The search is on for the new members of the 2013 Texas Shakespeare Festival Company. Since December, actors from across the nation have been auditioning for one of 22 available spots with the group. Each year, close to 1,500 men and women, from New York to Kilgore, each prepare two Shakespeare monologues and one song to perform for a five-minute audition. The auditions in Memphis, Tenn., from Feb. 8-11 are expected to see nearly 1,000 auditions alone.
Eleven men and four women are selected as actors with each performing in three or four major roles in the four plays produced by the Festival. The productions for this performing season include “Comedy of Errors,” “The Winter’s Tale,” “Camelot” and “The Foreigner.”
“My job is to look for training that has versatility,” said TSF Artistic Director Raymond Caldwell.
The actors cast for these plays must be talented in all areas of performance. They must be able to sing, dance, act and speak without a discernible dialect. These skills are necessary because of their not being cast in a single role, but many roles.
Caldwell said they must be able to adapt quickly and effectively to the other personas they will be portraying.
An additional seven actors will become part of the company as interns, who will act in smaller roles of the major plays. These interns will also serve as the sole actors of the children’s play which has yet to be determined.
After hiring lighting technicians, costume designers, the actors and the remaining members of the production staff, the TSF Company will consists of approximately 85 members.
Performances begin in late June and continue for five weeks.