By Nicholas Biria
“A Raisin In The Sun,” a play set to be staged this spring, may be in trouble.
“Raisin” is set in Chicago in the 1950’s. The Youngers are a poor African-American family living on the South Side of the city. A chance to escape from poverty comes along in the form of a $10,000 life insurance check that the mother receives upon the death of her husband.
The play has a very diverse ethnic background and it may have encouraged or discouraged students to audition. I think it may have discouraged students not to audition because on both days only three students appeared at auditions. Having spoken to fellow theater students, I found that more people auditioned for the spring production of “Chicago.”
I had the chance to audition first hand and the experience was great. I submitted a brief acting resume and headshot. I sat in the lobby waiting to go in with the other students auditioning. We all spoke of why we came and what made us want to audition for the part.
I would encourage more students to audition for these kinds of roles because it gives them a chance to prove themselves as actors. The Las Positas drama department’s website says they look for multicultural casting and strong female leads. When I walked in, I met and greeted the director, Edris Cooper-Anifowshe. She welcomed me with grace and poise and allowed me to begin my dramatic monologue.
I performed it once and she went on to give me direction and I performed it once more. Overall the whole audition process was great and welcoming. Edris is great at what she does. I felt comfortable talking to her and tell her a little about myself when I went in.
“It is always a great experience with anyone she works with. She makes them feel safe when working with this kind of material in theater,” Titian Lish, theater arts department coordinator said.
Lish informed me that this is the first African-American based play here at LPC. She explained how new it is and hopes to grab the attention of more students to join in and audition. “I felt it is an important time to show this play and we want to show the African-American experience during that time authentically to the audience” she said.
Due to the low amounts of students auditioning this past week, there will be a second round of auditions. Cooper-Anifowshe and Lish will host a second set of auditions in the coming weeks. They want to encourage as many young actors to come in and try out as possible. Even if you think it might not work out, that is not always the case.
During my interview with Lish she told me that they are looking for someone to play the role of a Caucasian character. It is not necessarily a men’s or women’s role but it is open to everyone. They are looking for someone with great charisma and can play the role well.
In all honesty it is best to have no fear and go in with a positive attitude when auditioning. Don’t think you might not get a part just because it is a certain race based play. They are looking for all sorts of different people to be in the production. The play is set to open May 6 and runs through May 14.