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Arena Stage to Hold Canine Casting Call For ANYTHING GOES

Calling all "de-lovely" dogs! Aspiring pup-thespians could be the next Toto, Sandy or Bruiser when Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater holds a Canine Casting Call on Saturday, September 22, 2018 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Mead Center (1101 Sixth St., SW). Two dogs will be selected to alternate the role of Cheeky in the upcoming production of the Cole Porter classic, Anything Goes, running November 2 - December 23, 2018 in the iconic in-the-round Fichandler Stage.

Arena Stage is seeking well-behaved, Washington-area dogs of any small-size breed or mixed-breed (no more than 20 pounds) that are available for a portion of the rehearsal period in October, as well as the run of the show. Specific rehearsals and performances will be coordinated at a later date. Dogs should be friendly with all types of humans, tolerant of tap-dancing and other loud noises or sudden movements, and comfortable being held by strangers, carried in a basket, and being "at sea." Some background in obedience training is helpful. Previous theatrical experience is helpful but not required.

During the casting call, prospective pups will be asked to show a unique range of ability, from obeying a variety of commands such as sit and heel, to behaving well with strangers and possessing that indescribable "It" factor.

Judging the Canine Casting Call will be:

  • Molly Smith, director of Anything Goes and artistic director of Arena Stage
  • Victor Vazquez, casting director for Arena Stage
  • Ashley Valm, shelter behavior manager for the Humane Rescue Alliance
  • Emily Abril, owner of Sebastian and Luna, the adorable canine couple and stars of the Instagram account Sebastian Loves Luna

Registration for the Canine Casting Call is required. To register, owners should submit an email to with their contact information, and the name, breed, and full-body photo of their dog by September 17, 2018. Semi-finalists will be notified by September 19, 2018 if they have been selected to appear at the Canine Casting Call.

One entry per dog. Owners must be at least 18 years of age.

For more information, visit No phone calls please.


Music and Lyrics by Cole Porter
Original Book by P.G. Wodehouse and Guy Bolton
and Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse
New Book by Timothy Crouse and John Weidman
Directed by Molly Smith
Choreographed by Parker Esse
Music Direction by Paul Sportelli
In the Fichandler Stage / November 2-December 23, 2018
The SS American has set sail from NY to London. Aboard, the lovelorn Billy has stowed away on a mission to stop the marriage of his mystery muse, heiress Hope Harcourt, to the millionaire Lord Evelyn Oakleigh. Now, it is up to Billy with the help of showgirls, sailors and public enemy #13, to find, woo and win back his true love. Unlikely alliances arise as mischief and mayhem ensue in this madcap musical by beloved composer and Tony Award winner Cole Porter. It's the perfect night out at the theater - contagiously fun and pure "musical comedy joy!" (New York Times)

Anything Goes is generously sponsored by George and Duffy Ftikas and Margot Kelly. Choreography is sponsored by Virginia McGehee Friend.

Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater, under the leadership of Artistic Director Molly Smith and Executive Producer Edgar Dobie, is a national center dedicated to American voices and artists. Arena Stage produces plays of all that is passionate, 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, and impacts the lives of over 10,000 students annually through its work in community engagement. Now in its seventh decade, Arena Stage serves a diverse annual audience of more than 300,000.

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