Ashland New Plays Festival
$279 weekly minimum (SPT 1)
Jackie Apodaca, Artistic Director
Alysia Beltran, Casting Assistant
Authors: Lisa Langford, author of THE BREAKFAST AT THE BOOKSTORE
Victor Lesniewski, author of THE HUNT FOR BENEDETTO MONTONE
Novid Parsi, author of REMAINS AND RETURNS
Clarence Coo, author of CHAPTERS OF A FLOATING LIFE
Jonathan Spector, author of BEST AVAILABLE
Rehearsals: October 16-23, schedule varies per play
Performances: October 18-23, schedule varies per play
Our Mission: Ashland New Plays Festival assists playwrights in the development of new works through public readings and offers an educational forum to the community through discussions and workshops.
Equity’s contracts prohibit discrimination. Equity is committed to diversity and encourages all its employers to engage in a policy of equal employment opportunity designed to promote a positive model of inclusion. As such, Equity encourages performers of all ethnicities, gender identities, and ages, as well as performers with disabilities, to submit.
Equity actors for roles in the workshops and public readings of the 2022 Fall Festival winning plays (see breakdown).
BREAKDOWN Play #1: THE BREAKFAST AT THE BOOKSTORE, by Lisa Langford
SYNOPSIS: It’s 1973, five years after the 1968 Glenville Uprising, started by a shootout between police and Black nationalists. Dot wants to be an activist and support the Black liberation movement by opening a revolutionary bookstore. Sharpe, Dot’s common-law husband and a former Black nationalist, wants anything but. And Spacemen. Yep.
Dot: ROLE CAST. African American, mid to late 20s, ethereal, child-like but not childish, common-law wife to Sharpe.
Sharpe: African American, late 50s, crotchety, hardened by disappointment, wants to open a repair shop, in love with Dot. Realistic about Dot’s hopes, and the danger it could bring.
Haywood: African American, early 20s, works in a lumber yard, in love with Dot. Willing to help Dot achieve her goal of opening a bookstore.
Fran: Caucasian, 30s, mailwoman, lonely. Lives in Little Italy, in love with Dot. Wants to help Dot bring her breakfasts to fruition. The first mailwoman in the district, she is no stranger to conflict.
Play #2: THE HUNT FOR BENEDETTO MONTONE, by Victor Lesniewski
SYNOPSIS: Amid the German occupation of Italy during World War II, Pietro struggles to provide for his family while caught between Fascist law and Catholic morality. A play about our susceptibility to government-sponsored fear and hatred.
Pietro Bonatti: late 50s, an administrator in the city government. Plays by the rules. Proud of all of his children. Will do anything to protect his family and friends.
Grazia Bonatti: mid 50s, Pietro’s wife. Catholic, and holds her values close as the war creeps closer to home. Secretly aiding Jewish people in her town.
Nevio Bonatti: early 20s, Pietro and Grazia’s son, the youngest of seven children. Eager to marry Lucia; Nevio is revealed to be in love with Lucia’s brother.
Marco Sala: mid 40s, Pietro’s neighbor, a police officer. Follows orders and stays in line, excited by opportunities to move up socially. Cares deeply for the safety and future of his family.
Lucia Sala: early 20s, Marco’s daughter, the third of five children. Eager to marry Nevio and start their lives together. Awaits her brother’s return from the war. She is hopeful for her future.
Play #3: REMAINS AND RETURNS, by Novid Parsi
SYNOPSIS: In 2018, as an Iranian American family talks about nothing and everything at once, two middle aged brothers—one who has remained near their childhood suburban home, the other who returns confront their elderly immigrant parents about the impending realities of old age. Thirty years earlier, in 1988, the parents confront their teen sons about the impending realities of adulthood and their own hopes for their children’s futures—until the younger son is outed. Returning to 2018, Remains and Returns considers how we deny our familial, societal, and political pasts, and how our pasts endure.
Zarah [za-rah] Shirvani [sheer-vah-nee]: MENA, Female, mother, 78 and 48 years old. Proud of her sons, and her grandchildren. Works hard to keep her family afloat. Cares that her sons get along. Loves Cher: Does not want to accept that she and Ramin are aging; she feels they are fine at home.
Ramin [rah-meen] Shirvani: MENA, Male, father, 80 and 50 years old. An engineer. Works hard and cares that he does his job well. Wants his sons to do well, and hopes they have the same drive. When his sons are young, he worries that they do not have “a plan”. As he ages, his memory is not what it used to be.
Ash (Ashkan [ash-kahn]) Shirvani: MENA, Male, son, 48 and 18 years old. Gay, and accidentally outed by his older brother as a young adult. After being forced away from his home, experiences a general disconnect from his parents but loves and cares for their well-beings.
Ben (Behnam [beh-nahm]) Shirvani: MENA, Male, son, 50 and 20 years old. Remained close to his parents and raises his children 30 minutes away from them. Worries about his parents as they age, wants them to move into an elder care facility.
Play #4: CHAPTERS OF A FLOATING LIFE, by Clarence Coo
SYNOPSIS: It's the Second World War and two couples from China are trying to make ends meet in New York City. One husband and wife live uptown, obsessed with a past of poetry, painting, and gardens. The other two face the day-to-day reality of keeping a Chinatown restaurant in business. Their worlds, once separated by class and education, converge when the two women find each other in Central Park and fall under the spell of the Chinese language.
Shen: Male, early to mid-20s. Asian American. An unemployed college professor. Married to Yun. Analytical, but not as poetic in nature as Yun. Good natured, and cares deeply for the well- being of Yun. Though they have known each other almost their whole lives, Yun remains a mystery to Shen.
Yun: Female, early to mid-20s. Asian American. A novelist. Married to Shen. A writer working on a new manuscript. Suffers from writers’ block, until she meets Elsie.
Elsie: Female, early to mid-20s. Asian American. A restaurant worker. Married to Tom. A chef who runs the kitchen at the restaurant she and Tom own. Dreams of a life outside of their restaurant. Is learning to read with Yun.
Play #5: BEST AVAILABLE, by Jonathan Spector
SYNOPSIS: We're not going to talk about the sudden departure of our previous Artistic Director, because we want to focus on the future, not the past. The one thing we're all on the same page about it is: We Need Change. Change that builds on the remarkable legacy of our institution. It's just like the Ancient Blessing, May You Live In Interesting Times.
Staff & Board:
Helen: she/her, 50s, Managing Director, white.
Maya: she/her late 30s, Former Associate Artistic Director, BIPOC
Dolores: she/her 80s, Past Board President
Box Office Workers:
Carolina: she/her, early-mid 20s, aspiring dramaturg, BIPOC
Bex: they/them, early-mid 20s, aspiring director
Ariana: she/they, early-mid 20s, aspiring actor, BIPOC
The Management Consultants:
Dan: he/him, indeterminate middle age
Dave: he/him, indeterminate middle age, BIPOC
Please prepare a monologue in the style of the show you are auditioning for. Submit at: https://ashlandnewplays.org/wo...
SPT $279 weekly minimum (SPT 1)