Category Archives: casting


We’ll be holding auditions for this summer’s Austen in Elgin season on Sunday, January 29,  starting at 2:00 pm at the Elgin Art Showcase, located on the 8th floor at 164 Division Street in downtown Elgin.

Jane Austen is coming to Elgin

You can use mapquest for directions and the location. It is located 30 miles west of Chicago.

We’re looking to cast Pride & Prejudice, directed by Marge Uhlarik, and Sense & Sensibility, directed by Terry Domschke. Both plays are adapted from the original stories written by Jane Austen. The productions will begin rehearsals in May and run June 29-July 22.

We’re seeking men and women to cast both productions. All parts are open.

Appointments for auditions are by email only. Please contact us at to request an audition time. A headshot and resume is welcome but not required. We’ll be conducting readings from the script. There is pay.

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By Any Means Necessary

It has begun.

Another Janus Shakespeare production started rehearsals last week. It wasn’t easy getting to that point. And we  had to take some detours along the way, but we finally got started.

What a relief. And what a challenge.

The original production planned was Richard III. We had to abandon that when we lost our lead actor to some unforseen circumstances. Some people  might say, “Well, just get somebody else.” We could have done that. But the plan was to work with this particular actor in this specific play. And after weeks of preliminary work, I/we weren’t prepared to chuck it all for someone we didn’t know. Plus, as we all know, getting men to play Shakespeare is harder than it sounds.

So I changed the play. With little time to make a decision, I pulled Macbeth off the shelf and dove into the text. After a couple days equivocating, it became clear that we could do this. The only thing: I had to cut the text way back (not necessarily a bad thing) and work with the actors we had from auditions for R3 and find some available company members (more on that later) to help round out the cast.

Even after all that, we had some bumps in the road, when we lost an actor on the first day of rehearsals. After a while you get used to these little shocks until you become numb to it all, and then you just keep moving forward – by any means necessary. If that sounds dramatic, remember, this a theater company.

So here we are; initial impressions of the cast have been good. The cuts for the play seem to be working. We have some familiar faces back in Sarafina, Tony and Dan, and some new people, like Adam, Ross and Luke. And saving the day for the actor I lost is Angela (who played Mercutio in last year’s all-female R&J) and now I finally get to work with Laurie, which is exciting, considering I saw her in an excellent production of  The Laramie Project some years ago that really moved me.

The pieces are in place. We’re working to connect them. I’ll be very curious to see what it all looks like when we open.

The Lineup (complete)

Piece by piece, it all fell into place. This is the world of suburban theater: if you choose to produce a project by a playwright nobody has heard of, better be prepared to make some phone calls and write some emails.

As tedious as that can be, sometimes it brings together the best people around. And for the Elgin Short Play Festival, we are going to have a room full of excellent actors – and directors.

The remainder of the lineup was recently finalized. Here’s what we got:

Marie Ann Nordby, who’s back with JTC after a long hiatus and Dan Radcliff, who last performed with us at the London Fringe Festival, are both in The Contract, directed by Thom Thomas, who was part Janus Theatre’s Director’s Showcase in 2002.

Steve Connell and Ross Frawley, two new faces to JTC will be in How do We Get to Where We’re Going, directed by Sarafina Vecchio, who blew away everyone who saw her Brecht production in 2008. I still can hear Steve Macarus saying that great line from Galileo.

And finally, Nancy Kolton (new to JTC) in Art Appreciation, directed by Terry Domschke, who just loved the play. “It’s exactly how I feel,” he told me on the phone.

That gives us 27 artists working on this project. That’s really exciting and sounds like a logistical nightmare. Well, we’ll see. No matter how it all falls out, this should be an excellent night of engaging acting. I’d say we’re pretty fortunate with this group of people.

Rehearsals start this week. And in three weeks, the shows will up and running at the Elgin Art Showcase. So much for sleep.

The Lineup (so far)

Okay, it took a little work. And the work is still not over. But I’m excited to announce the artists working on the first-annual Elgin Short Play Festival.

Here’s our current lineup:

Aaron Thomann (acting and directing) and Tony Aiello in What We’re Up Against.  You’ve seen Aaron and Tony square off in JTCs production of Oedipus Rex last year. Tony played the lead and Aaron was Creon. Great scene between those two. This should be good.

Cathleen Ann and Ross Frawley in The Actress and Catie Early, Elaine Castro and Elizabeth Isibue in Train to Brooklyn, both directed by Richard Pahl. All of these actors will making JTC debuts except for Catie Early, who was last seen in repeat w/Madeline directed by Richard Pahl.

Cheryl Rice in Josephina, directed by Rich Geiger. Both are making JTC debuts with a real ghostly piece of work.

Julie Riffle and Elizabeth Isibue in Walk, directed by Thom Thomas. A couple new actors with JTC and a returing director.

Lori Holm and Jim Pierce in Off Base and Tara Schuman and Joe Schuman in Kaite & Frank, both directed by Sean Hargadon. You’ve seen Lori recently in the all-female Romeo & Juliet and Jim Pierce in Brecht.

There’s still some more short plays in the works, with some new faces working with Janus and some past favorites coming back, but for now, that’s what we have running for certain.

And I don’t want to forget the production team of Kate Collins, Andy Murschel, Kelly Herz and Jimmy Lundstrom. This should be a nice size festival for our first time out. Rehearsals will start next week. More updates to come.