Auditions for historical comedic drama “Ben Butler”
Burien Actors Theatre announces auditions for the historical comedic drama Ben Butler. Based on historical events, playwright Richard Strand’s script is a thought-provoking story of equality and the politics of race in America. A hit on the East Coast, the Northwest premiere of this play will be performed Sept. 29 through Oct. 22, 2017 at Burien Actors Theatre.
Set during America’s Civil War, Ben Butler calls for a strong ensemble cast of four men, one African-American and three Caucasian. Actors do not have to be the ages indicated, but must be able to convincingly portray them. The intent in casting is to be as historically consistent as possible with the time period, place and circumstances in which the play is set.
SYNOPSIS: Ben Butler is based upon historical events. It’s the first week of the American Civil War and Major General Benjamin Butler has been placed in command of the Union outpost Fort Monroe in Virginia, which has just seceded from the United States. Three escaped slaves arrive seeking sanctuary despite the Fugitive Slave Act, which requires fugitive slaves be returned to their owners. Among the fugitives is Shepard Mallory, a man unlike any Butler has ever met. The play skillfully balances pathos with well-crafted humor as the educated and stubborn Mallory challenges the equally stubborn Butler to “see things differently.” Butler, a successful Massachusetts lawyer in civilian life, is led to establish a legal precedent that marked the beginning of the end of slavery in the United States and changed the course of American history. This unique look at a key decision in the Civil War drew rave reviews at theaters back East. Northwest premiere.
Performances are at Burien Actors Theatre in Burien from Sept. 29 through Oct. 22 on Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. Rehearsals begin Aug. 21.
The stage director is Isaiah Crowson.
$100 stipend provided.
Auditions are Sunday, July 9 from 6 to 9 p.m. and Monday, July 10 from 7 to 10 p.m. Callbacks will be Sunday, July 16 from 6 to 10 p.m.
Please prepare two contrasting contemporary monologues (serious/comedic) totaling no more than 3 minutes. Please also bring resume and headshot. Callbacks will consist of cold readings from the script.
Actors do not have to be the ages indicated, but must be able to convincingly portray them. The intent in casting is to be as historically consistent as possible with the time period, place and circumstances in which the play is set.
Major Benjamin Butler: Male, approximate age range 46-55, Caucasian. A Massachusetts lawyer turned commanding officer. Highly intelligent and self-assured, bordering on arrogant. He does not have the crisp neatness associated with military men and in fact appears quite frumpy.
Shepard Mallory: Male, approximate age range 26-34, African-American. An escaped slave. Mallory is a collection of contradictions: brash but wary, respectful and flippant, humble yet arrogant in a moment, simultaneously scared and over-confident. His education is a blessing and a curse to him, as is his impassioned demeanor. Argues relentlessly to save his life and the lives of his fellow fugitives. Ultimately, his passion, intelligence and charm win out.
Lieutenant Kelly: Male, approxmate age range 30-34, Caucasian. Serves as Butler’s adjutant. A West Point graduate and career army man, Kelly is all military and has earned his stripes. He has found few reasons to like or respect his new commander.
Major Cary: Male, approximate age range 46-55, Caucasian. Confederate Army officer. Southern accent necessary. Former head of a military academy for boys. Formal, dignified and showy. Relies on spit and polish, but has the ability to threaten. Cary comes to the fort under the orders of his commander to reclaim the fugitive slaves and detests being sent to negotiate with Butler.