Pride Productions, Leesville’s drama department, is putting on the eerie and frightening story of Dracula for the fall play. For many of the people involved in the play the most nerve racking part to get through is the auditions. This year, the drama department held auditions September 9 and 10.
Mrs. Catania’s audition process begins with her calling everyone into the auditorium and giving them a speech, detailing her goals for Dracula. During the auditions, she looks for confidence, projection, energy, stage presence and articulation.
“She knows what she wants,” said Taylor Oglesby, senior. The tension rises in the room and all talking stops. There is no light other than on the stage that adds to the intense feeling.
Everyone is called upon randomly by Erin Taccano, the stage manager. The actors are then asked to go on stage and do a textual read, which is when actors are told to flip to a random page in the script and asked to read.
“It’s so hard to personify a character if I don’t know anything about who they are,” said John Parker, senior.
After Catania and Ms. Wrayno, the technical director, have seen all the actors, they then call some actors to read for a certain role. After the second readings for these individuals, Catania announced that she has seen all that she needed to see.
However, for those not picked for a second reading, she offered the stage to extend their auditions. Whether because of stage fright or pure fear, no one moved from their seats in the auditorium. Everyone exits the auditorium to go home.
”My audition was incredibly difficult since there were 30 people the first day of auditions and 30 the next,” said Parker, “and only 14 make callbacks. There are only three boys in the play, so even some of the best actors are not good enough to be cast.”
Kristi Stout, junior, said, “I was so nervous for my audition but I think I somehow managed to channel my nerves into dramatic energy.” Stout was pleased when she was cast as Lucy, a main character.
For the coveted role of Dracula, there is a new comer not only to the drama department but to our country. Doro Niang, senior who just moved from Africa, will put a new twist on Dracula with his dark complexion and endearing voice. When asked of this, he said, “I was pleasantly surprised when I found out I got the lead, but I am excited to be a Dracula no one expects.”
The lucky few that were caste include Kyle Berryann, as Reinfield, DJ Postley as Seward, Kristin Taylor as Mrs. Harker, Karley St.Piere as Abigail and Bailey Jones as Van Helsing.
Dracula’s opening night is November 5.