Announcing Auditions for Educational Theatre’s Spring 2020 Main Stage Production

The Program in Educational Theatre announces auditions for its Spring 2020 Main Stage Production directed by Joe Salvatore:

Making Gay History Org Logo

A new verbatim documentary theatre project adapted from the Making Gay History podcast. The project will explore LGBTQ+ history prior to the Stonewall uprising in 1969.

In Winter 2020, NYU Steinhardt’s Program in Educational Theatre will produce a verbatim documentary theatre project adapted from the Making Gay History podcast. The series draws its material from interviews conducted by journalist and author Eric Marcus in the late 1980s and early 1990s and that he published as two books: Making History (1992) and Making Gay History (2002). In 2016, Marcus was asked to turn the original audio files of his interviews into a podcast series, which resulted in the release of five seasons, a special Stonewall 50 season, and a sixth season in October 2019.

Marcus approached Joe Salvatore, Clinical Associate Professor of Educational Theatre and verbatim documentary theatre practitioner to collaborate on the creation of a live performance version of Making Gay History, requesting that the project focus on LGBTQ+ history before the Stonewall uprising in 1969. The intention is for the resulting play to be performed by high schools, colleges, and universities across the country as a way to teach LGBTQ+ history.

The project seeks actors from diverse backgrounds and experiences for an ensemble production of the play that may also include music inspired by the songs of Edythe Eyde. Actors who sing and/or play guitar, ukulele, and/or piano are encouraged to audition. Please note that in this particular style of verbatim performance participants/characters are often portrayed by actors of other races, ethnicities, genders, ages, abilities, and orientations.

Rehearsals will begin on or around January 18, 2020, and will occur 5-6 days a week with the opening performance scheduled for February 28, 2020.

Performance Dates:

  • Friday, February 28, 8pm 
  • Saturday, February 29, 8pm
  • Sunday, March 1, 3pm
  • Monday, March 2, 10am
  • Thursday, March 5, 8pm
  • Friday, March 6, 10am
  • Friday, March 6, 8pm
  • Saturday, March 7, 3pm
  • Saturday, March 7, 8pm
  • Sunday, March 8, 3pm

Location: Provincetown Playhouse at 133 Macdougal Street, NYC 

Audition dates, times, and locations:

Friday, November 15, 1:00-4:00pm (Education Building, Room 770)

Saturday, November 16, Noon-5:00pm (Education Building, Room 307)


Callbacks:
Sunday, November 17, 1:00-4:00pm (Education Building, Room 779)

Interested actors can click on this link to sign up for an audition slot. You will be taken to a website where you can select an audition date/time. If you have conflicts with the scheduled auditions, please reach out to Joe Salvatore (js1655@nyu.edu) to consider an alternative audition date and time. For the auditions, actors should prepare the following:

  • One of the speeches available at this link.
  • A short movement piece, no more than 2 minutes, set to a piece of music. Please bring a device (phone, tablet, laptop) to play your music. We’re interested in seeing how you complete an action while music is playing and/or tell a story through movement. THIS IS NOT MEANT TO BE ADVANCED CHOREOGRAPHY. You can tie your shoes to a Beyoncé song.
  • An awareness of one of the episodes of the Making Gay History podcast and why it speaks to you.
  • A theatrical resume (headshot/photo optional but not required)
  • Your Spring 2020 class schedule and any other pre-existing personal conflicts from January 13 through March 8, 2020.
  • 16 bars of a song to be sung acapella (no accompaniment) (optional)

If you have questions, please contact Joe Salvatore at js1655@nyu.edu.

Bravo to the Cast and Crew of ‘The Good Soul of Szechuan’

By David Montgomery

Congratulations to everybody involved in the Program in Educational Theatre’s production of Bertolt Brecht’s The Good Soul of Szechuan. What a pleasure it was to see such an outstanding production of Brecht performed in the Black Box Theatre on Thursday night (October 24)!

NYU Steinhardt Program in Educational Theatre - 'Good Soul of Szechuan' Poster, 2019

Exquisitely directed by Dr. Nancy Smither, many of Brecht’s theatre techniques were brilliantly used, including the use of captions, music, songs, actors playing several roles, direct addresses to the audience, and plenty of humor mixed with serious themes and moments. All of these theatrical techniques supported and enhanced the play’s structure, which was translated by David Harrower. Following the actions of the character of Shen Te/Shui Ta, the play explores whether in order to do good we must sometimes do evil, and whether true goodness is possible in a poverty-filled world. 

This parable exploring good and evil embodied Brecht’s vision of a theater that simultaneously entertains, teaches and provokes questions and thought. Tonight I was so impressed by the talented ensemble’s ability to convey all these things. The 17 cast members worked together seamlessly to present a provocative and compelling interpretation of this historically significant play that felt fresh and new. And Anthony Sun Prickett’s original music and musical numbers further added meaningful weight to the tone and mood of the piece. 

The wonderfully versatile ensemble of actors  included:

  • Elise Baum
  • Theo Blumstein
  • Jason Goldwin Chang
  • Christine Drayer
  • Irene Guo
  • Madeline Hoak
  • Asha John
  • Beryl Liu
  • Rita Liu
  • Laura Amancha Negrete
  • Xiaojin Niu
  • Eve Price
  • Kevin Qian
  • Sarah Reed
  • Ash Russell
  • Gretchen Vosburgh
  • Sara Wu 

Tim McMath’s set design was perfect, seemingly simple yet highly inventive. Praise must also be given to Lighting Designer Daryl Embry, Costume Designer Michelle Humprey, Sound Designer Ernesto Valenzuela, assistant directors/dramaturgs Jin Dong and Anthony Sun Prickett, assistant stage managers Megan Abbanat and Hoa Thi Kahnh Tran, and the always reliable and talented Production Stage Manager, Kristina Varshavskaya. 

Bravo to you all!

There are only three remaining shows at the Black Box Theatre at 82 Washington Square East—including Friday night (Oct. 24) at 8pm, Saturday at 8pm, and this Sunday at 3pm.

So don’t miss this illuminating and entertaining production! 

Catch it before it closes!

Educational Theatre Explores Morality with Play ‘The Good Soul of Szechuan’

By Amanda Wicks

The Program will stage Bertolt Brecht’s parable of goodness October 18-27 at NYU’s Black Box Theatre.

Rita Liu rehearses as Shen-Te. Photo by Hoa Thi Khanh Tran

Rita Liu rehearses as Shen-Te. Photo by Hoa Thi Khanh Tran

What does it take to be a good person? The question has long intrigued philosophers: Plato believed it hinged on knowledge, while Kant thought it remained intrinsically tied to motivation, and John Stuart Mill surmised it had to do with actions that maximized people’s happiness.

But philosophers haven’t been the only thinkers to engage with the question, which continues to grow increasingly tangled as the centuries progress. In that time, it hasn’t become any easier to land on a definitive answer, but the investigation remains worthwhile.

NYU Steinhardt’s Educational Theatre program takes up the inquiry with its upcoming staging of Bertolt Brecht’s The Good Soul of Szechuan. The play runs from October 18-27 at NYU’s Black Box Theatre (Pless Hall, 82 Washington Square East). In keeping with Brecht’s theory of alienation (Verfremdungseffect), the production incorporates mime, abstract movement, choral work, songs and placards.

The German playwright, poet, and director made the question of goodness a central focus of his 1941 play. Set in Szechuan, it follows the journey of three gods who seek an answer to that age-old question, and seem to find it in the heroin dealer Shen-Te, whose morality supersedes her lifestyle. The gods gift Shen-Te with wealth thanks to her good nature, but that only draws bad characters into her life, which further complicates the question of goodness. 

Educational Theatre’s production features David Harrower’s translation, which comes from the lesser-known Santa Monica version Brecht wrote while living in exile during Hitler’s reign in Germany. Although he later revised the play, making Shen-Te a prostitute, the original portrayed her as an opium dealer (which Harrower later translated to heroin).  

“With a diverse ensemble, we have explored ways in which the play is relevant in the 21st century, drawing parallels to Brecht’s time under the specter of fascism, to current day dilemmas in our often hostile and dangerous world,” said Nancy Smithner, clinical associate professor of educational theatre, who directs the production. “Moving beyond the binaries of good and bad, we ask, ‘Is it possible to be truly good in our present-day world?’”

Between October 18-27, performances of The Good Soul of Szechuan take place at 8 p.m., with Sunday matinees at 3 p.m. See the full schedule and purchase tickets via the NYU Box Office.

Friendsgiving and FIREBEETLES!!! Auditions

Uproar logo and Title for events

We are so excited to announce auditions for our fall mainstage productions! Part of Uproar’s mission is to produce new works written by NYU students.

In celebration of this, we will be producing Friendsgiving, written by Carina Kanzler, and FIREBEETLES!!! by Yaroslava Bondar.

FIREBEETLES!!! is a ten minute one-woman show which will be playing before Friendsgiving at each performance date. Friendsgiving is a 60-80 minutes show with a cast of seven women and one man.

Audition Times and Locations:
September 19th from 7-11 in GCASL 269
September 20th from 6-11 in GCASL 269

Click here for Materials and instructions

Click here to sign up for an audition slot

Please fill out this information form when you sign up

—————————————————————-
SYNOPSIS:
Friendsgiving:
Everyone says that the first three months of college are the hardest, that if you can survive them, you’re in the clear. But what happens when you have to return home and confront everything you left behind? A group of girlfriends, inseparable since sixth grade, grapple with what it means to move forward, grow up, and let go while still leaving room in their lives for those who had such a profound impact on who they are today. They are forced to confront the sometimes alarming truth of what has changed and what hasn’t at their first annual “Friendsgiving”.

FIREBEETLES!!!:
Mina is a 12 year old girl with SO MANY questions (What is a penis? How to boil a frog? Is the world ending?) but very little answers. With her older sister off to college and her best friend in a relationship, she is left with just her stuffed animals to talk to. FIREBEETLES!!! is a play about growing up, staying young, feeling small in an overwhelming world, and, naturally, fireflies.

Auditions for Fall Mainstage Production: THE GOOD SOUL OF SZECHUAN

The Good Soul of Szechuan tranlated by David Harrower - Bloomsbury cover image
The Good Soul of Szechuan

THE GOOD SOUL OF SZECHUAN
by Bertolt Brecht
directed by Dr. Nan Smithner 

A play with music AND a timely tale of good versus greed! 

Seeking diverse actors of all ages, sizes, and genders: An excellent opportunity to work in an ensemble format creating and exploring Brecht’s alienation devices. 

Please prepare a 1 – 2 minute monologue of your choosing, as well as a short song.

AUDITION DETAILS:

  • Dates + Times: September 4, 5, 6 from 7:00pm – 10:00pm
  • Location: Black Box Theatre, Pless Hall – 82 Washington Square East | New York, NY 10003
  • Additional info: 
    • Reserve your audition here
    • Please prepare a 1 – 2 minute monologue of your choosing, as well as a short song
    • Please bring your resume and headshot
    • Callbacks on Sat, September 7 from 10am – 12pm 
    • 1st Rehearsal on Sat, September 7 from 1pm – 5pm

REHEARSAL + SHOW INFO:

  • Rehearsal dates: September 7 – October 17, 2019
  • Performance dates: October 18 – 27, 2019

If you have any questions please feel free to email Kristina Varshavskaya (Production Stage Manager)

Thank you and looking forward to seeing you at the auditions!

Radium Girls Opens Tonight

NYU Steinhardt’s Program in Educational Theatre will present Radium Girls, a production exploring one of the biggest labor scandals of America’s early 20th century, from March 1 to 10.

The show tells the dark story of female factory workers who contracted radiation poisoning from painting watch dials with luminous paint and is accompanied by learning resources to help New York City school students and teachers grapple with this history.

Radium made waves across the country when it was discovered in the late 1800s-and became a key ingredient in everything from toothpaste to cosmetics-and was mixed with paint to create popular glow-in-the-dark watches. The female factory workers painting these watches were perceived to have glamorous jobs, given the high wages and luminous sheen left on clothes and hair from radioactive dust. That was, until thousands of factory workers began developing fatal illnesses.

Radium Girls by DW Gregory is inspired by the true story of Grace Fryer, a dial painter, as she battles the U.S Radium Corporation, her former employer, and family and friends. The NYU Steinhardt production is accompanied by a series of pre- and post-show activities for use in school classrooms to help students better understand the work being shown, process their experiences, and demonstrate achievement towards the New York State Learning Standards for the Arts.

“Theater is great for bringing history to life and connecting with current events. Radium Girls has enduring and resonant themes, including the ongoing fight between people and large corporations, the denial of truth through cover-ups, and the role of the media in shaping public perceptions,” said David Montgomery, director of the Program in Educational Theatre and the show’s director.

NYU Steinhardt’s production of Radium Girls runs Friday, March 1 at 8 p.m., Saturday, March 2 at 8 p.m., Sunday March 3 at 3 p.m., Thursday, March 7 at 8 p.m., Friday, March 8 at 8 p.m., Saturday, March 9 at 8 p.m., and Sunday March 10 at 3 p.m. at the Provincetown Playhouse, 133 Macdougal Street. Tickets are $15 general admission and $5 for students, seniors, and NYU faculty. For tickets, contact NYU Box Office, call 212.998.4941, or visit in person at 566 LaGuardia Pl (at Washington Square South).

NYU Steinhardt Radium Girls Poster

Originally published at BroadwayWorld.com

Teacher Resources can be accessed here.

Auditions for Radium Girls!

The Program in Educational Theatre is proud to announce the Spring main stage: Radium Girls written by D.W. Gregory and directed by David Montgomery. Auditions will be Saturday, 1/26 and Monday, 1/28 with callbacks on Tuesday, 1/29.

“In 1926, radium was a miracle cure, Madame Curie an international celebrity, and luminous watches the latest rage—until the girls who painted them began to fall ill with a mysterious disease. Inspired by a true story, Radium Girls traces the efforts of Grace Fryer, a dial painter, as she fights for her day in court. Her chief adversary is her former employer, Arthur Roeder, an idealistic man who cannot bring himself to believe that the same element that shrinks tumors could have anything to do with the terrifying rash of illnesses among his employees. As the case goes on, however, Grace finds herself battling not just with the U.S. Radium Corporation, but with her own family and friends, who fear that her campaign for justice will backfire. Written with warmth and humor, Radium Girls is a fast-moving, highly theatrical ensemble piece for 9 to 10 actors, who play more than 30 parts—friends, co-workers, lovers, relatives, attorneys, scientists, consumer advocates, and myriad interested bystanders. Called a “powerful” and “engrossing” drama by critics, Radium Girls offers a wry, unflinching look at the peculiarly American obsessions with health, wealth, and the commercialization of science.”

Our production seeks an ensemble of 9-12 people of diverse backgrounds, ages, genders, races, ethnicities, and abilities to perform various roles in the ensemble. Almost all performers will play multiple characters. For more information or to sign up to audition, please visit here. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Cassie Holzum (Production Stage Manager).

Hope to see you there!

Peter and the Starcatcher

PETER AND THE STARCATCHER opens this Friday! Come out and see the hard work of a dynamic cast and thoughtful production team who have focused on showcasing the abilities of everyone involved through the story-theatre quality of this show.

Go to this link to purchase general admission ($15) or senior tickets ($5): NYU Ticket Central

To purchase student tickets for $5, follow these instructions:
Login to NYU home
Click on NYU life (on the left)
Scroll to box office
Click on campus events
Scroll to Peter and the Starcatcher (whichever date you would like)
Click login to get tickets (on the right)
Click get tickets now (on the right).

If you have any questions, please reach out to Cassie Holzum.

Hope to see you there!


Faculty Review:

I was fortunate to see Peter and the Starcatcher in the Black Box Theatre, and experience this very exciting new interpretation of the play. Directed brilliantly by Dr. Amy Cordileone, the ensemble work in this hilarious and moving play was a delight to experience. Supporting each other in complex choreography, colorful and satirical visuals and rousing songs, all members of the cast were compelling and mesmerizing!
Make sure to get out and see this innovative, playful and wildly theatrical take on the back story of Peter Pan and the importance of love and friendship.
Dr. Nan Smithner
Clinical Associate Professor

Auditions: Peter and the Starcatcher

Announcing PETER AND THE STARCATCHER auditions! They are August 29 and 30, 7:00-10:00pm. You can sign up for a time slot and find more information on the sign up website.

This fall, the Program in Educational Theatre at NYU will proudly present PETER & THE STARCATCHER, featuring an ensemble of developmentally diverse performers.

PETER & THE STARCATCHER is “a new play about our hero of old (…).” Before Wendy, before Neverland, & yes, before Peter Pan, there was Molly (a girl on the brink of everything—our intrepid hero) & there was Boy (a nameless, homeless, & friendless child so cast down he’d begun to fear his own shadow), whose story begins on the deck of a ship. Boy & his schoolmates are shipped off from Victorian England and sold to the evil king of a distant island. While at sea, the orphans are discovered by Molly & together they identify a mysterious trunk full of Starstuff (a celestial substance so powerful it must not fall into the wrong hands). So, when their ship is suddenly overtaken—seized by the fearsome pirate Black Stache, who’s determined to claim the trunk & its treasure for his own—Molly, the Boy, & his mates resolve to protect the Starstuff… embarking on the adventure of a lifetime.

Our Production: An acting company of developmentally diverse performers will collaborate to fashion a captivating theatrical event accessible to audience members of all abilities.

Often described as a “love letter to the theatre,” PETER & THE STARCATCHER’s dynamic book, by Rick Elise, is an ideal playground for collaborative theatre-makers—perfectly situated to showcase both source material & ensemble. Grounded in the aesthetics of Story Theatre, the world of PETER & THE STARCATCHER is uniquely defined (& redefined) by its players—invoking the collective imagination as found objects, architecture, & other elements of the everyday transform before our eyes. Essentially… everybody plays everything!!! PETER & THE STARCATCHER is, at its heart, an origin story—a pre-history of Pan that has, at its end, a 100-year old beginning (read: this adventure has little to do with being & everything to do with becoming). Our production will be, first & foremost, a love letter to the journey… to personal discovery & self-acceptance—a celebration of the attributes & aptitudes of each individual onstage that, in true Story Theatre fashion, blurs the lines between exposition, scenework, & personal narrative.

NYU’s Program in Educational Theatre encourages performers with & without developmental differences to audition & will provide reasonable accommodations to all individuals who request them. In order to audition, please prepare two sides from different categories from this document. If you have any questions, please reach out to Cassie Holzum (Production Stage Manager and Assistant Director)

If you cannot find a time slot that works for you, we will be accepting walk-ins on a first come, first served basis.
Callbacks will be on Saturday, Sept. 1st 12pm – 5pm and Tuesday, Sept. 4th 7pm – 10pm. Please let me know if you have any further questions!

Looking for Shakespeare Opens This Week!

Looking for Shakespeare
presents
Poster Image for Two Noble Kinsmen

Thursday, July 19 at 7PM

Friday, July 20 at 7PM
Saturday, July 21 at 2PM
 
Black Box Theatre
82 Washington Sq. East
 
Tickets are $5 online and at the door
Purchase tickets at NYU Ticket Central
 
Looking for Shakespeare is an intensive four-week summer program for high school students from across the country. Over the past few weeks, our ensemble of 18 young actors has worked with Director Amy Cordileone, our artistic team, and 8 incredible grad students to produce this rarely-performed Shakespeare play.
 
If you would like to join us for the Invited Dress Rehearsal at 7PM on Wednesday, July 18th.
please email Jasmine Pai 
 

Director: Amy Cordileone, PhD
Producers: Jasmine Vogue Pai & Robert M. Stevenson
Productio
n Stage Manager: Cassie Holzum
Assistant Stage Manager: Zack Palomo
Music Director: Rachel Whorton
Dramaturg & Vocal Coach: Ashley Renee Thaxton
Scenic & Lighting Designer: Daryl Embry
Costume Designer: Livvie Goble
Props Master & Sound Designer: Evan Oslund
Dramaturgy Intern: Kaylee DeFreitas
Production Artwork Designer: Sophie Bomeisler

Ensemble Members: Ma. Pilar Beddall, Elektra Birchall, Maya Bodnick, Sophie Bomeisler, Hero Cordileone, Oliver D’Avolio, Aaron Dorelien, Liam Festa, Emily Friedman, Wilson Hernandez, Elizabeth Kenney, Cornelius “CK” Kittrell, Nina Kolman, Thomas LaGrange, Emily Leclerc, Sasha Kruger, Rachel Smith, Finn Westcott
NYU Students/Acting CoachesStephanie Anderson, Shalen Daniels, Ian McCabe, June Moore, Justine Moser, Victoria Neff, Cynthia Rosen, Casey Starkey