Arena Stage Hosts Open Auditions to Find Next D.C. Star 12/10

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Saturday, December 10, the casting office of Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater will hold a citywide casting call to fill four roles in its upcoming production of The Music Man, which runs May 11-July 22, 2012 in the Fichandler Stage and is directed by Artistic Director Molly Smith. The creative team will be looking for triple-threat performers to fill the roles of Tommy Djilas and Zaneeta Shinn, and children ages 10-12 for the roles of Winthrop Paroo and Amaryllis (see character descriptions below). Auditions will be held at the Mead Center (1101 Sixth St., SW), with registration in the Molly Smith Study. Callbacks for all roles will be held Sunday, December 11, noon-4:00 p.m.

In recent years, Arena Stage has discovered several young talents through open auditions. In 2009, 21-year-old Zurin Villanueva, then a senior at Howard University, was selected to be Yolanda in Arena Stage’s production of Crowns. Then, dynamic duo and Southwest D.C. residents John (then 17) and Leo Manzari (then 15) stole the show tapping alongside Maurice Hines in the 2010 production Duke Ellington’s Sophisticated Ladies. Most recently, high school senior June Schreiner delighted audiences as Ado Annie in Oklahoma!, where she was first discovered as a student through the Arena Stage Musical Theater Academy. June will return to Arena Stage this spring as Muriel in the upcoming Ah, Wilderness! before graduating from The Madeira School in McLean, Va.

Arena Stage Casting Director Daniel Pruksarnukul will be conducting the auditions, with Director Molly Smith, Musical Director Lawrence Goldberg, Choreographer Parker Esse and Associate Director Anita Maynard-Losh. See below for the audition schedule for Saturday, December 10.

Schedule for Tommy Djilas and Zaneeta Shinn Call
9:30 a.m.-10:30 a.m.: Registration for Tommy Djilas and Zaneeta Shinn
10:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m.: First Dance Call
11:00 a.m.-noon: Second Dance Call

Prepare: Bring two copies of headshot and resume. Come prepared to learn and dance a standard musical theater combination and a short ballet combination (bring jazz and ballet shoes). Singing and reading will be done at callbacks Sunday, December 11.

Schedule for Winthrop Paroo and Amaryllis Call
11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m.: Registration for Winthrop Paroo and Amaryllis
Noon-5:00 p.m.: Singing Auditions

Note: The first 100 people who register will be guaranteed an audition, and the creative team will see additional actors on a standby basis until 4:30 p.m. All auditions are first come, first served.

Prepare: Bring two copies of headshot and resume. Come prepared to sing a short song (preferably 16 bars). An accompanist will be provided, so sheet music is encouraged, though a cappella singing is acceptable.

Character Descriptions
Tommy Djilas (16 or older): A teen from the “wrong side of the tracks,” mischievous, in love with Zaneeta Shinn; strong musical theater dancer and singer.

Zaneeta Shinn (16 or older): Daughter from the most prominent family in the town, a trendsetter, secretly dating Tommy; strong musical theater dancer and singer.

Winthrop Paroo (10-12): Timid, introverted since the passing of his father; speaks with a lisp; must be able to sing.

Amaryllis (10-12): Precocious, inquisitive; attempts unsuccessfully to capture Winthrop’s attention; must be able to sing.

Rehearsals for Meredith Willson’s The Music Man begin Tuesday, April 10, 2012, and performances run May 11-July 22, 2012. For questions about the casting call, please e-mail 

About The Music Man
Meredith Willson’s
The Music Man
Book, music and lyrics by Meredith Willson
Story by Meredith Willson and Franklin Lacey
Directed by Molly Smith
Choreography by Parker Esse
In the Fichandler Stage
May 11-July 22, 2012

Fresh off her success with Oklahoma!, Artistic Director Molly Smith tackles five-time Tony Award winner The Music Man. Having exhausted all 102 counties in Illinois, “Professor” Harold Hill gives Iowa a try and soon enough convinces River City of its trouble with the “sin and corruption” of the pool hall, trouble that can only be stopped by forming a boys’ band. Marian the librarian suspects he’s a con man, but she begins to trust him after seeing how he’s given confidence to her shy younger brother. Soon, this “Music Man” has transformed the entire town, not only turning the bickering school board into a barbershop quartet, but himself into an honest man. When the stage erupts with “76 Trombones,” you’ll be cheering along with River City for Harold Hill!

For more information, visit

Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater is a national center dedicated to the production, presentation, development and study of American theater. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Molly Smith and Managing Director Edgar Dobie, Arena Stage is the largest company in the country dedicated to American plays and playwrights. Arena Stage produces huge plays of all that is passionate, exuberant, profound, deep and dangerous in the American spirit, and presents diverse and ground-breaking work from some of the best artists around the country. Arena Stage is committed to commissioning and developing new plays through the American Voices New Play Institute. Now in its sixth decade, Arena Stage serves a diverse annual audience of more than 300,000.

Follow Arena Stage on Twitter @arenastage or and on Facebook at

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