A Little More Plank Dramaturgy
One of the many themes that I'm trying to address with Plank is the individual's relationship with society. This video is a pretty good summation of how I feel about our world, and maybe what we're doing wrong.
Auditions For Plank
AUDITIONS FOR ALLEY CAT THEATER’S
BY JOHN GREINER-FERRIS
DIRECTED BY MEGAN SCHY GLEESON
Alley Cat Theater is holding auditions for its upcoming production, Plank, by John Greiner-Ferris and directed by Megan Schy Gleeson, to be produced at the Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts, August 26 – September 16, 2017.
We will be looking for three women and two non-gender-specific actors. The playwright encourages a diverse cast.
Auditions will consist of a one-minute contemporary or classical monologue of the actor’s choice, and readings from the script. If you don’t have a monologue, you can use one from the script. Because the play is movement-based, please wear loose, comfortable clothing for easy movement.
Plank is about Potpee, who, happy and content, adrift in the middle of the ocean on a plank of wood. Then she is “rescued.” Plank uses a mix of traditional theater and nontraditional, experimental theatrical elements that include movement, magical realism, and poetic language, addressing some of the more compelling issues of our time: climate change, refugees, individual rights, the importance of the individual in today’s society, social media, and nature vs. society.
These are all speaking parts, there is a stipend, and we will be looking specifically for actors who are very comfortable with movement and dancers who are comfortable acting. Actors will play the range of characters, from people to whales to seagulls to parts of the ocean, and must be comfortable morphing from one character to the next.
Auditions will be held:
Saturday, March 25 from 2:00 to 6:00
Sunday, March 26, from noon to 5:00
Callbacks, if needed, will be Monday, March 27, from 6:00 to 9:00.
Charlestown Working Theater
442 Bunker Hill Street
Charlestown, MA 02129
Parking for the theater is available along Main, Bunker Hill, and Medford Streets
To learn more about Plank and Alley Cat Theater, and to download a copy of the script, please visit www.alleycattheater.org/current-projects.
To reserve your audition slot, please email your resume and headshot to firstname.lastname@example.org
Alley Cat Theater is committed to fostering a diverse theater, hiring theater artists including actors, directors, dramaturgs, and designers regardless of their gender, ethnicity, age, religion, or sexual orientation.
John Greiner-Ferris is the founding artistic director at Alley Cat Theater.
Do you ever get the sense that the problems in the world are just too immense? That there are forces at large that are so powerful and have so much momentum that any of us, as individuals, are powerless, or even worse, that we simply don’t count?
I know as a playwright I wondered what I could do about a world that I felt was rapidly moving away from my own values and how I would like to see our world. We writers tend to be an introspective, introverted lot, and so, like many writers, I kept to myself and thought and observed.
Before I explain what I came up with, I want to say that I did come to the conclusion that more than ever, the role of the individual in our society couldn’t be more important than it is now. Our individual rights and therefore our dignity as human being is being stripped away (and sometimes I think we’re just giving it away.) Individually, I pondered about what I could do.
And here’s what I came up with. Here’s what I can do.
I can write; it’s really all I know how to do. I can write plays that address the issues of today in what I feel is an intelligent, compelling, and thoughtful way. I can produce these plays. I can hire people, giving them the opportunity to ply their trades by helping me put on these plays, and while I can’t offer a living wage, I can continue to work towards being able to pay more than I have in the past. It’s a small list, I’ll grant you. But you try doing it. This list keeps me busy throughout the day all through the week, and keeps me awake in the middle of the night.
Plank, our first full-length production that opens this August, is one of these plays.
There are layers to that list, though, and I don’t want to delve into any of the layers except one. There is so much conversation in our country about diversity, race, and gender. Some have even blamed identity politics as the real or partial reason for the current political climate and administration. I don’t know about that. Again, just like same sex marriage, I see these issues simply as civil rights issues, and you don’t brush civil rights under the carpet. Maybe you can see how this relates to my conclusion about the importance of the individual and individual rights.
I do feel strongly about the need for diversity in the theater. Many of you who are reading this right now may feel the same way I do—birds of a feather and all of that. But maybe some of you don’t. If you don’t, it’s you I’m talking to right now. For many years, I was a contract editorial writer for a pretty good newspaper. Now, this isn’t my idea, but another columnist said that when you write, there are three things that can happen: 1) the reader will say, that’s what I think, I agree with you; 2) the reader will say, you’re crazy, and shut you down; 3) the reader will say, I never thought of that, I’ll think about it.
I’m going for #3.
Here are the reasons I value and promote diversity at Alley Cat Theater. It is a value I have in my life, and if you’d like to understand why, you can read my bio here. People have helped, and continue to help me, along the way, and I stand with one of the characters in my play, Highland Center, when it comes to helping people:
Not when I’m with you. I never understood why misery loves company, Hank. Why do people say, well, I suffered so you have to suffer too? I walked two miles in the snow so you should too? Shouldn’t it be if you suffered you don’t want anyone else to go through what you went through? Shouldn’t it be that we should want to stop suffering in the world, not preserve it? Hank, take care of Henry. Do your best, and don’t quit. Don’t run out on him. Hank, we all end up in the same place, the only difference is how we get there. A pine box, Hank. There. (Pointing to her headstone.) We all end up there.
So, here are my reasons for insisting on diversity at Alley Cat Theater:
Alley Cat Theater
Alley Cat Theater produces new work that is intelligent, compelling, and thoughtful, telling stories by pushing the boundaries of the theater.
Alley Cat Theater has been funded by The Boston Foundation as part of the Live Arts Boston initiative, Eastern Bank Charitable Foundation, and the Bob Jolly Charitable Trust.
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