City Center Makes Open Call for Non-Professional Teen Actors

News   City Center Makes Open Call for Non-Professional Teen Actors
The Encores! Off-Center production of Runaways will be cast largely from an open call to high school students.
Randy Ruiz and Diane Lane in <i>Runaways</i>
Randy Ruiz and Diane Lane in the original 1978 cast of Runaways. Photo by Martha Swope

New York City Center will hold an open audition for teen actors, ages 13-18, on March 19 for the Encores! Off-Center production of Elizabeth Swados’ musical Runaways. The audition will be held at Talent Unlimited High School, located at 317 East 67th Street, Manhattan.

Elizabeth Swados
Elizabeth Swados

“We decided to cast the production largely from an open call to high school students across the five boroughs, a gesture that Liz loved. Since we can’t do Runaways with her, we’ll now do it for her,” commented artistic director Jeanine Tesori in an earlier statement. “We are heartbroken by the news of her passing and our hearts go out to her widow, Roz.”

New York City Center announced the production earlier this year, shortly after the death of Ms. Swados on Jan. 5. The 1978 musical follows the lives, fears and fantasies of young people living on the street. The composer spent several months observing and interviewing child runaways in the creation of the piece.

New York City Center has stated it is interested in “teens of all ethnicities, body types, gender identifications, and ability levels.” Performers are asked to prepare a short song (around one minute in length) in any musical style including gospel, rap and jazz, and encouraged to avoid musical theatre numbers. No professional experience or union affiliation is required to audition. Participants are asked to bring sheet music, a recent picture, and a short resume detailing their performing experience, if any. Visit for full details.

Performances of Runanways will run July 6-9 and will be directed by Sam Pinkleton.

Tickets to all Encores! Off-Center shows start at $25 and can be purchased online at, by calling CityTix at (212) 581-1212, or in person at the City Center Box Office. New York City Center is located at 131 West 55th Street, Manhattan.

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