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"We just know inside that we're queens. And these are the crowns we wear."  

--Felecia McMillan

Audition Information

NJCAC has "hatitude" and invites you to join us on October 28, 29, 30, and November 4, 5, 6, 2022, as we present Regina Taylor's musical "Crowns" which was adapted from the book by Michael Cunningham and Craig Marberry.

THE STORY: A moving and celebratory musical play in which hats become a springboard for an exploration of black history and identity as seen through the eyes of a young black woman who has come down South to stay with her aunt after her brother is killed in Brooklyn.

Hats are everywhere, in exquisite variety, and the characters use the hats to tell tales concerning everything from the etiquette of hats to their historical and contemporary social functioning. There is a hat for every occasion, from flirting to churchgoing to funerals to baptisms, and the tradition of hats is traced back to African rituals and slavery and forward to the New Testament and current fashion. Some rap but predominantly gospel music and dance underscore and support the narratives.

The conclusion finds the standoffish young woman, whose cultural identity as a young black Brooklyn woman has been so at odds with the more traditional and older Southern blacks, embracing hats and their cultural significance as a part of her own fiercely independent identity.
Holmdel Theatre Company, a non-union theatre company, in conjunction with The New Jersey Creative Arts Collaborative, will hold open auditions for all roles for its upcoming production of the musical Crowns by Regina Taylor, adapted from the book by Michael Cunningham and Craig Marberry. Gwen Ricks-Spencer will direct the show with music direction by Lawrence Allen. The show will be presented at Holmdel Theatre in Holmdel, NJ. Rehearsals will begin in August, with performances scheduled for October 28, 29, 30, and November 4, 5, 6, 2022.

ABOUT THE SHOW
Crowns is a moving and celebratory musical play in which hats become a springboard for exploring black history and identity as seen through the eyes of a young black woman who has come down South to stay with her Grandmother after her brother's death. Hats are everywhere, in exquisite variety, and the characters use the hats to tell stories concerning everything from the etiquette of hats to their historical and contemporary social functioning. There is a hat for every occasion, from flirting to churchgoing to funerals to baptisms. The tradition of hats is traced back to African rituals and slavery and forward to the New Testament and current fashion.
Some rap but predominantly gospel music and dance underscore and support the narratives. The conclusion finds a young woman whose cultural identity has been at odds with the more traditional and older Southern black women, embracing hats and their cultural significance as a part of her own fiercely independent identity.

ABOUT THE AUDITIONS
Auditions are scheduled for Sunday, July 24 at 3:00 pm and Monday, July 25 at 7:00 pm. Auditioners only need to attend one of those dates. Sign-up begins 1/2 hour prior to the audition start time, and anyone auditioning must arrive no later than 90 minutes after the start time. Auditions will be held at Holmdel Theatre, 33 Crawfords Corner Rd, Holmdel, NJ, 07733. Callbacks, if needed, will be Tuesday, July 26, beginning at 7:00 pm. Please prepare 32 bars of a gospel song and one contemporary monologue. The monologue should be no more than two minutes. Bring sheet music in your key; an accompanist will be provided. Please bring a headshot and resume stapled together and be prepared to provide all potential conflicts for weekday evening and weekend daytime rehearsals beginning August 7. Non-union; no pay.
 
SEEKING
Seeking Male and Female African American Actors, all vocal ranges. A cast of 6 women and one male performer. Visit https://www.holmdeltheatrecompany.org/ for more information. Please address questions to [email protected]

CHARACTER BREAKDOWN
[Mother Shaw] 50s-60s: A Nurturer. Present. Yolanda's no-nonsense Grandmother. Rooted. A strong woman who has worked hard all of her life. Mother Shaw is steadfast in her beliefs and does not suffer fools. She has a hard-earned and sizeable hat collection. Strong gospel voice.

[Velma] 30s-40s: Great sense of humor. Strong, sassy, and fabulous. Marches to her own beat. A licensed funeral director and a firm believer in "hattitude," the attitude one must possess to wear a hat well. Strong Bluesy/Jazz vocalist.

[Yolanda] Late teens-Early 20s: Brooklyn girl with an edge. Has an attitude and sensitive side. At a crossroads in her life and mourning her brother's death, she has been sent from her home in Brooklyn to South Carolina to live with her Grandmother. Not afraid to go against the grain, she speaks up for what she believes is right, though she still has much about life to learn. Strong vocally. Must be able to rap and move very well.

[Mabel] 30s - 50s: Fiery percussive presence. Always front and center and will tell it like it is. A force to be reckoned with. A preacher's wife and lover of hats. She believes that "praising the Lord" is the most important thing on earth and that a proper lady dresses modestly for Him. Vocally versatile and moves well.

[Jeanette] Early 20s - late 30s: Feminine and flirtatious. Lovely. Centered. She understands the flirtatious powers of a good hat and its value. A solid singer/dancer/mover.

[Wanda] 30s-50s: By the book. Refined. Always plays by the rules. A judge/ teacher. She admired her Grandmother's hats as a child and hopes to one day pass down the Hat Queen tradition and the family history that goes with it. She sees Sunday service as not only a time of faith but also of fashion—a place to worship and show off your style. Sings and moves well.

[Preacher] 30s-50s: Strong presence and stature. Extremely versatile character man. Represents all of the men in the women's lives: husband, preacher, father.
Strong vocally and moves well.