Nicole Bilson plays Jane in Poems a Dead Boy Wrote Today was the first rehearsal I was able to attend for Poems a Dead Boy Wrote , the piece of mine that will be part of the Top 22 plays at Short & Sweet Melbourne, 2011. I met director Flora Georgiou during auditions and, happily, I was there the day Nicole Bilson auditioned – because once Flora had cast her, I already knew we were onto a winner. The audition process was much different this year to last – more collaborative and asked more of the actors. They read their audition pieces, took part in movement exercises, were encouraged to take part in “Hot Seat” – as a way of opening up about themselves, as well as reading their audition monologues for a second time under the direction of Anthony Crowley, the Festival Director for this year’s season. Throughout the process, Nicole relaxed, opened up and the second reading of her monologue felt like a wholly different character to the first. It was amazing to watch.