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Auditions: Oedipus


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Audition date/time: Saturday, April 7th, 12-2PM @ The Alban
Callback date/time: Sunday, April 8th, 1-3PM @ The Alban

The Alban Arts Center is excited to announce auditions for Oedipus by A.E. Gill. Oedipus is an original adaptation of Sophocles' ancient tragedy of the fate, pride and demise of those in power. A. E. Gill transports Sophocles' tale to modern day, rural Appalachia to examine the clash between politics, Christianity and the will of man.

Oedipus by A.E. Gill at The Alban Arts Center Audition Info:
*Please prepare one of the monologue options below according to the character you would most like to play. A character list is also included below. Try to memorize your monologue selection if possible. You may be asked to cold read another selection at the audition. We will also have hard copies available to anyone who might need them. If you have questions or concerns please feel free to contact Leah Turley at 304-546-3028 or leahnturley@gmail.com. We hope to see you there!

Available Roles:
Oedipus – Overconfident rich man turned politician. Ego and temper masking vulnerability.

Jocasta – A repressed leader, torn between personal security and social responsibility.

Creon – An unwilling politician gaining confidence.

Lauis – Jocasta's first husband, brust-ish and mean.

Preacher – A person of God, a follower of Jesus.

Oracle – Blind Pentecostal prophet and hermit.

Sphinx – More mountain-lion like than its Egyptian counterpart. Formed by Chorus members, A possible hallucination, demon, messenger, etc. Whenever cued to whisper, the Sphinx should whisper incoherent pieces of its first riddle (What goes on four legs…etc.)

Farmer – An older man, kind, given the responsibility of killing baby Oedipus, and later of revealing his identity.

Chorus – Some members set aside to form the Sphinx, others act as citizens, police, etc.

Monologue options:
OEDIPUS: My friends – you’ve chosen me to lead at a difficult time. I know I’m an outsider –not any sort of politician, just a man far away from home. Truth is, I’ve been lost a long time, like this city, and I know what it’s like to have nowhere left to turn. But since you’ve adopted me into your churches and your homes, know I aim to treat you as my own family. You gave me everything dear to my heart – my lovely wife, Jocasta, our four sweet children, and most of all, your trust. Trust me, as a family man, to stand for educational reform. Trust me to stand for the jobs you’ve lost, and deserve to have again. Above all, trust me to be your answer, as God Almighty is mine.

JOCASTA: Before we start, I want to confess something. I haven’t been there for you all – not the way I should’ve been. There’s a shame on me I didn’t want seen, and I’ve been hiding, keeping what’s mine close. But from today, I’ll be here for you – for all of you, best I can. It’s clear to us all now that our captain is afraid. Now, I trust him with my life, and the lives of our children, but forgive me if I say this – any woman who’s seen half what I’ve seen could be more fearless than the last ten men who’ve led us where we are now. Maybe it’s time to pity my husband, but not to follow him. Not when there’s always been a better option.

CREON: You married her, knowing she’s powerful in this town? Knowing how troubled this city was? That’s just begging to be put in the center of attention. Nobody in his right mind would want to lead at a time like that – but there you were. And I admit, I was glad. I’m the first to admit I was a terrible leader, wasn’t I? You see? I like a comfortable chair, and a book, and privacy. Public life is all eyes and microphones. I had three panic attacks on the way here, just thinking about it. What kind of man would torture himself like that? Only a madman. So, have me investigated. If I’m guilty, lock me up – I’ll lock myself up, for that matter. But I won’t be condemned on a whim. Only time reveals justice, but a villain can be invented in a day.

LAIUS: I’m giving you a chance, Jocasta. Don’t get it in your head that you’re some kind of mighty. All of us here, we know where you came from – a little barefoot slip of nothing, squatting in run-down trailers, mud in your hair. You want to go back to that? I could make it happen. Or, you can keep your head down, and I’ll give you an end to housework and scrubbing rich people’s floors. You’ll have silk dresses, and gold pins for your hair. (She recoils) You damn fool woman. I can’t have it going around that I’ve got the spawn of Satan in my house. We’ll tell people you lost the baby. Jocasta, I’ll take him from you. Don’t force me.

PREACHER: In Jesus’ name, amen. Brothers and sisters, we’ve been waiting for help too long. You know, as well as I do, there’s a disease among us no doctor can fix. A sickness of too much misery to crawl up from, and no answer but oblivion. So I ask you, are our leaders ignorant? Are they blind to what happens in our neighborhoods every night? Then we’ll show them whose eyes are open. Show them we’re watching. We’ll stand on these steps, night and day, and won’t go home until we see change.

Poor man. You can’t threaten me. I got truth fixed in my bones. (She pauses, considering something, and speaks lower.) There are places people go, sometimes – places in the woods, where a baby could get lost easy. You understand? In the trees, there’s animals, and worse than animals. Things with a hunger. I’m sure a man like you, Mr. Laius, can find those roads.

(laughing at him) Oh, a brave temper, this man’s got – yes sir, takes a big man to
bellow at old women. Son, my words have put the fear of fire in the devil’s mouth, and I’ve heard children curse me from their graves. What cause have you got, to raise your hate at me?

FARMER: (we will have someone available to read Oedipus & Jocasta)

FARMER: Excuse me – I’m sorry, am I in the right place?

OEDIPUS: Who are you?

FARMER: Some police officers told me I should talk to you, sir, about an investigation. I don’t mean to interrupt.

OEDIPUS: Yes! It’s you – come in, sit down – I’ve been looking for you. You’re a hard man to find.

FARMER: Well, I keep to myself, sir, but I grew up here, a long time ago. I know most of the people around these towns, and their parents. (Jocasta, frightened, backs away silently) What was it I heard about someone being dead?

OEDIPUS: His name was Polybus. He was mayor back in Corinth.

FARMER: Oh, I know him. Poor Polybus, a good man.

OEDIPUS: I’ve avoided home, all these years, because a prophet said I’d kill my own father. Well, I can never hurt him now, you see?

FARMER: Well you avoided home for a silly reason, then.

OEDIPUS: Why’s that?

FARMER: Well everybody knows Polybus didn’t have a son.

OEDIPUS: What are you talking about? (The Farmer suddenly goes quiet. He looks from Oedipus to Jocasta and back again)

FARMER: Course, I don’t know every baby that ever came and went. I’ve made mistakes. I think I want to go home.

OEDIPUS: No, you’ll stay here and you’ll explain.

JOCASTA: Oedipus, leave him alone, please.

OEDIPUS: (increasingly furious) Explain. (Farmer stays silent. Oedipus draws a weapon and seizes him) Explain what you mean.

FARMER: Let me go. What’ve I done to you? I’m just an old man, just a shepherd.

OEDIPUS: Do you mean Polybus wasn’t my father?

FARMER: He adopted a baby. Please, let me go –

JOCASTA: (anxious) Don’t listen to him, Oedipus. I told you not to bring him here.

CREON: Oedipus, stop it. This is insane.

OEDIPUS: (brandishing weapon) You would say that, wouldn’t you? The whole world’s been working to keep shadows on me, but not today. My friend here will share his wisdom, if I have to rip it from his mouth.

FARMER: I wouldn’t have ever come here, if I knew –

OEDIPUS: Where’d he get the baby he adopted? Answer me.

FARMER: From me. I gave it to him.JOCASTA: Oedipus, stop. I am begging you, stop.

OEDIPUS: (Twisting the Farmer’s arm) Say it again. You gave him the child?

FARMER: I did. I wish I’d died the day I did.

OEDIPUS: You’ll die now, if you don’t tell me the truth.

FARMER: I won’t name it.

OEDIPUS: Where’d you get the baby? Was it yours?

JOCASTA: Oedipus, please – you’re making me sick. Leave him alone. Stop asking, if you love life at all, stop –

OEDIPUS: Whose was it?

FARMER: No – no – I found it, that’s all – I found it – (Oedipus hurts him) I got it from Laius. It was the son of Laius. He gave it to me, to have it killed. (to Jocasta, pleading) But I couldn’t. I couldn’t. It was wrong.

SPHINX: (we will have someone available to read Jocasta)

SCENE 3: A month later. A space prepared for a town meeting. Jocasta, older, makes final preparations alone. Her clothes are finer than before, and her hair is styled – she checks it nowand then, when nervous. Gathering from the edges of the stage, the Chorus forms the Sphinx. It paces the room. Jocasta is casual in its presence, used to it.

JOCASTA: Where have you been?

SPHINX: Maybe I’ve been eating your people. Haven’t you seen the marks of my teeth on their arms? Awful lot of sickness back home on your side of town, isn’t there? ‘Isn’t she the mayor’s wife,’ they say. ‘Couldn’t she help us?’

JOCASTA: They’re not my people. I live up here now, and I’ve got to look respectable, keep my head down. I’m safe these days. Safer than I’ve ever been, and I won’t risk it. Nobody spits at a mayor’s wife. Nobody would dare take a baby from my arms now.

SPHINX: Don’t their babies die too?

JOCASTA: Look, I know things are all wrong. The moment Laius got to be mayor, seems like all kinds of trouble got set loose – no jobs, streets full of thieves – it’s not my fault.

SPHINX: And I wonder, what do you plan to do about it?

JOCASTA: They’ll sort out an answer soon. There can’t be chaos forever.

SPHINX: Perhaps you could lead them –

JOCASTA: I am leading them, in my way. I’ve been leading for years now. They won’t put a woman in office around here.

SPHINX: Maybe my sweet friend doesn’t want my help anymore? Maybe you’re happy in thecorner?
(Jocasta pauses. The sphinx bristles.)

JOCASTA: Laius has been dead a month now. That’s all I asked for.

SPHINX: But is it all you wanted? Are you comfortable, sitting behind your brother’s chair, letting him pretend to run things?

JOCASTA: They’ll elect someone new soon. Can’t you leave us? Maybe enough people are dead.

SPHINX: What would you have me eat instead?

JOCASTA: Prophets, maybe.

SPHINX: And leave the world to its own questions? Jocasta, don’t you know that whoever undoes his own riddle undoes himself?

Rehearsal schedule:
-Mon., Thurs. & Friday 4/16-6/15 from 6-9PM @ The Alban (a few rehearsals take place at Appalachian Artists Collective Kanawha City Studio)
Tech week:
-Sat. 6/16 & Sun. 6/17-Thurs. 6/21 from 5:30-10:30PM
*BUILD AND MOVE IN SAT 6/16 & SUN 6/17 from 11-4PM
*no evening rehearsal on Sat. 6/16, Sun. is building & tech rehearsal, dinner break from 4-5PM before go @ 5:30PM with all available costumes, props, set pieces and technical elements.
-Fri. 6/22, Sat. 6/23, Fri. 6/29, Sat. 6/30 @ 8PM, call 6:30PM for actor and technicians
-Sun. 6/24 & 7/1 @ 2PM, call 12:30PM for actors and technicians