In Emily's Words Cast List

Emily – Mel Dyk
Cathy – Rachel Vos
Charlotte – Kamryn Sarratt
Anne – Olivia Bath
Hindley – Zach Deande
Isabella – Grace Heemstra
Edgar – Andrew Brown
Francis Earnshaw/Lydia Robinson – Anna Yarnal
Mr. Earnshaw – Christopher Eastland

Ensemble: Featured step out roles for each ensemble member TBD
Sebastian Barnett
Michael Bolanos
Emilie Burkhart
Jhon Govaere
Chloe Kirchmeier
Mandy Marsili
Jameson Patrona
Caitlyn Sanders
Kelley Whitehouse
Mark Zum Mallen

A Hatful of Rain

Celia – Lane Straub
Johnny – Oscar Quiroz 
Polo – Advait Rathi
Father – Andrew Seng
Mother – Henry Clise
Apple – Madison LeMieux
Chuch – Blaze Herdegen
Putski – Samantha Dobrowolski
Man/Swing – Josh Auten

Corktown, or Through the Valley of Dry Bones

Jackee – Rashad Bates
Corner Prophet – Jewell Redman
Ty/Barista – Bobby Conlan
Cop – Joshua Sowers
Phylicia – Nakayla Morgan
Sherman – Michael Coffey
Atlas – Bashar Byrouthy
Reverend Johnson – Ural Grant
Bus Driver & Coffee Shop Owner – Reese Martin
Teach for American Girl – Samantha Stanton
Ellen – Kim Seabright Martin
Clarke – Ben Barber
Homeless Person – Alana Denard
Cop 2 – Ebony Battle
Cop 3 – Michaela Hadaway
Sammy & Customer Two – Ben Corsi
Mother – Taelor Burrell
Customer One – Harley Harris

For the Love Of (,or The Roller Derby Play)

Joy Ride – Meleah Acuff
Michelle – Sophie Psiakis
Lizzie Lightning – Tessa Kresch
Andrea the Vagiant – Mona Eldahshoury
Anna-Stecia – QueenMakeeda Taylor
Hot Flash – Katie Clemons
Squeaky Mouse – Shelby Ginsburg
Diaz de los Muertos – Joie Culligan
Prosecute-Her: Maggie Heil

Ensemble
Zoe Dorst
Maya Joyce
Brooke Scherer
Seray Sezgen
Ray Snively
Sydney St. Amour

Non-performing Understudy Andrea & Hot Flash – Maya Joyce
Non-performing Understudy Diaz – Sydney St. Amour

The Magnolia Ballet (at Williamston Theatre)

Z – Stefon Funderburke
Danny – Timothy Hackbarth

Venue: Pasant
Facilitators: Brad Willcuts, Dave Wendelberger
Rehearsal Dates: September 6 – 22 
Performance Dates: September 23 – 25
Description:
In Emily’s Words tells the story of English novelist Emily Brontë as she is writing her magnum opus Wuthering Heights. The musical utilizes a show-within-a-show construct, following both Emily Brontë’s personal journey as a female writer in the 1840’s, and the journey of her characters, particularly Cathy and Heathcliff. Emily’s imagination knew no bounds, and despite having seen very little of the world, she was able to craft a sweeping melodrama that has left a legacy nearly 200 years after her death. Emily Brontë fought through adversity and illness, achieving agency in a time when women were denied it. Yet while she paved the way for future female writers, Emily never lived to see the success of her own labors. This is a story about the greatness that can be achieved when the immense power of the human imagination is unleashed.
Character Descriptions: 
Emily Brontë – mezzo/alto with strong mix; proficient pianist; ethnicity ANY
Cathy Earnshaw – mezzo/alto with strong belt; ethnicity ANY
Charlotte Brontë – mezzo/alto; ethnicity ANY
Anne Brontë – mezzo/alto; ethnicity ANY
Hindley Earnshaw – tenor; ethnicity ANY
Isabella Linton – soprano with strong high C and high D; ethnicity ANY
Edgar Linton – tenor with strong falsetto; ethnicity ANY
Ensemble –  ethnicity ANY
 
Venue: Studio 60 
Director: Rob Roznowski
Rehearsal Dates: September 6 – 26 
Performance Dates: September 27 – October 1
Description:
This striking drama of love and addiction broke new ground for the depiction of realism in the theatre. Celia and Johnny Pope live in a New York tenement with his brother “Polo.” As Johnny’s heroin addiction spirals out of control, Celia and Polo’s attraction and dependency grow.

Character List:

Johnny Pope—a veteran who struggles with PTSD, an addiction, and his family’s past. Trying but unable to do “the right thing.” 

Celia Pope – Johnny’s wife who is pregnant and as Johnny disappears more often has found herself attracted to his brother. Wants to be a happy family but pushed to the brink.  

Polo Pope—The younger brother who is trying to juggle family and personal issues as he is drawn closer to Celia. A kind-hearted and passionate young man.  

John Pope, Sr.— The Pope family patriarch who sent his sons to an orphanage when his wife died and is now trying to reconnect with his sons.  

Mother—The leader of a group of pushers/loan sharks who keeps johnny “hooked” 

Church— Part of the group.  

Apples—Part of the group 

Putski— Part of the group.  

Venue: Pasant
Guest Director: Chamara Kwakye
Rehearsal Dates: September 6 – October 13 
Performance Dates: October 14 – 23
Description:
Jackee, a fabulous fourteen-year-old boy, takes us on a tour of one of Detroit’s oldest neighborhoods between 2007 and 2034. From the neighborhood’s urban blight to the gentrified renaissance, Jeff Augustin chronicles the life cycle of a city, affected by and affecting the lives of its residents. This tale filled with gospel music, graffiti, and organic coffee shows how – event when the music gets turned down, the graffiti is painted over, and the streets become safer – there’s a beating heart in a place’s history that can’t be ceased.
Character Description:
Jackee – fourteen-year-old, then seventeen-year-old black male
Corner Prophet – black woman, timeless in age
Ty – teenage male, any ethnicity
Cop – white American male
Phylicia – seventeen-year-old, then twenty-year-old, black woman
Sherman – fifteen-year-old black male
Atlas – seventeen-year-old, then twenty-year-old black male
Reverend Johnson – black male
Bus Driver – woman, any ethnicity
Teach for American Girl – white American woman
Ellen – woman, any ethnicity
Clarke – white American man
Homeless Person – any ethnicity/gender/age
Cop 2 – any ethnicity/gender
Cop 3 – any ethnicity/gender
Coffee Shop Owner – white American, any gender
Sammy – white American male
Mother – black woman, mother of Jackee/Phylicia/Sherman
Customer One – white American, any gender
Customer Two – white American, any gender
Barista – teenage male, any ethnicity

Intimacy Notice

Character List of Staged Intimacy:
Please read the following notice of staged intimacy carefully. There will be an Intimacy Director provided for the rehearsal period to work with the moments of intimacy. These moments will be choreographed and set during the rehearsal process. All boundaries will be considered during the staging of the intimacy, and consent practices will be utilized during the rehearsal process. If you have any further questions regarding the staged intimacy, please ask in the room or reach out to the director (Chamara Kwakye at chamara@msu.edu), the stage manager (Rachel Kramer krame132@msu.edu), the intimacy director (Alexis Black at blackal6@msu.edu ) or (Production Manager Abbie Tykocki at atykocki@msu.edu) via email.   
The role of Jackee:  Staged intimacy in the form of platonic touch with the character of Phylicia.
The role of Phylicia:  Staged intimacy in the form of platonic touch with the character of Jackee.  Staged intimacy in the form of the story of kissing and embraces with the character of Atlas. 
The role of Atlas: Staged intimacy in the form of the story of kissing and embraces with the character of Phylicia. 

Venue: Arena
Director: Alexis Black
Rehearsal Dates: October 3 – November 10 
Performance Dates: November 11 – 20 
Description:
When Joy gets on the Brooklyn Scallywags and meets the star, Lizzie Lightning, she and her long-term partner Michelle find their lives turned upside down. For The Love Of asks how much you’re willing to sacrifice – or lose – to follow your heart.
Character Description:
Joy Ride: #88mph. Our protagonist. She’s stoic, and strong, radiates power even though she’s quiet. Can be a little bit of a dreamer. Black. Role contains staged intimacy.
Michelle: Joy’s girlfriend. Even tougher than Joy. Sometimes immature, extremely driven. White. Role contains staged intimacy.
Lizzie Lightning: #100. The start of the team. Loud, cocky, funny, driven. Can be crude. Latinx. Role contains staged intimacy.
Andrea the Vagiant: A former derby player, she’s the coach of the Brooklyn Scallywags now. As large as her name, no-nonsense and loves the game. Race neutral.
Anna-Stecia: #98.6. One of the older players, she’s experienced and reliable, has a well spoken loud mouth. A nurse in her non-derby life. Black
Hot Flash: #55. The oldest of the players. A mom, brass, funny, a real Brooklynite. White.
Squeaky Mouse: #5.0. One of the youngest players. Is usually adorable without trying but still has a tough side to her. Race neutral.
Diaz de los Muertos: #1101. Tough talking, no nonsense, has a lot of heart and passion in everything she does. Best friends with Anna, Latina.
Prosecute-Her: #665. The other younger of the players, she’s a genius and a law student. Asian.
*Additional speaking roles include Ensemble, the Commentator, Announcer.
*Any of these characters (with the exception of Hot Flash) may be cast with trans/non-binary actors. 

Venue: Williamston Theatre
Artistic Director: Tony Caselli
Rehearsals Dates: September 20 – October 20
Performance Dates: October 21 – November 6
Description: What do we do with the ugly history of racial injustice in America? Do we put it on display or lock it away and hope to forget it? Do we embrace it or are we embarrassed of it? What happens if we decided to just burn it all to the ground, could we ever rebuild? Ezekiel is a Black teenager with a secret that threatens to destroy his already broken home. He’s haunted by the ghosts of racism, homophobia, and toxic masculinity–the same ghosts that have plagued men in Georgia for generations, including his emotionally distant father. But when he discovers a trove of forbidden love letters among his late grandfather’s belongings, Ezekiel begins to believe that the only way to fight these multi-generational ghosts is to burn everything to the ground. The Magnolia Ballet is a Southern Gothic fable that melds high drama, dance, poetry, and spectacle to explore masculinity, racism, and the love between a queer kid and his father.
Character Description:
Z-  Black kid. 17. He’s not like the other boys, if you know what I mean. He just wants to be himself but is afraid. *** Role contains staged intimacy: simulated sex acts/the story of simulated sex will be portrayed with the character of Danny.  See script for more specifics. 
Danny- White Kid. 17. He grew up going fishing barefoot. Very close to his father. ***Role contains staged intimacy: simulated sex acts/the story of simulated sex will be portrayed with the character of Z. See script for more specifics.

Note: *Williamston Theatre rehearses 30 hours per week and is an AEA Theatre operating under an SPT-4 Contract.Student actors will receive a travel stipend and the opportunity to earn points toward their union membership in the Actors Equity Association.  More information about the theatre can be found at williamstontheatre.org.

CASTING POLICIES

Casting shall be open to regularly enrolled and newly admitted MSU students who are or shall be working toward an MSU graduate or undergraduate degree. Audition notices shall be posted and shall include requisites for the specific audition. The Department shall make available any materials necessary for student preparation. Student eligibility shall be subject to the date of casting.

Exceptions:
– Emergencies: When a replacement performer is required, usually within a 96-hour period.
– When the requirements of a role precludes the casting of an MSU student. This decision is subject to faculty approval.
– When the Department has engaged a Guest Artist of accredited merit. This decision is subject to faculty approval.
– Summer programs.
– Classroom assignments, including plays, scenes, etc.
– The casting of Department faculty; subject to faculty approval.
– Special offerings, projects, programs sponsored by the Department.
– Any circumstances not mentioned above shall be subject to faculty approval.

No student shall be cast in a production that conflicts with a production in which the student has previously been cast. Any exception requires approval from a quorum of the Acting Faculty, in consultation with the directors.

Performers:
– May accept or reject a role within 24 hours of the posting of the Casting Notice (excluding BFAs).
– May be dismissed from a production at the request of the Director.
– May leave a production, without penalty, by agreement of the Director.

Policy Ramifications – This policy assumes:
– That the Department shall be responsible for casting in fulfillment of academic requirements for the MFA.
– That in order to support educational objectives, Department of Theatre MFA graduate students and undergraduate majors may be given preference.
– That Acting teachers shall advise Faculty Directors of individual MFA requirements prior to auditions.
– That Acting teachers shall be available for consultation.
– In accordance with the goals of Actors’ Equity Association, U/RTA, the University and the Department of Theatre and the desire of the Department to recognize the need for expanding the participation of women, performers with disabilities and all ethnic groups in the artistic process, the MSU Department of Theatre will encourage, to the best of its ability, a flexible and imaginative non-traditional casting policy.
– In keeping with this policy, all parts or roles shall be open to all performers and active solicitation of ethnic minorities, performers with disabilities, older actors, and women shall be evident in all notices in order to insure participation in the casting process.
– Non-traditional casting is encouraged for the purpose of increasing opportunities for actors of ethnic minority, with disabilities, older students, and women as allowed by the publisher’s contract.
– When an aurally impaired performer is needed for a part or when an aurally impaired actor wishes to audition, the Department of Theatre shall provide, during the audition, a qualified interpreter for the deaf (i.e., an interpreter qualified or certified in sign language or oral interpretation). In order for this to be carried out, the performer who wishes to use the services of an interpreter is required to inform the THR at least a week before auditions so that arrangements can be made.
– All audition material provided by the Department of Theatre shall be available to visually impaired performers, upon request, at a place to be designated by the Department of Theatre, at least 48 hours in advance of the audition. The request for such materials must be made no less than a week before auditions so that arrangements can be made.
– When auditions are held in premises that are not architecturally accessible, upon notification by a performer needing accommodation the Department of Theatre shall arrange for an accessible facility for the audition.

These policies are listed in the Department of Theatre Undergraduate Handbook, approved April 26, 2019.