The Dayton Playhouse will hold auditions for its annual “FutureFest” new play festival on the following dates: May 29 & 30 at 7 p.m. Fully staged plays will audition on Monday and staged readings on Tuesday.
FutureFest is a festival of previously unproduced plays, which have been submitted by playwrights across the United States. Hundreds of submissions are read and the top six are selected to be performed at the festival. Playwrights of these plays will attend the festival, as will five professional adjudicators from across the country. Three plays will be performed as staged readings and three will be fully staged over the 3-day festival. Feedback will be given by adjudicators and audience members and a festival winner will be selected. This year marks the 27th FutureFest, which is the largest new play festival in the country sponsored by a community theatre.
The finalists in this year’s “FutureFest” include:
First, Do No Harm by J. Thalia Cunningham of Delmar, NY (staged reading)
Synopsis: Our recent election galvanized a tsunami of concerns about race and healthcare.
The CDC reported black Americans suffer higher rates of disability and preventable diseases than non-minorities. While blatant discrimination is no longer rampant, stereotyping persists. Hospitals emphasize the need for cultural diversity but, perhaps, have fallen short. Inspired by a real case, FIRST, DO NO HARM is the story of two African American mothers journeying along parallel paths of grief and guilt. It doesn’t attempt to answer the questions raised. There are no easy answers, and no single clinical guideline is useful in unraveling the spectrum of human physical, mental, and emotional response to illness.
5 actors (4F, 1 M) with doubling
- ELISSA KERRY – 40s, African-American, surgeon and mother.
- ALISON TAYLOR – 40s, Caucasian, Elissa’s wife, a family physician.
MATTIE CLESTER – 50s, African-American woman, uneducated but street smart.
DWAYNE HATCHER – 50s, Hospital CEO, African-American. Comes from a Ben Carson background, but has a
Donald Trump attitude (also plays various other small parts).
FEMALE ACTOR – Scrub nurse, Valerie, Patient Advocate, Medical Board Nurse.
The Spanish Prayer Book by Angela J Davis of Los Angeles, CA (staged reading)
Synopsis: In 2007, a committed atheist inherits a collection of rare and extremely valuable illustrated Hebrew manuscripts, including a prayer book from fourteenth-century Spain. Financial struggles and a child’s recent hospitalization favor an initial plan to auction the books. A moral dilemma, historical mystery, and matters of the heart converge, however, following the discovery that the books, which bear witness to overlapping Jewish and Islamic traditions, were stolen, some six-hundred years after their creation, from a library in Berlin. Inspired by true events and a late twentieth-century court case, and using images from the books themselves, the play explores the allure of sacred manuscripts, the ethical issues generated by cultural treasures displaced during wartime, and the power of art to forge human connections.
6 actors (3 F, 3 M) with doubling
JACOB ADLER – 80s; beloved emeritus history professor and progressive rabbi. Gentle and understated, a man of Talmudic wisdom and agonizing secrets.
JOAN ADLER – 70s; Jacob’s wife, raised in London. Cosmopolitan and frank, especially when it comes to the
patriarchies of academia and organized religion.
MICHAELA ADLER – 40s; Jacob and Joan’s daughter. A long-time atheist who has abandoned a legal career to
teach inner city kids. Attractive and reasonably well presented, but also divorced, exhausted, and broke.
JULIEN NAZIR – 40s; Jacob’s protégé, a non-practicing Muslim, born in the Middle East and educated in the
West. Handsome, accomplished, and socially conscious; a tenured historian at Berkeley, currently
guest teaching in London.
ALEXANDER ADLER – 60s; a rabbi born in Budapest, but a mystic of many times and places. Well-versed in
Jewish texts, but favoring life and humanity above all. The same actor plays CHRISTOPHER HOWELL,
a British newspaper reporter.
CHANNA WILD – 30s; reserved, highly intelligent, and beautiful librarian at the Hebrew Institute of Berlin.
The same actor plays an icy auction house ASSISTANT and a nervous male LAW CLERK
Wake by Vince Gatton of New York, NY (staged reading)
Synopsis: Dan and Eric have a new marriage license, a new baby, and a new house in the country. As they settle into this new life, Dan is having what seem to be sleepwalking episodes. A ghost story told by a young visitor leads Eric to suspect that Dan’s sleepwalking is actually something far more sinister — but is it what he thinks it is? Or are there other forces at work? WAKE is a ghost story for the post-AIDS generation, a play about marriage, expectations, and the power of narrative to both heal and harm.
5 actors (1 F, 4 M)
DAN – 45 – 50, Caucasian, married to ERIC.
ERIC – 30 – ish, Caucasian, married to DAN.
TERRELL – 45 – 50, African – American, friend of DAN.
ESME- 20s, African – American, niece of TERRELL.
CHARLIE – 30-ish, friend of ERIC.
Magnificent Hubba Hubba by Olga Humphrey of New York, NY (fully staged)
Synopsis: A teenage boy tracks down his downtrodden, fiery, and foulmouthed idol –“The Magnificent Hubba Hubba” – an old-time woman wrestler now over 70 and working as a greeter at a hotel casino. He aims to set up the rematch of the century between her and her arch rival of years gone by. But what he really wants is to win the love of her estranged granddaughter, a high school wrestling star who hates his guts. A comedy about how true passion never grows old, and sometimes the best partnerships are the most unlikely ones.
7 actors (5 F, 2 M) with doubling
LUCILLE – 70s
ROY – 16
ALICE – 70s
LULU – 16
ZANE – 70s, ANNOUNCER
WANDA, NADYA, YOUNG LUCILLE, REFEREE (20s-50s)
TEDDY, NURSE, YOUNG ALICE, HOSTESS (20s-30s)
On Pine Knoll Street by Mark Cornell of Chapel Hill, NC (fully staged)
Synopsis: Thelma is a colorful and quick-witted 87-year old woman struggling with her memory. Her devoted daughter Marilyn, with whom she now lives, is trying to make the best of the situation. When Marilyn asks her neighbor Curtis, a struggling writer and stay-at-home father, to care for her mother and her beloved cats while she is at the beach, it sets in motion a friendship that tethers two families. Funny and heartbreaking, On Pine Knoll Street is an intimate look at the joy and fragility of life, the meaning of home, and the things we do for love.
5 actors (3 F, 1 M, 1 boy)
THELMA – 87, F
MARILYN – 52, F
CURTIS – 40, M
KRISTIE – 38, F
MITCHELL – 8, M
The Puppeteer by Desiree York of Rancho Santa Margarita, CA (fully staged)
Synopsis: When Constance, a 1920’s jazz singer, chooses to stand on her own, not only is her name carried on through multiple generations, but so is her determination to find an identity in an ever changing world. Spanning five generations, starting in the Harlem Renaissance and ending in present day, the women from one African-American family struggle to overcome the roles assigned to them by society in order to find their way home.
7 actors (5 F, 2 M)
CONSTANCE/CONNIE (played by the same actress) – 20s – mid 30s, African – American woman ROBERT/CHRISTOPHER (played by the same actor) – role spans 20s -late 40s, Caucasian man
ERNIE/MR. HOTCHKISS (played by the same actor )- 30s – 40s, Caucasian man
MISS DUNSTON – 20, Caucasian woman
MRS. COVINGTON – Early – mid 20s, Caucasian woman
- JENKINS – Early – mid 30s, Caucasian woman
- EVANS – role spans early 50s – early 70s, Caucasian woman.
Auditions will consist of cold readings from the scripts. Full cast information is also available at www.daytonplayhouse.com.
Auditions will be held at the Dayton Playhouse, 1301 E. Siebenthaler Ave., Dayton, OH 45414. Those auditioning should bring a list of any scheduling conflicts through July 23. Rehearsals are typically in the evening, or on weekends.
FutureFest performances will be July 21-23. Weekend passes are $100 and will be available soon by calling the box office at 937-424-8477. The box office is staffed Mondays and Wednesdays from 1:30 – 3:30 p.m., however messages may be left at any time and calls will be returned. Tickets to individual performances will be $18.
The Dayton Playhouse is a community theatre providing outstanding theatrical productions to Miami Valley audiences of all ages for more than fifty years. The Playhouse is nationally recognized for “FutureFest,” a festival of new plays.