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Violet Surprise Theatre

The Icon Project

Category: Non-Equity Audition
Pay: Yes

Plot: Thrown into an afterlife resembling a feminist bookstore in 2020 Chicago, 5-7 vastly different queer women from history debate their drastically different beleifs, re-write their narratives, make art, and maybe throw a party. Part time-hopping period fantasy, part interactive cabaret, and all queer - this is "The Icon Project."

"The Icon Project" is a devised play where the plot and dialogue will be created collaboratively by the cast and playwright/director Iris Sowlat, based on group improv-based exercises, character research, discussions and other content-creation. Because of this, each performer will be a partial owner of the script.

Pay Rate: $50 for each "phase" and TBD (at least $150 for the final 2021 production)

Timeline and description of each phase:
-Phase 1: Generative/Research. January 1, 2021-February 4, 2021. One rehearsal per week for five weeks. The exact day of the week will be determined by the cast's availability. This phase consists of discussions and activities that will help the cast gather and share research about their characters, and discuss all of this research as a group so that they can build upon their characters and find points in which different characters could engage in discourse about similar topics. This phase will be virtual over Zoom due to COVID-19.

-Two weeks of break - Feb 5-Feb 20.

-Phase 2: Generative / Exploration / Devising - February 20-April 1. Two rehearsals per week for five weeks. In this phase, the cast will be put through various devising and improvisation exercises in order to create scenes and dialogue as a group. The content generated through these exercises will become the plot and dialogue of the play. This phase will be virtual over Zoom.

-Break until approx. April 18 to write a full version of the script

-Phase 3: Workshopping the script - Approx. April 18 to May 5. Four rehearsals per week for two weeks. Ends in a reading/workshop in May. This will most likely be a virtual workshop due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

-The summer of 2021 will most likely be "off" to prepare for a full production in the fall.

-Phase 4: rehearsal for the final production - Rehearsing in September 2021. Run for the month of October 2021. Rehearsals would be 5 nights a week for four weeks. Performances would be 3-4 nights a week for three weeks. This will be in person if it is safe to do so. Exact dates and performance location are TBA and will largely depend on how the COVID-19 pandemic develops in the next year.

Audition Date and Time:
Self-tape auditions due by Tuesday, December 1
Callbacks over Zoom: December 7 and 10 (pick one), 6:00-9:00pm CST.

Material To Prepare:
We're seeking an ensemble of 5-7 actors who identify as women (or who are non-binary but are comfortable playing women) to play 5-7 queer women historical figures.

Please send a self-tape of approximately 2-3 minutes of material, including:
-1-2 minutes of any performance art piece of your choice (monologue, story, song, poetry, etc. - this can be original work or can be from any source.)
-A brief statement on why this show exploring queer women from history is meaningful to you and some thoughts on a favorite queer woman from history who you would love to play. If you need ideas, please email me, and I'll send you a list to jump-start any research.

The exact historical figures portrayed in this devised show will be determined by who the actors express the most interest in during auditions and callbacks. I definitely have a list of favorite historical figures I would love to include, but this show is ensemble driven, so I would primarily want ensemble members to play people who they are passionate about. The realm of historical figures we're open to considering could be any person LGBT woman from the past, including activists, artists, musicians, actors, writers, royalty, politicians, and pop culture figures.

Contact Info:
Please send your self-tape to Iris at by Tuesday, December 1.

Callbacks will be a few group devising/improv exercises held virtually over Zoom on December 7 and 10.

Actors will know if they are called back by December 4.

Through auditions and callbacks we are interested in seeing: An enthusiasm for queer and feminist history, a readiness to collborate with others, a strong interest in creating original work to bring to the table.

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Posted Date: Nov 7, 2020