theatre, muscial, A Chorus Line, Thommie Walsh, Actors' Equity Association, actors, dancers, singers


I have been cast as "Bobby" in A Chorus Line at Orlando Broadway Dinner Theatre in Orlando. I will use this opportunity as my thesis role. As part of my thesis defense, I will combine an analysis of the character of "Bobby" in A Chorus Line with an assessment of Actors' Equity Association's audition policies from 1970 to the present, and investigate whether the audition held in the show abides by the policies established by AEA for Broadway calls. "Bobby" has an interesting arc of development as he actually gives the director what he (the director) does not want, yet is still cast in the fictitious Broadway show. Why he would choose to stray from the director's instructions is an interesting question and demanding study. To facilitate my research on the character (aside from script and score analysis), I will interview Thommie Walsh (about for whom the role was written and the original "Bobby" on Broadway) as well as other men who have played the role to get insights into the character that will enhance my performance. Mr. Walsh will also elaborate on his real-life relationship with Michael Bennett and how that compares and contrasts with the relationship between "Bobby" and "Zach." I also will interview as many of the original cast members as possible (namely Baayork Lee) to get contributing memories and anecdotal evidence from the original production. A Chorus Line captures the one element all performers experience – the audition. The audition process has changed over the years, and I will focus on the development of protocol from the early 1970's (when A Chorus Line takes place) to the present. I will explore the manner in which the process has evolved and what A Chorus Line's contribution was (if any) to that process. This show has become so much a part of the musical theatre vernacular that historical exploration of procedures would also clarify how this work was structured. Were actors subjected to that intense style of audition on a huge stage in the early 1970s? Are they still today? My research will trace the history and rules governing auditions, performers and staff as delineated by Actors' Equity Association. I will also include a comparison of Equity to the variety of non-Equity auditions. Other sources will include rulebooks from AEA and interviews with dancers (past and present), AEA staff and Patrick Quinn, President of AEA.


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Graduation Date





Weaver, Earl


Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.)


College of Arts and Sciences



Degree Program









Length of Campus-only Access


Access Status

Masters Thesis (Open Access)