AUDITION: "Darrell's Gate" Student Film Casting Call

About the project and the company

Darrell’s Gate is a 25-minute short film about an insecure cult leader whose world gets turned upside down. Darrell, known as Lord Zarth by his followers, steadily learns to accept his humanity throughout the course of this dark comedy. When his estranged wife, Linda shows up with divorce papers, she starts challenging his authority. Darrell desperately tries to hold on to his power with the help of his most loyal follower, Molly. This project is run by a passionate team of film students from Azusa Pacific University outside of LA. Committed to making the project the best it can be, we’re flying up to shoot in the great Pacific Northwest. We would love for you to be a part of this exciting adventure!

Audition requirements

Please find the sides for your character as marked in the pdf linked below (you might have to scroll past other characters). Film a self-tape of your performance, preferably with someone off camera reading the other characters' lines. Send your self tape to this email address:

Character breakdown / Project needs
Darrell - Lead Role
30 to 45 years old, white man. Darrell is a heartbroken, insecure, and controlling cult leader. In his relationship with Linda, he found value in the praise and validation she gave him. When she left, his insecurity grew to the point that he built an entire cult of people around him to worship him as a god descended from space. He even comes to see his followers as his children. On "Ascension Day," he cedes his power to a chosen member of the cult. This backfires when Linda shows up and is chosen by the followers to lead for the day. She humiliates Darrell in a number of ways and eventually reveals that they have a son she's been hiding from him. From this moment on, Darrell begins to find that there is something more important in his life to live for than the praise of others. By the end of the story, he meets his son who saves him from being burned and the stake by his followers. When the real Lord Zarth shows up to collect loyal followers, Darrell chooses to stay on earth and help raise his son rather than ascend into space. Darrell comes to accept his humanity and role as a father.
Linda - Lead Role
25 to 40 years old, white woman. Linda ran off from Darrell 5 years before the start of this film because she found out she was pregnant and didn't want to raise her child with someone as controlling as Darrell. When she falls in love with a new partner, Kell, she finally decides to get a divorce. She had found his cult online and shows up with the divorce papers, but when she gets there, his followers start to worship her as the "chosen one," because she fits a description in their sacred text. She starts to have fun messing with Darrell's authority in his cult, her spunk and sass on full display. But when she lets it spill that Darrell has a son, the followers don't believe her and turn against her. Tied to a stake to be burned for her heresy, she's saved when Lord Zarth, the cult's god, turns out to be real, scooping all the angry followers up into space.
Molly - Supporting Role
20 to 35 years old, woman. Molly is a completely brainwashed cult follower who has been loyal to Lord Zarth (Darrell) for three years. She was chosen by Lord Zarth to lead the followers to their ascension on "Ascension Day," trying to interpret what the sacred text describes as a "cleansing light." Two "chosen ones" before her has failed, but she knows she is the true chosen one. However, one day Linda shows up, fitting the description of the chosen one perfectly. The followers start worshipping Linda instead, who shirks the responsibility of the chosen one while Molly spitefully continues to prepare for the ascension. When Lord Zarth starts saying that he has a child, Molly suggests they burn his human form to release it and then all burn themselves to ascend, which she believes the "cleansing light" to be. Once Darrell's child shows up, however, it is proved that he is just some guy named Darrell and not a god, as Lord Zarth can't have children. However, Molly still believes there is a Lord Zarth out there somewhere and is rewarded when the real one shows up in a blast of light, scooping her and the rest of the loyal followers up into space.
Kell - Supporting Role
25 to 40 years old, non-binary. Kell is Linda's new partner. They are grounded in their Christian faith, but super chilled out. Kell shows up as Darell and Linda are tied to a stake. When Lord Zarth turns out to be real, they're not phased.
Follower #1 - Supporting Role
20-40 years old, man. Follower #1 will be included in the background of every scene that has followers, playing the key part of pouring gasoline in the final scene.
Follower #2 - Supporting Role
20-40 years old, woman. Follower #1 will be included in the background of every scene that has followers, and will sometimes play a key part though mostly non-speaking.
Additional information
Preferred method of submission


Pay type


Audition location

Eatonville WA

Callbacks or second audition/interview?

These will be held at a date to be determined in July over Zoom

Union Requirements


Sides or script location

Equity Contract