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Wilson Jermaine Heredia as Tony in a rural MD community theatre’s WSS...

Harpz2006
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Audition link

Just came across this on Facebook. Yes, the 47-year-old, Hispanic, Wilson Jermaine Heredia is pre-cast as Tony in this community theatres WSS. Im confused!

Updated On: 10/22/19 at 10:46 PM
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Nice work if you can get it?

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Dear Baby Jesus: let footage of this be available on YouTube in the near future, amen
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Are we to assume he's still equity? So much wrong with this. I mean, I know some community theaters offer one equity guest contract if they can afford it, but I can't imagine it's all that much.

A Chorus Line revival played its final Broadway performance on August 17, 2008. The tour played its final performance on August 21, 2011. A new non-equity tour started in October 2012 played its final performance on March 23, 2013. Another non-equity tour launched on January 20, 2018. The tour ended its US run in Kansas City and then toured throughout Japan August & September 2018.
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Well, it is admittedly a bit strange to have a Latino person play Tony given the show's subject matter. However, I'm not so surprised by the rest of it:

He still looks pretty good for his age, and I'm sure all parties involved are happy to suspend their disbelief a bit for this mutually beneficial casting arrangement (Heredia gets paid, the theatre gets to advertise a Tony winner). And type-wise, he fits the role well enough. 

Also, this isn't the first random project like this that Heredia has done in recent years. When he was living in San Francisco for a little while a few years back, he played Lancelot in the SF Playhouse production of Camelot, and he was in a community theatre production of A Little Princess in Berkeley. It's possible that he's living in MD now, or has some ties there, and just wants to keep acting whenever and wherever he can. 

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Poor guy, I wish the best for him.  If this is what he wants , great.  If not, I hope for better opportunities.

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He did a play at the Cherry Lane just 5 months ago, so let's assume he is still Equity.

I still find it odd that his only Broadway credit post-RENT is a supporting replacement gig in La Cage. Call it racism/homophobia, or blame it on his talent/career choices, but I'm sure the role of Angel did "type-cast" him into certain types of roles that aren't often portrayed in mainstream entertainment. I’d like to think that role would open a lot more doors today. 

Updated On: 10/22/19 at 11:19 PM
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It's two performances in a tiny theater for 25 bucks a ticket. I don't think they'll be any controversy or issue with his casting. 

I hope he finds something really wonderful soon.  

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I took a look at the original cast of RENT, and it seems the only two that haven’t gotten super-consistent work are Heredia and Fredi Walker (the original Joanne), the rest have either fared well on the stage, or crossed over to film/television. What happened to these two?
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I have been hoping this casting would make an appearance on the BWW board. I heard about the precasting awhile ago. The whole thing has been mind boggling to me due to his age and his ethnicity. I am waiting to hear about the rest of the casting as they had auditions this past weekend. I am curious if they are going to cast older actors to match his look. But, hopefully it goes well for him. The company's shows tend to sell out at the Maryland theater already due to casting local kids/teens in their productions. I am sure the same will happen with this show. 

Updated On: 10/23/19 at 08:41 AM
RainyAgwe
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I’m pretty familiar with this group and I find this not surprising. He had a masterclass with them recently, and as a group who has whitewashed shows like RENT (even had the white director play Collins!) and Hairspray (white Dynamites, etc) I’m not surprised they’re doing something... different lol.

I know a friend who had been asked a few times to audition there (and had been involved with them) who had a not good experience there, so I’m curious how this process would be.

Lots of Rural MD tea to be had here lol
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He was Rooster in Annie at Onley Theatre in MD about 2 years ago, so maybe he is living in the area.  The night I was there, we had about a 20 min stop after "Tomorrow".  The girl playing Annie got sick and we had to wait for the understudy to get to the theatre and get ready.  When they restarted, they also announced that there would be an understudy for Rooster, which seemed odd.

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There was a book out about 16-17 years ago with theater actors talking about their lives.  Heredia spoke about how difficult it was for him post-Tony award to find consistent work and that he thought he'd been type-cast because of Angel.  The Tony award-winning actor who played Paul in the original "Chorus Line" talked about having had a similar experience.

Harpz2006
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I think Heredia is still living in NYC. I had forgotten he was at Olney- I missed that production. However, Olney Theatre Center is a well-respected regional theatre and we frequently get Broadway actors there (Alexandra Silber just finished Cabaret there this month)... I don’t find it at all comparable to doing a guest-star stint at a small community theatre- not sure you were making a comparison but just wanted to say I don’t think it’s related that they’re both in MD, other than it being somewhat close to NYC.
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Updated On: 11/30/19 at 06:56 AM
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Updated On: 11/30/19 at 07:01 AM
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Miserent said: "Dear Baby Jesus: let footage of this be available on YouTube in the near future, amen

 

That would be a violation of MTI contracts. however you can go purchase tickets at www.mdtheatre.org if you would like to see it. 

 

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ACL2006 said: "Are we to assume he's still equity? So much wrong with this. I mean, I know some community theaters offer one equity guest contract if they can afford it, but I can't imagine it's all that much."

He is still equity. Also, in case you arent aware, in order for a theatre to go equity they have to typically do 3 guest appearances with an equity actor. I'm not sure what "i cant imagine its all that much means". but id be happy to help answer any questions that you might have to help you "imagine" it better 

Robbiesoto
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Harpz2006 said: "I think Heredia is still living in NYC. I had forgotten he was at Olney- I missed that production. However, Olney Theatre Center is a well-respected regional theatre and we frequently get Broadway actors there (Alexandra Silber just finished Cabaret there this month)... I don’t find it at all comparable to doing a guest-star stint at a small community theatre- not sure you were making a comparison but just wanted to say I don’t think it’s related that they’re both in MD, other than it being somewhat close to NYC."

 Not sure how a theatre that sells 1500-1700 tickets in a weekend is a small theatre but to each their own. 

Robbiesoto
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RainyAgwe said: "I’m pretty familiar with this group and I find this not surprising. He had a masterclass with them recently, and as a group who has whitewashed shows like RENT (even had the white director play Collins!) and Hairspray (white Dynamites, etc) I’m not surprised they’re doing something... different lol.

I know a friend who had been asked a few times to audition there (and had been involved with them) who had a not good experience there, so I’m curious how this process would be.

Lots of Rural MD tea to be had here lol
"

 

Very interesting. Tell me more about you and your friend. Also, man you "whitewash a show" and take, as so many put it on facebook, opportunities away from people of color, you give an opportunity to someone and youre still the bad guy. Man let me just cancel a show because i didnt cast a "white guy" as tony (eye roll). Who would your friend be, id love to hear their feedback on why they didnt have a good experience. 

 

 

Robbiesoto
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ModernMillie3 said: "It's two performances in a tiny theater for 25 bucks a ticket. I don't think they'll be any controversy or issue with his casting.

I hope he finds something really wonderful soon.
"

Tiny theater? 1365 seats is tiny. I mean i know its no MSG but goodness, how much bigger do you have to get? 

Robbiesoto
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Phantour said: "I have been hoping this casting would make an appearance on the BWW board. I heard about the precasting awhile ago. The whole thing has been mind boggling to me due to his age and his ethnicity. I am waiting to hear about the rest of the casting as they had auditions this past weekend. I am curious if they are going to cast older actors to match his look. But, hopefully it goes well for him. The company's shows tend to sell out at the Maryland theater already due to casting local kids/teens in their productions. I am sure the same will happen with this show."

In case you didnt see, most of the cast are in their 30's. some mid twenties and a couple of young bucks in the show. And while this theatre does NOT sell out the Maryland Theatre, (1365 seats) they do sell about 1500+ for a weekend. 


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