RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — There are more opportunities for Central Virginians to be on television.

Showtime’s “The Good Lord Bird” is seeking hundreds of local actors and residents for paid, non-speaking roles while they film in the Richmond-area.

The eight-part limited series is based on a National Book Award-winning novel from author James McBride. The action is set around 19th-century abolitionist John Brown’s raid on the Harpers Ferry Armory. The raid failed to start a slave revolt, as Brown had hoped, but is credited with provoking the start of the Civil War. 

Academy Award-nominated actor Ethan Hawke is set to star as John Brown.

Gov. Ralph Northam announced the plans for the show back in May.

“The Good Lord Bird will be a fantastic showcase of all that our Commonwealth has to offer,” Northam said. “Virginia has emerged as a popular destination for lucrative film and television productions, a hard-earned reflection of our film-friendly atmosphere, talented workers, and unparalleled scenery.”

Carol Grant Casting is holding an open casting call for the show on Saturday, June 29, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Capital Ale House.

They’re seeking people of all ages and ethnicities to fill non-speaking roles:

  • Stand-ins and photo doubles for cast members
  • Townspeople, Store Owners and Vendors
  • Soldiers, Militia, Amputees
  • Civil war reenactment groups and actors
  • Male adults with excellent horseback riding skills
  • Slaves, slave owners, freed men and abolitionists
  • Featured red-headed child of cast member (age 10 to 15)

“The open casting call will consist of a brief talk with a member of the casting team and a photograph. No experience is necessary and if selected, compensation will be on the scale of other professional productions. Attendance is not mandatory for SAG-AFTRA members, however, they will have special consideration if they attend and should bring their membership card, so as not to wait in line,” the casting company said.

To help expedite the open call process and for best consideration, the casting company is requesting everyone to register online here.

For more information, you can call the Carol Grant Casting hotline (323) 419-0202 or visit their website. Questions can also be emailed to

Showtime is not the only television network filming in Central Virginia. Casting directors for the third series in AMC’s ‘The Walking Dead’ franchise are also seeking background actors while they film in Richmond.