Susan Phillips: For a lot of these students, this is their first professional audition and their first paying gig. We feel like it is important to nurture our future actors of America, if you will. We think this is a very important service. Plus, a lot of the shows are historic dramas, and they keep our history alive.

Grayson Sandford: I did The Lost Colony last year, which was an awesome experience, and I got it through this. So, I would love to go back there, too. But, all of the other dramas are really cool too. Tecumseh! is a drama I am really interested in. I want to travel and go all the way to Ohio.

Amanda Klinikowski: It’s just such a different art form. It requires a bigger presence. Most of the venues are absolutely gorgeous, and it’s sort of a more sacred and beautiful feel for the whole thing.

Susan Phillips: We had 216 people registered for the auditions. If they have already made it into the auditorium, they have already auditioned. Before the day is over, they will also have callbacks. We have to limit the number of people to 225 because that is all we can run through in one day. They have to audition and then attend the callbacks.

Blake Braswell: Contrary to how they probably feel, we are all really supportive and want them to do very well. They are all normally very nervous because it’s like that American Idol thing that people see when they watch TV. You feel like the judges are waiting to judge you. But, we are just there ready to root them on and be entertained for four or five hours. We sit here and watch 220 people come through. That’s a lot of people, so we are rooting for them to do the best they can because we want to hire them.

Melanie Wiliford: I am really anxious to work on some of the skills I picked up while in Scotland. Some of the heightened language and the vocal production you are going to need for an outdoor theatre that seats 2,000 people. I would like to keep those skills up-dated and in check. I am also excited about learning more about the history of the area. These plays tell the story about that particular area, and I find that fascinating.

Blake Braswell: I came across a listing that said the Institute of Outdoor Drama had moved to East Carolina University, and I thought, “Well, it had been at UNC for so many years.” So, this is my second year as the artistic director of the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire. As soon as I saw that the auditions had moved to ECU, I said, “We have to go.” We actually dropped another audition we were going to and came here, for the excuse of going home to Greenville and being on the other side of the table. Instead of auditioning myself, I was going to audition for other people. It’s a very surreal experience.

Susan Phillips: We were blessed to end up here at East Carolina University and at the College of Fine Arts and Communication. I think this facility is the best we have ever used. We have the auditorium, all the callback rooms, and restaurants that are very close. Plus, we have the whole building, so everybody can spread out. If they need time alone to work on their monologues, they have it here.

Amanda Klinikowski: I did. I just went. I haven’t checked the board yet, so that will be my next stop. But, we are hoping.

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