So you want to be an actor


More than a dozen hopeful actors auditioned at last Friday's callbacks for but i cd only whisper, one of three main University Theater winter shows. Written by student playwright Kristiana Colón and directed by theater and performance-studies lecturer Tiffany Trent, the play addresses mental illness in the black community through the story of Beau Willie Brown, a troubled Vietnam veteran who murders his two children. "An audience," wrote Colón in her original proposal, "should leave this production with a deep understanding of how things get broken, the importance of healing, and what it means when you are too hungry to try to heal."

Trent kicked off auditions at 12:30 p.m. with warm-up stretches and movement exercises. "Get comfortable," she urged, inviting the group onstage in the Francis X. Kinahan Third-Floor Theater. "Take your coats off, shoes off." After ten minutes of music and dance, students were ushered outside, then called by pairs to read for one of the play's six roles. Trent led auditions, occasionally stopping actors to give direction, while Colón took notes on her laptop.

Just after 3 p.m. Trent, Colón, and other production staff members convened to make their decisions. "Check out the board tomorrow," Trent reminded one actor as he left the theater. By 3 p.m. Saturday, his name, along with the rest of the cast, was posted outside the Reynolds Club's First Floor Theater.


Photo: Actors warm up with stretches at last Friday's callbacks.

January 8, 2007