It seemed that an old acquaintance (and Facebook friend), Mrs. Alex Avans posted a candid snapshot of her two daughters on her personal page timeline. The photo instantly caught Williams' attention since one of the young girls in the photo very much resembled his vision for Barbara Gordon / Batgirl's physical appearance.
Not knowing who the young girl was, nor the extent of her relation to Mrs. Avans, Roberto decided to send his old Facebook friend a private message. He explained all about his upcoming production, and his need to cast the role of Batgirl. Inquiring about the girl in the photo, Williams was curious to know if she had had any previous acting experience, and /or if she would be interested in auditioning for the plum role in the stage play.
Several hour later, as Roberto prepared to sit down to dinner, a second inbox message from Mrs. Avans came through. This time the message was an urgent declaration that in fact young Kendra was interested to audition! After a brief telephone conversation where Roberto and Alex reconnected, the specifics of the Barbara Gordon / Batgirl character were discussed and a date was set for Kendra's audition.
Finally, on the evening of Saturday, November 30, Kendra, accompanied by her mother Alex and her proud father Mr. Luis Torre met with Roberto Williams at his residence in Brooklyn NY. Williams extensively recounted the history of his stage production, and spelled out his vision of what the final show is to become.
When it finally came time for young Kendra to begin her audition process, the shy young girl found herself increasingly tense and nervous. The presence of her parents and members of Williams' production team made her feel anxious and overwhelmed. Sensing the girl's dilema and wishing to help in any way he could, Williams asked his Production manager Alaja Desilva to take Mr. Torre and Mrs. Avans on a tour of some of the play's production material in a different room. Working alone with the girl for only a few short minutes, the Director was able to quickly determine that what Kendra Avans lacked in acting experience she more than made up for in wit, intelligence, talent for movement, ability to accurately take direction, and most importantly of all… sheer bravery! She performed a rough cold-read audition of a scene from Williams’ play that further convinced the Director that with training and encouragement, she could definitely transform herself into a competent and confident young actress!
As if the poor girl had not already been hit with enough, Williams called in FOTDK Fight Choreographer Ezekiel Jackson to test Kendra’s abilities in taking fight choreography direction. He relentlessly put her through the paces, assessing her abilities to throw and take scripted punches and kicks. Somehow, Kendra managed to successfully push through his drills. When he then asked her to perform a basic “tuck and roll” move, the nervous girl explained that this was a maneuver she was incapable of performing even after years of attempting to do so in her gym class at school. She even said the move was “impossible” for her. Not one to easily be discouraged, Jackson worked with Kendra, steadily building her confidence and then watched with pride as she excitedly performed not just one, but five perfect tuck and rolls in a row! Now THAT’S real bravery! Everyone in the room exchanged glances of approval… all equally impressed with the determination of this plucky young lady!
But Kendra’s evening was not over yet. Williams was next anxious to perform his final litmus test to see if she would be suitable for the role of the comic book heroine: It was time to test the fledging actress in a full Batgirl costume fitting! As Kendra suited up before the assembled group, her astonished fantasy-enthusiast father Luis repeatedly exclaimed, “Wow…” as he saw his little girl transform into a comic book icon before his very eyes! Everyone present was in unanimous agreement that seeing Kendra Avans as Gotham City’s Batgirl was the same as watching the classic character come to life right off the page of the comics! We’re certain you’ll agree when you see the photos of Kendra as Batgirl in our Gallery Page!
The entire production cast and crew is thrilled and honored that Kendra Avans has joined the FATHERS OF THE DARK KNIGHT family, and we welcome her warmly with open arms! We are also eternally grateful to Mr. Torre and Mrs. Avans for encouraging their daughter to take that first brave step into a scary, but exciting and rewarding new world…