Calling All Poets Who Love Acting! Audition Notice for “King David”

27 Aug

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Hello fam!

This makes me so excited. Like…literally. What could be more awesome than a play that incorporates our favorite thing — poetry?! Nothing. Nothing is more awesome than that. My latest show “King David” which will be presented on the prestigious Columbia University stage incorporates poetry and dance to tell the amazing story of King David (II Samuel 11-13) in an entirely new and contemporary way. Check out the video above to see what I mean. But guess what? I need people like you — my kindred poetic spirits — to make it happen. Take a look at the audition details below, the video above, and take the leap to transform your spoken word career into what could be the beginnings of an acting career as well.

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Seeking Non-Union Actors to audition for The Taken – Part I: King David

  •  NEW WORK: This lyrical modernization of a Biblical tale is a collaboration between playwright Ayvaunn Penn and director Nana Dakin, both second-year MFA students at Columbia University. Adapted from the story of King David (II Samuel chapter 13), Penn’s poetic work explores the devastating consequences of King David’s actions and the generational violence it begets. The Taken will be presented as a full production in the spring of 2017. For this presentation of the first act, we are interested in exploring the heightened musicality of Penn’s storytelling.
  •  CASTING: NON-UNION. OPEN ETHNICITY. AGES 18+. We seek versatile performers with a passion for poetry, prosody, musicality, movement and ensemble work. Performers with backgrounds in spoken word and music are strongly encouraged to audition.
  •  CHARACTER BREAKDOWN:
  1. DAVID – King of Israel. Male. 20s-40s. Athletic. Historically virtuous and heroic. His fatal lust proves his downfall.
  2. BATHSHEBA – Wife of a soldier. Female. 20s-30s. Sensuous, strong and quick to speak. Widely lusted after but very much in love with her husband Uriah.
  3. ZIBA – David’s head servant. Female. 50s -60s. Wise and opinionated. David’s moral compass. The eyes and ears of the palace.
  4.  FEMALE ENSEMBLE (TAMAR) – Female. Teens – 20s. Athletic. TAMAR – King David’s daughter. Sweet. Unassuming. Innocent.
  5. MALE ENSEMBLE 1 (AMNON / JOAB / ELISHAMA) – Male. 20s – 30s. Athletic. AMNON – King David’s son. Rapes his sister Tamar. / JOAB – Army captain and King David’s right hand man. Exudes power and authority. Gets the job done with no questions. / ELISHAMA – Servant. Hiding a secret affair. Enjoys telling crazy stories about Ziba.
  6. MALE ENSEMBLE 2 (ABSALOM / JEZREEL) – Male. Teens – 20s. Athletic. / ABSALOM – King David’s son. Kills his brother Amnon for raping his sister Tamar. / JEZREEL – Servant. Newly hired. Energetic but immature.
  • REHEARSAL SCHEDULE: Rehearsals will start the week of September 5th, and go until October 6th (opening night). Rehearsals will take place 2-3 times a week from 6.30-9.30pm and on one weekend day, from 10-2pm or 2-6pm, with few exceptions. All rehearsals will be held in the area around Columbia University.
  •  PUBLIC PERFORMANCE: The production will be presented at Columbia University’s Schapiro Theatre October 6th-9th, 2016.
  • AUDITIONS:
Monday, August 29th, 10am – 6pm
at 612 West 115th Street, New York, NY 10027
Watson Hall, Room 106
*closest subway is the 1 train to 116th Street
Tuesday, August 30th, 1pm – 9pm
at 3280 Broadway, New York, NY 10027
5th Floor, Studio 5
*closest subways are the 1 train to 125th St. or 137th St.
Auditions will be scheduled in 10 minute slots.
 To submit please follow these instructions:
  1. Email Director Nana Dakin: n.dakin [at] columbia [dot] edu
  2. In the subject line write: “Audition, King David”
  3. Specify which ROLE you are auditioning for
  4. Specify which audition DAY(s) and TIME(s) you are available for
  5. Attach PDF of your Headshot
  6. Attach PDF of your Resume

All the best,

Ayvaunn Penn

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mariana6 (1 of 1)-LAyvaunn Penn most recently served as assistant director to Golden Globe winner Regina Taylor on her show STOP. RESET. at the Tony Award winning Goodman Theatre. She is the Columbia University School of the Arts Dean’s Fellowship recipient for the Playwriting Class of 2018. Follow her @PennSpeaks on Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

Are you a Poet? Love Acting? This Could be Your Opportunity.

25 Apr
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Living in NYC? Talented poet? Or, are you a dancer or director with an ear for poetry and rhythm? I want to work with you to create a spoken word theatrical production. Hit me up at BlackAndMakingIt@gmail.com (with “g”) for details, and share this to spread the word.
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Spread the poetry revolution by clicking the image to become a fan on Facebook. 

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Ayvaunn Penn is an award-winning writer and the author of Ephemeral Moments, a book of poetry and short stories available on Amazon. She is also the founder of Your Black Poets and currently earning her MFA in Playwriting at Columbia University. Catch her spotlighting black excellence in theatre and the performing arts with Black And Making It. Click to follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

Poet Mentors Incarcerated Youth Through Art. Meet Messiah Ramkissoon.

23 Apr Messiah
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Not only did he win 3 times at New York’s Apollo Theater for his lyrical skill, he was also a featured performer at the unveiling of the MLK monument in Washington, DC, and that’s not the end of his impressive resume. Learn how this master of language is using his talent to change the lives of others for the better.
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Spread the poetry revolution by clicking the image to become a fan on Facebook. 

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Ayvaunn Penn is an award-winning writer and the author of Ephemeral Moments, a book of poetry and short stories available on Amazon. She is also the founder of Your Black Poets and currently earning her MFA in Playwriting at Columbia University. Catch her spotlighting black excellence in theatre and the performing arts with Black And Making It. Click to follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

Featured Poem of the Week: “The Art Exhibit” by Tyree Jackson

24 Jun

Trayvon Martin Tribute The Art Exhibit Poem

In this image,

you cannot see,

that I am

damaged, discriminated, stereotyped, racially profiled,

shot at, convicted, and thrown behind bars;

but most of all, I am a victim.

But who can we blame for the burdens I have told?

I am a man of color,

my mother’s son,

now behold.

So it is through this image,

and in my world, a story unfolds.

As I stare voiceless, my lips sealed closed

at the injustices that plague me, consume me

to eventually poison me, and my people.

So stare into my eyes, and tell me what you see?

am I a human being,

or just some violent black offspring?

Who is up to no good,

many police officers would say.

Because,

I am a drug dealer,

woman beater,

rapist

a bastard child

or some dangerous

gang member

who can’t speak proper

and initiates fights.

And it is I,

who strikes fear in

white people’s hearts, because

I’m just another felon.

So I am an uneducated,

unemployed,

black hoodlum,

a by-product from

living my entire life

on the streets.

But most of all, I am

bagged and tagged,

to be buried six-feet deep.

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About the Author: 

Tyree Jackson is a poet and activist.  He resides in Bronx, NY.

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Spread the poetry revolution by clicking the image to become a fan on Facebook. 

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Ayvaunn Penn is an award-winning writer and the author of Ephemeral Moments, a book of poetry and short stories from the Christian perspective, available on Amazon.com in the fall of 2013. She is also the founder of Your Black Poets. To receive Ayvaunn’s daily Bible devotionals by email, click here. Click to follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

Featured Poem of the Week: “The Trophy Wife” by Eli Soul

16 Jun

black woman

She’s sitting, hoping –

almost motionless.

Her lover’s not home;

she’s losing focusness.

Maybe a drink, she thinks,

will ease the pain.

The tipsiness relieves stress temporarily,

but peace is not gained.

She acknowledges his reign,

and his fame bracing towns.

How he parades her beauty,

but at the house she’s found –

slumped in a chair,

watching movie after movie.

Truly she’s a trophy wife,

but only collecting dust.

The description of her base praises her dreams,

and well-placed on the shelf,

supposedly, never to be discovered.

No, she won’t be suckered.

She’s being polished,

and holds a simple glow about her –

she’s always being modest.

Not many comes close to hearing her story.

They would be bothered.

They won’t hear her holler

or even her silent whimpers.

These are only a chosen few

that can stir the embers that can cause the flame

that gives her her release

from the low, setting pedestal she stands.

Somewhere writing her gripping tale –

well, she plans on.

This is definitely a trophy wife

that God has got His hands on…

soon to give her life.

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About the Author: 

 

Eli Soul was born, Billy Elijah Chandler, in Kingstree, SC.  The gift of writing started for Eli at an early age. At first, it was birthed in stories that he would write in elementary school that showed his colorful and vivid imagination. His writing then progressed, and at the age of 8 he began writing poems.  Eli did not write Christian music until after being drawn by God. That was the turning point to the lyrical content of his music – getting to know Christ. The story lines became stronger and more impactful. Finally leading him to what he was chosen to do in life; minister through poetry and music.

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Spread the poetry revolution by clicking the image to become a fan on Facebook. 

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Ayvaunn Penn is an award-winning writer and the author of Ephemeral Moments, a book of poetry and short stories from the Christian perspective, available on Amazon.com in the fall of 2013. She is also the founder of Your Black Poets. To receive Ayvaunn’s daily Bible devotionals by email, click here. Click to follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

Featured Poem of the Week: “Words” by Barbara J

9 Jun

pen and paper

Not a tone of uncertainty
or a sting of calamity
or a shriek of ambiguity
lives to dispel the makeup of words
No endangered emotion
exists in our language of devotion
as if to deny the completion
of unrehearsed patterns of words
Sometimes stable, but quite often disheveled
spurs of unexpected moments gather
in alignment to provoke and condone
a rebirth of unknowns
or a hindrance to our own
kinds of things as these words
A build-up for a breakdown
and most favored when upside down
Gifts of life, thoughts of wonder–
all an exchange for our heart’s exposure
To receive, to grieve, to laugh
controlled by memories and lost by the untapped
Words imply, they deny, they revive
Yet I relish every syllable like short breaths of air
As they move in rhythmic shapes and sounds
Some distant, others near
Words, like simplicity or complex consumed in time
yet never unlearned even as we discover
that sticks and stones are fine and dandy
but words are tools that come in handy

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About the author:

My name is Barbara J from Miami, FL, now living in Los Angeles. I’m a performer and writer of three books of poetry, and host of Fearless Fridays Open Mic in Echo Park.

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Spread the poetry revolution by clicking the image to become a fan on Facebook. 

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Trayvon Martin Dedication: “Black is Just as Right”

15 Jul
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Spread the poetry revolution by clicking the image to become a fan on Facebook. 

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Ayvaunn Penn is an award-winning writer and author of Ephemeral Moments. This book of poetry and short stories addresses issues such as: struggles of faith, domestic abuse, racial injustice, a falling economy, and contemporary love – all through the eyes of a Christian. It is available for purchase on Create Space eStoreTo preview the book, click here To receive Ayvaunn’s daily Bible devotionals by email, click here.