Auditions for Zarephath, A Gospel & Jazz Infused Musical

Registration opens May 21, 2017

Written and directed by Ayvaunn Penn under the tutelage of Pulitzer Prize Winner Lynn Nottage & Tony Award Winner David Henry Hwang. Produced by Paloma Estevez.

Non-Equity Actors Only / Ages 17+ / All Ethnicities: Seeking NYC actors with solid backgrounds in singing and dance. This a capella gospel and jazz infused musical requires that individuals have: a good ear, the ability to vocally improvise with a large group, and a strong sense of rhythm. Actors also need a large stage presence that can command attention in busy outdoor venues as well as the physical stamina to perform in summer weather. Non-paid but a great opportunity to work with members of Columbia University School of the Arts.

About the Show: “Zarephath” is a large dance-filled ensemble piece based on the Bible story of the widow woman who shared her last meal with the prophet Elijah. Thrilling to perform, enthralling to listen to, and exciting to watch, this ball of summer fun will be performed in various public outdoor spaces in NYC with one performance at Columbia University.

Audition Dates & Times – Appointment Only – 10 Min. Slots

  • June 5, 2017: 8:30AM – 3:40PM
  • June 6, 2017: 8:30AM – 3:40PM
  • June 7, 2017: 9:30AM – 3:00PM (Callbacks)

Auditions will take place at Columbia University. Exact location TBA

How to Register: Email Ayvaunn at PennSpeaks[at] and put “Zarephath – [Role Desired]” in the subject line. Please state the time frame you are available during designated hours on the specified dates, and you will be assigned a time slot. Also, attach a copy of your headshot and resume. Only register to audition if you will be available for callbacks and the full production schedule listed below. Note: Auditions will be filmed and footage may be used for promotional purposes.

What to Prepare: One minute of a song highlighting your vocal range and skill (no musical accompaniment permitted). Thirty seconds to one minute of dance choreography showcasing your full range of ability and any special skills. Please wear movement clothes and shoes with a polished appearance. Script sides will be provided on site for cold reads.


  • The Widow – Female; Mature look and voice; Exceptional vocal ability; Soulful sound
  • The Widow’s Son – Male; Boyish look and voice; Jazz sound
  • Elijah – Male; The prophet of God; Mature look; Deep voice; Stoic
  • Ensemble Leader – Male or Female; Narrator engaging with the audience; Charismatic; Powerful voice
  • Ensemble – Everyone; Creating large visual images, vocal soundscape, and bodily percussion as a group

Note: This is truly a group storytelling piece comprised of 20-30 actors. EVERYONE will move fluidly between and/or share roles and be seen and heard at all times.

Production Schedule*

  • Rehearsals
    • June 12, 2017 – August 11, 2017
    • 6PM-9PM on weekdays 10AM-2PM on weekends
    • 2 times a week in June then increase to 4 times a week
    • On or near Columbia University campus
  • Performances**
    • Saturday, August 12th, 19th, and 26th

*Subject to change **Times and locations TBA

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