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Warren Gerds/Critic at Large: Local community theater holding ‘virtual’ auditions for coming play


Abrams Spotlight Productions, Inc.

Production image.


Among the new twists on the normal that the coronavirus COVID-19 has forced, Abrams Spotlight Productions Inc. may be the first community theater in the region to hold auditions with the help of the Internet.

The theater is holding virtual auditions for the David Birney adaptation of “Mark Twain’s The Diaries of Adam and Eve.”

Performances are scheduled June 19-21 and 26-28 in Byng Community Theatre in Abrams.

According to emails, participants will be asked to do a reading from material provided, record the reading and send it electronically. The deadline for submission is 8 p.m. March 27.

Adults and children age 16 years old and older may attend.

Roles available are one adult female and one adult male along with other supporting roles.

Newcomers are encouraged to audition. No previous experience is necessary.

Virtual auditions are a growing trend. Websites have popped up with tips. Here are a few suggestions they offer: Wear solid clothes in black or jewel-toned colors. Record inside. Stand in front of a solid background with good lighting. Practice a few times before recording.

According to publicity material: The play is a light-hearted look at the world’s first love story through the eyes of America’s greatest humorist, Mark Twain. Throughout the play, the Garden of Eden bursts with wit, laughter and the lyric poignance of the first love and the first loss. The play is based on Mark Twain’s book from the early 1900s.

The play was first produced on television for PBS’ “American Playhouse” series. Since then, it has been presented in more than 200 productions in regional theater, college and university theaters and performing arts centers around the nation.

The name of David Birney may ring a bell. On TV, he starred in “Bridget and Bernie” with his then wife, Meredith Baxter Birney. David Birney also appeared in many TV series and miniseries. Mostly, though, he has been a stage actor and director, notably of classical works.

With “Mark Twain’s The Diary of Adam and Eve,” Abrams Spotlight Productions is thinking ahead to life after the coronavirus COVID-19. The troupe postponed its production of the musical “My Fair Lady” that was scheduled March 20-22 and 27-29.

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