Of all the art forms represented in Mobile, what we hear most grousing about is the theatrical variety. Local fans bend our ears about the dearth of professional productions despite our surplus of community theaters.

What they lack in noting is that those who man these local productions are giving their all for involvement in the arts. Anyone can buy a ticket, but it takes a special dedication to community to sacrifice your free time to building backdrops, repairing lights or endless rehearsals.

There’s also the risk to ego and self-esteem these amateur thespians endure by exposing their skills and talent for ridicule or judgment. It can be equal parts thrilling or shattering.

For those brave enough to “tread the boards,” plenty of opportunities are at hand, no matter your age or experience level.

North of town, the Chickasaw Community Theater will be holding auditions for Joseph Kesselring’s classic play “Arsenic and Old Lace,” slated for performance March 28-30 and April 4-6. The pre-World War II dark comedy revolves a murderous pair of spinsters, a loony relative who fancies himself Theodore Roosevelt and the victim of a ham-handed plastic surgeon who provided one of the best “in-jokes” in the history of American theater.

The initial run of this classic work lasted for 1,444 performances and became a hit Frank Capra flick starring Cary Grant. It has enjoyed smash revivals in the 1960s, the 1980s and as recently as 2011.

This local production needs 11 men and three women for the cast. No preparation is necessary.

Auditions are Jan. 19 and 20, 6:30 p.m. at the Lola Phillips Playhouse (801 Iroquios St.). For more info, call 251-605-1733 or go to www.cctshows.com.

From dark comedy to plain ol’ darkness, Joe Jefferson Players will stage a foreboding masterpiece of the American canon on March 14 – 30 with a work firmly rooted in the Azalea City. Author and native Mobilian William March’s 1954 novel “The Bad Seed” reached its award-winning heights posthumously, then was transformed into a stage play the same year as its release.

The tale follows 8-year-old Rhoda, an only child surrounded by a string of mysterious deaths. Her mother’s suspicions and investigation bring an unexpected revelation about her own background and the frightening possibilities embodied in her child. Local rumors once circulated that Rhoda’s character was based on the scion of an influential Old Mobile family.

Auditions are Jan. 20 and 21. For more info, call 251-471-1534 or go to www.joejeffersonplayers.com.

If song and dance is your bag, then you might want to try your hand at the Eastern Shore Repertory Theater’s version of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” set to take the stage May 2 and 3 on the Henry George Bluff above the Fairhope Pier. The play is based on the Old Testament tale of Joseph and the Coat of Many Colors, set to music by Andrew Lloyd Webber in the late 1960s.

The show is almost devoid of spoken dialogue, with action and plot being furthered mostly in song. Needless to say, musical chops are a must for interested participants.
Third graders through adults are welcome to audition. They ask that hopefuls prepare 16 bars of a musical theater piece for tryout. An accompanist will be provided.
Auditions are Jan. 21 and 22, 4 – 7 p.m. at the Church of the Apostles (7159 McIntyre St., Fairhope). For more info, call 251-751-2935.

If you’re helping our younger stars of tomorrow, the Azalea City Center for the Arts is staging “The Little Mermaid” May 1 – 4. Rehearsals will be Mondays, 5 – 7 p.m. and Thursdays, 3:30 – 5:30 p.m..

Auditions are Jan. 20 – 22, 7 p.m. at the Azalea City Center for the Arts (63 Midtown Park E.). For more info, call 251-510-1808 or go to www.sunnysidedrama.com.