In February the College of the Canyons theatre department will hold a pair of open auditions for students and community members interested in participating in either the department’s spring production of “Death of a Salesman” or the college’s annual New Works Festival (NWF).
“We are combining the auditions for two of this spring’s productions into the same dates so that we can attract as many talented actors as possible,” said Paul Wickline, COC theatre department chair.
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One of the most important plays in modern theatre, Arthur Miller’s 1949 classic, “Death of a Salesman” tells the story of Willy Loman, a down-on-his-luck, middle-aged salesman, unable to comprehend how or why he never achieved the success and fortune he dreamed of.
Faced with the realization that his life is a failure, Willy becomes further and further estranged from his family, and begins to lose contact with reality.
Powerful, disturbing and relevant, “Death of a Salesman” is a modern tragedy, seen as a caustic attack on the American dream, and society’s obsession with material wealth and the trappings of success.
“‘Death of a Salesman’ is arguably the finest, most profound American play ever written,” Wickline said. “Though Willy and Linda Loman have already been cast, there are still several fabulous roles available for actors of all ages to audition for.”
A collaboration between the college’s theatre and English departments, the NWF gives aspiring writers the opportunity to see their work transmitted from the page to the stage through a unique workshop experience that focuses on the writer’s work — and helps bring it to the next level.
Works selected for inclusion in the festival — including monologues, scenes, 10-minute plays, single acts and full-length two-act plays — are then cast, produced and performed live on stage at the Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center (PAC) Black Box Theatre.
“The productions being featured in this year’s New Works Festival will offer dozens of actors the opportunity to originate new roles and work alongside some of the region’s most talented new playwrights,” Wickline said.
Preliminary auditions for “Death of a Salesman” and the New Works Festival will be held from 7 to 9:30 p.m. Tuesday, February 8, and Wednesday, February 9.
Actors are asked to prepare a one to two minute contemporary monologue to audition. Participants should plan to attend only one of the audition times, and arrive at 6:45 p.m. in order to complete paperwork and sign up for an audition time slot.
Participants may choose to audition for “Death of a Salesman” and/or the NWF, depending on their preference. Callback auditions will be held from 7 to 10 p.m. Thursday, February 10.
All auditions and callbacks will be held in the PAC Black Box Theatre, or adjoining Pico Hall classrooms, located on the College of the Canyons Valencia Campus.
Actors who are cast in either production will be expected to enroll in the course Theatre 190: Theatre Production for the spring 2011 semester.
For more information about the audition process, or to view a breakdown of available roles and a tentative performance schedule please contact Paul Wickline at firstname.lastname@example.org  or visit www.canyons.edu/departments/theatre  and click on “upcoming productions.”