Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Audition for The Other Shore

by Gao Xingjian, directed by Kym Moore

An ensemble of performers with an interest in and/or experience with body-centered styles of performance, including dance (particularly traditional South Asian movement and mudras, African dance, hip-hop and related forms and tap), singing, clowning and martial arts. Strong improvisational skills and the ability to play a musical instrument (especially percussion or wind instruments) is a plus. Additionally, a fluency in Chinese languages, Buddhist meditation practice and/or yoga is desired but certainly not required.

Please prepare a two-minute performance selection that best demonstrates your strengths as a performer. This might consist of (but is by no means limited to) a monologue, poem, song or dance combination. You will also be expected to read from the sides available, so please read the play in advance. Copies of the play are available in the Becker Library (on the second floor of Lyman Hall) and by emailing

Please Note
If cast, you must return early from Spring Break for tech at 11 AM on Sunday, March 29. There will also be Saturday afternoon rehearsals on February 14, February 28 and March 7.

All plays cast under the supervision of the Department of Theatre, Speech & Dance at Brown University are cast without regard to race, color or ethnic identity except when such identity is central to the production's thematic content.

About the Production
Since the play was literally written to train actors in a new form of contemporary Chinese theatre particular to Gao Xingjian's dramaturgy, actors can expect to be involved in a fairly rigorous rehearsal process. Rehearsals will involve intensive work in the following performance techniques: tripartitioned acting (Xingjian's own theory), Viewpoints, sensory actualization, mudras and vocalization. Though some training in acting is a plus, it is certainly not required, as the ensemble will collaboratively develop an entirely unique performance style from the ground up.

About the Play
The Other Shore is a one-act play that explores the human struggle to reach enlightenment. The play’s title refers to the concept of paramita or nirvana, the land of enlightenment in Buddhism. According to Buddhist belief, humans experience an actual visible life full of suffering, but by living according to the virtues of paramita—morality, patience, meditation and wisdom—they can cross the river of life to the other shore and experience enlightenment. The unconventional staging and characterizations shadow the solitary struggle for meaning and internal illumination.

About the Playwright
Gao Xingjian is an internationally celebrated Chinese emigré novelist, dramatist, critic, and recipient of the 2000 Nobel Prize in Literature. He is also a noted translator, stage director and painter. Born January 4, 1940 in Ganzhou (Jiangxi province) in eastern China, Xingjian fled his native country for France in 1987 after years of artistic censorship and persecution. Although the general position by the Chinese media towards Gao is silence, a 2001 criticism of his novel Soul Mountain by the Yangcheng Evening News (a state-run newspaper) deemed him an "awful writer" and called his winning of the Nobel Prize "ludicrous." The Chinese government officially regards Gao as an exiled dissident, and all of his works are banned.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Audition for Pleasure Dome

Pleasure Dome
Devised by Andrew Starner, Dave Harrington & Hillary Dixler
Directed by Andrew Starner & Dave Harrington

Auditions will be held on December 9 and 10 from 7:00 - 10:00 pm in the PW Downspace.

Pleasure Dome is a devised piece inspired by Alice in Wonderland, network television and Romantic poetry. Performers of all kinds sought for a mind-altering collaboration. Pertinent information: seeking seven or more disciplined dancers, singers, actors, musicians, sculptors, readers, and/or television-watchers interested in highly collaborative, speculative "play." The cast will need to return to Providence on January 15. Performance dates are February 6-9.

Special note from directors Andrew Starner and Dave Harrington:
If you are concerned about wanting to be in The Other Shore, please note that Pleasure Dome can use people who want to be in The Other Shore as well.

Here's how: you audition for us, we like you, we cast you. You come back on January 15 and work with us for a week. You audition for The Other Shore on January 26 and 27. If you are cast, you leave the Pleasure Dome as early as you feel comfortable. (Of course you will never leave the Pleasure Dome and your absence will be marked. We are planning on videotaping rehearsals.)

There is no way actors can perform in Pleasure Dome and start rehearsing for The Other Shore. However it is possible for an actor to be in both. That being said, we will know in advance who is considering auditioning for The Other Shore and we will have enough people to perform Pleasure Dome even if every person we cast provisionally gets cast by The Other Shore.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Audition for Cabaret

Department of Theatre, Speech & Dance
February 26 – March 1 and March 5 – March 8, 2009

Audition Information:

Tuesday, December 2, 7:00 – 10:00 PM
Wednesday, December 3, 7:00 – 10:00 PM
Thursday, December 4, 3:00 – 5:00 PM, 7:00 – 10:00 PM
Friday, December 5, Callbacks TBD

A sign-up sheet is located on the bulletin board in the Leeds Breezeway of Lyman Hall. Please sign-up for one hour-long slot. If possible, sign-up for one of the evening times, as the afternoon slots on Thursday will be needed to accommodate those involved in other productions going up in December. If there is no availability during the time you have free, contact James (contact information below).

The Audition
Groups of twelve actors will audition together in hour-long slots. In pairs, they will read selected sides from the show (available, along with script, score, and recording, in the Becker Library in advance and at the auditions on the day-of). Individually, they will sing 16-32 bars of a song not from the show (but from a musical or the American Songbook) and should bring sheet music to the audition (accompanist provided, sheet music selections available in Orwig). Finally, the entire group will be taught a short selection of a dance from the show. Actors should wear clothes in which they can move.

Important Dates
Rehearsals will begin on January 15, one week before the start of classes. Actors are required to be on campus for this week, and housing will be arranged through ResLife. Actors will also be needed for tech and performances beginning on the Monday of Winter Weekend (February 16) straight through the show’s closing (March 8).

Questions? Problems?
James Anglin Flynn
(781) 801-2195
flynn at brown dot edu

Cabaret Audition Poster

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Interview with Spencer Golub

Spencer Golub is the director of S&B's current production, The Changeling.

1) Tell me a little about the play. What drew you to it?

The play is about sex, murder, mayhem, madness. It’s a familiar Jacobean tragedy, between “dark comedy” and tragedy. It’s like a late-night horror version of Shakespeare; people are dying on account of love, passion drives them to extremes no one could foresee.

There’s no moral or philosophical stance I’m trying to foist on spectators. It’s an adventure in excess, which is what I like about Jacobean drama. There are a handful of texts in world literature where a woman and a man are locked in a struggle to the death through passion and this one stuck with me. I wanted to build a world around that that would sustain that relationship.

It’s midnight madness theatre where spectators are shocked, startled, and emptied of the darkness they brought in with them.

2) This is a classic Jacobean play, “one of the best” according to one source. What do you think of that designation? What kind of responsibility do you feel toward the text?

“Classic Jacobean text” is an oxymoron really. They are classic in terms of what they do, not necessarily the beauty of the writing. My responsibility is to help the play speak to an audience, not in the play’s time, but in my time. I see my responsibility is to immerse myself not so much in the period of the writing but the feeling, the theatrical psyche. I need to make it as theatrical as possible. The theatrical event should have a visceral effect—make the blood pump faster in both the heart and the head.

3) Any other influences on your approach to directing the play?

Some influences I can’t tell—but you’ll see them. Anything I direct is influenced by film and music. It’s an amalgam, the influences are absorbed, so it’s hard to say where they begin and end. It should be recognizable as Spencer Golub, not as its influences. Just like the most important part of writing is rewriting, directing’s most important part is redirecting. It’s about determining what’s worth keeping in collaboration with the actors. Talking about influences may be a bit of a feint. You allude to them to create a tension that undoes them. I’m looking for things to react to or against rather than ascribe to or reinforce.

4) Why The Changeling now?

For me the question is actually, why at all? Relevance is never a question I ask. It’s not “because of society or the turn of historic events.” The play speaks to something inside of me… or that may just be self-delusion. It’s a play I wanted to stage because of that relationship as opposed to a particular protagonist. It’s going to be a dark ride.

-Interview conducted by Michelle Carriger

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Do You Know The Changeling?

For help uncovering the mystery of our next production, The Changeling, email

Get together a group for discounted tickets, and as always, first-years get in free on Thursday night performances!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Box Office on the Green

While we are anxiously awaiting the opening of our next show, The Changeling, publicity has started up with a vengeance.

Sock & Buskin will be out on the Main Green this Monday, November 11th from 12:00 - 3:00 selling discounted tickets. It's a student rush, Brown-style, and you can pick up a ticket to any performance for $5.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

First Reviews of the Season

Funnyhouse of a Negro
Written by Adrienne Kennedy
Directed by Kym Moore

Providence Phoenix Review

Brown Daily Herald Review