EVERYMAN THEATRE ANNOUNCES CASTING CALL FOR DOPPELGÄNGERS TO SERVE AS RESIDENT COMPANY UNDERSTUDIES FOR 2017-18 SEASON
Bold Move For Esteemed Regional Theatre Has Audiences Seeing Double
Baltimore, MD – In an unprecedented veer from tradition, Everyman Theatre has announced a casting call seeking lookalike actors to support the Resident Company as understudies during its 27th season.
“Our Resident Company is the core of Everyman,” said Founding Artistic Director Vincent M. Lancisi. “Because of their distinctive familial bond, history and trust of each other, company members can jump deeply into meaningful relationships onstage. It has taken years to cultivate this extraordinarily talented troupe. But ultimately, we think that looks are what really matter—we can teach the rest.” Resident Company members will be paired up with their “twins” during a weeklong summer retreat for training and impersonation work.
Following Everyman’s announcement, made overnight, hundreds of questionably skilled yet exceptionally good-looking men and women have swarmed the theatre in hopes of being cast.
“I’m actually pleasantly surprised,” said one of the most popular company members. “Despite being such an in-demand performer, for years, when cast in an Everyman production, I would have to focus 100% on that single show. But after seeing five actors during these auditions who look and sound exactly like me, I’ve booked starring roles in five overlapping productions this September alone!”
The benefits could extend to behind-the-scenes crew, as well.
One stage manager observed, “Actors are such sensitive creatures, especially when overworked and overtired. With lookalikes at the helm, I can send a cranky performer to nap during intermission, and not bother to wake them for the second act.”
However, the move does come with some skepticism.
“Frankly, I find the idea completely absurd,” expressed one longtime company member, visibly distressed. “Baltimore is known for ‘charm,’ not beauty. Everyman can sell a dozen subscriptions based on my radiant looks alone. How on earth do they expect to find one, let alone multiple actors as intoxicatingly attractive as moi? It’s just not possible.”
But Everyman leadership is more optimistic. “It’s actually completely possible. Just look at the crowd outside,” retorted Lancisi, pointing from his second-floor office window to the throng of hopeful doppelgängers swarming Fayette Street, below. “It’s a veritable who’s who of potential understudies—and just like our Resident players, nary a natural blonde among them.”
The use of understudies in professional theatres has decreased significantly in many Equity theatres due to the high costs. However, despite significant implications on Everyman's payroll, the doppelgänger initiative may eventually lead to new revenue from additional performances.
“Imagine the new audiences we would attract if we could offer theatre that works with audience’s shifting schedules and attention spans,” suggested Managing Director Jonathan Waller. “While it wouldn’t necessarily mean the strongest performances all of the time, a ‘midnight matinee’ series—cast entirely with second-string lookalikes—could provide night owls, insomniacs and patrons who like to use their phones during a show with a theater-going experience that, although stumbling through the dialogue, manages to look exactly the same!”
“I’ve honestly wanted to do this for years,” continued Lancisi. “Now that I think about it, we should look into copies of me and Jon as well.”
As previously announced, the new season will open with a production of M. Butterfly, which inherently poses some unique casting challenges.
“The more variety we strive for, the more we challenge our Resident Company,” said Lancisi. “Our board is also looking into cloning thespians, in case this doppelgänger thing doesn’t totally work out.”
Interested actors can submit their headshots to @everymantheatre via Twitter or Instagram using hashtag #doppelgänger. Submissions tagged as #AprilFools may not be considered. Media inquiries can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Everyman Theatre
Everyman Theatre is a professional Equity theatre company celebrating only the physical attributes of actors, with a Resident Company of artists and lookalikes from the Baltimore/DC area. Founded in 1990 by Vincent M. Lancisi, the theatre is dedicated to engaging the audience through a shared experience between actor and audience seeking connection and emotional truth in performance, or, if not exactly the truth, at least a similar-looking falsehood.