CASTING CALL: The Plough R&D

Burn Bright Theatre are looking for a diverse cast of six actor-musicians to take part in an R&D workshop of our new show the Plough.

The show was written by Isabel Dixon and has been developed under the direction of Katherine Timms, co-artistic directors of Burn Bright Theatre. It’s a special project that’s been with us right since the company’s launch in 2015 and, after receiving funding to take the next step in the play’s development, we’re looking for some help to bring the script to life.

Synopsis

Cassie and Joe are two lost twenty-somethings, both adjusting to surviving alone in a big city. Joe has arrived in London to find the father who left him before he was born, hoping that finally knowing his history will make him feel like a whole person at last. Stargazer Cassie is searching for a purpose important enough to make her forget her old life in Scarborough - and the painful tragedy that drove her away.

After a chance meeting, the pair strike up an unlikely friendship and join forces to search for Joe’s missing father. And as the stories of their parents' pasts unfold, blurring the lines across generations, we begin to see how the connections between parents and children are as complex and enduring as the stars in the sky.

Set against a backdrop of busy London streets and sleepy Scarborough beaches, The Plough weaves theatre, storytelling, spoken word and live music to spin a tale of heritage and identity, love and loss, cosmonauts, heroes and baked beans.

The Plough uses a company of six actor-musicians who form a storytelling Chorus, creating a live soundtrack and multi-roling as over forty different characters and using minimal props/set to conjure up different locations – from London streets to Scarborough seafronts, awkward school discos to drunken pub lock ins.

Character Breakdowns

Cast- 3 M, 3 F

JOE

Early twenties. From Cardiff, has grown up in different places, so accent unimportant.

Joe’s nomadic upbringing has made him a bit of loner, and his father’s absence has left him feeling like a piece of him is missing. Most of Joe’s upbringing has seen him caring for his mother Cindy, and behaving like more of a parent figure himself than a teenager. Determined but still a little awkward and uncomfortable in his own skin, Joe finds himself in London after making a monumental decision to run away from home to find his missing father.

Playing age: 19-23

CASSIE

Late teens/early twenties. Yorkshire accent.

Kind and clever, but aloof and considered a little bit of an oddity by her university housemates, Cassie hides her pain by shutting herself off from others. She has suffered an incredible loss, which has made her fragile, but she finds strength when someone needs fixing and is fiercely loyal to the people she cares about. Cassie shares Malcolm’s fascination with stargazing, but struggles at university with loneliness and homesickness.

Playing age: 18-21

ANGIE *

Late 40s. Yorkshire accent. Cassie’s mother.

Born and raised in Scarborough, Angie likes watching Neighbours, eating Eccles cakes and being practical. She is blunt but loving, and the perfect counter to her family of stargazers.

Playing age: 35-45

MALCOLM *

Late 40s. Yorkshire accent. Cassie’s father.

A loveable and kind-hearted Astronomy enthusiast, who came to Scarborough to see the stars more clearly and never left after falling head over heels for Angie. He is gentle, dependable, protective and his daughter’s best friend.

Playing age: 40-50

CINDY *

Early 40s. Cardiff accent. Joe’s mother.

Since being left by Joe’s father, Cindy has been stuck in a time warp, struggling to let go of the past and avoiding putting down roots. Fragile and forced to grow up before her time, Cindy adores her son - but her broken heart and traumatic past often prevents her from giving him the stability he craves.

Playing age: 30-40

MICK *

Late 40s. South East/London accent. Joe’s father.

Described through Joe’s mother’s stories as a legendary musician (but actually more of a wannabe rockstar), Mick gets by on charisma and empty promises. Charming but ultimately selfish, Mick has spent most of his life refusing to be tied down by anything that could prevent him from fulfilling his dream. Unfortunately, as the play progresses and Joe searches for him in the present day, it becomes clear that this dream never materialized.

Playing age: 35-45

* The performers playing these characters will also multi-role as the chorus and other small characters within the story.

We are looking to cast a tight-knit ensemble, and are particularly looking for performers who have the following skills: [if !supportLineBreakNewLine] [endif]

[if !supportLists]· [endif]Confident with different accents

[if !supportLists]· [endif]Strong singers

[if !supportLists]· [endif]Play an instrument (guitar, percussion, keys etc)

[if !supportLists]· [endif]Comfortable with dance/physical movement

[if !supportLists]· [endif]Comfortable with multi-roling/choral work

[if !supportLists]· [endif]Interest in new writing and developing new work for R&D.

Burn Bright Theatre seeks to make integrated casting part of our mission. We welcome applications from performers of all ethnicities and backgrounds.

About the Writer

Isabel trained on the Royal Court, Lyric Hammersmith and Soho Theatre Writers Lab, wrote for the Old Vic's 24 Hour Plays and is currently a member of the peer-led Soho Writers Alumni Group. The play was initially developed as part of the London Playwriting Lab, and has since received a workshop from the Young Vic Directors Network. Isabel also won the 2015 Jack Wills Young Brit Award, which gave her some funding towards a run of the show. Part of this grant has been earmarked towards taking the show into a full R&D to fully nail down the vision for a future production. We have also been lucky enough to have been offered mentorship and advice from Iron Shoes Theatre (My Beautiful Black Dog) once The Plough secures a full production.

About the Director

Katherine is an experienced director, who specialises in developing new writing and facilitating community drama projects. She directs and co-produces all of Burn Bright Theatre’s productions, which have so far included Vernon God Little (April 2015), All is Bright (Dec 2015), Troll (Jan 2016) and The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) (May-June 2016).

Other directing credits include Berlin (The Space), The Unfortunates (The Space and The Calder Bookshop Theatre), Marlborough Road (Hen and Chickens), Heartlines (The Last Refuge). As Assistant Director- The Grand Guignol (The Space, dir. Adam Hemming), The Winter’s Tale (Regents Park Open Air Theatre, dir. Ria Parry), Machinal (Arts Ed, dir. Ria Parry), Joe/Boy (The Last Refuge, dir. Natalie Ibu) and Symmetry (Southwark Playhouse Schools Tour, dir. Natalie Ibu).

Attachments area

Key Dates

Auditions: 31st March - 2nd April

Readthrough: Sunday 23rd April (evening) – 6-9pm

R&D dates: Wednesday 17th - Sunday 21st May (10am-5pm)

Scratch performances: Sunday 21st May, Sunday 28th May, Sunday 4th June (evenings – 6-10pm)

Fee [endif]

We are paying Living Wage (£7.50/hour) for this project.

We estimate the final fee to be £375.00 for the week’s R&D, plus initial readthrough and scratch showings.

Burn Bright Theatre works with Fringe Charter approved contracts where a project does not pay Equity Minimum, as per guidelines on www.protectingactors.org.

Applications

To apply please either:

· [endif]Submit via Casting Call Pro

· Send an email to Katherine (katherine@burnbrighttheatre.com) with a CV/Spotlight link and a cover letter detailing any relevant experience.

The closing date for applications is Tuesday 28th March at 5pm.

Auditions will take place in London between 31st March - 2nd April - please let us know of any availabilities issues over these dates and we'll do our best to work around you.


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