Seeking to broaden its performer pool, the Broadway hit Rent was scheduled to hold an open casting call at the Apollo Theatre in the heart of New York's Harlem neighborhood, Sept. 3. However, due to a union strike at the theatre, the auditions have been postponed, according to a message on the show's casting hotline (212) 479-0833. (Ironically, Rent is one of the few Broadway show that openly solicits non-union performers.)
That said, the casting director and staff will be at the Apollo -- 253 West 125th Street -- all day Sept. 3 to meet actors and collect resumes. Singing appointments will be scheduled at that time. Actors are also encouraged to mail resumes to: Casting, 145 West 28th Street, #12F, New York, NY 10001, Attention: Rent - NY.
Should the auditions be rescheduled at a later time, here are the basics for trying out:
As with previous Rent open calls, no musical theatre tunes will be heard -- and non-union actors will be.
In a statement, casting director Bernard Telsey said, "Open auditions are our way of staying in touch with young talent." The audition notice specifies that Rent is seeking, "hip, authentic singers of all ethnicities, both Equity [union] and non-Equity, in their early to mid-20s. All those auditioning should prepare 16 bars of an upbeat authentic pop/rock/gospel song to perform with piano accompaniment. Strictly no musical theatre tunes! Bring walkman to learn show's music if needed, No plastic pants and no midriffs. Dress causal."
Those chosen will get jobs in the Broadway and U.S. national touring companies.
For more audition info, call the Rent hotline at (212) 479-0833.
The Apollo's weekly amateur night, broadcast weekly on NBC-TV as "Showtime at the Apollo," is known for providing the launch pad for many music and comedy acts, especially those of African-Americans. Among those nurturned on its stage were Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald and Sinbad.