GLENS FALLS -- The show must go on — actually, dozens of shows must go on every year across the region.
For the third year, local theater companies have bonded together to make the casting process a little easier and to help actors connect with a wider range of venues. The Adirondack Regional Theatres Association offered a unified audition for both Equity and non-Equity actors on Feb. 19 at the Charles R. Wood Theater.
“If we don’t help each other, who will? The arts are always a stepchild,” said Neil Akins of WrightStage Productions, an organizer of the event.
Other participating groups included Adirondack Theatre Festival, Cocca Casting, the Depot Theater, Fort Salem Theater, Lake George Dinner Theatre, Pauline Productions, Theatre Company at Hubbard Hall, Saratoga Shakespeare Company and WAM Theatre.
Performers had five minutes to impress the panel of theater representatives with two contrasting monologues or a monologue and 32 measures of a song.
From 1 to 9 p.m., a line of actors, who had pre-registered with a resume and head shot for the 85 audition slots, showed off their dramatic chops one by one.
The casting call was so popular this year, some prospective actors were on standby hoping to fill in for a no-show.
Matt Crowley, an actor from Saratoga Springs, heard about the auditions during an Actors’ Equity meeting in Schenectady.
“It’s my first time coming to this audition. I plan to perform a monologue from ‘Richard II’ and one from ‘The Melville Boys’ by Norm Foster,” Crowley said.
Kristen Wulf traveled from New York City for the chance to earn a spot in a local production.
“My family lives up here, and they have been telling me about these auditions. I decided to get up here and do it,” Wulf said.
Although she regularly auditions in Manhattan, Wulf found the group format to be a new experience.
“Being in front of 10 different producers is a lot different. But I’m pleased. I had a lot of fun,” she said.
The process is beneficial for smaller theater companies because it gives them a chance to see actors who might not otherwise even know of their existence.
Jay Kerr of Fort Salem Theater in Salem cast a role for his play “Senior Moments” last year.
“It does have its results, absolutely,” Kerr said. “Do I think we’ll see someone we’ll cast this year? Who knows?”
In addition to the auditions, the theater professionals held a meeting to discuss the local arts climate.
“I’m ready to do more partnering with each other. I think it’s important for us to share information,” Akins said.
Kerr is hopeful the alliance could create a stronger theater community.
“This is the first time we’ve all talked for an hour, and it seems to me that people really want to talk more,” he said.