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UI Department of Theatre Arts Announces Iowa New Play Festival Auditions – Open to Everyone!

By March 3, 2020 No Comments

Iowa City, Iowa—The University of Iowa Department of Theatre Arts will hold open auditions for the Iowa New Play Festival on Saturday, March 7 from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and Sunday, March 8 from 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., in addition to musical auditions for Razor Creek: a sci fi, folk-rock musical on Saturday, March 7 from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. in the UI Theatre Building (200 N. Riverside Drive, Iowa City). Callbacks will be held on Monday, March 9-Thursday, March 12. The Festival will include four productions and seven staged readings. For complete details and to sign up for an audition slot, 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)

Saturday, March 7 – 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Sunday, March 8 – 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Musical Auditions (Room 166, UI Theatre Building)

Razor Creek: a sci fi, folk-rock musical

Saturday, March 7 from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Callbacks (UI Theatre Building)

Monday, March 9 – 7:30 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.

Tuesday, March 10 – 6:30 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.

Wednesday, March 11 – 6:30 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.

Thursday, March 12 – 6:30 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.

Casting will be announced on Friday, March 13. Iowa New Play Festival runs May 4-9, 2020.

Please visit to sign up for an audition slot and for more information.

Shows Participating in Iowa New Play Festival 2020 Auditions



Spells for Going Forth by Daylight by Leigh Marie Marshall, directed by Lila Rachel Becker

Love by Aja Nisenson, directed by Joe Osheroff

Colic by SP O’Brien, directed by Erica Vannon

Razor Creek: a sci fi, folk-rock musical Book and lyrics by K.T. Peterson; music by Paige L. Scott & K.T. Peterson,

directed by Bo Frazier



A Village in Asia by Ikram Basra

Vacation, All I Ever Wanted by Jeremy Geragotelis

The Revenger’s Comedy, or, Man and Everyman, with The Life of the Villain, Don Cesario, As Acted by the Queenes

Majesties Servants by Steven Glavey

Ridgway by Charlie O’Leary

Mortal Kombat 3 by Dakota Parobek

that war by Jarek Pastor

Biomes: A Candyland by Emma Silverman



Love by Aja Nisenson

Synopsis: When Phoebe (30’s), sets her grandmother Em (80’s) up on a blind date with Walt (80’s), the two “kids” hit it off, developing a courtship role-playing game in which their past traumas get re-imagined into their present. The play asks the questions: Who says women in their 80’s can’t have the best sex of their lives? And can sexual awakening open us up to accepting, or at least acknowledging, past sexual trauma as a way to heal? Audience advisories (language, violence, adult themes, sexual abuse).


EM (mid 80’s)

WALT (mid 80’s)

PHOEBE (30’s, Em’s granddaughter)

The Revenger’s Comedy, or, Man and Everyman, with The Life of the Villain, Don Cesario, as Acted by the Queenes Majesties Servants by Steven Glavey

Synopsis: A celebration and a raucous deconstruction of the revenge tragedy, The Revenger’s Comedy follows the exploits of the villain, Don Cesario. Tasked by the ghost of his father to avenge his death, a thoroughly unimpressed Cesario must find his way, through distracting dalliances and mislaid plots, to get the old man off his back – meanwhile, a dysfunctional troupe of Italian clowns fight against the odds to mount one last show.


DON CESARIO / SCAPINO (male, late-twenties to mid-thirties)

A scheming libertine with a grandiose opinion of himself, Don Cesario thinks himself a lover, but his love is only cruelty. Speaks in florid, punning entanglements of language which he casts like nets about his targets. Ultimately, a man on the run from himself — ice masquerading as fire. The role is doubled with that of Scapino: is Scotum’s son – brash, wily, a little gruff, but ultimately benign. A clown, just like his father.

THE STATUE / SCOTUM (male, 50s – 70s)

The ghost of Don Cesario’s father inhabiting the statue at his graveside, the Statue is a damned soul enforcing his living son to petty revenge. As a Statue, he is cold, cruel, and imperious. In life, he was probably not much better.

The role is doubled with that of Scotum: is a famous Italian clown at the end of his career. Ailing and running out time, Scotum and his troupe quickly organize a show, so that the master-clown may sing and dance one final time. Scotum is a wise, infinitely good-humored man, who seeks only to laugh, dance, and spread the happy spirit of clowning to as many as he can in the time that is given to him.

DONNA URRACA / OLD COLUMBINA (female, 50s – 70s)

Donna Urraca is the mother of Don Cesario and the widow of his father, the Statue. Urraca is a sorceress and, like her son, a calculating schemer, though far more practiced in the craft of deception than he is. Having endured much at the hands of her deceased husband, she is also his killer. The role is doubled with that of Old Columbina: is the wife of Scotum, an old hand at jesting, and an old shyster from way back when. She loves her husband dearly and, as his final show approaches, worries that he may not make it through. Kind, cautious, and smart as a whip.

Ridgway by Charlie O’Leary

Synopsis: Decades ago in Western Pennsylvania, a gay love triangle ended in a murder in the woods – or so it’s rumored. But when a white journalist brings his Latino partner home to investigate, the past and present start to look eerily similar. A ghost story about who can live safely in rural America.


MAN (a white man in his 40s-60s)

After his lover took their own life thirty years ago, he’s been living in silent shame, even as he’s raised a family. Has an edge of menace.

that war by Jarek Pastor

Synopsis: Pushing clowns into a light fever dream, that war meditates on life during wartime for those lucky enough to be on the winning side a world away from the battlefield. You know the dream, the one that’s all lingering heat from a rage at people we can’t feel and ideas that no longer exist.


PA: (male, 30s-40s)

A veteran from the last war. Hoping what they celebrated then is just as relevant today, though he remembers yesterday less and less. Can barely stay awake but cannot sleep due to general aches and maladies.

DIRECTOR: (male, 40s – 50s)

Wears a suit several sizes too big with the confidence to carry it well. Carries a cane and loves the sounds it makes. Harried by all the work he is too important to do.

MANAGER: (female, 30s – 40s)

Self-appointed champion of those she won’t permit speak for themselves. Can assure herself and others of her inherent superiority with a simple “bless your heart.”

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

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all University of Iowa-sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires a reasonable accommodation in order to participate in this program, please contact the Department of Theatre Arts in advance at 319.335.2700.


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