Hopefuls audition for next Carroll Players' show

December 31, 1992|By Mary Gail Hare | Mary Gail Hare,Staff Writer

They laughed and tripped over lines as they read from an unfamiliar script. The convivial atmosphere seemed more like a reunion of old friends than an audition for a play.

Eight hopefuls exchanged roles until the director, Marcia Bogash, decided who meshed best with whom.

"I move people around and see how they look together," Ms. Bogash said, who has worked with the Carroll Players since 1975. "Couples should look believable, not ridiculous."

She was attempting to assign 16 parts for the ensemble's spring production, "You Can't Take It With You," a three-act comedy written by Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman.

The cold, foggy weather on the night of the first of two auditions probably worked against her, she said. She usually has a larger crowd.

Although the numbers were few, the audition went on. The director forged ahead and occasionally took a part herself, filling in with, "Please be seated."

"We are seated," answered Kathy Schnorr, out of character. "No, that's the line," said Ms. Bogash with a laugh.

Due to the shortage of bodies, Paul Zimmermann read two parts -- one in a Russian accent. Even Ms. Bogash was taken aback as he belted out his lines in a strong voice.

"This guy is really into his character," said Pat Fiore, playing opposite one of Mr. Zimmermann's roles.

"Ed has the next line," said Ms. Bogash at a lull in the dialogue.

"Ed, who is Mr. Ed?" asked Ms. Schnorr, a teacher from Westminster. "Must be another wacko in this play."

"No, it's a talking horse," said Brian Irons, a Western Maryland College student, who was the youngest of the cast hopefuls.

An hour into the audition, Ms. Bogash called for a break. She wanted to encourage the few newcomers to test their acting skills. She asked Susan Tabatsko to read for a few parts.

"I just got bitten by the acting bug this year," said Ms. Tabatsko of Westminster. "I thought I would give Carroll Players a try."

After listening to dialogue from several scenes, she said, she couldn't quite "get the drift of" the comedy.

"There is no drift," said Ms. Schnorr. "The characters enjoy their life and do what they feel like."

The last lines of the comedy sum up the story, said Ms. Schnorr: "You can't take it with you [after death], so enjoy your life while you are living it."

Ms. Tabatsko joined the fun and tried several parts as Ms. Bogash asked the group to read one character-packed scene repeatedly.

"I don't want to beat these pages to death," said the director. "But let's switch characters and try it a few more times. Sharon, please read Mrs. Kirby."

"Now the Kirbys are the only ones not having a good time with this scene, right?" said Sharon Belt. "I finally figured that out."

Next, Ms. Belt read for the part of the tipsy Ms. Wellington.

"She's Gay," said Ms. Bogash. "I am?" asked Ms. Belt with a laugh.

"No, her name is Gay in your script," said the director.

Pat Flaherty made an ideal grandfather, a carefree character who never pays taxes or worries. He shuffled onto the stage and spoke in a deep but mellow voice, mixing an occasional laugh into his dialogue.

Ms. Belt, Ms. Tabatsko and Ms. Schnorr all read the Russian princess role.

"Acting is such pure fun," said Ms. Tabatsko. "It gives us the opportunity to be someone else for a few minutes with no strings attached."

Ms. Bogash asked for scene repeats, thanked each auditioner ** and said, "If there was any part in which you were not comfortable, let me know. I won't cast you in it."

She said she felt confident that she had a part to suit everyone.

"I made some tentative decisions tonight," she said.

Throughout the two-hour trial, she took no notes. With one more audition and one evening for call-backs, she will have the play cast. Rehearsals start next week for the production, which opens March 5 at Frock's in Westminster.

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