Call for Artists

UI Department of Theatre Arts Announces Auditions for Fall 2019 Productions – Open to Everyone!

By August 28, 2019 No Comments

The University of Iowa Department of Theatre Arts will hold auditions from August 29-September 1, 2019 for 70 of roles in our 12 fall productions, including the Pulitzer Prize-winning production of Lynn Nottage’s Sweat. Auditions are open to everyone, including non-majors and the general public. Please see below for additional specific casting needs.


These auditions are an excellent opportunity to learn more about UI Theatre and to perform in Mainstage, Gallery, and Workshop productions, as well as staged readings. For complete details and what to prepare, please visit


Auditions for University of Iowa Theatre productions are open to everyone. For academic considerations, priority is given to theatre majors first, and then all other students of the University of Iowa. Members of the greater Iowa City community are also strongly encouraged to audition. There are many excellent roles available throughout the year and many non-majors and actors from the surrounding community are cast each season. Occasionally, professional guest actors will also be employed.


In all disciplines and areas of theatrical production, the Department of Theatre Arts seeks to include persons of every race, color, culture, age, gender, creed, physical disability and sexual orientation. The Department is committed to Non-Traditional Casting to expand opportunities for women, actors of color, and actors with disabilities in roles where race, gender, or the presence or absence of a disability is not germane.




General Auditions (Alan MacVey Theatre, UI Theatre Building)

Thursday, August 29 – 7:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.

Friday, August 30 – 7:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.


Callbacks (UI Theatre Building)

Saturday, August 31 – 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.

Sunday, September 1 – 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.


Casting will be announced on Sunday, September 1 with some shows beginning rehearsal on Tuesday, September 3.


Beginning at 9:30 a.m. on Monday, August 26, you may sign up for an audition slot. Visit for more information.




Shows, Workshops, and Readings Participating in Fall Auditions


Mainstage Productions:

Sweat – By Lynn Nottage, Directed by Sarah Lacy Hamilton

Orlando – By Virginia Woolf, Adapted by Sarah Ruhl, Directed by Erica Vannon


Gallery Productions:

MERRILY – By Dakota Parobek

Perils of the Flowerbed – By Steven Glavey

We All Were Sunflowers – By Ikram Basra



Funk – By Aja Nisenson

Blood Moon – By Cameron Speta

Bonnets – By Jen Silverman

Falls Eve – By Brett Stone

You are not Alone in the Void – by Emmy Palmersheim



Backpedal – By Laura Brightman


Special Projects:

Global Express



Sweat by Lynn Nottage


Winner of the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, Lynn Nottage’s Sweat centers on a group of friends at their go-to bar in Reading, Pennsylvania. In the year 2000, layoffs and lockouts threaten their factory floor jobs, thrusting them into a bitter fight for survival. Produced across the country to critical and popular acclaim, Sweat considers the effects of America’s economic decline on deindustrialization alongside a heart-wrenching examination of friendship, race, class, and trust within this community of family and friends.


Character Descriptions:

EVAN – African-American, 40s. Parole officer. Evan is passionate about his job and works diligently to help put his parolees on the path to success. He is sharp, and will not be pushed around.

STAN – White man, 50s. Ex-factory worker, now bartender at the steelworkers’ bar. Stan was injured working on the factory floor years ago, and walks with a limp. He know the bar patrons intimately, and often plays the role of the mediator and mentor. He is down to earth, practical, and tough.

OSCAR – Columbian-American, 22/30. Barback. Oscar is an outsider in this community, ostracized by the union factory workers that frequent the bar. Wanting to improve his life and his circumstances, he tries to break in to the better-paying manufacturing industry, but is continually met with rejection. In spite of this, Oscar keeps fighting for what he deserves, putting himself first when no one else will.

TRACEY – White woman, 45/53. Steel factory worker. Tracey’s best friend, Jason’s mother. Tracey has worked at the factory since she graduated high school, in a position that is extremely physically demanding. She takes great pride in her work, and her personal identity is inextricable from it. She has a biting sense of humor and a commanding presence. She is fiercely protective or her loved ones and the life she has earned.

CYNTHIA – African-American woman, 45/53. Steel factory worker. Tracey’s best friend, Chris’s mother. Cynthia has also worked at the factory since high school, alongside Tracey. When a management job opens up at the factory, she jumps at the opportunity to apply. After her promotion, she finds herself town between trying to help her friends, and protect the new life she has created for herself.

JESSIE – White woman, 40s. Steel factory worker. Jessie, a former hippie with dreams to travel, likes to dance and go out, but her failed marriage and disappointment in her life have led her to abuse alcohol. She is friends with Tracey and Cynthia, but doesn’t share their closeness, and is often alone.

BRUCIE – African-American man, 40s. Steel factory worker. Cynthia’s husband, Chris’s dad. He has been locked out of his plant and out of work for almost two years, during which he developed a drug addiction. His struggle to make ends meet and get clean have put enormous strain on his relationship with his wife and son. Despite all of the obstacles in his way, he is trying to get right with his loved ones and find a new path.


MERRILY by Dakota Parobek


Emma Goldman (Anarchist) and Wilbur Wright (Capitalist) wade through history in search of long lost loved ones. As their past lives collide and coalesce, the integrity of memory begins to unravel.


Character Descriptions:

EMMA GOLDMAN (1869-1940) – 20th Century American Anarchist. Filled with rage, but driven by love for humanity. Any Gender, Any Race, Age 20-40s.

WILBUR WRIGHT (1867-1914) – 19th Century Capitalist Icon. Struggling workhouse and inventor with brother Orville. Any Gender, Any Race, Age 20-40s.


Blood Moon by Cameron Speta


The sudden murder of former State Attorney General Jagen Lowell shatters the peace of a happy family gathering. Trapped in a cabin with a murderer, the Lowell family must find the killer before they strike again.


Character Descriptions

CATRIA LOWELL – 65, Female, Jagen’s wife, Retired Surgeon General of North Dakota.



Spring 2020 Auditions (November 2019)

Ten-Minute Play Festival (December 2019)
Iowa New Play Festival (March 2020)


For more information, please visit or contact Melissa L. F. Turner at




The mission of the Department of Theatre Arts is to sustain a world-class theatre arts program where we develop new work and new artists through a creative, collaborative process. With respect for the great global traditions, we push the boundaries of theatre, using sophisticated tools and technologies. Provide space for diversity and to foster social responsibility and change. Nurture student artists and their work, prepare graduates for professional opportunities, support faculty as professional artists and scholars, and engage, delight, and challenge audiences. For more information on upcoming productions, please visit us online at or You can also follow us on Twitter and find us on Facebook and Instagram!

For more information contact:
Melissa L.F. Turner, Stage Management
University of Iowa
Department of Theatre Arts