Actors sought for surprise theater

Published 10:28 am Tuesday, June 8, 2010

CHESAPEAKE — Mark David is looking for faces. The kind of faces that blend into a crowd. And anyone who has an interest or a facility for acting, should show up at the Chesapeake Community Center for the next three Thursdays in June.

That’s because David is putting together a company of actors to perform dinner and mystery theater performances. However, the audiences at these shows won’t know they’re watching a performance until they’re in the middle of it.

Rather, they may think they’re at a community fundraising dinner or a church social. Then suddenly, the tables turn.

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“For the general patrons, it will be a kind of surprise,” David said. “Odd things are happening and then you are smack in the middle of a performance.”

For the three weeks from 7 to 9 p.m. each Thursday at the Chesapeake center David will hold open auditions.

“I want every age, every body type,” he said. “I call it a face in the crowd. I need good old-fashioned ordinary people who want to do this. I need some folks who are outgoing and well spoken.”

David, who is originally from Portsmouth, was a part of this kind of acting troupe when he lived in South Carolina. Popularity for these spontaneous shows quickly grew.

“They really took off,” he said.

Besides the surprise shows, this company of actors will also be involved in theater to be performed this summer on the Tom Sawyer River Boat out of Guyandotte.

Each show will have a cast of between eight to 12 actors.

“We will have a rolling two or three programs going at once with completely different casts,” David said. “I buy the script based on how many performances I want to do. I buy them for a year and then I pay extra when we use one. I have the rights for one year.”

David also plans to open up a casting company to assist the West Virginia Film Office when national production companies come to the state to film movies.

“(Changes in the tax code) have made it more attractive to make motion pictures in West Virginia,” he said. “They will bring in their high-paid actors and scenes with six to a dozen people, all those people come from an extras’ casting company.”

For those who are interested in having small speaking parts, David will conduct a training school.

“There will be a talent company to deal with people who speak. To be part of the talent company, you have to take a class,” he said. “Once you take the class you will be eligible for speaking roles anywhere you are willing to travel.”

Those wishing to audition are asked to bring a photograph and have a two-minute monologue memorized.

“They can memorize a passage from the Bible,” he said. “They need to talk for two minutes so I can see how they enunciate their words. They can sing the alphabet. I just want to see how they come across.”


Mark David Productions will conduct auditions for dinner

theater acting troupe and casting company June 10, June 17, and June 24 from 7 to 9 p.m. at Room 5 at the Chesapeake Community Center. For more information contact David at 740-357-8325 or Ruth Damron at 740-867-4532.