Seeking 4 actor-singers for "Giving Voice: an evening of short works by autistic nonspeakers"
Theater of Possibility
About the project and the company
We’re seeking 4 actor-singers for “Giving Voice: an evening of short works by autistic nonspeakers.” The event will consist of Love Letters: A True-ly Short Epistolary Romance, by nonspeaking autistic poet Sofia Ghassaei, plus songs by autistic nonspeakers.
Love Letters is about two autistic nonspeakers, Melody and Luke, who fall in love via email, only to struggle with sensory realities when they meet in person. While specific to the experience of nonspeakers, it is also a universal story of first love – found and lost – and the chasm between fantasy and reality.
The play requires a cast of four: the two young adult autistic characters (1F/1M) and two aides who are somewhat older (1F/1 any gender, including nonbinary). The aides will also double as singers.
Melody and Luke have severe apraxia. A person with apraxia, also referred to as the “brain-body disconnect” HAS motor ability, but they struggle with the ability to motor PLAN. They know what they want to do, but a breakdown happens between the thought and the action.
Per the playwright’s instructions, the actors do not need to be autistic. We’re looking for performers with strong vocal ability, who can bring out the dramatic nuance in Sofi’s poetic text and also sing, as well as excellent physical control (as they must alternately portray the character’s physical disability in real life, as well as their unfettered imaginary world.) Connection to neurodiversity, either through personal lived experience or family members, is a plus. Autistic performers are encouraged to audition for all parts, including the aides.
The work will rehearse and be performed at University Heights Center, Seattle, Thu-Sun, June 15-18, with a possible extension, involving an additional week’s rehearsal and one or two performance weekends Thu-Sat, between June 18-July 8, in the Strawberry Jam Festival at 12th Avenue Arts (if selected – notification April 15).
Length of work will run from 30-60 minutes, depending on the number of songs used (and Strawberry Jam Festival).
Location of Audition
first audition by zoom; callbacks at University Heights Center, 0531 University Way NE, Seattle, 98105
Project will have a music director/vocal coach/piano accompanist. We are exploring the possibility that the 2 performers who play the aides might also contribute to the musical accompaniment (guitar, percussion, etc.) (Ability to play a instrument is a plus, but not required.) This would fit with the informal, "coffee-house" style of the songs, which exist apart from the play, but comment on it, and will help distinguish the singer-musicians from their role as aides in the story. The actors who play Melody and Luke will likely also have some singing.
See submission instructions. During zoom appointment (up to 30 minutes), candidates will be asked to read a selection from the script, which will be provided in advance, and provide a song demo, if available. In-person callbacks will likely involve movement work, script reading in pairs, and singing a segment from one of the songs. Script and song samples available at google drive link or by email request.
Character breakdown / Project needs
Preferred method of submission
First audition via zoom, ideally between now and March 31
$250 (plus $100-$150 if selected for Strawberry Jam Festival) $250 (plus $100-$150 if selected for Strawberry Jam Festival)
Callbacks or second audition/interview?
in-person callbacks date and time TBA (first week of April)
First auditions over zoom. Please send request for appointment, with resume and headshot, to email@example.com. If you have a demo reel, please include that as well.
Sides or script location