Echoes of the Cotton Club to hold auditions tomorrow

The Cotton Club, NY circa 1920

From WCU News
Open auditions for or the speaking roles in the radio cast The Echoes of the Cotton Club spring radio show recreation at Western Carolina University will be from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday Feb. 22 in room 216 of Breese Gym.

17 roles are being cast by Director Steve Carlisle including roles for 11 men and six women.  The roles range from that of a young married couple, to high school sweethearts, to a female voice for an in-car navigation system. 
“This is a radio broadcast. I am looking for a broad range of actor/character voices for the storyline that is woven around the musical selections and can span a time frame from 1927 to present.  Some of the cast may play more than one role in the show if they have the ability,” said Carlisle.

Carlisle explained that because this is a radio play no one has to look the part. 
“A radio play is all about the voice.  All of those things an actor learns to do with their body have to be conveyed through their voice and the approach is different, as all of our actors have found out in past shows.  The other thing to remember is that the actors will be working from scripts versus memorizing lines; both are equally challenging.”

Producer Don Connelly said that what he loves about the radio shows is that in the past the group has drawn talent from the community, faculty, staff, students, and regional professionals. 
“No one gets paid and all of our proceeds go to student scholarships.  This is truly a collaborative effort across the university and the community to showcase the creative talents of those involved,” said Connelly.

Flyer for Cotton Club featuring Duke Ellington. Ellington's niece Mercedes will be visiting WCU this week.

Those auditioning will be provided script cuttings the day of the audition and will read on a first-come, first-served basis.  This is the sixth production that Carlisle has directed for the group.  Carlisle retired from Western Carolina University in December as the associate dean of the Honors College.

Funding for Echoes of the Cotton Club is courtesy of the Provost’s office, College of Arts and Sciences, College of Fine and Performing Arts, the Department of Communication, the School of Music, School of Stage and Screen, and the Carol Grotnes Belk Endowment. Ellington’s participation is supported in part by a grant from the Chancellor’s Visiting Scholar Fund.
Tickets for Echoes of the Cotton Club go on sale Feb. 24 at the Bardo Arts Center.  The show is April 24, starts promptly at 7:30 p.m. and no one will be admitted after it has started.

For more information contact Don Connelly at 828-227-3851. Click here for more information on Mercedes Ellington’s visit to WCU.