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OPEN AUDITIONS: Majesticpiece Theatre's The Zygloom Conundrum

MAJESTICPIECE THEATRE PRESENTS: THE ZYGLOOM CONUNDRUM

Written and Directed by Ralph Turley

To be performed Saturday, September 19 at 7:30pm on Facebook Live

Dress rehearsal Friday, September 18 at 7:00 PM

Rehearsal Wednesday, September 16 at 7 PM

Readthrough on Wednesday, September 9 at 7 PM


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, disability, religious beliefs, or sexual orientation.


From the director:

I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to remount my new play as a full Majesticpiece theatre production. (The very company that served as my muse of inspiration to write a virtual play.) Watching one of their shows struck me with the realization of a potential new art form. While most see the limitations of virtual theatre, I found it opened up opportunities for things that just can’t be done on a stage. This play grew from a story I had tried unsuccessfully for years to develop as dinner theater, which transformed effortlessly to the setting of an online Zoom call.


I am very happy with the Sunday new play showcase production we did back in May. The theatre staff put together an awesome cast and mounted a terrific fun show still available on YouTube. Everyone did an incredible job with very little preparation and coordination, and that production will always hold a special place in my heart, and from it I learned a lot. Thanks to the popularity of that production I now have a chance to do it again, this time with more preparation, coordination, rehearsal time, a more streamlined script, and the addition of technical effects we were unable to add last time.


I would have been more than happy to bring the same cast back intact, but we will be holding open auditions, and I think that’s the way to go. NO parts have been precast. Once I have all the auditions, I will assemble the cast that I feel best fits my vision for this particular production. In my mind that will be the most difficult and important part of the process. I believe all eight of the roles are fun and incredibly challenging.


Due to how different some of the characters are from each other, everyone can choose to submit a couple different sides, but one is all you need to audition. Please let me know which roles you would prefer or will accept. On top of the eight principal roles I am leaning towards casting someone to play “The Disclaimer”. They will do the intro and tail, and fulfill the function of emergency back up actor. If interested or willing to do that, feel free to submit a “horror show host” side in addition to the one or two other submissions.


Synopsis:

A multistate family zoom call, arranged so that a NASA physicist can introduce his new fiancé to his parents goes off the rails when aliens log in from orbiting spaceships and demand them to summon the Earth’s supreme leader to the call so that they may deliver an ultimatum. A small family unit of brilliant nerd scientists suddenly finds itself with but a single hour to convince the entire planet Earth to submit itself to eternal unconditional slavery or suffer total annihilation.


While the growing peril is driven home by breaking world news reports, our fate-chosen heroes must attempt to negotiate humanity’s future against powerful, ruthless, dunderheaded alien invaders driven by a deadline which brooks no delay. The situation turns increasingly frantic, zany, and dire as the doomsday clock ticks steadily towards zero.


Please choose ONE or TWO of the following sides. Record a video on your phone or computer of you reading the side, and email it to turleyzone@gmail.com by 5PM on Monday September 7. Feel free to include what role you’re interested in within the body of the email.


Some guidelines:

- Perform while seated, trying to frame yourself from the shoulders up. This is what you’ll look like in the video chat during the performance, so we’ll want to see how well you can emote in this limited space.

- Props and costume pieces are encouraged! Whatever you have lying around. Just keep in mind that we can only see your torso and head!

- Actors of any gender, age, race, or ability are invited to audition for any role. We will be casting 8 performers and one Emergency Backup Actor, an understudy for all roles who can hop into the digital performance at any time to cover for another actor who might be experiencing technical difficulties.

- In order to participate in the performance, you’ll need a stable internet connection; a smartphone, computer, or tablet that can run Zoom; and a pair of headphones.

- If you have any questions, feel free to email and ask!


CHARACTERS

General Note: All characters do not have a specific race or ethnic background; we're excited to see a diverse pool of actors audition for all roles.


Howard Starr

Character Age: 40-70

Character Race: Any.

Character Ethnicity: Any.

Desired Actor Gender: Male.

Ability/movement: Any

Highly renown Molecular biologist. Bombastic and theatrical. Highly intelligent and confident. Comfortable with complex scientific jargon. Not good at reading the room. And due to a penchant for booze shots grows increasingly intoxicated throughout the show.


Helen Starr

Character Age: 40-70

Character Race: Any.

Character Ethnicity: Any.

Desired Actor Gender: Female.

Ability/movement: Any

Highly renown linguistic psychiatrist. Loving wife and doting mother. Protective of her son and wary of Doris. Highly intelligent and confident. Comfortable with complex scientific jargon. Helen likes letting Howard think he’s in charge, but is well aware that it is she that pulls the strings.


Robert Starr

Character Age: 20-40

Character Race: Any.

Character Ethnicity: Any.

Desired Actor Gender: Male.

Ability/movement: Anyy

Astronomical physicist employed at NASA. Comfortable with complex scientific jargon. Head over heels in love with Doris and eager to get his Mother’s approval of her. His responsible adult façade slips on occasion, allowing glimpses of the little nerd boy inside.


Doris McKenna

Character Age: 20-40

Character Race: Any.

Character Ethnicity: Any.

Desired Actor Gender: Female.

Ability/movement: Any

Cultural Anthropologist. Highly intelligent and confident, but not afraid to admit what she doesn’t know, and sometimes plays dumb on purpose. In love with Robert and eager for this parent’s acceptance, but wants it on her terms. Harbors a secret identity and know more about the situation than she lets on, but feel helpless in her inability to stop it.


Kakderox

Character Age: Any

Character Race: Any.

Character Ethnicity: Any.

Desired Actor Gender: Any.

Ability/movement: Any

An asexual alien ambassador badly trying to disguise itself as a human male. Campy sci-fi movie alien costume with some stereotypical male accessory. Should be able to support a Zoom background to simulate being in an alien spacecraft, or surround themselves with sci-fi glitz. Fluent and articulate with big words, but ignorant of human nature. Eager for the humans to do its bidding, but its diplomatic manner fails to hide its disdain for their obvious inferiority.


Gartzenblook

Character Age: Any

Character Race: Any.

Character Ethnicity: Any.

Desired Actor Gender: Any.

Ability/movement: Any

An asexual alien pilot captain badly trying to disguise itself as a human male. Campy sci-fi movie alien costume with some stereotypical male accessory. Must be able to support a Zoom background to simulate being in an alien spacecraft. Some coordination will be done to indicate it is the same species as Kakderox, but with different form and function. Warrior, not diplomat. Threatening, angry, and dour with a good slow burn grimacing glower. Bad cop to their good cop.


Sandy Tigreeny

Character Age: Any

Character Race: Any.

Character Ethnicity: Any.

Desired Actor Gender: Any.

Ability/movement: Any

Breaking world news anchor. Professional news room demeanor with strong melodic voice. Overly cheerful and peppy even when saying horrible things. Should be able to support zoom background or simulate a news desk.


Maxwell Stidwell

Character Age: Any

Character Race: Any.

Character Ethnicity: Any.

Desired Actor Gender: Male

Ability/movement: Any

Roaming on the scene new reporter. An arrogant twit with impeccable hair. Prone to intense sudden mood swings. Coldly professional and overconfident in one moment. And screaming in terror the next. Must be able to support Zoom backgrounds as his location changes drastically between scenes.


The Disclaimer

Character Age: Any

Character Race: Any.

Character Ethnicity: Any.

Desired Actor Gender: Any.

Ability/movement: Any

I am considering casting one person for this production to act as a sort of horror show host, think Rod Serling or Alfred Hitchcock, but more dramatic and wacked out scary. To make bookmark appearances at the beginning and end. That actor would also serve as the primary back up actor. If interested feel free to add a side doing this character on top of your other audition submissions. Double casting is also an option.

SIDES:


HOWARD:

They’d murder bacteria too? They are certifiably pathological. We must thwart their megalomaniacal diabolicality. I believe their method of propagation is key to their defeat. But hypothesis non fingo. I gleaned insufficient specifics to fully grasp the implications. When Kakderox returns, we must subtly ply him for situational criteria, which we can later apply our science to in order to extrapolate an equation capable of producing a satisfactory solution. We will be allowed only one more opportunity for analytical observation in time to avail of our learnings. In the meanwhile, I require some moments to pour over my notes


HELEN:

Kakderox’s separation anxiety regarding potential offspring implies he feels they would share the same mind. That assumption is refuted by the individual Zygloom’s heterogeneous proclivities regarding propagation. Some are prudishly repressed, and others are sicko perverts. I feel the inkling of a plausible hypothesis but lack adequate empirical evidence to quite advance a credible theory, however, I wish to propose the premise that given the time constraint and fact that if it’s wrong we’ll be dead, we promote that hypothesis directly to theory and begin work on corollary suppositions.


ROBERT:

I’m certain we’ve developed no gizmos you don’t already possess. Your vessels are amazing! A veritable paradigm shift of mechanical marvels. You’ve demonstrated feats of engineering wizardry which supersede more advanced innovation than we ever dreamed possible. Your cloaking technology is da bomb. And don’t get me started on their astounding maneuverability. They can hover, accelerate, turn, bank, and stop in ways that defy the laws of physics.

And I know those laws; I’m a physicist. I can’t enforce them, but I know ‘em.


DORIS:

(Resolute) Oh, I’ll wait here alright. If there is even a hint of a chance my Robert will log on, wild horses couldn’t drag my away. Not that wild horses would have any reason to try it. What a curious expression. (Alerted by ambient sound, Doris looks up from phone, and is startled) Oh, it’s you! Shouldn’t sneak up on people like that. Shouldn’t you be howling madly or chomping on a bit somewhere? Here to spy on us? Take a good look. (pause) You know, Gartzenblook, I think we got off on the wrong foot. You can’t be that nasty at heart. Maybe you’re misunderstood or had a traumatic childhood. Can we maybe bury the hatchet? Do you know the expression bury the hatchet? Oh. Do you know the one about wild horses? Do they really drag people away?


KAKDEROX

Thirty-three minute to the big kibosh. I will return when half that time expires. If you have not summoned your Apex to take the pledge by that time, Gartzenblook shall whip his armada to frenzy and the Zygloom hordes will howl madly, chomping at the bit for the taste of blood and fire, reined in only by the fact that I’ll gift you one final last gasp visit just ere time expires. Pin then your salvation on the tiny shred of hope that you can summon and compel your Apex to make the pledge. For should you fail, the planet Earth, and everything on it, will be annihilated, exterminated, obliterated, eradicated, immolated, and finally inoculated. With anti-bacteria to ensure every single shattered shred of cinder is never again capable of supporting life.


GARTZENBLOOK:

Bellyfull of waiting! Obtain pledge now or release the kraken. Our vessels ready to fire. Commence rolling the ball.

English is hard! There are stupid exceptions to every rule.

But soon will be a dead language from a planet-size mass of smoking rubble. (Leans in with a menacing grimace)

Armada cordon is complete. Hostages are procured. Military might utterly neutralized.

Your world lies helpless at our feet, subject to our ruthless pity.


SANDY:

Hello. I’m Sandy Tigreeny, here in New York with a breaking-world-news report. Stories are coming in from every country of enormous objects hoovering in the sky. Hundreds, thousands, maybe millions; Scientist surmise they are actual alien spacecraft. But do they come in peace? No one knows. There has been no attempt at contact. As far as talking that is. There have been numerous accounts of innocent people being drawn up into the ships on iridescent rays of light. Just moments ago, I myself witnessed New York’s favorite sportscaster Jake O’Doul floating right up into the sky. Kicking and screaming all the way. Beam me up, Scotty, am I right? Hey, Jake, if you don’t come back, can I have your parking place? But I kid. The situation is serious.


MAXWELL:

Thank you, Sandy. This is on-the-scene reporter Maxwell Stidwell with an on-the-scene report, on-the-scene in Central Park. (He pauses to smile) No, Sandy, there are no ships here, on-the-scene. Wait, I think…

Yes, I do see one, but it’s small. Tiny, size of a gnat, or a fly, or a bird, maybe a cow? Oh wait, it’s getting bigger. It’s getting bigger very fast. Oh God it’s big! Big as a house, a skyscraper, a mountain! It’s… It’s… It’s…. (Teetering on the brink of panic, he realizes where he is and attempts to evoke bravado) Actually, it’s not that bad, aesthetically, it’s bright, clean, shine…--Wait a minute, It’s opening! Mother of God, WHAT IS THAT? AHHHHHHHH!!!


THE DISCLAIMER:

The work you are about to see is NOT based on a true story. It is total fiction.

Please remember that if you begin to feel alarm. The Majesticpiece Theatre takes no responsibility for any panic in the streets which might be caused by audience members believing it is real.

Conversely if during our production by pure happenstance, the earth really is invaded by bug-eyed minsters from outer space, please comply with instructions of your local authorities.

The Majesticpiece Theatre takes no responsibility for any suspension of belief inadvertently created by our previous disclaimer. And now, enjoy the show.

Your pitiful planet is safe. For now. (maniacal laugh)


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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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info@majestic.org

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