AUDITIONS

 

OPEN AUDITIONS FOR 2017/18 THEATRE SEASON

 

AUDITION DATES

Monday, July 10, 2017

6:00 pm - 9:00 pm

 

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

6:00 pm - 9:00 pm

 

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

6:00 pm - 9:00 pm

 

LOCATION

Karamu House, 2355 E. 89th Street, Cleveland, Ohio 44106


NOW ACCEPTING SUBMISSIONS 

Seeking Equity and non-Equity actors for the following 2017/18 theatre season plays:

 

SIMPLY SIMONE: THE MUSIC OF NINA SIMONE created by Robert Neblett and David Grapes

THE LAKE EFFECT by Rajiv Joseph

SASSY MAMAS by Celeste Bedford Walker

THE ADVENTURES OF THE BLACK GIRL IN HER SEARCH FOR GOD by Lisa Codrington

 

All roles are available. Performers of all ethnicities, gender identities, ages, as well as performers with disabilities are encouraged to attend every audition. If you are unable to attend the audition, please email your headshot and resume to casting@karamuhouse.org along with a request to submit a video audition. Please make note of your union status when submitting.

 

APPOINTMENTS

For an appointment, please submit the following materials information to casting@karamuhouse.org:

 

  • a current headshot and up-to-date resume with accurate contact information
  • three preferred audition times
  • the SHOW(s) and ROLE(s) you would like to be considered for (see below for BREAKDOWNS)
  • your current status with Actors' Equity Association union (i.e. AEA/non-AEA)

 

PREPARATION

Audition appointments are TEN minutes long. Please prepare ONE contemporary monologue not to exceed THREE minutes. You may audition for one or more roles in the season. Based on the roles you are auditioning for you will be asked to prepare sides from the show.  Scripts and/or a reader will also be provided at the audition. Actors who sing may also prepare 32 bars from a standard Jazz or Blues song. Women auditioning for SIMPLY SIMONE should prepare a song from Nina’s repertoire.  Please bring music in your key in the event an accompanist is in the room. However, please plan on singing without accompaniment. Finally, please bring three copies of your headshot and resume (stapled together) to your audition time. Sides to the plays will be made available after your submission is received.

 

An Equity Monitor will not be provided.

 

COMPENSATION

All actors receive compensation for their work in our productions. Equity members appear under a GA Tier 2 contract. Non-Equity actors receive a modest stipend.

 

OTHER

STAGE MANAGERS are also invited to send up-to-date resumes to casting@karamuhouse.org. Please make note of your union status when submitting.


CHARACTER BREAKDOWN

 

SIMPLY SIMONE: THE MUSIC OF NINA SIMONE

created by Robert Neblett and David Grapes

with musical arrangements by Vince Dimura

 

PRODUCTION DATES

Rehearsals: Aug. – Sept. 6, 2017

Performances: Sept. 7 – 24, 2017

 

SETTING

spans Nina Simone's young adult and adult life, circa late 1940s through early 2000s

 

ABOUT THE PLAY

One of the true divas of the 20th century and a genuine musical powerhouse, Nina Simone defined a generation and defied classification. Silky, soulful, and untamed, she will melt your heart and chill you to the bone, leaving you singing the blues! Based on the turbulent life and rich artistic legacy of this American musical icon, the score crosses genres from gospel to blues, to Broadway to rock and roll. Featuring definitive Nina Simone hits such as “The Look of Love,” “My Baby Just Cares for Me,” “To Be Young, Gifted, and Black” and “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood.”

 

NOTE:  All of the characters are played by African-American women. This is an ensemble piece, and no one role is more important or should be featured more than any other. While these characters do represent various personality traits or qualities of the historical Nina Simone, no attempt should be made to imitate her onstage, vocally or physically, with the exception of the “concert” moments that are recreated, with dialogue from Nina’s words and music. Of primary importance is that the essence of Nina is captured.

 

ROLES**

NINA 1: (Female, 18-30, African-American.) The Child. Represents NINA between ages 16 through 20. Innocent and energetic, she is always hopeful for a brighter future. She is a constant reminder of an idyllic past. Sings with a high soprano voice.

NINA 2: (Female, 18-30, African-American.) The Singer. Represents NINA between ages 20 through 30. She is on the verge of success, optimistic yet cautious. She’s been burned and is a little gun shy. She finds her deepest pleasure in music. Sings with a mezzo soprano/belt.

NINA 3: (Female, 28-45, African-American.) The Activist. Represents NINA between ages 30 through 40. She is angry and ready to buck the system. She becomes more personally involved in the increased racial turmoil of the early 70s. More psychologically vulnerable and susceptible to moment of emotional exhaustion and collapse. Sings with a mezzo soprano/belt.

NINA 4: (Female, 35-60, African-American.) The Exile. Represents NINA between ages 40 through 50. She is wise, yet jaded. She has seen the way of the world and chosen to reject it. She speaks her mind bluntly and doesn’t care who takes offense. Sings with a rich alto voice.

** There will be one AEA contract available for this production.

 

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THE LAKE EFFECT

written by Rajiv Joseph

produced in collaboration with Ensemble Theatre

 

PRODUCTION DATES

Rehearsals: Oct. 2 – 25, 2017

Performances: Oct. 26 – Nov. 12, 2017

 

SETTING

Cleveland, 2010.

 

ABOUT THE PLAY

During a fierce winter storm, estranged siblings reunite in their father’s restaurant amid pungent memories of tandoors and tikka masala. When a regular customer claims to know much of their family’s history, the siblings are forced to consider the future of the business. This 2010 Pulitzer Prize finalist serves up a spicy menu of family secrets, sibling rivalry and an unlikely friendship.

 

ROLES**

VIJAY: (Male, mid/late-30s, Indian-American/South Asian.) Born and raised in Cleveland, his father was born in Calcutta. He is a tightly-wound, recently unemployed stock broker, estranged from his father. Hasn't seen his sister Priya in many years.

PRIYA: (Female, early/mid-30s, Indian-American/South Asian.) Born and raised in Cleveland, her father was born in Calcutta. Vijay’s younger sister. Currently in a rocky marriage. Perhaps a bit spoiled, makes decisions based on superficial things.

BERNARD: (Male, mid/late-30s, African-American.) Good-hearted but naïve. Suffered a head injury in the past—hasn’t really recovered from it. Unlikely friend of Priya and Vijay's father.

** There will be one AEA contract available for this production.

 

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SASSY MAMAS

written by Celeste Bedford Walker

 

PRODUCTION DATES

Rehearsals: Jan. 15 – Feb. 7, 2018

Performances: Feb. 8 – 25, 2018

 

SETTING

Washington DC. Spring/Summer, 2013.

 

ABOUT THE PLAY

A delightful story about three women of a certain age who end up pursuing much (...much!) younger men. In the autumns of their lives, three longtime girlfriends find themselves living single. A recent widow, a divorcée, and a career woman all use their social status and wealth to ensnare their younger male suitors…but don’t you dare call them “cougars.” They would prefer “black panthers”. Little do they know, their handsome, fine, strapping young beaus have plans of their own. This colorful romantic comedy explores the dynamics between the sexes as well as the phenomenon of when a woman knows what she wants, she knows how to get it.

 

ROLES**

WILHEMINA: (Female, early 50s, African-American.) National Security Advisor to the President. Never been married. She meets WES who becomes her first real love. Athletic physique. Wears distinctive eyeglasses.

JO BILLIE: (Female, late 50s-early 60s, African-American.) Hospital Administrator, a widow on the prowl for a young man. Robust figure.

MARY: (Female, mid/late 50s, Any Ethnicity.) Married for 30 years and now suddenly divorced. “Good catholic girl.” Can be a little judgmental. Still slim and petite. Former beauty queen.

WES: (Male, early 30s, Any Ethnicity.) Handsome, with character, a former football player turned sports journalist. Hopelessly in love with WILHEMINA.

LADONTE: (Male, 30s, Any Ethnicity.) JO BILLIE’s love interest

COLBY: (Male, late 20s, Any Ethnicity.) A gardener from a small town who develops a relationship with MARY.

** There will be up to two AEA contracts available for this production.

 

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THE ADVENTURES OF THE BLACK GIRL IN HER SEARCH FOR GOD

written by Lisa Codrington

adapted from the short story by George Bernard Shaw

 

PRODUCTION DATES

Rehearsals: Feb. 26 – Mar. 21, 2018

Performances: Mar. 22 – Apr. 8, 2018

 

ABOUT THE PLAY

Based on Bernard Shaw’s short story, this story follows a young African girl who is abandoned by a white missionary for asking too many questions about God. Taking matters into her own hands, the Black Girl sets off on her own to find out who or what God really is. Along the way she meets a number of characters who have very different views on God, but the Black Girl’s unrelenting questions create conflict, and in the end she’s forced to make her own decisions on God and her search. This edgy new play was commissioned by the Shaw Festival and received its world premiere in 2016.

 

NOTE:  This play is a comedy. It is set in “The Darkest Africa” and takes place when Shaw wrote it in 1932. The playwright asks that artists not get too hung up on any of that, because the play is also home to talking snakes, gods, prophets and a dead playwright delivering a preface in the present. Time and space are pretty mixed up. This play is written by a playwright and not by a scientist, historian, biblical scholar or biographer. It is not an accurate representation of the continent of Africa, Africans, the Bible, scientists, artists, snakes, Shaw or Europeans. This play includes text from Shaw’s original short story, its preface, the King James version of the Bible, a tiny bit from Shaw’s Back to Methuselah, and a teeny-tiny bit from Shakespeare’s Hamlet. This play is not The Adventures of a Black Girl in Search of God by Djanet Sears. 
 

ROLES**

The World Premiere production had several actors playing multiple roles. Actors can expect to be cast in up to three roles in this production.

GEORGE BERNARD SHAW a.k.a. GBS: (Male, 30-60s, Caucasian.) A playwright. Google him.

THE BLACK GIRL: (Female, 20s, African-American.) An interesting young woman, who is turning out to be an unsatisfactory convert to Christianity. I.e. she asks a lot of (or perhaps too many) questions.

WHITE MISSIONARY: (Female, 30s-60s, Caucasian.) Hates answering THE BLACK GIRL's questions. Speaks like she is from somewhere in England.

BLACK MAMBA: (Female, 30s-40s, African-American.) A poisonous snake that will attack mankind if crossed. She’s had it with the way humans treat snakes. Perhaps there is some physical comedy or stage fighting involved.

LORD OF HOSTS: (Male, 30-60s, Caucasian but could be any ethnicity.) Well-built, short-tempered, aristocratic looking man with handsome features, an imposing beard, luxuriant wavy hair and a ruthlessly severe expression.

THE ALMIGHTY: (Male, 50-70s, Caucasian but could be any ethnicity.) Kindly-looking old-ish gentleman with a soft silvery beard, turned up moustache and eyebrows that express a self-satisfied cunning. Fights dirty.

MICAH THE MORASTHITE: (Male, 40-70s, Any Ethnicity.) His face is very much wrinkled, but the wrinkles are those of pity and kindliness. Perhaps he’s a spoken word poet/evangelical preacher but from like a long, long time ago.

KING SOLOMON a.k.a. Koheleth/Ecclesiastes: (Male, 22-40s, Any Ethnicity.) Son of King David, lover of women, writer of the book of Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and Song of Solomon. Remarkably good-looking clean-shaven young man with a lift and twist about the outer corners of his brows that is both interesting and repelling.

BLACK BEARER: (Any Gender, 18-40s, African-American.) A servant. Must be physically fit. Perhaps there is some physical comedy or stage fighting involved. NOTE: Shaw uses the pronoun “they” to describe this character because in the original story there were a whole bunch of them. Codrington uses male pronouns “he/him/his” to describe this character.

THE MATHEMATICIAN: (Female, 50s, Caucasian.) Shaw says “she is fifty, a neuter and an explorer who wears breeches and sun helmet.” She’s used to being the only woman among a lot of men. Speaks like she is from somewhere in the U.K.

THE PHSYICIST: (Male, 40-60s, Caucasian.) An explorer. He’s a bit patronizing and speaks like he is from somewhere in the U.K.

THE BIOLOGIST: (Male, 40-60s, Caucasian.) An explorer. He might be a bit depressed. He speaks like he is from somewhere in the U.K.

THE NATURALIST: (Male, 40-60s, Caucasian.) An explorer. He believes his colleagues are idiots. Played by the actor playing GBS, and (perhaps) speaks like GBS attempting to be an actor.

THE CONJURER: (Male, 25-45, Non-white.) The playwright calls him a “man of color, dressed up as white guy.” The character calls himself “an outcast and a wanderer.”

THE ARTIST: (Male, 30-50s, Caucasian but could be any ethnicity.) Frustrated artist. Speaks in Italian and with an Italian accent.

** There will be up to two AEA contracts available for this production.

 

Karamu plans to announce auditions for their 2017/18 season closer at a later date.

 

To be considered for any of the roles above, please email casting@karamuhouse.org to set up an audition appointment.  

Phone calls will not be accepted.

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