six, she realized that ballet provided relief from her unhappy family life, as did Bebe and Maggie (At the Ballet). The scatter-brained Kristine is tone-deaf, and her lament that she could never sing is interrupted by her husband Al finishing her phrases in tune (Sing).

Mark, the youngest of the dancers, relates his first experiences with pictures of the female anatomy and his first wet dream, while the other dancers share memories of adolescence (Hello Twelve, Hello Thirteen, Hello Love). The 4’10” Connie laments the problems of being short, and Diana Morales recollects her horrible high school acting class (Nothing). Don remembers his first job at a nightclub and Judy reflects on her problematic childhood while some of the auditionees talk about their opinion of their parents (Mother). Then, Greg speaks about his discovery of his homosexuality and Richie recounts how he nearly became a kindergarten teacher (Gimme the Ball). Finally, the newly buxom Val explains that talent alone doesn’t count for everything with casting directors, and silicone and plastic surgery can really help (Dance: Ten; Looks: Three).

The dancers go downstairs to learn a song for the next section of the audition, but Cassie stays onstage to talk to Zach. She is a veteran dancer who has had some notable successes as a soloist. They have a history together: Zach had cast her in a featured part previously, and they had lived together for several years. Zach tells Cassie that she is too good for the chorus and shouldn’t be at this audition. But she hasn’t been able to find solo work and is willing to “come home” to the chorus where she can at least express her passion for dance (The Music and the Mirror). Zach sends her downstairs to learn the dance combination.

Zach calls Paul, who has been reluctant to share his past, on stage for a private talk, and he emotionally relives his childhood and high school experience, his early career in a drag act, coming to terms with his manhood and his homosexuality, and his parents’ ultimate reaction to finding out about his lifestyle. Paul breaks down and is comforted by Zach. Cassie and Zach’s complex relationship resurfaces during a run-through of the number created to showcase an unnamed star (One). Zach confronts Cassie, feeling that she is “dancing down,” and they rehash what went wrong in their relationship and her career. Zach points to the machine-like dancing of the rest of the cast—the other dancers who have all blended together, and who will probably never be recognized individually—and mockingly asks if this is what she wants. Cassie defiantly defends the dancers: “I’d be proud to be one of them. They’re wonderful….They’re all special. I’d be happy to be dancing in that line. Yes, I would….”

During a tap sequence, Paul falls and injures his knee that recently underwent surgery. After Paul is carried off to the hospital, all at the audition stand in disbelief, realizing that their careers can also end in an instant. Zach asks the remaining dancers what they will do when they can no longer dance. Led by Diana, they reply that whatever happens, they will be free of regret (What I Did for Love). The final eight dancers are selected: Mike, Cassie, Bobby, Judy, Richie, Val, Mark, and Diana.

One (reprise/finale) begins with an individual bow for each of the 19 characters, their hodgepodge rehearsal clothes replaced by identical spangled gold costumes. As each dancer joins the group, it is suddenly difficult to distinguish one from the other: ironically, each character who was an individual to the audience seems now to be an anonymous member of a never-ending ensemble.