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Theatre in the Round
Audition Notice
Men on Boats

Theatre in the Round Announces auditions for 

MEN ON BOATS by Jaclyn Backhaus

Directed by Sophie Peyton

Movement Direction by Kelly Nelson

DESCRIPTION: Ten explorers. Four boats. One Grand Canyon. MEN ON BOATS  is the true(ish) history of an 1869 expedition, when a one-armed captain and a crew of unique yet loyal volunteers set out to map the course of the Colorado River. 

It is a raucous physical comedy that explores how aspects of gender, class, and whiteness are performed for personal gain and power. This interpretation will be ensemble-driven to explore and illustrate the distance between the characters performed and the performers. And it’s just damn funny. Boats will be lost, fish will be friends, pants will be ripped, songs will be sung and whiskey will be drunk. Come and join this silly band of explorers, old and new. 

SHOW PROCESS: Our goal is to embody a new way forward for equitable creative processes and to facilitate a people-centered approach that recognizes power dynamics in the room and prioritizes a culture of consent and care over perfectionism and productivity. To minimize the ongoing harm of the theater industry as much as possible, we will implement accountability tools from the MN-TAC Theater Foundational Standards and harm reduction and repair practices from Nicole Brewer’s Anti-Racist Theater course.

SCHEDULE: Rehearsals will be Mid March - Early May, and will take place on weekday evenings and weekend afternoons. Performances will be Friday and Saturday evenings and Sunday afternoons May 10 - June 2 with a PWYC night on Monday, May 20.

COVID PROTOCOL: As of today, masking backstage and in public spaces at Theatre in the Round is not required. COVID-19 protocol will be determined in rehearsal with the cast and team. All individuals will be asked to self-monitor their bodies and test for COVID-19 if symptoms arise.

COMPENSATION: This is an unpaid opportunity. We value being transparent with all volunteer performers to understand their capacity and the expected time commitment. Actors will also take a professional headshot during the rehearsal process and will be given access to the digital file to use for any future needs.

AUDITIONS: Tuesday, January 30 and Thursday, February 1 from 6:00pm to 9:00pm (Doors open at 5:30pm)

CALLBACKS: February 8 from 6:00pm-9:00pm and February 10 from 11:00am-2:00pm  

Auditions will consist of a monologue/side from the play (memorization not required), which can be found on our website if you would like to prepare: https://www.theatreintheround.org/home/get-involved/auditions/.

Callbacks will consist of sides and scenes from the play (to be assigned), and a movement call with the Movement Director.

NOTE: Musical experience, such as singing or playing an instrument, as well as experience in clowning, physical comedy, improv is a big plus!

Advance sign up is recommended, but not required. If NOT completing the online form, please bring a headshot and resume.

For questions reach out to: Toni@theatreintheround.org


Note on Casting from playwright Jaclyn Backhaus in 2017: The characters in MEN ON BOATS were historically cisgender white males. The cast should be made up entirely of people who are not. I’m talking about racially diverse actors who are female-identifying, trans-identifying, genderfluid, and/or non-gender-conforming.* It is my strong preference that Tsauwiat and The Bishop (so thusly O.G. and Seneca Howland) be played by Native cast members. If there are no Native actors in your production, the Howlands/Utes must at least be cast as non-white. 

John Wesley Powell – one-armed leader of the expedition

William Dunn – hunter and trapper

John Colton Sumner – former soldier, current explorer

Old Shady – Powell’s older brother, Civil War vet

Bradley – lieutenant, manic with youth

O.G. Howland / Tsauwiat – printer and hunter / a Ute chief

Seneca Howland / The Bishop – O.G.’s quiet little brother /  Tsauwiat’s wife

Frank Goodman / Mr. Asa – British, so excited / a desert settler

Hall – mapmaker, old soul

Hawkins – the cook

*We are specifically looking for actors who are trans, non-binary, genderqueer, women, and those who have experienced marginalization due to their gender identity and presentation. Except as noted above, roles are open to actors of any intersectional identity and no roles assume the presence or absence of disability.