Asheville’s only professional theater company dedicated to locally grown works will be hosting its first round of curtain calls Jan. 9-11. And in the year of a pandemic, auditions heading into the 2021 season will be handled with a twist as The Magnetic Theatre will move into a virtual space via Zoom.

Auditionees are expected to prepare one 60-second memorized monologue.

“Right now, we have about 35 people signed up,” said Katie Jones, artistic director for The Magnetic Theatre. “We are expecting 70-80 signups, which is a little less than past years, but people are still clearly demonstrating interest. We aren’t sure what to expect, as these are our first virtual auditions, but we are excited to give this a shot.”

All auditions will be held in 10-minute increments.

“Everyone will be doing one monologue and one side. I would tell people to just arrive at the audition with energy and enthusiasm, and to pick a piece that really shows us who they are as an actor and person, rather than focusing so much on playing a character,” added Jones. “People should also know that aside from our mainstage shows, there are monthly staged readings, Magnetic Laboratories, a one-act festival and other smaller projects with roles available. So there is a lot of opportunity and we would love to see some new faces.”

The Magnetic Theatre, located at 375 Depot St., has been engaging audiences and offering a space for playwrights to showcase their original works for 12 years.

January’s round of auditions will cover the first half of the season, which includes roles for actors age 18 years old and up.

While The Magnetic Theatre is still looking at how 2021 will evolve, current plans include a nine-show mainstage season, the continuation of Magnetic U and the New Play Development Program, along with several Sideshow performances throughout the year. Events will be presented in whatever way best suits the situation locally and nationally. Some shows will be virtual, some outdoors, and some, with luck, back in the River Arts District black box theatre that is The Magnetic’s beloved home.

Some of the projects planned so far include “Wandering With Magnetic,” written by Jamie Knox and Travis Lowe, directed by Jason Phillips; “In The Middle of Nowhere,” written by Bret Murphy, directed by Katie Jones; “Kore,” written by Gabrielle Orcha, directed by Jessica Johnson; Magnetic’s One Act Play Festival, and Plays & Directors TBD.

As to why the theater decided to go virtual?

“The virtual auditions seemed the safest,” said Jones. Different Strokes Performing Arts Collective, as well as other theaters around the nation, have been doing this, so we got the inspiration through seeing others’ success.”

For more information about these projects, the audition process, or how to make an audition appointment, call 828-239-9250, or visit https://www.signupgenius.com/go/9040e49ada92ea13-2021. To learn more about The Magnetic Theatre, log onto www.themagnetictheatre.org.

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