2017 Spring General Auditions

Big Idea Theatre will be holding its final set of general auditions for the 2017 season on April 22 from 10am-2pm & April 23 from 10am-2pm.

We will be seeing actors for “Water by the Spoonful”, “Macbeth”, and “Silent Sky”.

** NOW ACCEPTING SUBMISSIONS. To reserve an audition slot, please email audition@bigideatheatre.org. Please include your resume and headshot if available and the shows/parts you are interested in reading for. Appointments are STRONGLY encouraged. There are no guarantees you will be seen without an audition appointment. Appointment times and digital sides will be sent to participants after April 8th, 2017. Further callback dates will be set as needed. Auditions will consist of cold readings from the scripts- no monologues are required.

Information available at bigideatheatre.org/audition

  Show/Audition information:


Water by the Spoonful

Directed by Benjamin T. Ismail and Chloe King

In this powerful Pulitzer Prize-winning drama, Elliot, an Iraq War veteran and aspiring actor, struggles to acclimate to civilian life while he cares for the ailing aunt who raised him. Meanwhile, a tragic figure from his past moderates an online chatroom for a small group of recovering addicts. When their paths cross, real-world tribulations collide with the search for courage and redemption in the virtual world, as newfound connections awaken a sense of purpose and question descriptions of family in the Information Age.

Rehearsals begin the beginning of July 2017

Show runs August 11 – September 8

Available Roles:

Elliott: Hispanic Male, 25-30 – A soldier having recently returned from duty in the Iraq war, now running a Subway sandwich shop in North Philly, his hard, tough exterior masks his huge heart and giving soul, haunted by what he did and saw in war, struggling to reconcile his past with his present.

Odessa/Haikumom: Hispanic Female, 45-55 – Elliot’s birth mother, still living in North Philly, an ex-addict who created and runs a chat room for other ex-addicts under the handle “Haikumom,” a little more “street” than the rest of her family, warm, irreverent, funny, kind, a fierce temper, having walked a hard road filled with temptations, disappointments, and lost chances, she endeavors day-to-day to maintain her own sobriety while also trying to offer hope/help to those with similar struggles.

Yazmin: Hispanic Female, 25-35 – Elliot’s cousin and close confidante, an assistant professor of music at Swarthmore College, the cool “hip” teacher with whom all the kids want to take class, super smart, articulate, educated, and level-headed, bears the weight of her family’s struggles on her shoulders, but with a divorce pending and at a career crossroads, she is not without struggles of her own.

Chutes&Ladders*: African Descent, African American Male, 45-60 – an ex-addict, average-looking, probably out of shape, drives a beat-up Tercel and should kind of look like it, the dude with TP stuck on his shoe, works a middle management position in the IRS that he’s had for decades, struggles with and is succeeding at keeping his life simple, pursuing simple pleasures, so as not to fall back into destructive patterns, a warm, steady, sardonically funny and no-nonsense member of Odessa/Haikumom’s cyber-community, develops a particular rapport with and concern for fellow chat room member Orangutan.

*Chutes&Ladders is his cyber name; given name is Clayton.

Orangutan*: Asian Female, 25-35 – another ex-addict who is a part of the chat room, not an optimist by nature, recently clean and sober, she has moved to Japan to teach English and to start a new life away from her old habits, fiercely independent and strong-willed, she is nonetheless searching–for her birth parents, for ways to clean her slate and keep it clean, and perhaps most importantly, for ways to understand the darkness she feels inside of herself.

 *Orangutan is her cyber name; given name is Madeline.

Fountainhead*: Caucasian Male, 35-45 – the newest addition to the chat room and only a few days sober, a super-smart, very successful, and financially secure entrepreneur/alpha-guy, a “soccer dad” whose wife and two kids do not know about his addiction, or that when he leaves the house to buy groceries he sometimes buys and smokes crack in a public park, his swagger and self-deprecating wit mask the shame and despair he feels about himself and his addiction, fighting sobriety and those in the chat room at every turn, even as his life is spiraling out of his control.

*Fountainhead is his cyber-handle; real name is John.

Professor Aman/Ghost: Middle Eastern Male, 30-40 – Ghost is the soul of a man who Eliott killed during his time over seas; Prof. Aman is Yazmin’s colleague at Swarthmore College, smart and worldly, knows his stuff.




Directed by Scott Divine

On the way home from battlefield victory, Scottish general Macbeth encounters a trio of witches who cryptically allude to his future triumphs, culminating in his ascent to the throne. As these prophecies gradually come to pass, Macbeth’s initial skepticism gives way to corrupting temptation, agitated to murderous ends by his scheming wife. In this fright-filled adaptation of Shakespeare’s classic dark tragedy of unchecked political ambition, supernatural forces conspire with mankind’s basest nature to circumvent the established moral order and satisfy the lust for power.

Rehearsals begin mid-August 2017

Show runs September 29 – October 29

Available Roles:

Macbeth: Male, 35-45 – A brave soldier, married to Lady Macbeth, his ambition begins to run wild after hearing a prophecy by three witches that he will be made King. Impetuous, passionate, susceptible to dreams of power and glory, he puts aside all morals in order to fulfill his ambitions. Deeply in love and connected to his wife, with whom he plots the murders of all who stand between himself and the crown.

Lady Macbeth: Female, 25-45 – Macbeth’s wife, poised, well bred, fiercely intelligent, ultimately a deeply ambitious woman who wants position and power, but later falls victim to guilt and madness over her complicity in plotting the murders of Duncan, Banquo and others. Deeply in love and passionately connected to her husband.

The Three Witches: Female/Male, 30-70 – Three very powerful, otherworldly and androgynous creatures who prophesize that Macbeth will be king, setting into motion the plot of the play. They can cast spells and influence people and events. They are not completely human, but may often may take on the specific characteristics of humans. They are neither male nor female, so the actors playing them must be able to sublimate their gender in some way or another. They appear throughout the play as witches and as other characters, observing the action and exerting their powers. Blended with some of smaller parts, which they subsume, they are major players in the drama. Two of the three witch roles are available.

Macduff : Male, 30-50 – Powerful, vital soldier, who mistrusts Macbeth and his rise to the throne, even before Macbeth arranges the murder of Macduff’s wife and child. A formidable and worthy opponent, he leads the movement to remove Macbeth from the throne, in order to avenge the death of his family and to put the rightful heir on the throne. Athletic and fierce. In every way the ultimate protagonist.

Banquo: Male, 35-45 – Another brave soldier, friend to Macbeth’s, he is with Macbeth when the witches make their fateful prophecy that Macbeth will be King and that his (Banquo’s) heirs will be kings. Unlike Macbeth, Banquo does not succumb to the temptation to engineer these prophecies. His character is a stark contrast to Macbeth’s in that he chooses the path Macbeth does not: a path in which ambition does not lead to betrayal and murder. After Banquo is murdered by Macbeth’s henchmen, he returns as a ghost to rebuke Macbeth for his actions. Straightforward, clear, uncomplicated, upstanding.

Duncan: Male, 60-70 – The King who is brutally murdered by Macbeth. A strong and just ruler and a figure of indisputable authority. Generous with praise for Macbeth and Banquo, who have fought bravely for him.

Malcolm: Male, 18-35 – The eldest son of Duncan and heir to the throne, we need to be able to see him initially as an attractive and somewhat inexperienced young man, with a reserved air of mystery about him. However, we need to believe him when he says he’s debauched and also believe him when he says he’s a virgin. Eventually, he ascends to the throne and should seem like he belongs there. A sensitive, young leading man of great potential and star quality.

Lady Macduff: Female, 25-40 – Macduff’s wife and mother of their young son. Warm, poised, lovely, loves her son, with whom she has a great rapport. Our hearts should ache to see her murdered.

Fleance: Male, 12-15 – Banquo’s son, who survives Macbeth’s attempt to murder him.

Ross: Male, 30-40 – A nobleman, serves Duncan and later Macbeth, because he must, but comes to understand Macbeth’s moral corruption. In the meantime, serves as a kind of consigliere, often bearing difficult news. Subsequently joins with Macduff and Malcolm to remove Macbeth from the throne.

Lennox: Male, 25-40 – A nobleman, serves Duncan. Of good breeding with an essential goodness and an innocent, sweet quality.

Donalbain: Male, 18-25 – Duncan’s son and Malcolm’s younger brother. Strong, Athletic, attractive.

Ensemble: Male/Female, Any Age – To play various parts, Old Man, Doctor, Waiting Gentlewoman, Siward, Young Siward, Seyton, Murderers.


Silent Sky

Directed by Benjamin T. Ismail

Rehearsals begin beginning of October 2017

Show runs November 17 – December 16

When Henrietta Leavitt is offered a position at the prestigious Harvard Observatory in the early 1900s, she leaves her rural Massachusetts home to pursue her passion for astronomy. Upon arriving, however, she learns that she won’t have access to the telescope but instead will be working with photographic plates, cataloging the stars with her fellow female “computers.” Undaunted, she dedicates her spare time to exploring her own ideas – juggling work, family and burgeoning love on the way to making a groundbreaking discovery. This true story of the celebrated astronomer explores female solidarity in a male-dominated world, challenging conventional ideas of one’s place in the world and the universe.

Available Roles:

Henrietta Leavitt – 30s, female, brilliant, meticulous, excited, almost always wearing a period hearing aid

Margaret Leavitt – 30s, female, homebody, creative, sweet, sister to Henrietta.

Peter Shaw – 30s, male, the head astronomer’s apprentice, shy and earnest, handsome but unassuming.

Annie Cannon – 40s, female, the leader, terse and sure, grows into a firebrand for the suffrage movement.

Willamina Fleming – 50s, female, smart as a whip and fun, Scottish

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