CROWs “Audition Nightmare” bring laughs to the stage this August

CROW students in 2022’s Advanced Acting summer program hone their skills as they prepare for their summer showcase. Picture provided by CROW.

This year, the Children’s Repertory of Oregon Workshop’s (CROW) Advanced Acting Program students will be celebrating the program's overarching theme, “A Year of Comedy,” with a live public performance on Friday, Aug. 11 and Saturday, Aug. 12. 

The hour-long performance will have a comedic approach to some worst case-scenario auditions, in the hopes of connecting with anyone who has ever been put on the spot at an audition or interview. 

The two nights of fun will be held at CROW’s Center for the Performing Arts, located at 120 Hwy 101 in Florence.  Doors open at 6:30 p.m. for both performances, and there is a suggested donation of $10 per person. 

The concept for the “Year of Comedy” was created by CROW’s Artistic Director Melanie Heard, who said, “I wanted our teens to polish up their comic timing with material that was relatable and accessible.  Something that could crack up a room from the very first moment.  And what better topic than the terrifying world of auditions?  We’ve all been there at one point in our lives.”

The original idea for the camp stemmed from a one-act play called “Bad Auditions by Bad Actors,” written by Ian McWethy.  Heard immediately licensed the script, but since it was only a one-act play, it wasn’t quite long enough for an evening of entertainment.  Heard decided to add a second act with wacky, wild, and thematic improvisation to round out the performance.    

The performance will be co-directed by Diane David, who is also the Advanced Acting Camp do-director. Davis, who travels from her home in Southern California to attend the camp, was a part of the camp in 2019 and 2021. She previously collaborated with students to write, direct and produce the original play “My Heart From the Page to the Stage,” as well as performing a traveling outdoor history of live theatre that they wrote and directed. 

“Davis is a professional stage manager, with a vast resume in the arts,” Heard said.  “She has worked with performers such as Ben Vereen, Lily Tomlin, Burt Bacharach, and many more. She has directed large musicals, stage managed, toured, performed for Disneyland, and worked with many, many people in the professional theatre circuit, and she brings with her a wealth of knowledge. I’m really grateful to Diane for coming back to Florence, and sharing her gifts with our local kids.” 

While five days at camp seems like a short turnaround time for putting a show together, the intensive week sees students their time auditioning, rehearsing, polishing, and perfecting their bad audition scenarios.  

Heard and David hope that all CROW supporters will attend this performance, and give the kids some much deserved support and love.  

“Come cheer on our C.R.O.W. teens!  They need YOU in the audience!” Heard said. 

Also included in the Aug. 11 performance will be the eagerly anticipated reveal of CROW's 2024 mainstage production, the announcement of which has been teased over the last eight weeks with an elimination game. 

For more information on the C.R.O.W. program, please visit  If you have questions, please contact Melanie Heard at: 541-999-8641 or [email protected].