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North Texas actors relied on this popular website to find gigs. Now it's closing

People act on stage.
Jeffrey Schmidt
The Dallas Morning News
A scene from Theater Three's production of the award-winning 2008 pop-rock musical "Next to Normal."

It’s hard enough for actors to find an audition, let alone win one.

That’s where the website came in. It was an important hub for the North Texas theater community to find new gigs in a way that was informative and easy to read. But after nine years, the website has shuttered.

The website went dark earlier this year after creator Art Kedzierski moved to Rochester, N.Y.

I ran it for about six months remotely from New York,” he said. “It's just, I kind of want to get into this theater scene up here and it was a distraction.”

He describes the closure of the website as both timely and bittersweet. At its height in 2019, the website had over 344,000 views and over 71,000 visitors.

Kedzierski fell in love with theater after being in his high school’s production of South Pacific. Then he got a BFA in theater from the University of Texas at Arlington and interned at Theatre Three.

He taught himself how to work with software, then got a day job as an IT professional. But he kept a foot in the theater world as managing director of Pegasus Theater. Then he tried acting as a hobby again in the late 2000s.

I noticed that there was not really a very good place to find auditions,” he said. “So I thought, let me see if I can do something better.”

Kedzierski combined his knowledge of theater and data modeling to set up the website.

He asked around the theater community about what they were missing from other audition notice forums. He said it came down to one issue.

“Consistency, primarily consistency,” he said. “It was surprising how many people would leave things out, like sometimes even the dates of the performances, where is the audition, what are the hours? You'd be surprised how scantily constructed some of these auditions were. Like, not listing what the roles were.”

Art Kedzierski struggled to find acting gigs, so he used his background in data modeling and theater to build the DFW Auditions website.
Tidmore Portraits
Art Kedzierski struggled to find acting gigs, so he used his background in data modeling and theater to build the DFW Auditions website.

Contributors to the website filled out a form to create a post. Then the audition information was cross-published to Twitter and Facebook.

Kedzierski spent several hours a week maintaining the site at the height of its popularity. He corresponded with those who sent in submissions to gather additional information, correct grammar and put entries in AP style.

The DFW Auditions website was a vital resource for the North Texas theater community, said Jennifer Bangs, an actress, writer and producer who grew up in Arlington. She co-launched Sweet Apple Productions with Ryan Brown in 2021 and used the site to publicize auditions for their performances.

“What was great about DFW Auditions is that it had all sorts of theaters that would advertise there – you could get all the information there,” she said. “There’s a real gap that’s been created since the website has gone down. The way DFW Auditions was run, it was so clean, so clear.”

For Kedzierski, an effort to solve his own problem wound up helping thousands of others in the theater community.

“I wanted to know where the auditions were,” he said. “There was a little self-serving, I'll be honest. It's like, I could not find out where the auditions were. So I thought, I'm going to make a site and have people just send them to me. So I did that and it grew into a thing.”

Without the DFW Auditions site, people can still find auditions posted on social media like Facebook and other sites like Backstage, an entertainment publication that posts casting calls and audition notices. However, they’ll no longer have a one-stop shop that was all things auditions.

It was detailed and easy to read and that was how the North Texas theater community liked it.

Arts Access is an arts journalism collaboration powered by The Dallas Morning News and KERA.

This community-funded journalism initiative is funded by the Better Together Fund, Carol & Don Glendenning, City of Dallas OAC, Communities Foundation of Texas, The Dallas Foundation, Eugene McDermott Foundation, James & Gayle Halperin Foundation, Jennifer & Peter Altabef and The Meadows Foundation. The News and KERA retain full editorial control of Arts Access’ journalism

Elizabeth Myong is KERA’s Arts Collaborative Reporter. She came to KERA from New York, where she worked as a CNBC fellow covering breaking news and politics. Before that, she freelanced as a features reporter for the Houston Chronicle and a modern arts reporter for Houstonia Magazine.