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Little Women Auditions

Auditions for the BC production of Little Women left possible cast members worried and wondering about the possibility of a part.

Bonnie Blackburn

January 16, 2011

The auditioning actresses waited anxiously, wondering if their name would be called next. They sat on the edge of their seats, ready if called. Then, when their name was called, their whole body shook as they walked up to read the script. Their hands shook and it seemed as if their heart could be heard pounding, across the room.


Auditions for the play “Little Women," at Bluefield College, were Jan. 11 and Jan. 13. The auditions were open to the college and to the public. On Tuesday night, five men were there. All of them were from the college except one. Charles Reese, a professor in the Theatre Department and a director, informed the men they would all be guaranteed a part.


Also, on Tuesday night, there were 13 women. Because of the high turn out, women were not guaranteed a part. In the play, there are six male roles and seven female roles.

  
The script that Reese and his wife, fellow theatre Department professor Rebecca McCoy-Reese, are using was written by Bluefield College student Jennifer Bohannan, a senior. She plans to graduate from BC this May with a degree in English and theatre. She wrote the play, “Little Women,” an adaptation of the Lousia May Alcott novel, for her senior project.

  
All of the work that goes into a play production at BC is done with the help of the actors and actresses in the show. When students audition, they are asked if they would like to help with different areas, such as props, costumes, set design and publicity. This way, students can learn every detail that has to happen before they can perform the play.

 

At the audition, students are asked to read a specific role in a part of the play.  Reese calls on the people he wants to hear and tells them when to stop. Last Tuesday night, the auditions did not last long, due to inclement weather.

  
Many women were uncertain about whether they would get a part. With more than 15 auditioning for seven parts, the uncertainty was unbearable.

 

“I honestly do not know about the girls,” said Rebekah Transue, a junior at Bluefield College.

 

For some, the issue is whether or not they would have time. For Jonathan Abbot, baseball will cut into his time. 
 

  
“I’m not sure if I’ll be able to do it,” said Abbot, who performed in “Oklahoma” in last November.

 

His first baseball game, however, is two weeks before opening night. Torn because he loves doing both, Abbot said he would have to decide between the two.

 

Everyone with a part will all have to make sacrifices. For some it might be less time to be able to visit home. For others, social time will be cut short. Everyone will have to spend his or her time on the play and on studies. Since the play opens Feb. 24, practices will be intense and time must be spent wisely. Actors will be expected to know their lines and stage directions very early. Since the Reeses do not use prompters, actors and actresses will be expected to either know their lines or be able to improvise. 

 

For many it was the waiting to know the results that was so hard to do. Not knowing who got which part can be agonizing on actors. Reese did inform everyone in an email that there were non-speaking parts as well. Reese told everyone after Thursday’s night auditions that they would know the results Monday morning through email. The practices started Monday evening with a read-through.

  

“Prepare to be here every night, if you have a speaking role,” said Reese.

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