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NEW WILMINGTON Town prepares for casting call



Published: Thu, August 8, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



No one will be permitted to camp out the night before the casting call.

By LAURE CIOFFI

VINDICATOR NEW CASTLE BUREAU

NEW WILMINGTON, Pa. -- The population of this tiny town could double in a matter of hours this weekend when those seeking parts as extras on "The West Wing" arrive for an open casting call Saturday.

New Wilmington police and Westminster College security say they will boost their numbers on Saturday to help visitors find the casting call and keep traffic moving through this tiny municipality that has only one traffic signal.

"We are going to double our force for the day from one to two patrolmen," said Police Chief Richard Hanna.

New Wilmington has a population of about 1,700 full-time residents.

Big crowd expected

Hanna said officers will be posted in prominent spots to help direct those from out of town. The open call for extras could attracts hundreds or thousands of people hoping to work later this month for filming of "The West Wing" season premiere.

Casting agents will be at Westminster College's Orr Auditorium from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. to take applications and recent photographs from potential "extras." Nearly 300 people are needed for nonspeaking parts that will be filmed Aug. 23 and 24 in nearby Washington Township, Lawrence County.

"West Wing" cast members will be here to film a portion of their season premiere with President Josiah Bartlet (Martin Sheen) giving a speech at a soy farm about alternative forms of energy.

Extra security

John Lechner, director of public safety for Westminster College, said he plans to put out extra security to direct people to parking spots. He said the nearly 900 parking spots on campus should be free since there are no students on campus yet. But anyone thinking of arriving the night before to ensure getting into the casting call early will not be permitted on campus, he said.

"We won't allow anybody to camp out on campus overnight. There are too many safety considerations with construction and the lake," he said. "People that show up after sunrise are welcome to stand in line and spend time on campus."

cioffi@vindy.com




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