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Casting Calls

ASSASSINS | Music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, Book by John Weidman.

East West Players, the longest running theater of color in the US, are seeking Actors to play Asian American, South Asian American, Pacific Islander, and People of color for ASSASSINS, the Musical by Steven Sondheim & John Weidman.

Synopsis:
In this darkly humorous musical revue, Stephen Sondheim (music and lyrics) and John Weidman (book) depict nine misfit men and women who attempted (four of them successfully) to assassinate American Presidents. While every nation has its assassins and would-be assassins, only in America, the authors suggest, do disturbed and disturbing individuals act not because they hope to influence national politics, but because they are wrapped up in a malignant sense of entitlement. Feeling betrayed by the failed promise of American democracy and the American Dream, they strike out at the symbol for America: the American President. Assassins spans several musical styles and many decades in a dizzying series of musical and theatrical inventions that culminate in the assassination of John F. Kennedy.

Directed by Snehal Desai
Music Direction by Marc Macalintal

Important Dates
Rehearsals begin February 11, 2020
Technical Rehearsals begin on or about March 3rd, 2020
Previews begin Wednesday, March 12th, 2020
Opening Night Thursday, March 19th, 2020
Runs for three weeks (5 performances a week) through April 5th, 2020
Option to extend through April 19th

AEA SPT Category 5 Contract ($438/week + P&H)
Non-Union performers ($200/week + EMC credit).

ASSASSINS Character Breakdown
1) The Balladeer/Lee Harvey Oswald — Tenor C3-G4. Actor is mid-20s to mid-30s; Woodie guthrie/pete seeger type folk singer; ability to play guitar a plus. The Balladeer is the conscience of America and the champion of the American Dream. He acts as a foil against the assassins and their warped perspectives and actions. Slight to average build; rural Louisiana twang required. To play Asian or Asian identifying.

2) The Proprietor — Tenor Gb2-F4. Actor is male, 30s or older. The Proprietor is the Grim Reaper, handing out weapons and overseeing the demise of presidents and assassins alike. His power is in his omnipresence and indifference; his characterization requires both dramatic irony and restrained wit. Open all ethnicities.

3) John Wilkes Booth — Baritone F2-G4. Actor is mid-20s to 40; tall and distinguished; character will need a genteel Southern accent. A political zealot, “Wilkes” is the pioneer of American assassination and acts as leader and twisted mentor to the other assassins.” (to play Asian or Pacific Islander)

4) Leon Czolgosz (pronounced “CHOL-gash”) — Bass Baritone G#2-G4. Actor is mid-20s to mid-30s; slight of build. Czolgosz was an anarchist who, in killing William McKinley, decided to take matters of government into his own hands for the sake of the common man. (to play Asian or Pacific Islander, Latino, African American)

5) Guiseppe Zangara — Tenor B2-A4. Actor is mid-20s to 40; a short actor is preferred but not required; has a heavy Italian accent for this character. Zangara blamed capitalists and “kings” for his medical conditions and attempted an assassination of Franklin D. Roosevelt—instead killing Mayor Cermak of Chicago. (to play Asian or Pacific Islander, Latino, Af. American)

6) Sara Jane Moore — Soprano F3-Eb5. Actress is middle-aged and frumpy. Moore, a former FBI informant five times married, nearly assassinated Gerald Ford in 1975 — the second such attempt on his life in three weeks. Moore provides much of the comic relief in the show and requires an actress with good comic timing. (to play Asian or Pacific Islander)

7) Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme — Mezzo A3-G5. Actress is mid-20s to mid-30s; slender and pretty. Fromme, a flower child and member of Charlie Manson’s cult “family,” attempted an assassination of Gerald Ford in 1975. She is the lunatic foil to Sara Jane Moore’s airheadedness. (to play Asian or Pacific Islander)

8) John Hinckley — Baritone A2-G4. Actor is early-20s to 30; husky; ability to play guitar a plus. Hinckley used a sociopathic obsession with Jodie Foster as his excuse to attempt an assassination of Ronald Reagan in 1981. Hinckley’s clinical insanity and love-sickness add dramatic weight to this character. (to play Asian or Pacific Islander, Latino, Af. American)

9) Charles J. Guiteau — Tenor A2-Ab4. Actor is 30s to 50s; average in stature. Guiteau was a multi-careered charlatan with delusions of grandeur who assassinated James Garfield in 1882. This intense libertine requires a multi-personality characterization and a flair for the dramatic. (to play Asian or Pacific Islander)

10) Samuel Byck — Actor is 30s to 50s; heavy set; blue-collar Philly accent. Byck was disgruntled at government and all it stood for when he attempted to hijack a plane with the intent of crashing it into the Nixon White House. For Byck, please choose from the excerpt that fits your vocal range (tenor, baritone, or bass-baritone). (to play Asian or Pacific Islander, Latino, Af.-Am)

Townspeople —will be required to play a variety of parts as listed below. The “townspeople” require strong individual voices as they sing “How I Saved Roosevelt” and “Something Just Broke.”
11) Male (40s – 50s) to play Asian or Pacific Islander (tenor, baritone, or bass-baritone), Will play a variety of roles such as James Blaine, Gerald Ford, etc…
12) Male (mid-20’s, athletic build) to play Asian or Pacific Islander (tenor, baritone, or bass-baritone) Will play a variety of roles including such as David Herold, James Garfield, etc…
13) Female (30-40s) to play Asian or Pacific Islander (alto voice preferred) Will play a variety of roles.
14) Female (18-30) to play Asian or Pacific Islander (alto to mezzo) Will play a variety of roles including Moore’s 8 year old son.

SUBMISSIONS FOR APPOINTMENTS
Submission Period: October 10th – October 27th 2019,
Agent and Personal submissions for Audition Appointments will be accepted through Actors Access and Breakdown Services OR Email submissions may send to casting@eastwestplayers.org.
Please List “ASSASSINS”, YOUR FULL NAME and DESIRED ROLE in the Email Subject Line
Please submit only once for one role. We will keep all actors in consideration for available roles
Please change digital file names of all PDF or Digital Images to YOUR LAST NAME
DO NOT SEND ANY DIRECT CORRESPONDENCE to Director, Casting Director, Music Director or any other Creative Team member.

For this production only Talent available as “local hire” in the Los Angeles area will be considered

OPEN CALL AUDITIONS
EPA Open Calls for Singers, Union and Non Union:
Sunday, November 3rd, 2:00pm – 6:00pm
@ East West Players, 120 Judge John Aiso St, LA, Ca 90012
(walk-ins accepted starting at 1:30pm, or sign up at AEA Office in Advance)

Preparation – One full song, Preferably Sondheim or Contemporary Musical Theatre that tells a story (no longer than 1.5 minute). Connect the words to story and character. Please bring your book in case we ask for a variation.

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OPEN CALLS Sunday, November 3rd, 2:00pm – 6:00pm
APPOINTMENT Monday, November 4th, 11:30a – 4:30p
Tuesday, November 5th, 12p – 7p

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Casting Requests

All casting requests must be submitted via email to casting

Play Submission Guidelines

Thank you for your interest in submitting your script to East West Players.

Please note that our mission focuses on the Asian Pacific experience, and the majority of the new works we workshop and produce revolve around Asian and Asian American characters and/or themes. We are interested in both plays and musicals.  Works need not be “issue-oriented,” in that race/immigrant issues can be an unspoken component in the work.

We are particularly interested in new comedies, musicals, and works that unearth the history of Asians in America.

Writers are strongly encouraged to browse through our production history, which can be found here. Ask yourselves what kind of plays we’ve produced in the past, and who our audience is.

Manuscripts are now being accepted via email. Scripts should be emailed to literary@eastwestplayers.org. Emailed versions of scripts are preferred.

Scripts should be submitted in a PDF format and must include the following:

1. A cover sheet, including your name, address, telephone number, website and email address.
2. A theatrical resume (two pages max) listing major productions, workshops, readings, commissions, publications, awards, etc., as well as education and training information.
3. A 100 word max synopsis of the play.

Our Literary Committee will read all scripts we deem to be in line with the mission of the theater. Due to the large volume of submissions we will only reach out to playwrights whose work we are interested in.

If you have questions as to whether your work might be suitable for our theater or if you are a playwright with multiple works and not sure what to submit, email: literary@eastwestplayers.org for assistance. Thank you!