How do actors fit into your process?
Most of our work is done as concert-style readings through the FreshWorks series. These are unrehearsed readings (although we do get the actors the script ahead of time). As such we mostly cast these readings with actors we know fairly well, and are biased towards actors we've had do readings for us in the past.
Actors are extremely important to the new play development process, particularly in our more intensive LabWorks program. More often than not it's the actor's questions, insights, and discoveries during the course of a LabWorks workshop that most help the playwright. Many times an actor will stay with a play longer than a director through various readings, workshops, and productions.
A developmental workshop is different than a production. The rehearsal period is usually quite short and the script may be constantly changing. It's even possible that your character may get cut during the script's development. As such, I'm interested in actors who tend to make choices very quickly, try different things with a character, and who do not just tolerate, but enjoy, the fluidity of a script during a workshop. Working on a character that may be a moving target is a fantastic test of an actor's training and technique.
Do you hold auditions?
We don't hold auditions for our FreshWorks readings. We cast those in collaboration with the playwright and generally ask actors we know (i.e., who've done a reading for us in the past) to do those readings. We "discover" new actors that go on our list all the time through seeing actors in shows and through the PATA Citywide auditions. See the PATA website for more information.
Are these paid gigs?
We are committed to paying all actors a stipend for participating in a LabWorks workshop. The FreshWorks readings don't pay.
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