INTERN’S VIEW: Breeders Theater’s “Casting Call” A Hidden Gem
Casting Call; Directed By Doug Knoop; Starring Teresa Widner, Erika Zabelle, Eric Hartley, Andrew Smith, Laura Smith, Stephen Scheide, Doug Knoop and Steve Coffey. Written by T.M. Sell.
A play like “Casting Call” comes along every so often, a hidden gem that perhaps wasn’t anticipated or expected in any fashion. A play that entertains as well as excites, makes you laugh while providing terrific dialogue and performances. “Casting Call” is sleekly written, expertly crafted and wonderfully acted. It provided an excursion that proved to be one of the better plays I’ve seen in my time as a reviewer for B-Town Blog, but I was kind of miffed that there was no mention of me. What’s up with that? (I’m being humorous of course; it might make more sense when you see the play for yourself.)
“Casting Call” follows the exploits of actors and directors at the fictional Northwest Theater Festival as they prepare for a production by the name of ‘True Heart’. Seeing as how the play has already been optioned for a film adaptation, the pressure is palpable to put on a good show. Edith, Tamryn and Gwen, three actresses who work at the festival are all vying for the role of Katherine, but the director Hart can only pick one. The tension rises as the performance date draws nearer. Who will be cast as Katherine? Will Hart be able to control his actors? Do any of them have a future in film? Perhaps the biggest question of all, how many plays within plays can you spot?
Right off the bat, what I loved about “Casting Call” was the humor. Writer T.M. Sell has crafted dialogue that not only satisfies on an entertainment level, but is also extremely wry. There is one sequence in particular that showcased this the most (what I affectionately dub ‘The Revision Sequence’) that had everything a comedic play should. Wonderful set ups, flawless execution and above all a sense of artistry that really drove it home. To put it simply, Casting Call is immersive, hilarious and quite poignant at times.
Every actor/actress in the play deserves large amounts of praise, from Andrew Smith to Teresa Widner. Every one of them managed to embody their characters with a sense of vitality and grace, as well as just being hysterically funny. The ‘stage’ as it were provided many benefits for the play (unfortunately seating was not among them) and showcased that even without a formal set, the talented crew were still able to make something wonderful. Nancy Warren, the musical director also deserves a mention as she gave the audience catchy tunes in between scenes.
Overall, “Casting Call” is a play that I would recommend for any kind of occasion. Whether you want to take your spouse or significant other out for a night or you just feel like getting into the theatre, don’t be a slacker! Support Breeders Theater! You’ll be glad you did.
Casting Call runs through February 5 at the E.B. Foote Winery at 127B SW 153rd Street in Burien. There are shows on January 21, 22, 23, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30 and February 2, 3, 4, 5. Tickets are $20 per person and include a tasting of E.B. Foote wines. See the Breeders Theater website for additional information.
[EDITOR'S NOTE: Philip Benais is our newest Intern, a 16-year old student at Big Picture High School in SeaTac. He's an aspiring Writer who loves movies, so we let him write reviews for us.
Read more of his work here.]