ACT and Village Players looking for “Ben Hur” actors

One of the most epic stories of all time gets scaled down— way down— in an upcoming collaboration between Actors Collaborative Toledo and The Village Players.

The companies will work together on a production of a stage farce based on Ben Hur, written by playwright Patrick Barlow. Auditions for the show will be held on Saturday, May 7 and Sunday, May 8 at the Village Players Theatre at 2740 Upton Ave.

Inspired on Lew Wallace’s classic 1880 novel, which in turn inspired one of the most famous of all epic films starring Charlton Heston, the stage version takes the classic tale and condenses it, telling of a small amateur theatre troupe determined to tell the epic story despite a lack of budget and actors.

Writer Barlow previously scored a huge hit with a similarly “condensed” play version of the classic Hitchcock film The 39 Steps. Like Ben Hur, that production saw a serious story satirized by having only four actors attempt to put on a production that was seemingly too complex for a small cast.

The upcoming production of Ben Hur will take place July 22-24 at the Village Players Theatre. The play requires three male actors and one female actor. Auditions will take place from 1-4pm on both Saturday, May 7 and Sunday, May 8. For more information on the production and the two theater companies, visit act419.org and thevillageplayers.org.