DC Shorts Film Festival

September 10–19, 2020

Screenplay Competition Casting

Thank you for your interest in reading for the 2019 DC Shorts Screenplay Competition.

The DC Shorts Screenplay Competition is a very different kind of screenwriting competition. A panel of reviewers consisting of filmmakers, screenwriters and critics reviewed over 80 screenplays and selected the top 5 to be performed in front of a live audience! We need actors to read for this performance. This is a non-paid gig. SAG-AFTRA members may participate. To participate, please review the script breakdowns for each project. If you believe there is a role (or two) you wish to be considered for:

  1. Make sure you are available on Friday, September 27 @ 10:00 am for a live audition, 12:00 pm rehearsals and the 7:00 pm evening performance. If you are not available all day on 9/27 — do not participate.
  2. Email your headshot (JPG only) and resume (PDF only) to the email address listed. The subject line must contain the ROLE for which you want to be considered.
  3. Do not send large files, Word documents, or ay photo format other than JPG — your email will automatically be rejected.
  4. If you want to be considered for multiple scripts, you must email your information to each project.

After sending your information, the writers will review your information and will call those they believe are best suited. Those contacted will “audition” via telephone and might be asked to attend the live audition on Friday, September 27 @ 10:00 am at the E Street Cinema, corner of 11th and E Street NW (Metro Center station). After the live audition, selected actors will rehearse the piece before the performance at 7:00 pm. DC Shorts does not interfere with the casting process. Each writer has a different process.

Do not call or email the DC Shorts office with questions or updates.

If you want to be considered for multiple scripts, you must email your information to each project. No resumes will be considered after September 25, 2019.



To be considered for a role in DEAR EMMA YOUR CHARLIE, email your headshot and resume to 1. dear.emma.your.charlie@dcshorts.com, and 2. please cc cast@dcshorts.com. Make sure to include the role in the subject line.

SYNOPSIS: After the death of her mother, Emma, to breast cancer, Aimee and her wife, Cara begin to clean her belongings from their home when Aimee discovers a shocking secret from her mother’s past.

AIMEE GONCALVES: 30 years old and of Portuguese ethnicity with dark brown, almost black, hair (of any length). She has a petite to average build standing roughly at 5’3”. Aimee lives in the Los Angeles area with her wife and they are expecting their first child. Until the passing of her mother, Aimee is seen as a lively woman who is known to put family first. She is the one carrying their child and is excited, yet nervous to give birth. Aimee’s mother, Emma, served in the United States Air Force up until Aimee’s mid-twenties when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Aimee gets a lot of her gumption and regimented attitude from her mother, who served in Kuwait in the late 80s. Aimee’s style is simple. During the summer she likes sundresses and straw hats and the cooler months in southern California she is seen in her skinny jeans and a form-fitted hoodie.

CARA GONCALVES:  33 years old – open to any ethnicity – Aimee’s wife. She has an athletic to average build and stands at about 5’5” – just slightly taller than Aimee. She has the power job in the Los Angeles area. She is a slight control freak but takes care in everything she does. She wants everyone to feel comfortable and will be an incredible caregiver and mother to her and Aimee’s newest addition. She is Aimee’s rock – strong, solid and protective but she is also so very soft and gentle in the way she loves her wife and those around her. She is a yoga-pant wearing on the weekend kind of woman but during the week she is very much business first with power suits and dresses.

CHARLIE VEGA: Mid 50’s, strikingly beautiful woman of Hispanic and European ethnicity. She stands at about 5’4”. Time has been very kind to her over the years. Charlie is warm and welcoming, and her personality is one of like an earth mother. She is centered and spiritual, almost hippie-ish. She is content with her present life. After serving in the Air Force with Emma she moved back to her home state and married her parents’ friends’ son, MARCO.

MARCO: Mid 60’s. He’s tall (6 feet) and handsome with slicked back black hair. Marco and his family came from Argentina. He is a gentle soul and very welcoming as well. Before retirement he owned some kind of trades company and worked locally around Sacramento. He knows his wife is only content with their life together but he also is content. Both are each other’s best friend and they deem that to be good enough to get through life.


To be considered for a role in LIFE IN THE PEN, email your headshot and resume to 1. life.in.the.pen@dcshorts.comand 2. please cc cast@dcshorts.comMake sure to include the role in the subject line.

SYNOPSIS: A woman mistakenly receives a letter from an inmate and decides to deceivingly maintain the correspondence to escape the prison of her own life.

DELPHINE HOWARD: any ethnicity.  Late 30’s to early 40’s.  Initially described in the script as a “somewhat frayed shell of a Stepford Wife”.  She should be lovely, yet exhausted.  She is victimized in micro ways, but she shouldn’t feel like a victim.    Kind yet quietly devastated, she is a dutiful mother and wife but still has a small spark within her for “something else”.

RALPH: (early 40’s) any ethnicity.  Described in the script as “bloated and entitled”, he is an overweight, blue collar kinda guy; a construction worker.  He is a large man with a crass insensitive, invasive personality.  He takes his wife for granted.  He is oblivious to anyone’s else’s needs beyond his own.  He is the embodiment of Long Island attitude.  A wanna be gangster type…but too dumb to be.  He’s not purposely mean or a bully…he just happens to be.

FRANCIS:  (late 60’s- early 70’s) like Chazz Palmentieri or Robert Deniro.  I want him to feel like an older man who was a gangster in another life.  A good ol’ boy.  A tough guy…but a sweetheart.  Handsome, dangerous but kind.  Intimidating and open at the same time.  Past his prime.  I think the key here is to find an older “gangster with a heart of gold”.

BECKS: (9)  a young, bright enthusiastic girl.  Any ethnicity.


To be considered for a role in LOST AT HOME, email your headshot and resume to 1. lost.at.home@dcshorts.comand 2. please cc cast@dcshorts.comMake sure to include the role in the subject line.

SYNOPSIS: A woman breaks out of an assisted living facility to try and make her son’s bar mitzvah… or so she thinks.

BARBARA: (80s, female) – A spry but fleetingly attentive resident of an elder care facility she hates. White/Jewish.

NURSE: (late 20s, female) – Tender and comforting, but oblivious to Barbara’s motives. Any race.

MARTIN: (50s, male) – A genteel suit shop proprietor. Any race, though preferably not white.

PHILLIP: (90s, male) – Frail but friendly, and still totally with it up there. Any race.

NEIGHBOR: (40s, male) – Prototypical 40-something dad. Any race, though preferably not white.

CHRIS: (40s, male) – Short, stodgy, and kind, but more than a little clueless. White/Jewish.


To be considered for a role in THE BEST YOU GOT, email your headshot and resume to 1. the.best.you.got@dcshorts.com, and 2. please cc cast@dcshorts.comMake sure to include the role in the subject line.

SYNOPSIS: Before starting their lives on earth, customers must get their plans approved by an unusual banker and his two assistants.

The Banker is a middle-aged/elderly curmudgeon with a combination of anxiety and rage.  He oversees the plan of all those entering earth with the help of his two unusual assistants. Normal approvals have been too high, so his goal today is to get three unconventional people through the system. The pressure to make this happen leads to unintended consequences.

Jessie aids the Banker who is also his dad. Jessie has a checkered past but tries hard to impress as he dutifully records the activities of the Banker and overdresses for his role. However, his strained relationship with his dad comes through from time to time.

Holly enforces the Banker’s decisions as she smacks her gum and smacks others with her mini baseball bat. Holly is physically imposing and wears a red track suit for her comfort.

Customer One is a 1950’s style woman whose plan is a good husband and a simple life. The banker does not approve.

Customer Two is a bubbly, smart, happy child whose plan is to go to an abusive home if he can also get a puppy and candy. The banker approves.

Customer Three is a tired man whose plan is to be a homeless vet after serving his country. The hesitant banker approves.

Customer Four is a pushy rabbit with a savior complex. This is too much for the banker and he does not approve.

Customer Five is a cocky, wealthy, foul-mouthed teenager who wants the world to work for him. His final request causes the banker to pause, but he approves anyway.


To be considered for a role in THE ERRANT SIGNAL, email your headshot and resume to 1. the.errant.signal@dcshorts.comand 2. please cc cast@dcshorts.com Make sure to include the role in the subject line.

SYNOPSIS: A 911 operator struggles to pinpoint the origin of an otherworldly distress call.

KIM: [22-26, Female, Any Appearance] [LEAD]

A 911 Call Operator: Calm and efficient until the details of one emergency start to not add up and she encounters a mystery too close to home.

JUNE: [30-40, Female, Any Appearance] [LEAD]

A Panicking 911 Caller trying to save her pregnant sister after a grisly break-in, desperate to be heard and remembered by the operator.

CALVIN:  [55-70, Male, Old/Wise] [SUPPORTING]

The Boss of a 911 call center, been at the desk for years with his share of strange calls and lived life experience. The kind of easy-spoken older man who thinks about the universe during his day job.

WOMAN’S VOICE / SOPHIE: [30-40, Female, Any Appearance] [MINOR]

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