ZOO STORY/THE DUTCHMAN will be directed by Nick López, Adjunct Professor of Theater at SUNY Sullivan and THE COUNT PARTINUPLES/El Conde Partinuplés will be directed by Jessica López-Barkl, Associate Professor of Theater and Speech/Theater Program Director at SUNY Sullivan.
We are excited to have plays that touch on the spirit of 1969 with shades of the Stonewall riots launching the LGTBIQ+ movement, Woodstock, the Vietnam War, Love/Peace, Racial Tension, Disability Awareness, the Cold War, and Identity. You will be asked to fill in an audition form and read sides from the script. Please bring your personal calendar or schedule.
For ZOO STORY/THE DUTCHMAN, you will be required to list any conflicts you may have during the rehearsal period (Monday-Friday) which starts January 27, 2020, through the closing of the production on March 14, 2020.
THE COUNT PARTINUPLE / El Conde Partinuplés will rehearse Monday-Fridays March 9, 2020, through the closing of the production May 9, 2020. If you have a resume and headshot, please attach it to your audition form. The Theater Program at SUNY Sullivan is also looking for participants interested in technical crew, stage management, designers, and musicians.
If you are interested, please come by to the auditions to meet the director, Jessica López-Barkl, or contact her with the information above.
Rehearsals will be from 6-10 PM Monday-Friday for both productions. There will be a rehearsal schedule developed based on the actors’ conflict schedules, you will not be called for all rehearsals. Technical rehearsals for ZOO STORY/THE DUTCHMAN will be held on Saturday and Sunday, February 29-March 1, 2020, from 10 AM-10 PM. Technical rehearsals for THE COUNT PARTINUPLE / El Conde Partinuplés will be held on Saturday and Sunday, April 25-26, 2020, from 10 AM-10 PM.
All actors, designers, crew, musicians, and production staff will be called for these technical rehearsals (actors will be called at 6 PM both days). During the production week of March 2-5, 2020, for ZOO STORY/THE DUTCHMAN, and April 27-April 30, for THE COUNT PARTINUPLE / El Conde Partinuplés, everyone is called from 6-11 PM – Please clear your schedules. The details of this will be worked out during the first week of rehearsal. If you have class during that time, please tell your instructors when you are cast, to work out a way to make up the work.
In ZOO STORY, to escape his wife, two daughters and two parakeets, Peter sits on a bench in Central Park, reading and thinking. Jerry joins him, having just been to the zoo. He draws the unwilling Peter into conversation and extracts information from him. In return Jerry supplies Peter with a curious medley of information about his wanderings in New York. The outcome of the meeting is a willing death for one of them. THE DUTCHMAN Synopsis DUTCHMAN presents a stylized encounter that illustrates hatred between blacks and whites in America as well as the political and psychological conflicts facing black American men in the 1960s. The play won an Obie Award as best American Off-Broadway of 1964, it was made into a film in 1967. Set ina New York City subway car, the play involves Clay, a young middle-class black man who is approached seductively by Lula, a white fellow passenger.
- Peter: Male, 18+. A publishing executive and family man, Peter is reading in Central Park at the top of the play, when he is interrupted by Jerry; their conversation, which eventually escalates into violence is the centerpiece of “The Zoo Story”; Peter embodies convention and propriety, and seems to have achieved the American Dream. All Ethnicities.
- Jerry: Male, 18+. An eccentric transient, Jerry lives in poverty on the Upper West Side and is profoundly lonely; this loneliness drives him to seek companionship from strangers; that companionship is ostensibly what he seeks from Peter. Jerry is contemplative and critical of society, and he is eager to share his opinions about life, love, and isolation with Peter. All Ethnicities.
About the playwright
Born on March 12, 1928, in Virginia. His adoptive father was Reed Albee, an heir to the Keith-Albee chain of vaudeville theaters. He wrote short stories and poems before writing THE ZOO STORY.
His longtime partner was sculptor Jonathan Thomas. A three-time Pulitzer-Prize winning playwright (A DELICATE BALANCE, SEASCAPE, and THREE TALL WOMEN) of WHO’S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF? (which the jury awarded the Pulitzer Prize, but the advisory board rejected it) among many others. He was inducted into the American Hall of Fame in 1985. Received the PEN/Laura Pels International Foundation for Theater Award as a Master American Dramatist in 1999. Received a Kennedy Center Honor in 1996. Received the National Medal of Arts in 1996.
Albee didn’t particularly like it when people asked him what his plays were “about.” As he wrote in a 2007 letter to the audience of ME, MYSELF, AND I, that question made him “become uncooperative – and occasionally downright hostile.” Albee acknowledged that his plays could be “occasionally complex” but were “infrequently opaque.” The best way to enjoy them, he advised, was without any baggage. “Pretend you’re at the first play you’ve ever seen,” he suggested. “Have that experience – and I think ‘what the play is about’ will reveal itself quite readily.” Albee’s plays have been challenged, engaged and, at times, confounded audiences since he first burst upon the scene with THE ZOO STORY (which he wrote in two and half weeks) – an unsettling and, ultimately, shocking encounter between two men in Central Park.
Ben Brantley, chief theater critic of THE NEW YORK TIMES, thinks Albee was one of the great American dramatists. “Is there anyone else who dares to take on questions that that big?” Brantley asks. “I’m not talking about questions of politics or immediate topical issues. Edward Albee asks questions – the most basic existential questions – he confronts death, he confronts sex with, I think, eyes that remain very wide open.”
- Clay: Male, 18-26. A young, middle-class black man; a college-trained intellectual from New Jersey; he wears a three-button Ivy League suit and tie; he appears to be in control of himself. Ethnicity: Black/African Descent.
- Lula: Female, 18+. Should appear to be in her late 20s-early 30s; white; fearless, flirtatious, sweet, and spicy. Ethnicity: White/European Descent. Extras: Subway riders of all backgrounds, genders, and ages. Will double as stage crew for both shows.
About the playwrights
LeRoi Jones/Amiri Baraka, playwright for THE DUTCHMAN (from his website) A well-known African-American writer of fiction, drama, poetry and music. With books such as TALES OF THE OUT AND THE GONE, he has received the PEN Open Book Award and is also respected as one of the most widely published African American authors of his generation.
Apart from writing, Baraka is considered as a revolutionary political activist and has given lectures on various political and cultural issues extensively throughout Europe, African, USA and the Caribbean. Born in 1934, Amiri Baraka was raised in USA. Having studied Philosophy and Religion at Columbia University, he has a sound knowledge of these subjects that also reflects well in his writings.
Baraka started his professional career by joining the US Air Force in the early fifties. Destined to be an accomplished author, he did not serve the military for long and switched to a completely different domain by opting to work in a warehouse for music records. This is where his social circle expanded and added the Black Mountain Poets, New York School Poets and the Beat Generation to it. Also, it developed his interest in Jazz music which later matured in making him one of the most sought after music critics. Amiri Baraka for his work has taken influences from a number of musical orishas such as John Coltrane, Malcolm X, Ornette Coleman and Thelonius Monk which got him regarded as the founder of Black Arts Movement in the era of sixties. His study on ‘African-American music’ and the play DUTCHMAN and BLUES PEOPLE is commendable.
Also, his published collection of essays, ‘The Essence of Reparations’ and poems like ‘Somebody Blewup America’ added more fame to his name. He is recognized with a long list of awards and honors that includes the James Weldon Johnson Medal for contribution to the arts, the American Academy of Arts & Letters award, the Poet Laureate of New Jersey and Professor Emeritus at the State university of New York at Stony Brook.
THE COUNT PARTINUPLES / El Conde Partinuplés
A twist on the Psyche and Cupid myth told through the particular perspective of a 17th Century Spanish Moor playwright. In Ana Caro Mallén’s imaginative twist, the Empress of Constantinople finds a husband through the use of magic, creating an enchanted castle and hosting a supernatural banquet. The Empress is pursued by several suitors (all princes), and only one will win her hand in marriage through a tournament.
11 males, 4 females (minimum). All Ethnicities and Ages welcome.
- Count Partinuplés: Galán. A French Prince. Engaged to Lisbella (who is also his cousin). Archetypal quality for suitors of faithfulness through the characters of Adam and Cupid.
- King of France: Barba. An Old Man.
- Rosaura: Dama/mujer esquiva.
- Empress of Constantinople: stubborn, resistant, independent, willful, bewitching beauty. Must be able to sing. Archetypal character of Psyche. Pro-female medieval and Renaissance debate, which argues that women, being naturally weaker than men, therefore had to be stronger in their actions.
- Aldora: Dama tercera. Cousin to Rosaura and a skilled magician.
- Lisbella: Dama secunda. French Noblewoman. Cousing and fiancée of Count Partinuple. Archetypal character for curiosity and Eve. Warrior woman, usurping the role of a man to seek what is rightfully hers.
- Gaulín: Gracioso. Servant to Count Partinuple, comic sidekick, prone to peeing his pants and self-commentary. Materialistically misogynistic.
- Robert of Translyvania: Segundo Galán. Prince of Translyvania. Archetypal quality for suitors of bravery.
- Edward of Scotland: Segundo Galán. Prince of Scotland. Archetypal quality for suitors of wisdom.
- Frederick of Poland: Segundo Galán. Prince of Poland. Archetypal quality for suitors of beauty.
- Clauso: Tercero Barba. Old Man of Constantinople.
- Emilio: Segundo Barba. Old Man of Constantinople.
- Arcenio: Caballero. Nobleman of Constantinople.
- Celia: Constantinople Servant to Rosaura.
- Old Man: Constantinople Servant. Stage Hand.
- Guillermo: Another Old Man. Constantinople Servant. Stage Hand.
- Servants, Fishermen, Musicians, Singers, Entourage: All genders, ages, ethnicities.
About the Playwright
(from WOMEN PLAYWRIGHTS OF EARLY MODERN SPAIN) Ana Caro Mallén de Soto was born to a Morisco slave family at the end of the sixteenth century in Granada, Caro was about ten years old when she was baptized and legally adopted by Gabriel Caro de Mallén and Ana María de Torres in 1601. Ana María and Gabriel had one son, Juan Caro, before Ana María died.
Gabriel Caro then married Alfonsa de Loyola and had a second son, Juan Mallén. The family moved to Seville so that Juan could complete his religious studies and become a friar. Caro probably started her writing career around 1628 in Seville.
Records show that she received payment for two Corpus Christi auto sacramentales, entitled La puerta de la Macarena (THE GATE OF THE MACARENA, 1641) and La cuesta de Castilleja (The Hill of Castilleja, 1645), both lost. She also lived in or at least visited Madrid, where her first brother, Juan Caro, lived and maintained connections to the court.
In Madrid, Caro had personal and literary relationships with some of the popular writers of the time, as we can see, for example, in her poetic production. Evidence suggests she forged a friendship with the writer Maria de Zayas during her time in Madrid. Among Caro’s poems composed for special occasions or events, there are compositions included in the preliminaries of Zayas’s first collection of short stories, praising her friend, as well as a poetic composition reporting the Buen Retiro celebrations in 1637. Together they enjoyed the city’s literary circles and also attended (and participated in) academias, such as the one presided over by Francisco de Mendoza.
In addition to Caro’s plays and poetry, other works have survived. These include a few reports (relaciones) about local celebrations and events. As a playwright, Ana Caro composed auto sacramentales, of which we only know that the Loa sacramental for the Corpus Christi festivities of Seville was presented in 1639 and published that same year.
Her two known comedias were probably staged, but there are no records. Valor, agravio y mujer (VALOR, OFFENSE WOMAN) survives today in a manuscript written in a seventeenth-century hand. El conde Partinuplés (COUNT PARTINUPLES) was printed in an extant 1653 collection of comedias in which plays by Calderón de la Barca and Vélez de Guevara also appear. Her last known publication is a sonnet published in a poetry compilation from Seville in 1646. In this same year, a certain Marîa Ana Caro appears among the list of those who died from the plague in Seville’s Convent of the María Magdalena.
We still lack confirmation as to whether this is the same woman as our playwright, yet the expenses for this Ana Caro’s funeral were high, so she clearly enjoyed some wealth. In accordance with funeral practices for plague victims, most of her belongings were burned. Nonetheless, given Ana Caro’s extensive involvement in literary circles and numerous mentions of various texts, we remain hopeful that more of her work will be discovered some day.
About the translator
Harley Erdman is a dramaturg, playwright, and scholar whose work focuses on adaptation and translation. His commissioned work as a translator of contemporary Latin American theater includes plays from Mexico, Nicaragua, and Chile. His Women Playwrights of Early Modern Spain (ITER, 2016) features his translations of ten plays, for the first time ever in English. It won the Josephine Roberts Award for best scholarly edition in the field of early modern women and gender.
His translations of Tirso de Molina’s Jealous of Herself and Marta the Divine were published in 2012 in companion volumes by Aris & Phillips. With Susan Paun de García, he co-edited the anthology of essays, Remaking the Comedia (Tamesis, 2015). His most recent book project, a bilingual edition of Luis Vélez de Guevara’s La serrana de la Vera, was published by the University of Liverpool Press in 2019 and produced at UMass under the title Wild Thing. He is a winner of the Association for Hispanic Classic Theater’s Translation Prize.
Erdman has also published numerous articles on the history of Jewish representation on the American stage, as well as the book Staging the Jew (Rutgers, 1997). His article on the Yiddish play God of Vengeance won the Kahan Prize for Outstanding Essay (2000) from the American Society for Theater Research. His dramatic writing projects focus on rebels and outsiders in local history. These include the opera librettos The Scarlet Professor (2017) and The Garden of Martyrs (2013), both with composer Eric Sawyer; The Captivation of Eunice Williams (2004), with composer Paul Kimper; as well as the screwball comedy Nobody’s Girl, which debuted at the Northampton Academy of Music in 2014.
With colleague Gina Kaufmann and composer Aaron Jones, he is adapting Tirso de Molina’s original Don Juan play, The Trickster of Seville, into a new musical set on a contemporary college campus. The Scarlet Professor won the 2019 American Prize for composers of opera. Erdman has taught in Scotland, El Salvador and Sri Lanka – in the latter country, as part of a 2016 Fulbright Fellowship. He also has received the Outstanding Teacher Award from the UMass College of Humanities and Fine Arts. Erdman has served as Editor of the journal Theatre Topics.