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The Performing Arts CLub at the College of Southern Maryland Leonardtown campus, in cooperation with Southern Maryland Originals, will host auditions for five original plays to be performed at CSM in November at 7 p.m. Aug. 15-16 at the CSM campus, Leonardtown in the Building A auditorium.

Gregory started the Southern Maryland Originals three years ago.

“I realized there wasn’t a stage venue for original writers,” Gregory said. “I happened to be in the theater program at CSM from 2002-05. When the college hired theatre faculty and technical director of communication for arts and humanities, Keith Hight, in 2010, I got hold of Keith and pushed my idea and he was all for it,” Gregory said. “He was very open to the idea. And really, thanks to Keith, we’re not intimidated by cutting-edge work. He defends it. He defends the artist.

“The college had the Vagina Monologues last year and he got a lot of hate mail, but he sat down and answered every critic,” she said.

The Performing Arts Club and Southern Maryland Originals especially likes to support student writers, she said.

“One of our writers, Trish Cole, led a playwriting workshop at the College of Southern Maryland, Leonardtown campus last year and attracted eight students,” Gregory said. “Participants had to write a 10-minute play for a two-day festival premeiring the works.”

Southern Maryland Originals is soliciting actors ages 13-70 at the CSM Leonardtown campus in the Building A auditorium at 7 p.m. Aug. 15-16. The group will be performing five original plays in November.

“I like to reserve a spot for a student,” Gregory said. “We had a pair of 12-year-old twins turn in a script. It was the first time they’d ever written anything. George read their script along with the others but took the ages off so they wouldn’t be judged because they were children. I marked it, but once I found out it was written by 12-year-olds, I pushed for us to do it. It’s a nice little piece.

“We generally have between 40 and 50 people,” she added. “A lot of people are putting on multiple hats. For instance, last year I was light director and artistic director.

“One problem we have is that there are not enough male actors. Last year, every male actor doubled up roles in two plays. We had a very good play submitted last year that required five male actors and we couldn’t do it. Where are all the young male actors?”

This year, Gregory has Johnson assisting her, which she emphacized is a big help.

“I’m very happy to have George on the team,” she concluded. “The first year, I was by myself and with a newborn and my job I own my own business it was a lot to keep up with.”

jnorris@somdnews.com

Southern Maryland Originals auditions

Where: College of Southern Maryland Leonardtown campus, 22950 Hollywood Road, Leonardtown, Building A auditorium

When: 7 p.m. Aug. 15-16

Seeking: Actors age 13-70

Contact: SMO.Producer@gmail.com