Yesterday, the producers of The Nursery spent the day in Bay View, WI, holding our first casting session, and it was a great day!
First and foremost, a big thank you to Aaron Kopec and The Alchemist Theater for hosting the casting session! Here he is, in fact:
What a great venue not only for the stage productions that they host and produce through the year, but also for an event like this. It was the perfect place for our Milwaukee-area auditions!
Also, thanks so much to David Sapiro, who not only helped us with some actor recruiting but also read with the auditioning actors and hung out with us all day long. He was a huge help!
Finally, thanks SO MUCH to all the actors who showed up to meet us and to audition for roles in the film. We had a terrific group of actors and actresses come through yesterday and really give us everything they had. Considering how narrow the age range is for the roles we’re currently looking at (one character is 15, and the others range between 17 and 22), it was really cool to see a whole range of experience and potential walk across our stage. A lot of talent with bright futures showed up at The Alchemist yesterday!
Of course, I can’t get too specific about the various individuals or our decision-making process at this point, but I can say that more than once I saw our characters make the leap off the printed page and onto the stage. It was amazing to watch.
“The Nursery” is a horror movie, first and foremost, but it is written to tap into a whole range of reactions and emotions: not just with tension and fear, but also with humor and genuine poignancy. As such, it was so exciting to see some of our dialogue spring forth and echo with the nuance and impact with which it was written. I can honestly say that, sitting there in the front row watching of the intimate theater watching actors bring various scenes to life for the first time, there were moments when I laughed out loud, when I felt that familiar chill crawl up my spine, and when I was sincerely moved by the emotional resonance of the brief performance. And at one point, I heard the greatest scream I have ever heard in person. Hands down.
At the same time, as the screenwriter, I found the session more valuable than I had originally imagined it would be in terms of getting a sense for what dialogue and language works and what needs to be revisited. Of course, writing IS rewriting, but this was the first chance to hear others outside of our core creative team read and interpret our words, and there were certainly areas where it was clear that a line or word or phrase just simply didn’t work. And knowing that at this point is so valuable.
So, next steps:
Though we have not scheduled it yet, we’ll soon be having another round of auditions in Madison, and we’ll post information about that as soon as possible. Most likely, it will be in the early part of August, but we’re still trying to decide on a venue.
Stayed tuned, and we’ll post more when we know more.
And, again, thanks to EVERYONE who made yesterday’s casting call such a great success for us!