Monday, March 24, 2008

A local theater mystery...

…not to be confused with local mystery theater. If you check out the Auditions page at, you’ll see an audition notice for a upcoming production of “Hamlet.” For those who may be confused, this is not Richmond Shakespeare’s production, which is scheduled for October. The notice is attributed to “The Pen is Mightier” productions and no one I talk to (granted, I don’t talk to many people…) seems to know who this company is. Anyone out there have a clue? If you’d like more information on the auditions, you can write the company at


Anonymous said...

Two Hamlets, both alike in dignity,
In fair Richmond, where we lay our scene...

Anonymous said...


I was curious about this production as well. So, I wrote them an email enquiring about the production and the company. Here are my emails and their responses:

To Whom it May Concern,
I am interested in reading for your upcoming
Can you tell me more about the event? Your company?


Thank you for your interest in auditioning for Hamlet. The particulars of the event itself and the company will be divulged in detail to those that are selected from auditions. The main things to keep in mind for now is A) remember to bring a monologue from Hamlet for your tryout (random monologues will also be available), and B) this event is non-compensatory - we are a not-for-profit organization, and those involved will be so because of their love for Shakespeare (and credit for resumes, of course) only.
The Shakespeare in the Park Company


Thanks for the info, EM.
Can you at least give me the dates of when your run will be, so I can see if it fits my own schedule?


I'm afraid the exact dates are still proprietary knowledge. I am allowed to tell you it will fall between August and December, but that's all at this point.

OK, so these people didn't tell me about their company and they refused to give me performance dates based on it being "proprietary knowledge".
I will not be auditioning for these people. Secrecy and manipulation are not good tactics for drawing in prospective collaborators.

Anonymous said...

And they said "tryouts." When is the last time you heard that from a professional company?

Robinitaface said...

I think the word "tryout" was more to avoid the *overuse* of the word "audition." They may or may not be a professional company, but they paid attention in English class.

Anonymous said...

The details of their "company" are revealed only to those they select??!! Can you imagine that?

"Thanks for trying out. Not only can't we use you, we are wearing hoods and disguising our voices so you won't know who rejected you!"

This is a scam, folks, run away as fast as you can. At best it's adolescent, but it smells much worse.

Anonymous said...

I am particularly intrigued by the comment about it being non-compensatory, because they are a not-for-profit. Am I mistaken, are any richmond theatre's for profit? But professional theaters all pay thier acotrs and crew. Maybe not much, but something for the time and effort. Wow. This does reek of a bad joke.(or worse)

Robinitaface said...

Devil's Advocate here:

one might assume the dates aren't being revealed because a) they're just trying to be jerk-faces about it, or b) they don't even know when they are yet.

either way, that's certainly behavior to steer clear of.

As for not being paid - true, non-profit professional companies do pay their performers something. Being not-for-profit doesn't mean you don't have to pay. However, there is a mix of both professional and community theatres on - so not paying your performers doesn't mean you can't hold auditions and announce them.

Just because they're paying you, doesn't always mean they're "professional" either...and if they aren't, it doesn't mean they're not. Figuratively speaking.

That having been said, if your gut tells you something just isn't right - then it probably isn't.