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Auditions for No Blue Memories: The Life of Gwendolyn Brooks

Manual Cinema is seeking non-equity Black/African-American performers for NO BLUE MEMORIES: THE LIFE OF GWENDOLYN BROOKS, a new work by Eve L. Ewing and Nate Marshall and with music by Jamila Woods and Ayanna Woods.

NO BLUE MEMORIES brings to life the story of one of Chicago’s most beloved figures, Gwendolyn Brooks. She was an icon, a poet laureate, and a Pulitzer Prize winner—but she was also a treasured educator and mentor to the countless writers and children who knew her as their very own “Miss Brooks.” Weaving together poetry, storytelling, and striking visuals, NO BLUE MEMORIES is an exploration of Brooks’s beloved city and a story of how she navigated identity, craft, and politics over the course of one of the most remarkable careers in American literary history.

Commissioned by the Poetry Foundation for the Brooks Centenary, NO BLUE MEMORIES will receive two weeks of performances in November 2017 for both the general public and Chicago Public School students, to be followed by a TBD extended Chicago run and the prospect of out-of-town touring.

Manual Cinema is casting non-equity, Black/African-American actors, dancers, spoken word artists, and puppeteers of all genders who will act, puppeteer, and play multiple characters throughout the show. Experience with puppetry, movement, or poetry is a plus but not required.

Character Descriptions
(All characters are black unless otherwise specified.)

(20s, 30s, 40s) A black woman with a slow lilting voice. A poet born and raised in Bronzeville.

(20s, 30s) A fiery young Black Arts Movement poet.

(20s, 30s) Gwendolyn’s daughter.

(30s, 40s) Gwendolyn’s husband.

(30s, 40s) Gwendolyn’s mother.

Audition Dates:
Monday, April 17 from 2-6pm
Tuesday, April 18 from 1-5pm
Callbacks: Wednesday, April 19 from 2-6pm

Auditions will take place at the Manual Cinema studio in the Kimball Art Center (1757 N Kimball Ave).

Time Commitment: 
Rehearsal: October 1 – November 5, 2017
Tech and School Performances: November 6-10, 2017
Public Performances: November 16-19, 2017
Extended Run: TBD

Material To Prepare: 
The audition will consist of two parts. In the first part, actors will prepare a side provided in advance. The second part will involve movement and puppetry work (no preparation necessary).

To schedule an audition time, please submit a headshot and resume to casting director Sarah Fornace at Must be based in Chicago. Learn more and see Manual Cinema's other work at

Earlier Event: April 15
CUPSI Ice Cream Social