Call for Actors/Tech: CAMP Performance of "The Arsonists" for 2018 Meeting

CALL FOR ACTORS, DESIGNERS AND OTHER CREATIVE TYPES!

for

The Arsonists (a morality play without a moral)

by Max Frisch

Translated by Alistair Beaton

Fri, Jan 5th, 2018

SCS Annual Meeting, Boston

Directed by Laura & Mike Lippman

This year we will continue the tradition of CAMP sponsored productions with a staged reading of The Arsonists (a morality play without a moral) by Max Frisch, translated by Alistair Beaton.

Here is the story of the play: Arsonists are systematically torching the town. First, they charm their way into your home and after, they burn it to the ground.  As the play opens, a mysterious wrestler from a recently burned circus arrives at Gottlieb Biedermann’s front door seeking some “kindness and humanity” and perhaps even a little "bread and wine".  Will Biedermann let him in? Will he then believe the mysterious wrestler when he tells him he is indeed an arsonist?  Now more than ever in our post-truth, post fact world, we are unable to hear truth when spoken plainly, preferring to hear and see only what we want as we live comfortably within our (academic?) bubble.  The Arsonists speaks loudly to the here and now while employing many elements of ancient theatre.  This reception piece, influenced by both Greek tragedy and comedy raises many questions that we, too, as both citizens and Classicists, must contemplate in our quest for relevance and morality.  

We hope to showcase the various talents of the classics community via any aspect of theater production, as well as generate an active discussion thereafter.  Please don't be shy about participating or attending!

PARTS FOR ACTORS: (all parts are open to both men and women)

Anna: A hardworking maid.  She follows orders but questions her employer’s choices, so no mere passive spectator.  A working class woman with a place in the upper class world. 

Babette: Biedermann's wife. She is nervous, worrisome, and suffers from a heart condition. She is terrified that the arsonists will come to her home and suspects Schmitz and Eisenring are arsonists, but would never want to imply that to their faces for fear of being impolite.  

Doctor of Philosophy:  An earnest academic who is partners with the arsonists. She/He remains silent throughout the plan to set the house on fire until the end, when she/se breaks her/his Aeschylean silence.

Chorus Leader- The leader is a protector, is earnest and dedicated. By constantly watching, she/he understands the behavior of men.

Chorus of Firefighters- These firemen are protectors of the town. They are always watching and listening, ready to act at the first sign of danger. They act in the sprit of a Greek chorus. Looking to cast between 5-9 people.

Policeman- She/He is an officer of the law, on official, investigative business. (can be doubled with a chorus member)

Mrs. Knetchling- is the wife of one of Biedermann's employees who was fired. Now a mourning widow, she comes to Biedermann after her husband kills himself. (can be doubled with a chorus member)

OTHER CREATIVE CONTRIBUTORS:

In addition to actors, we invite volunteers whose abilities can shine forth in other respects. 

·      Choreographers: Those with movement experience would be ideal to help work with the Chorus of Firefighters.

·      Costume Designer(s):  For the Cast as well as Chorus of Firefighters--there are many opportunities for a great deal of creativity.   

·      Props and scenic designer(s):  Another area where creativity and resourcefulness is a plus!

·      Sound Design: Pre/post show sound design, plus internal sound cues of fire and, most importantly, explosions!

·      Stage Manager: To help organize, wrangle and keep the production on track and on time.

·      Assistant Director: To assist the directors, work with the chorus, help create stage pictures, and contribute to the overall production.

If you are interested:

·      Please contact either of the Lippmans at llippman@peru.edu or mike.brant.lippman@gmail.com before August 1st.

·      Indicate the part of production in which you would like to participate and your talents/experience in that area as well as your contact information for the summer and for the academic year.  The more specific your description of yourself, the better.  We will follow up and request further information, if necessary, later this summer.  Total cast and crew will be announced by mid-August.

·      Students and faculty are all welcome and encouraged to get involved.  Please help us spread the word to any interested parties!

·      **Please be sure that you will be able to commit to arriving at the SCS in Boston by the evening of Wed, January 3rd, 2018 in order to give us ample time to rehearse.  Plan on being available for that evening for a read-through/overview and for the entire day of Thursday, January 4th, for rehearsals.  The day of the show should also be left somewhat open (we understand that you will have meeting business, too) for pick-up rehearsals before the evening's performance.  The performance will be script-in-hand.  We will expect actors to be familiar with the text, but it need not be memorized.

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(Photo: "Empty Theatre (almost)" by Kevin Jaako, licensed under CC BY 2.0)

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