Auditions in New York for “Night Witches”


Night Witches

Location: New York, NY

Type: Theater


Written by: Madeline Barr, Elizabeth Chahin, Josephine Cooper, Alida Rose Delaney, Alexis Ingram, Elena Kritter, and Maggie Ronck, with text from “A Dance with Death: Soviet Airwomen of World War II” by Anne Noggle

Produced by: Ground Rush Productions
Directed by: Elena Kritter
Casting by: Dayna Dantzler
Assistant to the Casting Director: Alexandra M. Lee, Ethan Ness

A new play based on the female fighter pilots and members of the 46th Taman Guards Night Bomber Regiment of World War II.

SEEKING: Seven Actor/Creators (female) (Late teens to early 30’s)
Physical, passionate, hardworking, multi-dimensional, multi-talented, female-identifying theatre makers. who will continue devising the play as set in motion by the original members of the ensemble. We want to create a well-rounded company who have experience in music, writing, ensemble-devising, puppetry, and/or design.

All ethnicities strongly encouraged to apply. We are seeking artists who are passionate about the story, flexible with developmental nature of new work, do well in live-in residencies, and thrive in “team’ based exercises and games.

Audition Date and Location:
Monday, March 4th, 9:30AM – 1:30PM, 2:30PM – 4PM, 5PM – 7:30PM, 10 minute slots, Shetler Studios, Penthouse 5
Sunday March 5th, 11AM-3PM, group devising, individual interviews, Ripley Grier, 520 8th Avenue, Room 16J

To submit:
Please email your headshot and resume to to request an audition slot.

In the event you cannot attend first round of auditions, Self-Tapes are welcome.

Residency Dates:
April 13th-May 12th at Ground Rush Farm, Culpeper, VA
Performances: May 8th-11th at The Hangar in Culpeper, Virginia

Residency Location:
The development of the piece will take place in a month long residency April 2019 on Ground Rush Farm in Culpeper, Virginia.

Collaborators will work with an existing script, play with found text from “A Dance with Death:Soviet Airwomen of WWII” by Anne Noggle, devise new material using local resources in Virginia, create new characters, and interact with current text and current characters in creative improvisations, structured rehearsals, and experiential field trips.

The residency will culminate in a brief performance period for the local community as well as invited industry guests.

Compensation and Union Contract Details

Free housing (1 bed per member with 2 members per room) will be provided in Culpeper, Virginia at the Kritter family home on Ground Rush Farm.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, provided on Ground Rush Farm
Fees on Field Trips/Group Excursions
Travel to and from Residency reimbursed up to $150.00

Ground Rush Farm is working family farm, so contribution to cleaning, cooking, and following house rules as set down by hosts is expected.


One of the accounts as a monologue (do not have to be memorized, but it is encouraged!)

One of the accounts as Inspired Source Material. We want to see how the text inspires you as a creator/artist to generate original material. You do not need to use all of the text, or recreate the text literally – we simply want to see how the source material inspires you as an artist with your creative arsenal.

For example: One of the accounts could remind you of a song – you could come in and sing/play the song. It might inspire a movement sequence. It might inspire an original monologue from another character’s point of view. It might inspire shadow puppetry of flight. It might inspire a soundscape played in the background while you perform the account – and so much more! Get creative! We want to meet you in a creative state!

We would love to see you present the two selections you choose and then we may ask you a question or two about yourself- your interest in the project, experience with devising/new work, etc.

“Night Witches” Historical Accounts:
When we were training wewould sit in our dug-out around the stove and Raskova would sing to us. She’d say, ‘Girls, when the war is over’… and she’d look at us in our unattractive flying suits that made us look like bears… ‘After the war you’ll wear white dresses and pretty shoes, and we’ll have a big party. Don’t worry; we’re going to win the war.’ For inspiration we had a portrait of Raskova at our base, and we each carried a picture of her in a pocket on the leg of our flight suits. The pocket had a clear covering over it, so we could see her picture. We all called ourselves, ‘Raskovi,’ belonging to Raskova. She was brave, and so we were brave.

– Valentina Kravchenko, navigator, 587th Day Bomber Aviation Regiment


It was a very, very dark night. Not one small star could be seen. The sky was covered in cloud; it seemed that it was an abyss of darkness, pitch black… and when I got up in the air, I could see the front line marked by green, red and white tracer lights, where skirmishes continued throughout the night. I followed the lights towards the accumulation of enemy troops. Suddenly, the plane in front of mine got caught in three and later five projector lights, which blind pilots. I watched them fall to the earth right in front of my eyes and saw the explosion of flames below. I flew towards the enemy lines, thinking I must help my friends. Irrational thoughts… I knew they were dead. We dropped the bombs on the dots of light below. They shot at us and I circled around and flew back towards the base. When I landed I could see they already knew. I was ordered to fly another mission immediately. It was the best thing to keep me from thinking about it.

– Nadezhda Popova, pilot, 588th Night Bomber Aviation Regiment


But life remains life and we, as military pilots, still remained young girls. We dreamed of our grooms, marriages, children, and a future happy, peaceful life. We thought to meet our future mates at the front. But our 46th Regiment was unique, for it was purely female. There wasn’t even a shabby male mechanic to rest a glance on. Nevertheless, after a night of combat w,e never forgot to curl our hair. Some girls thought it unpatriotic to look unattractive. I argued that we should. I said, “Imagine that I have a forced landing at a male fighter airdrome. Soldiers are rushing to my aircraft because they know that the crew is female. I, absolutely dashing, slide out of the cockpit and take off my helmet, and my golden, curly hair streams down my shoulders. Everyone is awed by my dazzling beauty. They all desperately fall in love with me.

Yevegnia Zhigulenko, pilot, commander of the formation, Hero of the Soviet Union, 46th Guards Bomber Regiment


In Belorussia, we were stationed in one of the villages, and after dinner, we went into the woods to pick strawberries. The commander of the front called our unit because one small German group had broken out, and we were to look for them. We took off on a reconnaissance flight and saw smoke coming out of the small woods, and we also saw some German troops. In another small woods, there were Soviets. At that point I was scared. Now I could see how very close the fascists were to our regiment. Then we were ordered on a strafing mission. We could see the Germans very clearly and I fired at them with my machine gun. They scattered – some of them firing at us, some of them running. Aircraft from one of our male regiments was circling with us, and one of their planes was shot down. We did not want to kill, but we were in the regiment to fight and free our motherland.
When we saw the captured German, in spite of the fact that they were the enemy and had committed such atrocities in our country, we couldn’t look with them without the throbbing of the heart. They were miserable figures in shabby clothes, absolutely starving, thin and weak, and we experienced a kind of pity even for the enemy. If I had been given a pistol at that moment, and a command to fire at them, I could not have done so.
Senior Lieutenant Alexandra Akimova, navigator of the squadron, 46 Guards Night Bomber Regiment

On a bombing mission one night, I nearly lost my navigator, Galina. The searchlights caught our plane, but I dove and escaped from it. Galina was thrown completely out of the cockpit by this maneuver, but she was caught on the machine gun, and when I leveled off she dropped back down into her cockpit. She was on her first mission and had forgotten to fasten her safety belt. I called to her several times, but she wouldn’t respond. This was directly over the target, and she had already dropped the bombs. I returned to our airdrome and didn’t know if she was dead or alive, because I was busy dodging projectiles and couldn’t look back. When I landed I found Galina alive but so shaken she couldn’t report to the commander about the mission. I was so shaken we I thought I could have lost my navigator over the target. We became friends then and are friends now. We are like sisters in our regiment, and we took care of every member of our family.
Junior Lieutenant Raisa Zhitova-Yushina, pilot, flight commander, 46th Guards Night Bomber Regiment

When something happened to our aircraft, or we weren’t allowed to fly for some reason, we were very upset because we wanted to fly as many missions as possible. It as a terrible thing not to fly. As we became used to the danger, we didn’t think about death or losses. When we were going to the airfield to fly we sang, and when we were going to our headquarters after flying we sang, that is if the night was good and we had no losses.
Junior Lieutenant Raisa Zhitova-Yushina, pilot, flight commander, 46th Guards Night Bomber Regiment

I saw the German aircraft flying along our roads filled with people who were leaving their homes, firing at them with their machine guns. Seeing this gave me feelings inside that made me want to fight them. During the war, our house, in the German-occupied territory became the fascist police office. They destroyed the apricot trees and the flowers and used our garage to torture people. They blasted our school, and it was like a terrible storm had invaded our country. The war had changed our lives forever.
Senior Lieutenant Nina Nadezhda Popova, pilot, Squadron Commander, Hero of the Soviet Union, 46th Guards Night Bomber Regiment

I worked on planes for various aircrews during the war, but the last two years I maintained the aircraft of Yevegenia Popova. When she trusted her life into my hands, I did everything on the earth for her, to keep her alive, to keep the aircraft in the best condition. Yevgenia trusted me so much that she didn’t even put her signature on the release form. This form certified that the aircraft was in order and hat mechanic had fixed the plane for a combat mission quite alright. I asked her why she didn’t sign it, and she replied that she knew her life was in my hands, and she trusted me completely. You did everything, evening beyond your physical might and strength to have the aircraft in perfect condition and to save the life of your aircrew.
Senior Sergeant Matryona Yurodjeva-Samsonova, a mechanic of the aircraft.

In the Crimea area, the Germans started using a type of shell that when fired had red, green, and white tracers. It was split into many bunches of what we call flowers, numerous, smaller projectiles. We feared to be caught by these innumerable “flowers”….I don’t want to hide anything; I want to say we experienced many feelings and emotions – fear, joy, love, sorrow-as we faced very hard experiences. Sometimes when we successfully completed a mission we even sang and danced there at the airfield because life is life, and we were young.
Senior Lieutenant Zoya Parfyonova, pilot, deputy commander of the squadron


Each mission was a constant overstain. We inhaled the gunpowder, choking and coughing unable to breathe, from the antiaircraft fire bursting around us. It sometimes lasted fifteen minutes until we completely escaped the searchlights. When we leave behind the area of the target, the sea of antiaircraft fire, and the searchlights, the next instant you start shivering-your feet and knees start jumping and you cannot talk at all because you are wheezing in your throat. This was a normal reaction after each flight. In a few minutes, you recover.
Captain Larisa Litnova Rozanova, pilot, commander of the formation

Payment: Other

City or Location of call: New York, NY
Please submit to: by 2019-03-03

This casting notice was posted by: Dayna Dantzler-DD Casting

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