Casting for Live Screenplay Readings

We are very proud to present our fifth DC Shorts Screenplay Competition. Watch five scripts read live by actors and the screenwriter! At the end of the show, vote for your favorite script. The winner will receive $1000 on the spot, plus another $1,000 when the film is completed!

We are seeking actors to read these screenplays in front of the live audience. SAG/AFTRA members may participate.  There is no fee paid for reading services.

Headshots will be collated and mailed to the writers.  It is up to each writer to communicate with actors to invite them to the audition on Friday, October 14.  Please do not call the DC Shorts office, as we are not involved in the selection process — just the collection of headshots.

If chosen for the audition, you must be available to audition in front of all of the directors and other actors on Friday, October 14 from 10:00am – 12:00pm at Flashpoint, 916 G Street NW, WDC 20001

If cast for the live readings, you will need to remain on site for rehearsals until 2:00pm.   The live performance is Saturday October 15 at 7:00pm at The Theatre @ Mount Vernon United Methodist Church, 900 Massachusetts Avenue, NW.

Please read the breakdowns below, and if you wish to be cast for any roles listed, please follow these instructions.

  1. Please send ONE headshot per script title.  If not, we will send only to the first film listed.
  2. Write the Character Name and Script Title you wish to be considered for on the PHOTO side (ie: KARA in “Break Up…”)
  3. Include your phone number and email address or we will discard your headshot
  4. Do not include a cover letter – the headshot and resume are all we need.
  5. Mail your materials with a postmark before September 7 to:

DC Shorts Screenplay Competition
1317 F Street NW, Suite 920
Washington, DC 20004

Headshots arriving after September September 9 will not be forwarded to the directors. You may drop off your materials at the address above.



By Adam Perkins

All roles require a Pirate accent.  While the ages of the characters are listed, actors with credible voices are preferred over actors of age (ie: anyone with a good pirate accent can and should apply)

THE CAPTAIN (60’s, Male)

The Captain has long battled his inner demons since his father’s execution.  He has relished in his vengeance on the Royal Fleet, becoming the most feared pirate, but he has also taken to alcohol. Please prepare a Pirate accent.

OBIE (60’s, Male)

Obie, the first mate, knows he could run the ship but his long friendship and loyalty to The Captain stops him.  While knowing an intervention is needed, he questions any attack on The Captain. Please prepare a Pirate accent.

THOMAS (30’s, Male)

Thomas is the greenhorn of the crew.  Once, a joker with his twin brother, Skippy, he is now consumed by rage after his brother’s senseless murder. Please prepare a Pirate accent.

SMITTY (50’s, Male)

Smitty is a lover of guns and destruction.  His favorite sight is the sinking of a Royal Navy ship, though he is a softy in matters of his crewmembers. Please prepare a Pirate accent.

CLARENCE (50’s, Male).

Clarence, the brawn of the bunch, is most comfortable amidst a fight.  He prides himself on being the first to action. Please prepare a Pirate accent.

JEB (40’s, Male)

Jeb hungers to be the next great pirate captain but he constantly battles fear.  It takes strength for him to do what he desires.  For that, he feels he is a coward. Please prepare a Pirate accent.

CAPTAIN STONE (70’s, Male)

Captain Stone, born to a life of fighting, is a legend due to the destruction left in his wake.  His only weakness is The Captain, whom he raised like a son. Please prepare a Pirate accent.

NARRATOR (50’s, Male)

The Narrator, an interventionist and recovering addict, understands the loneliness of The Captain but the anger and fear of The Crew.



By Matt Himlin

DR. PHIL ZEITZ (30-40 year old man)

Phil is a brilliant theoretical physicist about run an experiment that is the culmination of his life’s work.   He is methodical and cautious (perhaps overly so) and his concern about the chance of failure overshadows what should be a joyous event.

BOB TURING (25-35 year old man)

Bob is an electrical engineer and has created the machinery to convert Phil’s theories to reality.  He attributes his engineering success to his willingness to take risks and push boundaries, and when something does fail his unwavering optimism has kept him going strong.  This optimism will be sorely tested.

 NARRATOR (20-40 year old man)

Story involves life or death situation so narrator should be able to display tension and urgency during narration.


By Joel David Santner

AARON (mid 30’s, male)

Aaron is a young professional on the cusp of success, a junior partner at law firm on the verge of promotion.  A morning person.  Well-organized and particular, but a bit out of shape and very overworked.  If he continues down this path it will inevitably end with a massive coronary.

MIRROR IMAGE (mid 30’s, male)

Aaron’s reflection.  Not a morning person.  Not particularly put together in anyway but has to be because Aaron is.  Grumpy, spoiled and a bit of a brat.  At his end with Aaron’s lifestyle.

NARRATOR (any age, any gender)

Good sense of humor that must translate through the narration.  Good comic timing.



By Richard Herstek

While the ages of the characters are listed, actors with credible voices are preferred over actors of age.

JAMES (38, male)

And a snob.  He was raised in the Midwest, but after graduating from college he moved to San Francisco.  He now works for an investment bank.  And has done very well for himself.  Looking back at his suburban upbringing is a source of embarrassment to him.  Having to come back for a visit?  Give me a valium.

CHARLE (50s, male)

James’s older brother.  Overweight.  Soft spoken.  Affable.  He stayed close to home as an adult.  Blue collar worker.  Makes a fraction of what James makes.  But it’s always been enough for him.  Almost has a country manner about him.  Always seems to be wearing a gentle smile.  He chuckles sometimes, but doesn’t laugh out loud.  He’s good people.

JANET (40s, female)

The sister, the middle child.   40+.  She’s the perfect mom.  Tough but fair.  Loving, but expects her kids to buck up in the face of adversity.  She’s a homemaker first, and a teacher’s aide at the junior high school.  The kids have learned that they can’t pull anything over on her.  She also stayed in the area where the family was raised.  Unsophisticated, but salt of the earth.



By Matthew Ogosi

While the ages of the characters are listed, actors with credible voices are preferred over actors of age.

DESDEMONA (17-22-year-old girl)

A bright and fiercely intelligent high school girl prone to flights of fancy. In dealing with stressful real world problems – high school rivalries, antagonism from the Guidance Counselor, and, the big one, young love – she often turns to her best friend Alex for advice, and a richly imaginative world for escape.

SAM (17-22-year-old guy)

Sam is simple and easy-going, good friends with Desdemona and the object of her secret affection. He’s a “cool” kid, but awkward enough to be down-to-earth and approachable. In Desdemona’s fantasies, he is the knight in shining armor, be it Sam Spade or Robin Hood.

ALEX (17-22-year-old girl): Loyal

Alex is Desdemona’s loyal Girl Friday, always on hand to protect and deflect, and offer an ear and advice for her best friend’s real-world angst. As Desdemona acknowledges, Alex is always right – even if Desdemona has to find out the hard the way.

KATE (17-22-year-old girl): Haughty

Kate is the new girl in class; hot and haughty and the polar opposite of her nemesis, Desdemona. She sinks her talons into Sam because she can, playing the femme fatale in Desdemona’s runaway fantasy world.

VILLAIN (20 years or older man)

He is the Guidance Counselor by day – Desdemona’s real-world antagonist – and enemy of Robin Hood and the classic rock band Queen in Desdemona’s fantasy worlds. A serious man in reality who cannot tolerate Desdemona’s daydreaming, in those daydreams he gets to cut loose as a scenery-chewing villain of yore.

 NARRATOR (man, any age)

A good, strong, articulate reader, like a storybook teller.