WHAT: Auditions for My Name is Gary Cooper by Victor Rodger
WHERE: Kumu Kahua Theatre, 46 Merchant Street
WHEN: WORKSHOP: 7:30 – 10:00 pm, Sunday, November 16, 2014
AUDITIONS: Noon -3:00 pm, Saturday, November 22, 2014; 6:00-9:00 pm, Sunday November 23, 2014
INFO: 536-4222, kumukahua.org
Open auditions will be held to cast the upcoming production of My Name is Gary Cooper by Victor Rodger at Kumu Kahua Theatre. The show will be directed by David O’Donnell.
Rodger, a playwright of Samoan ancestry, deals with themes of race, racism and identity. In My Name is Gary Cooper, he combines knowledge of classic Hollywood films about the South Pacific with a determination to bring Pacific Island characters to the foreground. He says, “[In] Hollywood’s…South Pacific films…white characters entered the brown world and stirred things up. What if, I wondered, a brown character entered the white world instead, and stirred things up? What would it look like?” This play answers the question.
Playwright Victor Rodger, Director David O’Donnell and set designer James Davenport will travel from New Zealand to work at Kumu Kahua Theatre, with O‘ahu actors, designers and technicians. This is a rare opportunity to work with and learn from a visiting team.
Victor Rodger was a journalist for several years before studying at Toi Whakaari New Zealand Drama School in Wellington. Rodger has been a writer and storyliner for the long-running television soap opera Shortland Street since 2000.
Rodger’s theatre work deals with race, racism and identity. His first play, Sons, premiered at the The Court in 1995. In 1997, Cunning Stunts, was produced by Young and Hungry Theatre Company. Rodger rewrote Sons in 1998, and performed at Downstage Theatre in Wellington, winning four Chapman Tripp Theatre Awards including Most Outstanding New Writer and Most Outstanding New New Zealand play. Sons was published by Huia in 2008.
In 2001, Rodger won the Sunday Star-Times Bruce Mason Playwriting Award. His third play, Ranterstantrum (2002), was lauded by the Evening Post as ‘a triumph over stereotype’.
Rodger studied writing for film at the Maurits Binger Foundation in Amsterdam in 2004-2005. The following year he was awarded the 2006 Fulbright-Creative New Zealand Pacific Writers’ Residency, based at the Centre for Pacific Studies at the University of Hawai’i.
In 2007, his fourth play, My Name is Gary Cooper, was produced by Auckland Theatre Company. This play was reviewed as ‘a darkly witty demolition of palagi fantasies about Polynesia’ by Metro magazine.
Rodger was the 2009 Ursula Bethell Creative Writing Resident (formerly Canterbury University Writer in Residence). The residency is designed to foster New Zealand writing by providing a full-time opportunity for a writer to work in an academic environment, and is open to writers in the fields of creative writing: fiction, drama, and poetry.
David O’Donnell is a theatre director and Associate Professor in Theatre at Victoria University, Wellington, Aotearoa/ New Zealand. David has directed many premieres of New Zealand plays, most recently Heat by Lynda Chanwai-Earle, Te Karakiaby Albert Belz, Collapsing Creation by Arthur Meek and West End Girls by Ken Duncum. His productions have been seen at the NZ International Festival of the Arts, Auckland Arts Festival, Nelson Arts Festival, Otago Arts Festival, Fuel Festival, Dreaming Festival (Australia), Downstage, BATS, Fortune and Circa Theatres. David has been nominated six times as director of the year at the Chapman Tripp Theatre awards, winning in 2004 for directing David Edgar’s Albert Speer. He has published widely on New Zealand and Australian theatre, Māori and Pacific performance and community theatre. With Marc Maufort, he co-edited the book Performing Aotearoa (2007) and has been editor of the Playmarket New Zealand Play Series since 2010.
James Davenport MFA is a Lecturer in Theatre at Victoria University of Wellington, Aotearoa/ New Zealand. James has worked professionally as an actor, scenic designer, and mask maker in Theatre, Film and Television internationally over the last 20 years. His scenographic practice includes designing for the recent Outdoor Shakespeare Festival in Brisbane Australia and multiple productions at Theaters in Hawaii. He has toured to Edinburgh, China, LA, and Washington DC. James was assistant director and actor for the feature film The Land Has Eyes by Vilsoni Hereniko shot on the island of Rotuma. His field of research is in developing sustainable/regenerative scenographic design and teaching methodologies.
Rehearsals will begin as early as December 1; the show runs January 22 – February 22, 2015, with possible extension dates running through March 1, 2015.
Director, David O’Donnell is looking for 8 actors to play these roles:
Gary Cooper: half Samoan, half Palagi, child/teens/20’s/50’s
Teuila: Samoan, mid-teens/late 20’s
Salamoana: Samoan, late 40’s
Nick White: American, 20’s/40’s
Connie White: American, late 30’s
Jennifer White: American, late teens
Joel White: American, late teens
T: half Samoan, half Palagi, 20’s
Due to the graphic nature of this script and the unique audition requirements, we strongly recommend that all interested actors read the script thoroughly before auditioning.
The directors ask that all auditioners obtain a script from Kumu Kahua Theatre or the Kumu Kahua Theatre website, and select and prepare one of the following monologues for their audition:
Child Gary: p. 231 ‘Why doesn’t my mother love me? … Maybe she love me then.’
Adult Gary: pp. 237-8 ‘You like to drink … if I had a girl I would never leave her behind’
Teuila: pp. 241-3 ‘You know what a woman say … You come back for Teuila, uh? Alofa ia te.’
Salamoana: pp. 187-8 Hey, Palagi? … Full of beautiful promises he never meant to keep. Pipilo.’
Nick pp. 201-3 ‘You okay … Man, she was something else that Tequila.’
Connie: pp. 207-8 ‘Where were you?…Is this how they did it in Samoa? Well?’ PLUS sing a verse of “It Never Rains in Southern California’
Jennifer: pp. 192-3 ‘How cosy… Has anyone ever tried to lick them?’
Joel: pp. 190-1 ‘I might have something … but sure.’
T: p. 176: Excuse me? … I guess he was kind of handsome.’
In addition to these, actors will also be asked to sight-read a short scene with another actor.
Auditioners not prepared with a monologue will still be allowed to audition with a cold reading from the script.
Auditions will be held at the Kumu Kahua Theatre, on the corner of Merchant and Bethel Streets. The entrance into Kumu Kahua Theatre is from the small park on the Merchant Street side. Auditions will consist of the above, and some movement exercises. Please dress accordingly. Auditioners may come either day, but should come early and may be asked to stay for the whole time.
There will be a free audition workshop held from 6:00-8:00 pm, Sunday, November 16, 2014, also at Kumu Kahua Theatre. This workshop is an opportunity for all interested to work with the script and the Assistant Director, Ashley Demoville, and learn the best way to prepare for this audition.
The workshop is free, but space is limited. Please call 536-4222 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your spot.
Printed scripts are available for loan with a $10 cash deposit at the Kumu Kahua Theatre office weekdays between 11am and 3pm–please call 536-4222 before coming to the theatre. Scripts can also be downloaded from the Kumu Kahua Theatre website audition page.
For further information, call the Kumu Kahua Theatre office at 536-4222.
Kumu Kahua productions are supported in part by The Hawaii State Foundation on Culture and Arts through appropriations from the Legislature of the State of Hawaii and by the National Endowment for the Arts. Also paid for in part by the taxpayers of the City & County of Honolulu; the Mayor’s Office of Culture and the Arts; The Atherton Foundation, McInerny Foundation (Bank of Hawaii, Trustee); Hawaiian Electric Company; The Star Advertiser and other Foundations, Businesses and Patrons.