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OPEN AUDITIONS: Majestic Readers’ Theatre Company presents Other Desert Cities

Updated: Mar 18



Other Desert Cities

Written by Jon Robin Baitz

Directed by Kathie O’Brien & Arlee Olson

Open Auditions: Video must be submitted by 5pm on Monday, July 5th to kathie.obrien@yahoo.com


Rehearsal Timeframe

Zoom Rehearsal Weeks: July 12 - August 6

Filming/Tech Week: August 9-13

Performances: Aug 28-29, 2021


Content Label: Appropriate Audiences. May contain adult language, violence, or sexual content.


The Majestic Theatre (a division of the City of Corvallis Parks and Recreation department) is committed to equity, diversity, and inclusion and to creating a safe place for actors of all backgrounds to explore their craft. We are particularly eager to work with artists of color and other artists from marginalized communities. All auditions are free and open to the public. This audition is for an amateur, volunteer production. The Majestic Theatre staff and volunteers do not discriminate on the basis of age, national origin, race, gender, ethnic background, ability, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, or any protected class.


All underage performers will need the permission of parent/guardian before submitting their audition.


SHOW TYPE

Majestic Readers’ Theatre Company - The format for this show will be determined by the director and cast after auditions have been completed. As part of your audition email, please state your preference as one of the two options below:


1. Show rehearsed and performed completely via Zoom

2. Show rehearsed may be rehearsed via Zoom or in-person depending on current OHA recommendations and will be filmed in-person on the Majestic stage with extensive COVID-19 precautions (including masks) over a one week period. Participants will be required to come to the theater for the filming and in-person rehearsals unless other arrangements are made.


The show will only be filmed in-person if the director and cast are unanimously in favor of doing so. If even one person isn’t, the show will be rehearsed and filmed via Zoom.


The performances will be presented via Vimeo and will utilize the Pick What You Pay $10-20 online ticket system. A link and a password will be sent to all ticketholders and will be provided to cast and crew.


SHOW SYNOPSIS

Brooke Wyeth returns home to Palm Springs after a six-year absence to celebrate Christmas with the family-- parents, brother, and aunt. Brooke is about to publish a memoir dredging up a pivotal and tragic event in the family’s history—a wound they don’t want reopened. In effect, Brooke draws a line in the sand and dares them all to cross it. This play was a finalist for the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.


FROM THE DIRECTOR Kathie O’Brien

It’s no wonder that Other Desert Cities was a finalist for the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. As the NY Times said, “Mr. Baitz makes sure our sympathies keep shifting among the members of the wounded family portrayed here. Every one of them emerges as selfish, loving, cruel, compassionate, irritating, charming and just possibly heroic…leaves you feeling both moved and gratifyingly sated.” I couldn’t agree more. The story is full of secrets and twists and turns spurred on by the complex characters. This play gives each character the chance to examine a range of emotions. It’ll be a wonderful ride to explore, then share, the story!


PREPARATION NOTES

Please pick the side for the character you are auditioning for, and record a video on your phone or computer of you reading the side. If you want to be considered for more than one role, please also record that character's side. It's not necessary, but please feel free to move around in your video audition. If you choose to use movement, just make sure we can see and hear you. Sending the Audition Video Please send your audition video(s) as an attachment to or a link in an email to kathie.obrien@yahoo.com. The deadline is 5pm on Monday, July 5th. In addition:

  • Attachments:

  • If you have one, please attach a headshot image to your audition email. It doesn’t need to be a professional headshot; any clear image of your face will do wonderfully. This will be posted with the cast list.

  • Please download, fill out, and attach our audition form located at tinyurl.com/MTAuditionForm.

  • In the body of your email, include the following information:

  • The best phone number to reach you.

  • Any conflicts you might have during the month of July and August, 2021.

  • Your preference of these two options:

  • (a) Show rehearsed and performed completely via Zoom

OR

  • (b) Show rehearsed via Zoom but filmed in-person on the Majestic stage with extensive COVID-19 precautions (including masks) over a one-week period. Participants will be required to come to the theater in Corvallis for the filming unless other arrangements are made.

Audition videos will be accepted after June 1, 2021. However, please be aware that we will not begin reviewing videos for casting prior to July 1, 2021. If needed, we will set up a Zoom meeting to hear actors read together. Once the show is cast, we will schedule a readthrough and work out rehearsal schedules.

CHARACTER DESCRIPTIONS

None of the characters have an accent. Characters do not have to be a specific race or ethnic background; we're excited to see a diverse pool of actors audition for all roles. For the roles of Trip and Brooke, the director is excited to see actors of any gender expression.


Brooke Wyeth

Character Age: 35-45

Character Race: Any

Character Ethnicity: Any

Desired Actor Gender: Any

Character: The middle child of Polly and Lyman. A writer who has returned home after six years in New York, Brooke is about to publish a second book--a memoir about an older brother's death and their parents’ culpability. Brooke is intelligent, well-educated, and strong.


Polly Wyeth

Character Age: 65-75

Character Race: Any

Character Ethnicity: Any

Desired Actor Gender: Female presenting

Character: Wife of Lyman, sister of Silva, mother to Brooke and Trip. Polly is a former Hollywood screenwriter. Polly and Lyman are staunch Republicans. Polly is strong, private, conservative, and protective. She loves her family dearly.


Lyman Wyeth

Character Age: 65-75

Character Race: Any

Character Ethnicity: Any

Desired Actor Gender: Male presenting

Character: Husband of Polly, father to Brooke and Trip. Lyman is a former B-List Hollywood actor. He and Polly are staunch Republicans and proud of it. Lyman is the peacekeeper of the family.


Trip Wyeth

Character Age: 25-35

Character Race: Any

Character Ethnicity: Any

Desired Actor Gender: Any

Character: The youngest child of Polly and Lyman. Trip is ten years younger than Brooke and is unaware of much of the family’s history surrounding their older brother’s death. Trip is the jokester of the family and works as a producer of a TV courtroom show.


Silda Grauman

Character Age: 65-75

Character Race: Any

Character Ethnicity: Any

Desired Actor Gender: Female presenting

Character: Polly’s sister and former writing partner. Silda is a liberal who has been in and out of rehab for years.

SIDES


BROOKE

Look. Here's what it is: I was blocked. As the entire world knows. And then something clicked. After you sent me all my old diaries, Dad, you know, all those boxes. Something was triggered. About the life we had. The thing of you being old guard Republicans in Hollywood, that odd and very particular subset. What it was like to be the child of an ambassador. And how that affected us, all of us-how it made us. And yes. It's mostly Henry. And yes. Yes. Your relationship with

him. (beat) What happened to that boy, who loved music, who made me sit between two speakers and memorize all the lyrics to every Beach Boys song?


POLLY

My full-time job was your father. When he became GOP chair, writing comedies didn't seem appropriate. Also, Hollywood stopped being fun. (beat) At first pictures were fun, being a girl, a smart girl in the pictures. Right out of Bryn Mawr, and into the writer's building at MGM. And when your aunt and I didn't want to work together anymore, I never found anyone else to write with. But truly, once it became about drugs and lefties whining, I was out.


LYMAN

I never wrote my memoir, because it would have hurt our friends, how hard it was, after Henry was implicated the way he was, how they all vanished and your mother refused to accept it. She circled the wagons. Around me. Borne out of thinking I'm easily bruised. I am not easily bruised.


TRIP

Funny is all we have left. Yes! They flew planes into buildings! People need funny. I can't argue with you about this, if you fail to see the merit in what I do, that's your loss, all of you. We can't all be hopelessly highbrow like Brooke, some of us have to actually make money. I'm gonna take a shower. Breakfast on me.


SILDA

The zealots who have taken over your party and marinated it in intolerance. You guys let it happen. You are incapable of speaking out, even while finding fault with it in private. (beat) And you live in that complicity every day. A war in which so many people are dying in a desert, thousands of miles away. Because it's a war declared by a man whose father is someone with whom you occasionally dine, you keep silent. That is what true believers do. That, that's what your daughter has written.

Submit your audition materials by 5pm, Monday July 5th by emailing kathie.obrien@yahoo.com

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The Majestic Theatre is a branch of the City of Corvallis Parks and Recreation Department, dedicated to bringing a wide range of artistic productions and arts education programs to the citizens of Corvallis.

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