Dear Night Writer: A couple of years ago I saw a repertory company of local actors in a sort of competition, taking topics from the audience, ad-libbing scenes and being scored in teams. Some friends of ours saw something similar a few months ago at Garvin's. Is it the same group, and are they still around? -- Encore, Esq.
Dear Encore: Not only are they still around, they've just arranged for a regular weekly stint.
STAR is the troupe, an all- improv company of a half-dozen actor/teachers plus students. They've been around since 1978, performing what they call Theatresports -- the play's-the-fling game show you saw -- for other actors and the odd celebrity judge (and how is Chris Core these days?) but always bouncing from venue to venue. Starting this week, they're booked every Wednesday, at least for a couple of months, at the just-opened Off the Record comedy club in Green Court Alley (off L Street NW between 13th and 14th streets). Off the Record itself, an in-town offshoot of the Crystal City Comedy Clubs, offers dinner and comedy six nights a week. It has an open mike on Thursdays for you less improvisational but equally stagestruck types (628-0772).
Speaking of stagestruck (and segue we go . . .): Open auditions for summer jobs at Opryland USA, the music-as-Americana theme park in Nashville, will be held Tuesday at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia (2 to 5, Anthony Seeger Auditorium) and Wednesday at the University of Maryland in College Park (noon to 3, College Center of Adult Education).
Singers should prepare three numbers in various tempi; bring sheet music in their key; dancers have only one minute for their routine, but there will be both a record player and cassette deck there. Instrumentalists must sight read, woodwind players must double, and conductor/pianists need a resume, refs and a piano selection. Stage managers and techs also need resumes.
Opryland (615/871-6656) replays all types of music, not just country. Depending on the production, applicants may have to be ready to start rehearsal as early as February.