I wonder how many women there are who can’t identify with the #MeToo movement. It seems like there are WAY too many who can, and this is reflected in some of the characters I have written as a playwright. Characters inspired by women in scripture…women I have witnessed in my own life…women I want to give a voice through my work, because they cannot speak for themselves publicly without suffering backlash.
I wrote the song — “We Will Not Be Silenced,” featured in the music video above — last year for my play King David: The Original Musicless Musical. In this story adapted from the Bible story of King David, the characters Tamar and Bathsheba are both violated by men of power who were also men they thought they could trust — men they were forced to continue living with due to the social structure of that time. I originally wrote this ending for Tamar and Bathsheba, because I wanted them to at least have each other – to have a sisterhood – someone else they could identify with. Even if they couldn’t speak openly, they could confide in each other.
With the burst of the #MeToo movement, I found hope. Not only for myself, but for Tamar, Bathsheba, and all the women they represent past and present. I was inspired to record this updated remix of the song to reflect the new hope women who have been sexually assaulted or harassed now find in this current time.
May this song of hope bless your spirit and set women free to be fearless. Ladies, may it remind you that if you are violated by a man, you do not have to remain silent. Share this with someone who needs to hear it.
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Upcoming Event: My latest play The Feather Doesn’t Fall Far From the Wing, A Play with Music opens May 9, 2018 at the prestigious Signature Theatre. Enter your email address in the “Follow” section to receive updates on auditions and show times.
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.
- SEEKING NON-UNION ACTORS / OPEN ETHNICITY / AGES 18+
- 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
- TO BOOK AN AUDITION SLOT:
- 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.
- AUDITION PREP / WHAT TO EXPECT
- Arrive 10 min. early for your audition time to
- 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.
- Turn in a printed copy of your headshot/resume
- 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.
- PUBLIC PERFORMANCE SHOWS:
- March 6-12, 2017
- Show times TBA
- Columbia University Schapiro Studio