My Interview with Pulitzer Prize Winner Lynn Nottage on Broadway Debut

Lynn Nottage is making her Broadway debut with her latest play SWEAT. She’s been in the theatre game for many years with hits such as Ruined (Pulitzer Prize), Fabulation, and Intimate Apparel (starring Viola Davis), but now she is adding yet another jewel to her playwright crown — The Great White Way aka Broadway. This is already exciting news, but it’s extra exciting because Nottage is my professor at Columbia University. What a blessing it is to be one of her students at this thrilling time in her career. Check out my interview with this amazing playwright at 42nd Street Studio by watching the video below.

SWEAT opens March 26, 2017 at Studio 54, but you can catch preview tickets now. Support the work of this talented artist by purchasing your tickets today! You can do so at

Until next time,

Ayvaunn Penn


My Interview with the Broadway Cast of “Jitney”

Though playwright August Wilson is no longer alive, his presence is still very much with us. In fact, he’s still making history even after his death. Jitney, opening January 19, 2017 at Manhattan Theatre Club, will be his tenth play featured on Broadway, and I had the honor of talking with the cast. Check out the video above to see what some of these talented actors have to say about this legendary playwright and the impact he has had on their lives.

Until next time,

mariana6-1-of-1-lAyvaunn Penn


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Auditions for KING DAVID, the Poetry “Musical”

Seeking versatile performers with a passion for poetry, musicality, movement and ensemble work. Performers with backgrounds in poetry, dance, gymnastics, and stage combat are strongly encouraged to audition. Details about roles, important dates, and audition steps are below in the casting notice.

KING DAVID, lauded by theatre legends Anne Bogart and David Henry Hwang, has taken on exciting transformations in form and content since the original October 2016 production at Columbia University. Imagine a dance-filled “musical” where people are the instruments, poetry is the music, and the human body serves as the building blocks of the set. That is what writer/director Ayvaunn Penn has created with this piece. It is visually stunning and an absolute ball to perform.

This play explores the tragedy that befalls King David’s family in a way he never expects when his son, Amnon, rapes his beloved young daughter, Tamar. Will David have the strength to tell his daughter that his past actions are the cause of her pain? Through contemporary free verse poetry and dance we dive into David’s mind revisiting the mental battle fields of his past where the fate of his daughter is determined.


    • Friday, December 9, 2016
    • Tuesday, December 13, 2016
    • Thursday, December 15, 2016 (Callbacks)
    • 8:30AM — 3:40PM each day at
    • Riverside Church 490 Riverside Dr., New York, NY 10027, Room 12T
    • Auditions will be scheduled in 10 minute slots
    • Email Director Ayvaunn Penn at:
      • PennSpeaks [at] gmail [dot] com
    • In the subject line write: “Audition, King David”
    • Specify which ROLE you are auditioning for
    • Specify which audition DAY(s) and TIME(s) you are available for
    • Attach PDF of your Headshot
    • Attach PDF of your Resume
    • NOTE: Auditions will be filmed
  • CHARACTER BREAKDOWN: All roles include ensemble work
    • King David – Male. 18-50. King of Israel; Wrestles, often, with his divided conscience — literally; Stage combat skills a plus
    • David’s Good Conscience — Male. 18-50. The physical manifestation of King David’s good inner voice; Always at odds with the bad half of King David’s conscience; Stage combat experience a plus
    • David’s Bad Conscience — Male. 18-50. King David’s naughty inner voice; Always at odds with the good side of King David’s conscience; Stage combat experience a plus
    • Bathsheba – Female. 18-35. The married woman King David falls for and ultimately rapes; Stage combat experience and moderate singing ability a plus
    • Ziba – Female. 40-50. Head of the palace staff; Full of wisdom; The only person brave enough to challenge King David’s choices and tell him when he’s wrong
    • Jezreel – Male. 18-50. Faithful servant to King David — maybe too faithful
    • Tamar – Female. 18-20. Daughter of King David; Full blood sister of Absalom; Raped by her half-brother, Amnon; Experience in stage combat a plus
    • Amnon – Male. 18-30. King David’s son; Half-brother of Tamar and Absalom; Rapes Tamar; Experience in stage combat a plus
    • Absalom – Male. 18-30. Son of King David; Full blood brother of Tamar and half-brother of Amnon; Wants to keep Tamar’s rape a secret
    • Nathan – Male. 30-50. The prophet who foretells King David’s punishment for his actions
    • Ensemble – Males & Females. 18-50. Always actively functioning as equal parts narrator, musical underscore (with poetry & bodily percussion), dance, scenic elements, and soundscape. Requires basic rhythm and the ability to follow simple choreography and carry a tune (if you can hum “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” you’re good).
      • Individuals interested in auditioning for ENSEMBLE ONLY should be athletic and able to maintain high energy and rhythm. Above average vocal, dance, and gymnastics skills are a plus.
    • Arrive 10 min. early for your audition time to
      1. Fill out paper work
        • Have a list of any conflicts you may have during January 3 – March 12, 2017. If you are cast, any conflicts you fail to disclose in advance will not be excused.
      2. Turn in a printed copy of your headshot/resume
      3. Receive an audition number and sides
    • Do not prepare a monologue
    • This is a cold read audition
    • Come prepared to experiment and play
    • Start the week of January 1, 2017 (post-holiday)
    • End March 6, 2017 (opening night)
    • Rehearsals will take place 4 times a week
      • 3 weekdays 6-9PM
      • 1 weekend day 10AM-2PM.
      • For dates prior to January 17, 2017, weekday rehearsals will take place before 5PM
    • All rehearsals will be held in the area around Columbia University.
    • Dates and times may change due to creative team schedules and/or rehearsal space availability.
    • March 6-12, 2017
    • Show times TBA
    • Columbia University Schapiro Studio