Talk about the dog days of summer. The will be holding auditions on July 31 for canines to feature in their upcoming musical, Camelot, which opens on September 15 and runs through November 6.
It’s literally a "bit" part as the dog will appear in one scene in Act I as "Horrid,” the canine companion of elderly King Pellinore.
According to Associate Artistic Director Vic DiMonda, King Pellinore, who knew Arthur as a child, journeys to Camelot and eventually becomes a trusted advisor to beleaguered King Arthur.
Pellinore’s dog is jokingly called “Horrid,” because of his age and appearance, and the fact that he’s generally useless, DiMonda said.
Although the theater is not seeking any specific breed for this cameo role, they are looking for a large- to medium-sized older dog that has a “sweet, passive” disposition, DiMonda indicated. According to the press release, “a sheepdog would be ideal, a Labrador, Golden Retriever, Wheaten Terrier, or any other large shaggy mutt,” would also fit the bill.
“They are looking for a dog that has definitely seen better days,” said AnnMarie Snyder, marketing communications manager, adding that the ideal candidate should remain calm on stage and not bark.
DiMonda said that, as with any audition, the director will meet with each dog individually to gauge its temperament and how he or she interacts with people in a new environment. The director will also be interested to see how the dog responds to commands and whether he or she knows any tricks.
Interested dog owners have already made inquiries, and it’s possible that come audition day there may be a line of dogs trailing down Main Street.
The owner of the lucky dog who lands the part will not only have the opportunity to see a theatrical production from a backstage perspective, but may also see their pet in a new light, DiMonda said.
“Animals know what people expect, and they can step up to the plate,” DiMonda said.
The John W. Engeman Theater is located at 250 Main Street, Northport Village. Auditions will be held on Sunday, July 31, at 4 pm at Engeman Theater’s Studio I, adjacent to the theater. A sign-up sheet will be available.