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13 Theatre Workers You Should Know

Meet some folks who know the audition process inside out: actors and casting directors.

Ada Karamanyan (they/them is cool, but primarily she/her)

Ada Karamanyan.

Profession: Casting director, arts administrator, creator, and “proud mum to the sweetest tortoiseshell cat ever, Bebe Neuwirth the cat”
Hometown: Born in Los Angeles and raised in Langley, Wash.
Current home: Seattle
Known for: Karamanyan cast the entire Shakespeare canon as part of Play On Shakespeare, and has worked with the Playwrights Realm, Trans Lab, A Contemporary Theatre, and New City Theater.
What’s next: Karamanyan is working as the casting associate with the Playwrights Realm in New York City, collaborating with the Island Shakespeare Festival in Langley, Wash., helping to cast Miranda Rose Hall’s The Kind Ones at San Francisco’s Magic Theatre, and working with Karyn Casl and Telsey + Co on casting the Play On Podcast series with Next Chapter Podcast. Offstage, Karamanyan has cast herself in the role of plant mother. “I recently brought home a polka-dot plant and a pothos plant, and they both make me very happy,” she says.
What makes her special: Play On Shakespeare’s associate creative director, Taylor Bailey (he/him), praises Karamanyan’s wide, inclusive casting net. “Ada is an amazing casting director with a strong commitment to casting trans and non-binary actors in all roles, not just roles written specifically for them,” Bailey says. “When we were casting our enormous festival in 2019, we hired Ada and told her we wanted an equitable company. Ada not only delivered, but she also held us firmly to our commitment and challenged us to go further and be even more intentional at every turn.”
Building a platform: “There is something, I will say, about sitting through an audition process that allows creative teams further evidence of how entirely possible it is to fill our stages with the full expanse of individualities that coexist in modern society,” says Karamanyan. “Whether it is auditioning high schoolers to play the Young Debater opposite Heidi Schreck in What The Constitution Means To Me at New York Theatre Workshop, or auditioning folks for the role of Sally in Baltimore Center Stage and the Playwrights Realm’s production of Noah Diaz’s Richard & Jane & Dick & Sally, I continue to find it fulfilling and more worthwhile to navigate this industry knowing I get the privilege to sit in a room and watch some of the most badass, dynamic storytellers volunteer time again and again to remind us why it’s essential we give them a platform, and honor their craft by nurturing it with meaningful, thoughtfully written opportunities.”

Catherine Miller (they/them)

Catherine Miller. (Photo by Collin Quinn)

Profession: Casting director and dramaturg
Hometown: San Diego, Calif.
Current home: Chicago, Ill.
Known for: Miller is an outspoken advocate for trans/non-binary inclusion in casting as well as all theatre professions. As a casting director, they have worked with Chicago companies Jackalope Theatre, First Floor Theater, Raven Theatre, Haven Chicago, and Red Tape Theatre, where Miller cast the celebrated production of All Quiet on the Western Front. Miller has also been a consultant and speaker for theatres and schools on ways to be more inclusive in their language and production practices.
What they’re working on: Miller is currently casting Jackalope’s New Frontier Series, which consists of five workshops and two public readings. They are also casting a yet to be announced project with Haven Chicago and dramaturging a new play by Ariel Zetina with First Floor Theater.
What makes them special: “Catherine is that rare example of someone who is not only brilliant at their job, not only a marvelous advocate for equity, diversity, and inclusion in their industry, but to top it all off, is one of the kindest and most welcoming people you’ll ever meet,” says Red Tape managing director Ben Kaye (he/him), noting that Miller is exemplary at collaboration. “They’re always working to make sure the worlds they are creating are representative of the brilliance and diversity of our wide and expansive humanity.”
Humanity and respect: When Miller was 8 years old, they auditioned for Annie Warbucks at San Diego Junior Theatre. Terrified, Miller forgot the lyrics to their audition song. That’s when the show’s music director, Mike Anthony, stepped in and began to sing along to guide Miller back on track. “It made me feel seen and taken care of in a space that was and is so intimidating,” says Miller. “That moment is why I strive to take care of every artist who comes into an audition room with me and treat them with humanity and respect for sharing their craft.”

Colleen Cherry (she/her)

Colleen Cherry.

Profession: Actor, voiceover artist, producer, improviser, and educator
Hometown: Seminole, Fla.
Current home: St. Petersburg, Fla.
Known for: An artistic associate with Jobsite Theater, Cherry starred in the Florida premiere of Lizzie and in an award-winning performance as the Street Singer in Jobsite’s The Threepenny Opera at the Straz Center for Performing Arts. She played Mary in It’s A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play for three years at American Stage; toured the country with the musical improv team she performs with and co-coaches, Definitely Not Murderers; and produced events with the 20-piece band she fronts, the Florida Bjorkestra.
What’s next: When it’s safe to do so, the Bjorkestra plans to produce its third annual Buffyfest at St. Petersburg’s Palladium Theater, which will include another full performance of “Once More, With Feeling” (a.k.a. the Buffy the Vampire Slayer musical). Jobsite is gearing up to present a 2021 season with physically distanced seating in the Jaeb Theater of the Straz, while continuing their stream-able Digital Shorts. Cherry has also started a side business during quarantine: writing and recording songs about other people’s pets.
What makes her special: Cherry has been a force on the scene ever since she studied at the local arts magnet high school over a decade ago, notes arts marketing consultant Kara Goldberg (she/her). Cherry “oozes talent and kindness, and always has a brilliant idea to add to any collaboration.”
Out of isolation: An email snafu almost cost Cherry a “life-changing” audition for American Stage’s It’s a Wonderful Life: The initial invite, she recalls, went to her spam folder. Crisis narrowly averted, she says, the audition itself “went extremely well,” which led not only to a recurring role in the show but a full-time staff position at American Stage, where in four years she helped expand their community outreach and volunteer program, formed and chaired the 21st Century Voice: New Play Festival committee, and helped found the theatre’s musical improv program. “To this day,” Cherry concludes, “I encourage actors to check their spam folders regularly!”

Danica Rodriguez (she/her)

Danica Rodriguez.

Profession: Casting professional, theatremaker
Hometown and current home: New York City
Known for: A member of the Public Theater’s casting team for the past two seasons, Rodriguez has helped cast numerous mainstage productions as well as the summer programming at the Delacorte over the past two seasons, including Ntozake Shange’s for colored girls, David Henry Hwang’s Soft Power, Jordan E. Cooper’s Ain’t No Mo’, Luis Alfaro’s Mojada, the Mobile Unit’s production of Measure for Measure, and Kenny Leon’s Much Ado About Nothing.
What’s next: In the new year, Rodriguez will work on the Casting Directive with Broadway for Racial Justice, in which she and a cohort of casting professionals of color will educate Black, Indigenous, and people of color theatremakers who are interested in the field. “We have crafted a curriculum for a nine-week program that allows us to share our collective knowledge on every facet of theatrical casting so that those who participate in the course are ready for their first assistant position,” Rodriguez says. “There is no textbook or set path for the work we do, and all of us know how daunting it is to start your career in this business, especially as a person of color, so why not extend our hand and be the mentors we so desperately needed?”
What makes her special: Public Theater casting director Jordan Thaler (he/him) effuses about Rodriguez’s “intelligence, her experience, her ethics, her political and social engagement, her activism, her humor and her heart, and how she brings all of these things and more into her work.” Rodriguez, she adds, is “part of an exciting new generation of casting professionals, ready to reimagine the work for a new and hopefully, and happily, changing industry.”
Out of isolation: At the completion of her Film & Media Studies degree at Dartmouth a few years back, Rodriguez created a video installation about casting, and the ways the process could be improved—a project that had to be cast in itself. Putting out a call on social media channel, Rodriguez was heartened by the response: “The generosity of time, spirit, and thought that flooded my inbox was astounding. Nobody knew me—I was a college student playing casting director and cinematographer—but those who reached out could feel as well as I that this dialogue would be a part of a more radical, necessary conversation about industry practices.” The dozen actors she spoke to, including Daphne Rubin-Vega, shared their own experiences in the room, good and bad, and offered suggestions for advocacy. The project taught Rodriguez that “challenging antiquated practices can only improve our work and evolve our thinking. Just because there is a way it’s always been done doesn’t make it the best way.”

Jeffrey Lo (he/him)

Jeffrey Lo.

Profession: Playwright, director, and casting director and director of community partnerships at TheatreWorks Silicon Valley
Hometown: San Jose, Calif.
Current home: Campbell, Calif.
Known for: Lo directed a production of Julia Cho’s The Language Archive at TheatreWorks in 2019, with a cast comprising major leaders in the Asian American theatre community. Lo organized an Asian American Theatre Industry mixer as part of the programming. “I remember looking at everyone during the mixer and being so excited to see so many veteran members of our community talking and sharing stories with my peers and Asian American artists younger than I,” says Lo. “Seeing these connections being made was really special to me, and we had a particularly wonderful audience for the performance that night!”
What’s next: With TheatreWorks, Lo is working on a virtual series of performances called Our Digital Stories, which raise funds for community service partner programs. “So far we’ve partnered with wonderful organizations such as Silicon Valley De-Bug and Red Ladder Theatre Company and raised money for Northern California Fire Relief,” says Lo.
What makes him special: Christopher Fitzer (he/him), the properties master at TheatreWorks, feels lifted by Lo’s team spirit. “Jeffrey is the epitome of a theatre collaborator, someone who welcomes anyone to the table, because he knows that together we make better, stronger, and more interesting storytelling choices than apart,” says Fitzer. “He carries this collaborative nature through all his work as a casting director, freelance director, playwright, and community outreach leader. He is a champion of celebrating others’ work and efforts and of lifting up his colleagues and collaborators.”
A “Ring of Keys” moment: When TheatreWorks produced Fun Home in 2018, Lo felt a twinge of excitement when auditioning actors for the role of Adult Alison and seeing the performers connect with the character. “The energy felt so similar and parallel to the feeling I feel when working on an Asian American show and auditioning an Asian American show,” says Lo. “It reminded me of how special it is to tell stories and how many beautiful, vibrant, and diverse perspectives there are to tell them from. These auditions renewed my energy and passion for the work we do in the theatre.”

Karissa Murrell Myers (she/her)

Karissa Murrell Myers.

Profession: Casting director, producer, playwright, performer, and theatre artist
Hometown: Boise, Idaho
Current home: Chicago, Ill.
Known for: Through the company Our Perspective: Asian American Plays, Myers recently released a filmed version of her play Fragmented, an autobiographical look and her experience as a hapa (half Asian, half white) theatre artist which featured an all-hapa cast. Myers, who has done freelance casting work around the country, is also the resident casting director for Strawdog Theatre Company. As a performer, Myers played Lady Nijo in Caryl Churchill’s Top Girls at Renaissance Theaterworks in Milwaukee and Remy Bumppo in Chicago.
What’s next: Myers is in the midst of launching a new ensemble-based theatre company called Bramble Theatre, which will focus on diversity, American multiculturalism, and the development of new work. She is also casting and writing a new devised show at Strawdog called How Do We Navigate Space, which will explore true stories from the Chicago community about how people navigate physical space and what that says about society during a time of a pandemic and social justice.
What makes her special: Brian James Polak (he/him), whose world premiere play Welcome to Keene, NH (cast by Myers) was postponed in March due to the pandemic, says that Myers “understands the roles she is casting at a level deeper than superficial descriptions, allowing her to think beyond the binary and find actors who connect with the characters at a human level. She’s a joy to have in the room and the first person I think of when casting new works.”
An advocate and champion: Myers’s move to casting followed a desire to champion marginalized voices and the realization that there might be an opportunity to have her unique voice heard if she moved to the other side of the table. In one particular instance, Myers spoke up when a group of theatremakers casting an “open ethnicity” role asked her to call in only white performers. “We had a really terrific, open conversation about how white is sometimes seen as the default,” Myers says. “I was able to bring in a diverse group of folks for that role, and in the end, a truly brilliant Asian American actor was offered the job. As a casting director, I believe that it’s my job to be an advocate: for the production, for the director, and especially for the actor.”

Leila Buck (she/her)

Leila Buck.

Profession: Playwright, actor, facilitator, educator
Hometown: “I grew up in Kuwait, Oman, Iraq, Canada, and the U.S., and my mom is from Beirut, Lebanon which feels like another kind of home,” says Buck. “But since my parents have been based in it whenever we’re in the U.S., I’d say the stolen Piscataway Nacotchtank/Anacostan land colonially referred to as Washington, D.C., is the closest thing I have to a ‘hometown’”
Current home: Stolen Munsee Lenape and Canarsie lands, colonially referred to as Brooklyn, N.Y.
Known for: Buck’s participatory play American Dreams, in which the audience rewards a character citizenship to the U.S. based on a game show, has been produced at Cleveland Public Theater and just completed a virtual tour at the Working Theater, Round House, Marin Theater Company, Salt Lake Acting Company, and ASU-Gammage. Other works include In the Crossing and Hkeelee: Talk to Me. As an actor, credits include American Dreams and Aftermath. Buck is a TCG Fox Fellow and has been part of the Lark MEA Writers’ Group and the inaugural Emerging Writers Group at the Public Theater.
What’s next: Buck is preparing for a workshop of 1001 Nights (A Retelling) with California Shakespeare Theatre next month, which she co-wrote with Evren Odcikin and will perform in. She’s also writing for PopUp Theatrics’ and Juggerknot Theatre’s Long Distance Affair, which she’ll be joining from Lebanon, in February.
What makes her special: Director Tamilla Woodard (she/her), who helmed the virtual tour of American Dreams, says Leila is one of the most “deeply empathetic humans” she knows. “And also one of the most principled,” says Woodard. “She feels the world around so profoundly that her work radiates with compassion, humanity, and a call to justice. Her process is uniquely open and intensely collaborative. She doesn’t sequester in her own room to write—she really creates in public and  thrives in the necessary messiness of that, shaping and refining as she goes. For Leila, process mirrors content.”
Lost in translation: Buck once auditioned for a role as an Arabic-language news anchor in the first season of Madame Secretary. In the casting room, she made a few mistakes in the Arabic and asked for another try. “The response I got was, ‘Oh, casting won’t know the difference, and no one else will either,’” recalls Buck. “I was so stunned at the offensiveness of this answer that I don’t remember what happened next, except that I booked the role…On set, I made sure I got every word right, since neither the director nor anyone in the room would know if I didn’t.” The show went on to hire dialect and cultural consultants. “It carried such obliviousness at best, and at worst a complete disrespect for and dismissal of any and every Arab and Arabic speaker watching the show. And it placed the entire burden of representation on the honesty and integrity of whichever actor was cast.” This experience taught Buck “to keep examining who I may be oblivious to or disrespecting in my own creative process. It also deepened my commitment to making sure that if I am creating work that represents a culture, even in a seemingly small or passing way, that I don’t consider one of my own, I include people in our process who can speak that language—in every sense of those words.”

Micah Rosegrant (they/them)

Micah Rosegrant. (Photo by Meghan Cronin)

Profession: Wordsworker
Hometown: Land of the Manahoac, colonially known as northern Virginia
Current home: Shawmut (Boston), land of the Massachusett and Wampanoag.
Known for: Micah co-founded Asian American Theatre Artists of Boston (AATAB) with Sarah Shin, and collaborates regularly with the API Arts Network, Boston Chinatown’s Pao Arts Center, and StageSource’s Gender Explosion Initiative.
What’s next: Micah is an Artist in Community fellow at Arts Connect International, where they support the Cultural Equity Learning Community (CELC) while building out programs of healing and imagination, like the “Art for Wellness” series, guided artistic meditations crafted by BIPOC artists for community care. In January, Micah will be an artist in residence at the Foundry in West Stockbridge, where they will co-create works centering trans and queer divinity.
What makes them special: Rosegrant impressed their academic advisor at Boston University, Brian Dudley (he/him), as “a guiding force in the Boston theatre community, as a performer, playwright, and facilitator,” raving about Micah’s solo play The First Pineapple and Other Folktales (or Ang Unang Pinya at Kaalamang-Bayan) as “an innovative, thoughtful, and moving piece that proves Micah is wise and thoughtful beyond their years.” And that’s just the beginning, he says: “The work they will do for the American theatre in their life is, I am sure, going to be monumental.”
Out of isolation: In September, Central Square Theater premiered The First Pineapple and Other Folktales in an outdoor pop-up venue for two masked and socially distanced small audiences. The piece’s creator recalls the experience as “an unreal creative blessing amidst our continuing season of isolation and protest. Our team reaffirmed—for each other, for ourselves, and hopefully for our witnesses—the power and possibility of live, in-person storytelling. This medicinal experience has empowered me to continue creating, and to cultivate new opportunities for safe collaboration with my communities.”

Moses Goods (he/him)

Moses Goods. (Photo by Tracy Wright Corvo)

Profession: Actor and playwright
Hometown: The island of Maui, Hawai’i
Current home: Honolulu, Hawai’i
Known for: Goods is best known for his solo performances, including in Duke, a play about the legendary surfer Duke Kahanamoku. Goods is also a member of the 2020 Fox Foundation Resident Actor Fellowship cohort.
What he’s working on: Goods is currently working with Honolulu Theatre for Youth on the company’s television program The Hi Way.
What makes him special: Honolulu Theatre for Youth artistic director Eric Johnson (he/him) praises the multidimensional Goods’s community impact as a leader and bridge builder. “Clearly his identity as a Hawaiian and a Black artist is central to his work,” Johnson says, “but one of the things I love about Moses is that he has an uncanny ability to embrace so many things at once. Moses is both playwright and a performer, he is a theatre designer, but also a maker who will shape a potluck dish with the same playful creativity he brings to the rehearsal room. He is a leader, collaborator, and educator with a heart as silly and playful as his physical presence is commanding. I love that Moses unapologetically owns all of it.”
Gaining confidence: When auditioning for his first play in college at the University of Hawai’i, Goods recalls seeing graduate students and other actors exuding a level of confidence that can only be gained through experience. “I remember feeling very inept, and I didn’t like it at all,” Goods says. Rather than repelling him, though, that experience “pushed me to learn my craft so I would never feel that way again.”

Shannon Dorsey (she/her)

Shannon Dorsey.

Profession: Actor, dancer, puppeteer, truth-teller, and creator
Hometown: Washington, D.C.
Current home: New York City and Washington, D.C.
Known for: Dorsey is an actor, dancer, and puppeteer whose Washington, D.C., credits include her Helen Hayes-nominated performances in BLKS, Fairview, and An Octoroon at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, where she is a company member, and Two Trains Running at Round House Theatre. Dorsey has also been seen in The Power of the Trinity at NYC SummerStage and Safe House at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, among other regional credits.
What she’s working on: Inspired by intimacy director Lorrain Ressegger-Sloane’s handling of a sensitive makeout session in BLKS, Dorsey discovered a drive to give actors the same safety in intimacy work that Ressegger-Sloane had given her. Dorsey intends to use her TCG Fox Fellowship to add intimacy direction to her multi-hyphenate repertoire, though the pandemic has put a pause on those pursuits for the moment. In the meantime, Dorsey will also be a judge for the Irene Ryan acting scholarships presented by the Kennedy Center, and be part of an upcoming theatre summit aimed at dismantling white supremacy in theatre. She is also scheduled to be part of the Ford’s Theatre 2020-21 season in Katori Hall’s The Mountaintop.
What makes her special: Otis Cortez Ramsey-Zöe (he/him), who has worked with Dorsey multiple times, including as dramaturg on Two Trains Running, calls Dorsey “an alchemist of character and storytelling” whose talent is matched only by her generosity and courage. “Acting is not simply her work,” Ramsey-Zöe says, “it’s a spiritual practice in which she centers care for the story she’s telling, her collaborators, and whatever complex matrices got us to a particular point. I love being in rehearsal with Shannon; I love her questions. In development, when the writer is in the room, she is the absolute best at exploring texts and drawing out nuances.”
Finding the courage: During an audition for Tarrell Alvin McCraney’s Marcus; or the Secret of Sweet at Studio Theatre, Dorsey was unexpectedly asked to read for Shaunta, one of the protagonist’s best friends, in addition to the role she was called in for. After successfully completing the impromptu additional audition, Dorsey was asked to sing, and despite having spent years insisting to people that she wasn’t a singer, found courage in that moment to face a fear she still has to this day. “All this resistance popped up in my body,” Dorsey recalls. “All of a sudden, every song that I knew went away. And so finally a Negro spiritual came out. And Timothy Douglas said, ‘Don’t ever say you can’t sing again.’ I got hired. In the very beginning of my career, I was so green and I was terrified of singing. He gave me a truth that I did not recognize that I could hold onto.”

Sofia Ahmad (she/her)

Sofia Ahmad.

Profession: Actor, ballroom dance teacher/choreographer
Hometown: San Francisco
Current home: Oakland, Calif.
Known for: Ahmad’s career is defined by what she calls “two poles: Shakespeare and new works.” At San Francisco, Santa Cruz, and Carmel Shakespeare festivals, she’s played Cressida to Daveed Diggs’s Troilus “with a one-ton sandpit for a stage.” In the new-works realm, she’s been in the world premieres of Betty Shamieh’s The Black Eyed and Steven Sater & Duncan Sheik’s Nero at the Magic Theatre. She’s also a resident artist with the Middle East/North African/South Asian-focused company Golden Thread, where she’s premiered three shows, including the puppetry-infused musical Love Missile.
What’s next: In January she’ll record her first theatre podcast with Word for Word, of the short story “Books and Roses” by Helen Oyeyemi. She’ll soon be workshopping Evren Odcikin and Leila Buck’s 1001 Nights (A Retelling), originally planned for California Shakespeare Theater this past summer, and she’s still at work on an adaptation of Three Sisters with three other women, delayed but not scotched by the pandemic.
What makes them special: Torange Yeghiazarian (she/her), Golden Thread’s artistic director, says that Ahmad’s “special blend of warmth, intelligence, and talent make her suitable for a wide range of roles,” which has made her uniquely qualified to help bring new works to life, from Love Missile to the magical and other-worldly On the Periphery in 2020, and many ReOrient Festival short plays.
Radical breakthrough: Looking back on memorable moments, Ahmad singles out her formative experience in Shamieh’s The Black Eyed. Getting to work with a “most incredible all-female ensemble, director, and playwright” so early in her Bay Area career made a deep impression on her. What’s more, she says, “It felt pretty radical to have four Middle Eastern female characters onstage.” That experience gave her “great friends and a cohort of fellow theatremakers (many MENASA, though I didn’t know that term then) with whom I’ve had the pleasure to work repeatedly over the years.”

Stephan Wolfert (he/him)

Stephan Wolfert.

Profession: Actor
Hometown: LaCrosse, Wisc.
Current home: Based in New York City but currently living with his wife in a converted Mercedes Sprinter Van (a “stealth RV”)
Known for: A military veteran who found healing through classical actor training and Shakespeare’s verse, Wolfert has toured shows, most notably Cry Havoc!, and founded a nonprofit called DE-CRUIT, a program designed to heal trauma through Shakespeare and science for his fellow veterans.
What’s next: Currently in residence at Syracuse University though TCG’s Fox Foundation Fellowship, Wolfert is finishing up three adaptations of Shakespeare from a military veteran’s perspective, which will, hopefully, be available for both tour and on film by spring 2021.
What makes them special: Actor/playwright Kate Hamill (she/her), who has worked with Wolfert several times, calls him “one of the most gifted, bold, fearless actors and creators I know. He puts care, humanity, and thought into every line, and creates a physical vocabulary that is truly unworldly. His specificity, wit, depth, and intelligence bring multi-layered humanity into every single role he plays or creates…He is unafraid to look deeply into life’s contradictions, and shares his experiences with bravery and honesty. He thinks and feels deeply, and that depth of experience makes his work un-missable.” Wolfert can be just as inspirational offstage, Hamill marvels: “I know that every time I have a conversation with Stephan, I walk away with new insights and viewpoints.”
Pity and terror: Inspired to leave the Army and become an actor after seeing Richard III, but with no training or experience, Wolfert “conjured up an audition” for grad school, “but had no clue what I was doing.” Trinity Rep Conservatory leaders Brian McEleny and Stephen Berenson took pity on him, he says, “in spite of a dreadful audition.” That single meeting “changed the trajectory of my entire life. That was 1996. I have been a professional actor for the stage ever since.”

Stephanie Prentice (she/her)

Stephanie Prentice.

Profession: Casting director for TheatreFirst in Berkeley, Calif., and actor
Hometown: Fremont, Calif.
Current home: Danville, Calif. (“I am a third generation Bay Area native”)
Known for: At TheatreFirst, Prentice has folded the core tenets of the company’s mission of including two-thirds BIPOC artists, one-third LGBTQIA2+, and gender parity into the casting process. She’s also strengthened and maintained T1’s Callbucks program, which pays all auditioning artists hourly for their time in the audition room.
What’s next: Prentice is a PlayGround SF company member and serves as the co-chair of the organization’s Ambassadors ombuds program and on the board of directors. She’s partnering with the PlayGround Zoom Fest for the premiere presentation of Diana Burbano’s Sapience, scheduled to run May 22-23, 2021. Outside of theatre, her 8-year-old and 10-year-old, and their remote learning schedule, keep her plenty busy. “People, this fifth grade Common Core math is no joke,” she laments.
What makes her special: Prentice puts artists first and has revolutionized TheatreFirst’s audition process with the policy to pay artists for their time in the audition room. Says artistic facilitator Jon Tracy (he/him), “She uniquely understands that actors, like all artists we work with, are the drivers of stories and should be empowered from the very beginning of the work. And she does so, fueled by sass. Because she’s sassy as fuck. Holy fuck—you have no idea.”
From both sides of the table: Prentice is coming up on her 20th anniversary with Actors Equity Association, and her audition experiences as an actor inform her approach to auditions as a casting director. “I know what it means to pour yourself into audition prep, to land the role, to be put on hold for a role, to have your time wasted while you sit for an hour waiting to read a side, to not get the part,” concedes Prentice. “I love supporting actors. It’s my mission to be an identity-conscious casting director and have every actor feel confident that their talent and time are respected. And if that role isn’t the best fit, there will be another, because my favorite part of the job is having an actor come in for the next project, take up all the space they want, nail the audition, and once the door closes behind them have the director turn to me and nod ‘yes.’ That’s the best.”

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