Postmark LaFollette to host auditions for play this weekend

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By Logan White

Postmark LaFollette, Campbell County’s arts and cultural center, is seeking cast members for its summer play called “Mountain Voices.”

This is the second production by the organization after “Letterbox: Please Forward” sold out 70 tickets for three separate performances one weekend in October last year.

Because of the well-attended shows last year, “Mountain Voices” will have a total of six performances on two consecutive weekends, June 16-18 and June 23-25.

This weekend’s open-door auditions will take place at the former LaFollette Post Office on Tennessee Avenue beginning at 6 p.m. on Friday and 2 p.m. on Saturday.

Karen Cumorich, co-chair of Postmark LaFollette, says no previous acting experience is required for any actors.

Of the 18 actors in last year’s play, six will return for “Mountain Voices.” But many roles have yet to be filled for male and female characters of children, teenagers, middle-aged adults and seniors.

“We have about 30 characters, but some actors may be playing more than one character,” Cumorich said.

Musicians and singers are also needed for the play.

“With our last play, we just found out by accident that several of the people that were in the play also sang,” she said of last year’s performance. “We got so lucky. Several instances in the play, the rest of the cast was behind [the set] singing. It made quite an impact.”

Last year’s “Letterbox: Please Forward” was an original play set in Campbell County from 1936 to 1946 that brought to life stories of county residents as they faced an array of challenges. It was directed by Elaine Schatzline-Behr, who has experience in more than 900 stage productions. She will direct this year’s play, as well.

“Mountain Voices” will focus on the county as well but will use three to five characters from several novels written by local authors.

“It’s based on books that have been written here about Campbell County by Campbell Countians, who are either currently living here or have lived here or were raised here,” Cumorich said.

“We have a variety of people that have sprung from here that have ended up in all different walks of life.”

Jim Dossett’s “Finding Bobby Ray,” Joceyln Griffo’s “Luhaney,” Constance Huddleston Anderson’s “Tethered to Wanting,” Gloria Teague’s “Saturday Night Cocoa Fudge” and Hack Ayers’ “Hills, Deals and Stills” are some of the books that the play’s characters will derive from.

These authors have written stories about local people, but some authors have added his or her own words to draw out a story for entertainment purposes.

“Some are fictional to a certain extent because they are fictionalized, but they were technically written about real people,” Cumorich said.

Other than actors and musicians, Postmark LaFollette is also seeking “back of the house” staff for set design, lighting, wardrobe, makeup, ticket handling and concessions.

After Friday and Saturday’s auditions, callbacks for actors will take place on Sunday at 2 p.m. Rehearsals for the June performances of “Mountain Voices” will begin on Monday.

People interested in performing or working on the set can visit the former LaFollette Post Office during the audition hours or email postmarklafollette@gmail.com.