The Feast of the Hungry Ghosts
Location: Bay Area, California
“Addiction is another name for longing,” says Mer, one of the characters in the play. Most of us know addiction in one way or another. As citizens of the Western developed world, for example, we tend to consume too much (those of us who can) while Earth’s resources dwindle. And yet, consumerism notwithstanding, we are rarely sated, yearning for something that defies description, while the planet titters on the brink.
?The play, which takes place during the meeting of addicts, investigates the predicament of addiction on the level of the individual and collective soul. It attempts to uncover the inner roots of the perpetual ‘never enough.’ And this is when they appear, the demon-doctors, the hungry ghosts of ancient iconography often represented with enormous stomachs and needle-thin necks. During the course of the play, they speak to us through the characters. We engage them. We find out about what’s eating them (and us.) They try to tell us what they really and deeply need. As we listen to them and to each other, the Earth makes herself known as our own, deep ecological identity, the living biosphere resounding with memory of loss and hope for what’s still possible. She can’t feed us the way she once could. Still, she’s preparing the feast. You’re invited, nourish or perish.
Saturday and Sunday, November 9 and 10
2 – 5 pm
155 Dubois St C-D
?Santa Cruz, CA 95060
Play to open April 22 (Earth Day) and will run for two weekends in May.
To the Actors:
You are invited to audition for the play The Feast of the Hungry Ghosts and for the accompanying art film (title undetermined). Please bring a monologue and a song, although a song is not required.
First, a word about the play. Act One is fully scripted and ready for a more or less traditional rehearsal process. Act Two, however, becomes an immersive experience created through an interplay of improvisation and text, an ongoing creation in which all performers participate. So be warned: you may have loads of creative fun.
As a whole, the play lives within a deeply embodied performance style where free movement and vocalizations help create both the character and stage action. The actors are invited to move, vocalize, improvise, and experiment within the scripted parameters. Sometimes an entire scene may be born of such work. Sometimes an entire scene may vanish. However, that does not mean that we only seek actors who feel themselves remarkably agile, or who can sing arias or deftly ad lib. The creativity that we seek possesses first and foremost an inner quality of curiosity, sensitivity to the world around us, and openness to adventure. The willingness to be expressive outwardly is a must, but that about covers it. What matters to us most is the desire to perform and the imagination to fuel it. Scene-specific training will be a part of the rehearsal process, so do not let lack of experience stop you.
Whether you are an experienced performer who loves improvisation and devised theater, or you have not performed in years but have a burning desire be on stage, come one, come all!
White, twenty-something. Stylish nihilist (punk / goth.) Super rich, but hides it. Wants to be an artist (rapper, painter) who challenges the status quo. Daddy issues galore, coupled with Mommy trauma, which she bottles up. Can’t decide how do herself in just yet. Has apocalyptic fantasies. Addict-in-the-making.
Twenty-to-thirty something. A former run-away teen, now an addict-drifter and a paramour of a drug-dealer, from whom she also runs. Carries loads of nervous energy and pent-up rage. Wanted be a naturalist as a kid but got mightily put off. Snarling, quick-witted, soulful. Coyote’s her familiar. Meth.
Late 30s to early 40s. Veteran with PTSD. Anorexic and remote, but hauntingly alluring all the same. A nature empath, longing for a deep connection with the Earth, whom she experiences as both sentient and wounded. Has difficulty negotiating ordinary life. Hears voices that others can’t hear. Opioids.
Peaches (Must have a strong voice)
Indeterminate age (ancient and young) A homeless street preacher, mystical poetess and performer-provocateur. Personification of Gaia, broken and fearsome. Her singing voice raises storms. Nothing about her inspires fuzzy feelings about ‘return to nature’. She is a queen of bones, trash and flowering ruins. Brews magical teas to induce visions. Hallucinogens.
Late 50’s to late 60’s. Breathless ex-hippie, still looking the part (colorful clothing, long hair, beads.) An aquarist and a lover of inspirational quotes, she tries but fails to remember the trauma lodged in her past. Works for individual and planetary healing but becomes easily overwhelmed, shifting between wisdom and bewilderment. Marijuana.
In her 30’s or 40’s. Enthusiastic consumer of all things shiny and new. Cries easily without knowing why. Favors superficial enthusiasms over the depth of feeling, which she fears. Identifies with birds that enact her own desire for flight, acquired after an intolerable childhood event. Food and shopping.
White, in her 40s to early 60’s. Confident, managerial type. Disdains emotional exploration. Ambitious and practical, she embodies the American ideal of progress, but is tormented by ancestral sins that she represses. Her controlled exterior belies volcanic emotions within. Alcohol.
Now, the Art Film
We want to capture the essence of the play in a filmic form because now, more than ever, any artwork that addresses issues of deep ecology needs to be disseminated as widely as possible to encourage continued emergence of ecological consciousness. Think YouTube and Film Festivals. The sky’s the limit, unless it falls down on us, in which case that’s a limit, too. But we hope to help avert all such catastrophes, ecological or otherwise, and participate in a planetary healing as much as we can. The film – as well as the play – serves that goal.
We have amassed a great team of artists that will increase in number as the project unfolds. Come audition and join us in the effort!
?Note: Only two out of seven characters are specifically designated as Caucasian. Performers of color are strongly encouraged and invited to audition.
City or Location of call: Bay Area, California
Please submit to: firstname.lastname@example.org
This casting notice was posted by: Theater Between