Given the Classic Theatre Festival mandate of producing hits from the golden age of Broadway and the London stage, it should come as no surprise that casting for British shows of the period inevitably requires finding someone who can play the “maid,” who usually comes with a name like Edna or Edith.
For the Festival’s third show of the season, J.B. Priestley’s An Inspector Calls, the Festival is once again holding local auditions for female performers aged 15-29 who can speak with either an Irish or Cockney accent. The candidate would be accepted into the Festival’s Youth Theatre Training program. The applicant must have been in school full-time during the last year, and returning to full-time school in the fall. The contract would be for 8 weeks, beginning July 19 and running until September 11. The program is not open to members of the Canadian Actors’ Equity Association (CAEA). For students concerned about the overlap with the first week of school, there would only be three matinees where they have to be out of class the first week of September.
“It’s a great opportunity for someone interested in the theatre to work in a professional setting with some of the best actors in Canada,” explains Laurel Smith, the Festival’s Artistic Producer. “For the past several years, we have had the pleasure of providing such opportunities to local performers who are interested in taking things to the next level and getting a pay cheque for it too, a nice bonus for someone who loves the theatre.”
An Inspector Calls is one of the most intriguing mysteries of the 20th century, written just after World War II by the prolific author and social critic Priestley, who was fascinated with the nature of time, while delving into the notion of collective responsibility for when things go wrong in society.
The plot involves a body that has shown up at the morgue and the visit of the mysterious Inspector Goule, for whom everyone is a suspect. Indeed, audience members might wonder during the show if they are next to be questioned, given the twists and turns of the story.
“It’s always a relevant play to do, especially in an era where we are challenged by major issues, from the war in Syria to the Truth and Reconciliation process with respect to Canada’s relations with Indigenous people,” says Smith. “In each of these issues, we are pushed to ask ourselves: how do we contribute to the problem, and what can we do to make things better?”
The deadline for submissions of resumés and letters of interest is May 20. Submissions can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Anyone with questions can also call (613) 264-8088.