Excitement, nerves surround play auditions

By Brenda Mwingira, Advocate Staff

Theatrical auditions held in the Knox Center received a great turnout from students who were competing for parts in two major plays to be held later this semester. The auditions were for the plays “We Won’t Pay, We Won’t Pay,” written by Dario Fo, and “The House of Bernarda Alba,” which boasts a female-centered cast, written by Federico García Lorca.

Expectations vary where numbers of students auditioning are concerned. Drama department Chairperson Carlos Chavarria said, “It usually depends on the actual turnout of the people to be auditioned, sometimes they may be 10, sometimes two.”

Auditions took place Feb. 12 at the Knox Center. The theater was packed with a number of students filling out forms outlining roles for which they would be auditioning.

The auditions were to be carried out and supervised by the directors of the plays, Emilie Whelan and Angelina LaBarre, who we were able to interview potential actors before the auditions began. LaBarre said, “‘The House of Bernarda Alba’ will only require female cast members, so we are going to select as many female performers as we can for the play and, judging from the turnout, at least nine.”

The director also mentioned the anticipated dates of which the plays would be opening this semester.

Those dates are around April 24-26 and May 1-3 for “The House of Bernarda Alba.” Moreover, the play “We Won’t Pay, We Won’t Pay” will be opening March 20-22 and continuing March 27-29. Student emotions were a mixture of both excitement and nervousness prior to their auditions.

To some it was their first time auditioning for a role in a play, while a few had prior experience in front of crowds. “I have been in productions before and the feeling is usually the same, a bit nervous, but you look forward to the best,” Joshua Saephan, a drama student auditioning for “We Won’t Pay, We Won’t Pay,” said.

There were also many of female students auditioning for the play “The House of Bernarda Alba,” some of whom had also performed in plays before. Faith Austin, one of the students auditioning as Adela for the play “The House of Bernarda Alba”, said she has performed in multiple plays before but this would be her first one at Contra Costa College.

Overall, it was a great turnout and the actors were expecting callbacks the following day, Chavarria said.