We had auditions this last week. It was the usual brew. A small, but talented turnout of actors, who took a chance on a project and playwright that they never heard of – Elgin Short Play Festival: featuring the short plays of Theresa Rebeck.
This is typical. The only time we get lots of people is when we do a show that’s been done three or four times in the last year by other theaters, or if we’re doing a play by Shakespeare. And even then, the challenge is always the same: Where are the men?
I remember when I auditioned for Glengarry Glen Ross at Steel Beam in 2009. There were close to 40 men inside the theater. It was great. Aaron Thomann, the director, took the time to recognize this when he said, “Where have you people been?”
Well here we are again. We had some fine talent come out on Monday, and we plan on casting them for some of the shows in our Elgin Short Play Festival, but I’ve already started emailing other people to try to get more actors. This used to upset me in the past, but now, I take it as a matter of form.
My only hope is that this will change in the future as we continue to mix things up and actors start to realize that there is a world elsewhere beyond Chicago with a greater variety of new theater opportunities waiting for them .