Auditions offer diverse opportunities for local actors

The new year may only be a few hours old, but local theaters are already gearing up for their spring offerings. And that means lots of opportunities for local actors.

The Lawrence Arts Center is holding auditions for children and adults for its new show, "Escape from the Labyrinth: The Adventures of Theseus and Icarus." Written and directed by Ric Averill, "Labyrinth" weaves together several legends from Greek mythology.

Professional actors Anwar Yadullah and Spencer Lott will play the title characters. Community actors, including youngsters, will be filling out other roles, including Young Theseus, Young Icarus, Daedalus, King Aegeus, Queen Medea, King Minos, Ariadne, soldiers, citizens, monsters and the gods Poseidon and Athena.

Averill plans to use improvisation and collective cooperation to create many of the scenes, enabling participants to learn about play construction. No level of experience is required, but adults will be expected to provide some leadership for the children.

Lott will create puppets to represent the monsters and legendary creatures in the story, including a giant minotaur. Not only will participants be able to learn about Greek mythology and improvisation, they'll be able to work with a variety of constructs.

Auditions are from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m on Jan. 2 and 3 at the Lawrence Arts Center, 940 New Hampshire St. No materials are necessary, although those who play instruments are welcome to bring them -- there will be some original music in the score. Families are encouraged to audition together. Performances are Feb. 8, 9 and 10. More information is available at www.lawrenceartscenter.org.

Meanwhile, Theatre Lawrence is hosting auditions for a very different kind of show -- "Time Stands Still." The Tony Award-nominated drama concerns the relationship between a warzone photographer and a journalist. One wants back in the action; the other is looking to get out. The ethics of recording and observing atrocities but not necessarily acting to prevent them are explored in a drama that is as much about human nature as it is about human relationships.

The play is under the direction of Piet Knetsch and calls for four actors -- a woman in her mid-30s to early 40s, another in her mid-20s, a man roughly the same age as the first woman, and another man in his 50s.

Auditions are at 7 p.m. Jan. 7 and 8 at Theatre Lawrence, 15th and New Hampshire streets, and will consist of readings from the script. Scripts are available for checkout from the theater box office for a $10 deposit. Performances are Feb. 22, 23, 24, 28, and March 1, 2, 3. More information is available at www.theatrelawrence.com.

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