May 10, 2019
Mosaic Theatre Co of DC 2019-2020 - EPA - Actors
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Seeking:"Inherit The Windbag" Small Professional Theater Contract Level 8 In the summer of 1968, liberal Gore Vidal and conservative William F. Buckley met for a series of debates that rocked America and defined the genre of punditry. Now, for one evening only, Vidal and Buckley meet in the Dismal Beyond (also known as the Richard Nixon Library in Yorba Linda, CA) to reprise their infamous debate. What ensues is a battle for history itself, in a no-holds-barred sesquipedalian brawl and satirical battle of wits, assisted by an ever-revolving cast of characters from Aaron Burr to Ayn Rand. Breakdown William F. Buckley, Jr.: American public intellectual and conservative author, commentator, founder of National Review , and host of the television show Firing Line (1966–1999), the longest-running public affairs show in television history with a single host, where he became known for his transatlantic accent and overpowering vocabulary. Buckley's primary contribution to politics was a fusion of traditionalist conservatism and classical liberalism which laid the groundwork for a rightward shift in the Republican Party. Gore Vidal: American novelist, essayist and public intellectual known for his patrician manner, epigrammatic wit, and polished style. Vidal's topical debates on sex, politics, and religion with other intellectuals and writers occasionally turned into quarrels with the likes of William F. Buckley Jr. and Norman Mailer. Vidal thought all men and women are potentially bisexual. Born toa political family, he was a Democratic Party politician who twice sought elected office; first to the US House of Representatives, then to the U.S. Senate. As a political commentator and essayist, Vidal's principal subject was the history of the United States and its society, especially how the militaristic foreign policy reduced the country to a decadent empire . Male Ensemble: May play Howard K. Smith, Howard Auster (Vidal’s partner), John Birch, Jimmie Trimble, Satan, Alfred Kinsey, Tennessee William, Richard Nixon, Barry Goldwater, Ronald Reagan, Joseph McCarthy, Norman Mailer, Mayor Daley, Paul Newman, Bobby Kennedy, Caligula, JFK, Ben Hur, Alexander Hamilton, Alger, Hiss, George Washington, Alger Hiss, Socrates, Aaron Burr, Abraham Lincoln and a dog. Female Ensemble: May play: Truman Capote, A seagull, Jackie Kennedy, Ayn Rand, Nina Gore: Vidal’s mother, Amelia Earhart, Aristophanes, Eleanor Roosevelt, Yale Students , Patricia Buckley (Buckley’s wife), Yale Professors , Protesters and others. ______________________ "The Till Trilogy": Part 1. "The Ballad of Emmett Till" Part 2. "That Summer in Sumner" Small Professional Theater Contract Level 8 Part 3. "Benevolence" Small Professional Theater Contract Level 8 Breakdown The Till Trilogy is an ensemble exploration comprised of three individual plays, The Ballad of Emmett Till, That Summer in Sumner and Benevolence . The ensemble is made up of actors who play multiple roles throughout the three plays in various combinations and explorations along racial and gender lines. In The Ballad of Emmett Till , the ensemble is comprised of all African American actors who shapeshift into characters from the memory of Emmett - family members, friends and enemies. Most actors will play a wide range of ages, teenagers to adults. In That Summer in Sumner , the ensemble is comprised of white and black characters, mostly journalists, attorneys, witnesses and bystanders. The play seeks to tell the story of the black journalist who broke the story and were systematically erased from the reporting by the mainstream press and the segregated practices of the south. In Benevolence, the focus is segregation. The first act of the play is the story of Caroline Bryant and the main men in her life, Roy and Ray Bryant and all of the characters are white. The second act tells the story of Clinton and Beulah Melton, a second story of racist violence in the wake of the Emmet Till killing, and all characters are black. Emmett Till as a character has a potential presence throughout all three plays, physically and spiritually. Although they are separate plays, the style and aesthetics of each play build to create a cohesive world, the ensemble greatly serves the conceptual continuity. We are looking for a multi-talented ensemble, great actors, some who can also sing, improvise a melody and move well. The music will be mostly a cappella with minimal accompaniment, live and recorded. We are also looking for cast members who can play instruments, guitar or percussion, to add to the musical exploration and soundscape. Ballad is the most musical of the three plays, Benevolence is mostly a hallucinatory soundscape. The Ensemble* Man 1: African American, late teens - early 20’s, main character is Emmett Till, needs to be believable as a young teenager, 14, but quickly becoming a man, dapper, slightly husky. Needs to be able to sing a cappella, doo-wop, slick but playful. Loves to tell jokes. Recurs as Emmett in That Summer in Sumner and may be a silent presence in Benevolence. Man 2: African American, 50’s-60’s, mature, needs an elder’s bearing, main character is Uncle Mose, 64, Mississippi Sharecropper. Physicality reflects a life of hard labor, wiry but strong. Needs to be able to do field shouts, hollers, gospel moans. Plays various mature roles in That Summer in Sumner and recurs as Uncle Mose. Man 3: African American, multiple characters, early to mid 20’s/30’s, main character in Ballad is Wheeler Parker, 16, Emmett Till’s cousin and best friend from Chicago, matches his energy and youth but more mature. Adds to Emmet’s doo wop group as Bo II. Also plays Roy Bryant, 24, white store keeper in Money, MS. Plays journalist Jimmy Hicks and various characters in That Summer in Sumner. May appear as Medgar Evers in Benevolence. Man 4: African American, multiple characters, mid 20’s – 30’s, main character in Ballad is Maurice, 16, Emmett’s cousin, son of Uncle Mose, southern sharecropper, also plays Milam, 32, white, Roy Bryant’s half brother, and a female, Ruthie May, southern, sexy and seductive. Strong, aggressive, able to play a malevolent racist and sympathetic friend, carries a sense of country innocence, but willful. Also adds to Emmett’s doo wop group as Bo III. Plays various journalists and Willie Reed in That Summer in Sumner, and Clinton Melton in Benevolence Woman 1: African American, multiple characters, age range – late 20’s-30’s, main character is Mamie Till Mobley in Ballad, also plays Simmy, young boy age 12, and Caroline Bryant, wife of Roy Bryant. Spry, youthful but earthy. Mournful mother with a courageous bearing. Plays Mamie, Cloytde Murdoch and various characters in That Summer in Sumner . Plays Beulah Melton in Benevolence. Woman 2: African American, multiple characters, age range - 40’s-50’s, main character is Emmett’s grandmother, Mamoo, also plays teenager Heluise, Aunt Lizy, Uncle Mose’s wife. Mature with youthful energy. Carries the weight of being an elder in the ensemble. May provide soulful underscoring, gospel and Blues… Plays various female and male characters in That Summer in Sumner including Ruby Hurley. Man 5: White male, mid-late 20’s, main character is Roy/Ray Bryant in Benevolence , white store owners, one is the murderer of Emmett Till. A charismatic shapeshifter, good ole boy of the South, finds the delicate balance between the two twin brothers. Also plays various characters in That Summer in Sumner including Prosecutor Robert Smith. Man 6: White male, late 20’s-30’s, plays various characters in That Summer in Sumner and Benevolence including DA Breeland, and may play FBI agent Killingsworth. Strong character actor, needs to take on different personas with speed and clarity. Man 7: White male, 40-50’s, plays various older characters throughout That Summer in Sumner , including Sheriff Strider, may also play JW Milam, balding and aged for a man in his 30’s. He is the epitome of southern authority and control, ruthless purveyor of the N-word. Woman 3: White female, 20’s, main character Is Caroline Bryant in Benevolence , plays various female and male characters in That Summer in Sumner , including Caroline . The essence of southern white trash royalty, second strain beauty queen, sexual, feisty, longing for more. Needs to take on male characters, believably, albeit humorously.* Character designations are subject to change