On Sunday, February 22, members of Theatre Bay Area's community of supporters were invited to join TBA staffers for a VIP reception and "Behind-the-Curtain" viewing of the 2015 General Auditions. Attendees included TBA Board Members, longtime donors, and prospective supporters just getting to know the Bay Area theatre community and Theatre Bay Area.
|Photo: "Audition" by Dan Cox on Flickr. Used under Creative Commons license.
During the reception, attendees were treated to conversations about the General Auditions experience. Leslie Martinson (associate artistic director, TheatreWorks), and Lesley Currier (managing director, Marin Shakespeare Company) presented the auditor's point of view, while Kendra Oberhauser (actor—and Theatre Bay Area staffer!) described the actor's perspective.
Martinson and Currier emphasized that, for auditors, the General Auditions is not necessarily a "best actor" competition. Rather, each theatre representative auditing the auditions is looking for actors suited for the specific productions they have coming up.
They also affirmed the extraordinary value of the General Auditions; both Martinson and Currier have developed long-term artistic associations with artists that they first saw at the Generals.
As an actor, Oberhauser discussed the unique opportunity—as well as the pressure—actors encounter at the Generals: to showcase everything they can do for the who's-who of the Bay Area theatre community...in two minutes. She noted several different approaches actors take in order to stand out, from selecting monologues by lesser-known playwrights to belting tried-and-true Broadway songs.
Naturally, the reception began as a friendly gathering, but by the end, there was real excitement in the air. It was clear that this insider look at why the General Auditions exist and how they serve the theatre community had been inspiring for those in attendance—almost as inspiring as the actors showing their work on the audition stage.
Join us next year for General Auditions 2016!