Producers of Three Levels Up will use
Producers of Three Levels Up will use "blind casting" to find its talent

If the next music sensation can be chosen by voice alone, why not an actor?

In October, Alley Theatre and Level Headed Friends Productions will present a production of Vancouver playwright Mack Gordon’s new script, Three Stories Up.

Described as an “alternate sensory theatre experience”, audiences will watch Three Stories Up in the pitch black. Relying on the power of the the playwright’s words, the human voice, and a soundscape, the noir-inspired mystery will unfold without the aid of visual clues, telling the story of a female transit cop out to solve her husband’s murder.

“I didn’t write three stories up with the blind theatre concept in mind, but when Marisa proposed it I thought it was perfect,” says Gordon. “Similar to last year’s fringe show, Shake the Sheets!, Three Stories Up relies heavily on the audience’s mental pictures of sumptuous, detailed settings. What better way to facilitate this than taking the audience’s vision away completely.”

Taking the concept one step further, the producers are undertaking the casting of the show with a blindfolded panel.

“The opportunity for blind casting is rare, particularly in theatre where visual impressions are important,” says director Marissa Smith. “Three Stories Up has no visual component, so there is an opportunity to remove the visual bias completely.”

Smith and Gordon are hoping to see as many performers as possible during the audition process, and for the lead role, all genders, ages, sizes, ethnicities, and abilities will be considered.

“Once we hit on this concept we realized the freedom it gave us in being able to cast literally anyone who could nail the character’s voice,” says Gordon. “Getting a chance to audition actors for the role based on their delivery and essence rather than on whether or not they fill the stereotypical picture we have in our minds will be a freeing process.”

Blind auditions for Three Stories Up take place on August 9 and 10. Visit http://alleytheatre.ca for more information. Three Stories Up will play a secret location from October 20-31. Tickets are now available online.