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OPEN AUDITIONS: The Masque of Gaia



The Masque of Gaia

Written and directed by Rachel Kohler

Edited for video presentation by Chad Howard

Video Auditions Due: Wednesday, March 31 at 5pm

Pre-filmed Performance: April 17

Content Label: All Audiences


Rehearsal Schedule

Readthrough/Logistics meeting: Tuesday, April 6th at 7pm

Filming: April 7-13th, dependent on actor availability



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 auditions will be via a video submitted to the director via email unless otherwise arranged. In addition to your audition video, please download, fill out, and attach our audition form located at tinyurl.com/MTAuditionForm. It’s a fillable PDF, and you can fill in the blanks on your computer if you download it first. Let us know if you have any trouble with the form, and we’ll help you out with it.


All underage performers will need the permission of parent / guardian before submitting their audition. A headshot will be requested to be posted with the cast list, so if you have one please attach it with your audition video and form.


SHOW TYPE

A pre-recorded play, presented as a free video online as part of Corvallis Parks and Recreation’s Earth Day celebration, Planet Palooza. There will be no in-person rehearsals or live performance of this show; we will use Zoom to capture footage and then edit it into a final product for release. Memorization will not be necessary.


SHOW SYNOPSIS

Gaia, Mother Earth herself, has been feeling extremely unwell, and she suspects that it may have something to do with the humans who live on her. She sends her servant Zephyr, the West Wind, on a quest to discover what’s going on.


FROM THE DIRECTOR Rachel Kohler

“A “masque” is an old theatrical form that typically features allegorical figures delivering a specific message for a specific occasion (generally in verse, for added fun). So when I was commissioned to write a protest piece for the 2019 Global Climate Strike demonstration in Corvallis, a masque seemed a natural fit. The play has been revamped and slightly expanded for presentation in a digital format, but it’s still a short, breezy piece that invites a lot of silliness from prospective actors. Come be a tree! Or the anthropomorphic personification of Natural Gas! The time commitment will be very small, so it’s a perfect opportunity for anyone to jump in and have some fun.”


PREPARATION NOTES

Please choose ONE of the following sides. Record a video on your phone or computer of you

reading the side, and email it to rachel@majestic.org by 5PM on Wednesday, March 31. Feel free to include what role you’re interested in within the body of the email. Also, 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.


Some video audition 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 10-14 performers.


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!

CHARACTER DESCRIPTIONS

General Note Example: 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.


PROLOGUE

Character Age: Any

Character Race: Any

Character Ethnicity: Any

Desired Actor Gender: Any

Ability/movement: Any

Character: Opens and closes the play, speaking directly to the audience.


GAIA

Character Age: Unimaginably ancient

Character Race: Any

Character Ethnicity: Any

Desired Actor Gender: Female-identifying or non-binary

Ability/movement: Any.

Character: The spirit of the Earth herself, gracious and loving.


ZEPHYR

Character Age: Unimaginably ancient

Character Race: Any

Character Ethnicity: Any

Desired Actor Gender: Any

Ability/movement: Any.

Character: The gentle West wind, messenger of Gaia. Extremely inquisitive.


NOTUS

Character Age: Unimaginably ancient

Character Race: Any

Character Ethnicity: Any

Desired Actor Gender: Any

Ability/movement: Any

Character: The hot South wind, sassy and easily annoyed.


CHARRED TREE

Character Age: A couple hundred years old

Character Race: Any

Character Ethnicity: Any

Desired Actor Gender: Any

Ability/movement: Any

Character: An unfortunate tree, sole survivor of a forest fire.


PARK RANGER

Character Age: Any

Character Race: Any

Character Ethnicity: Any

Desired Actor Gender: Any

Ability/movement: Any

Character: A beleaguered and exhausted park ranger.


SCIENTIST

Character Age: Any

Character Race: Any

Character Ethnicity: Any

Desired Actor Gender: Any, but strong preference for an actor with a gender identity other than cisgender male

Ability/movement: Any

Character: Well-informed, articulate, and does not have time for BS.


COAL

Character Age: Any

Character Race: Any

Character Ethnicity: Any

Desired Actor Gender: Any

Ability/movement: Any

Character: A smug fossil fuel, one of a villainous triumvirate.


PETROLEUM

Character Age: Any

Character Race: Any

Character Ethnicity: Any

Desired Actor Gender: Any

Ability/movement: Any

Character: A smug fossil fuel, one of a villainous triumvirate.


NATURAL GAS

Character Age: Any

Character Race: Any

Character Ethnicity: Any

Desired Actor Gender: Any

Ability/movement: Any

Character: A smug fossil fuel, one of a villainous triumvirate.


MELTING GLACIER

Character Age: Millenia

Character Race: Any

Character Ethnicity: Any

Desired Actor Gender: Any

Ability/movement: Any

Character: The last of her family, on a mission of revenge.


POSIEDON

Character Age: Ageless and immortal

Character Race: Any

Character Ethnicity: Any

Desired Actor Gender: Any

Ability/movement: Any

Character: The guardian of the sea.


ARTEMIS

Character Age: Ageless and immortal

Character Race: Any

Character Ethnicity: Any

Desired Actor Gender: Any

Ability/movement: Any

Character: The guardian of the animals.


DEATH

Character Age: Ageless and immortal

Character Race: Any

Character Ethnicity: Any

Desired Actor Gender: Any

Ability/movement: Any

Character: The end of all. (Note: Preference for a local actor so that they can use parts of the Majestic’s amazing Death costume.)

SIDES


PROLOGUE

Good day to you who keep our planet green!

I greet you through the window of your screens.

I introduce a play in honor made

Of those who clamour ‘gainst all those who trade

In oil and in death for dirty money,

Deny the present danger, think it’s funny

That young and old alike might rise in fury

To make their voices heard above the flurry

Of braying naysayers who flee from facts;

Such obfuscation begs this fierce attack.

Behold then here upon this virtu’l stage

The gentle Gaia and her well-earned rage.

She mourns that we, her children, do abuse

Her body and her bounty as we choose

To willfully ignore her many signs

That all we have achieved is in decline.

So welcome Gaia here as she deserves,

And hearken to the censure that she serves.


---


GAIA

O humans! How you crack my heart with woe!

Long have I watched your race learn all you know.

With fondness have I traced your evolution,

Smiled on your cleverness at your solutions

To each and every problem that you’ve faced;

And now you’d risk to have this all erased?

Humanity, right now, I hate your guts.

When will you pull your heads out of your butts?

To find an answer to this burning question

And to discover what’s caused your regression,

I summon forth my vassal, the West Wind.

Come forth, my gentle Zephyr, let’s begin.


---


ZEPHYR

The South Wind blows the hottest, this I know,

And therefore to the fires I shall go.

I’m spoiled for choice of places licked with flame;

This world is scorched with fires none can tame.

Where smoke as thick as water veils the sun --

It’s there that I’ll find Notus, ten to one.


---


PARK RANGER

Well, I do quite a lot.

I try to guard the land the public’s bought

As steward of the nature of our nation

And keep it safe for future generations.

It’s getting really hard to do my job.

The funding’s cut, the work’s become a slog.

It breaks my heart to see the trees destroyed

In uncontrolled brush fires; it leaves a void.

We can’t engage sustainably in logging

When government is busy demagoguing.


---


SCIENTIST

Look. Aren’t you here to learn about the finer points of the debate as to whether or not the sharp uptick in extreme inclement weather, catastrophic flooding, record-breaking temperatures, and constant forest fires are induced by carbon-heavy human activities like factory farming, rampant deforestation, and the use of fossil fuels? Perfect. Here they are: THERE IS NO DEBATE. None. There’s no question at all. The scientific consensus is overwhelming


---


COAL

I’m Coal! It’s great to meet you! Let me see…

How to explain the greatness that is me?

I am the perfect carbon distillation.

I power quite a lot of this great nation.

I’m made of ancient forests and dead plants.

I’m subsidized by governmental grants.

I burn soot-black, it’s true, but I’m quite clean!

I’m made of plants, so obviously I’m green!


---


DEATH

Arise, my children, I’m not here for you.

The Earth’s survived much worse than this in truth.

What hubris humans have to think they might

Destroy the Earth completely with their blight.

The land, the seas, the creatures will evolve

And find new ways to thrive as Earth revolves.

Destruction has rained down from heaven’s vault

And spewed in flames from rocky cracks and faults,

And yet the Earth lived on and bloomed anew;

And this is what our Gaia again will do.

No, I am here to doom humanity,

Who fast destroys themselves, and I forsee

The quick acceleration of their end,

No matter what assurance they pretend.

These here before us understand their peril,

But those in power care not for their errors,

Preferring hoarded wealth to common good.

I’d come for them directly if I could,

But, alas, the rich have better healthcare.

Submit your audition materials by 5pm, Wednesday March 31 by emailing rachel@majestic.org

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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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