Encore Theatre Company announces auditions for the Stephen Mallatratt adaption of “The Woman in Black,” opening this coming October on Halloween night.
Auditions for this exclusive engagement will be held at Nashville Public Television (WNPT), 161 Rains Avenue, Nashville on Saturday, Aug. 24. There is an open call from 11 a.m. to noon; appointments are required between noon and 2 p.m. Roles are available for two men: ages 25-30(ish) and ages 45-55(ish) or actors that can play those ages; between them, they will portray nine characters. Those auditioning should prepare to tell an original ghost story, not more than five minutes in length, as well as demonstrate proficiency in the RP British dialect. Headshots and resumes are certainly appreciated, but not required. Both roles require multiple British dialects. A gas stipend will be offered to those cast. Performances will be held at the Encore Theatre facility, 6978 Lebanon Road, Mt. Juliet, TN and the production will run from October 31 through November 9.
About the show
The play premiered at Christmas, 1987 at the Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough, England. The original director, Robin Herferd, approached playwright Stephen Mallatratt with a commission. Herford wanted a ghost story and asked Mallatratt to either write a new play or adapt an existing story. Mallatratt chose to adapt Susan Hill’s novel “The Woman in Black.” While the original story has about a dozen characters, Mallatratt’s adaptation has only two actors but uses stagecraft to tell the story, allowing them to change in a moment into another character, with the simple addition of a coat or hat, a different voice or a changed physicality.
Herford said: “It is the magic of theatre, made possible only by that most precious and underused commodity – the audience’s imagination. Thanks to the collective imaginations of nearly seven million theatregoers, The Woman in Black has been terrifying audiences for 25 years.”
Directing the show for Encore Theatre Company is Joel Meriwether, a theatre veteran of some thirty years, who has directed over 50 shows for various theatre companies.
“Being a fan of Alfred Hitchcock, I jumped at the chance to direct this drama,” said Meriwether. “One of the things about this show I love is that it takes a page from Hitchcock’s oeuvre. What one’s imagination can create is so much scarier than actual spoon-feeding an audience and actually showing them the title character of the show. It is all about psychological terror – you cannot see what you should fear; it makes the suspense so much more palpable.”
For more information, check the theatre’s website at www.encore-theatre-company.org or call (615)569-2408 to schedule an audition.