Company Call

Posted on Oct 4th, 2012 in OSF Archives

Tales from the Vault

I Am Calling Yooooooou…

When David Dreyfoos sent out an e-mail indicating that the January Company Call would be held in the New Theatre, I realized we would be entering a new era. But, as often happens, we’ve done a switcheroo with spaces.

We have had the Spring (Winter?) Company Call in the Angus Bowmer Theatre since January, 1971. That Prologue read: “From Kalamazoo, Michigan to Ashland, Oregon, the Festival’s 1971 Stage II acting company members have traveled many miles to be a part of the Ashland ‘experience.’ Twenty-seven Festival veterans and newcomers from theatre centers throughout the country have been cast in the spring repertory.” Is anyone here from Kalamazoo this year?

Stage II lasted until 1979 when the spring and summer seasons merged into one nine-month performing season. By 1979 Jerry “Turner welcomed 130 or so actors and technicians at the Festival’s ‘first call.’” At that time actors were still presenting audition pieces in the morning and reading scenes from the 1979 plays in the afternoon. From that, final casting choices were made just prior to the start of rehearsals. Then, as today, recruiting and casting were done with a balanced troupe in mind, not just for the success of a particular role.

Will we will return to the Angus Bowmer Theatre in April, or see how many people can fit in the booths, hang from the catwalks, come up from the trap, and so forth in the New Theatre? Or perhaps we could return to the Company Calls of yesteryear in the outdoor theatre? Will it be spring on the green by then, or will the rain raineth every day?

Written originally for
The Company Call, January 2006, by Kit Leary.