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Audition Announcement

Video Submissions due Friday, April 24, 2020


by Suzan-Lori Parks
Directed by Tasia Jones
Rehearsals begin: August 24, 2020
Performances: September 25 – October 4, 2020

Audition Information:

Given that we are working remotely, we will be conducting auditions for our first currently scheduled Mainstage production of 20-21 (typically held the spring prior) via an initial video submission. This will allow actors to practice skills in this area, especially useful in this time of social distancing. For tips on creating a video submission, see here for advice from Visiting Instructor of Acting for the Camera, Maria Argentina Souza.

The production is currently scheduled to rehearse in the evenings and Sundays starting August 24, 2020, and to run September 25 - October 4, 2020 in the Mallet Theatre in Pao Hall.

Generals: By video submissions due by Friday, April 24. To submit your audition video, click here or copy this link into your web browser: If you have difficulty with permissions on the form access, login to your Purdue email via using your regular email login/password in a separate browser tab.

Callbacks: We are hoping to cast the play without physical callbacks, if possible. In case some form of callbacks are needed, you will be contacted via email.

Audition Requirements (via video):

Purdue Theatre Acting Majors and Acting Certificate Students: Please prepare one contemporary monologue, 1-2 minutes in length, that shows range OR two contrasting monologues totaling no more than 2 minutes in length.

Purdue Theatre Majors, Theatre Minors, Theatre Design and Production Majors and Non-Theatre Majors: Please prepare one contemporary monologue, 1-2 minutes in length, that shows range OR two contrasting monologues totaling no more than 2 minutes in length. If you do not have material prepared, you may choose one of the “confessions” from the script. 

Please familiarize yourself with the piece as much as you are able before general auditions; it need not be memorized. For a perusal copy of the script, please see here for how to access the script through Purdue Libraries. Contact Theatre Department Administrative Assistant Stephanie Brackett at for help in accessing the script.

About the Play: 

In this modern-day riff on The Scarlet Letter, Hester La Negrita, a homeless mother of five, lives with her kids on the tough streets of the inner city. Her eldest child is teaching her how to read and write, but the letter “A” is, so far, the only letter she knows. Her five kids are named Jabber, Bully, Trouble, Beauty, and Baby; and the characters are played by adult actors who double as five other people in Hester’s life: her ex-boyfriend, her social worker, her doctor, her best friend, and her minister. While Hester’s kids fill her life with joy. lovingly comical moments amid the harsh world of poverty—the adults with whom she comes into contact only hold her back. 

The play involves strong language, descriptions of sexual coercion/ assault, and onstage violence. 

A Note on Staged Intimacy: All staged contact will be led in rehearsals by a consultant trained in staging intimacy.

A Note on Staged Violence: All staged contact will be led in rehearsals by a consultant trained in staging violence.

Enrollment Requirement:
 Student actors cast in this production must register for 2-3 credits of THTR 536 Rehearsal and Performance.

About the Director:

We are very pleased to share that our director for In the Blood will be Tasia A. Jones. She is a professional director, actor, and theatre educator hailing from Boston, MA and currently based in Chicago, IL.

Tasia's most recent directing credits include Intimate Apparel (Northlight Theatre), Small Mouth Sounds (UCCS Theatreworks), Voyeurs de Venus (Northwestern University), The MLK Project (Writers Theatre), Seussical the Musical (Jean's Playhouse), and No Child (Northwestern University). Upcoming productions include White (Definition Theatre Company at Steppenwolf).

She has appeared in such works as Saturday Night/Sunday Morning (The Lyric Stage Company), Good Television (Zeitgeist Stage Company), and The Bluest Eye (Company One). She holds a BFA in theatre arts from Boston University and recently completed coursework for her MFA in Directing at Northwestern University. She is also an artistic associate for Black Lives Black Words International Project and the current Artistic Fellow at Northlight Theatre. Tasia's artistic mission is to create civic engagement and conversation through theatre and to promote positive societal change at the individual and community level.

Tasia Jones will be joining us through generous support from Dr. John Gates and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, the Purdue University Honors College, and other campus partners.

Roles open for audition:

HESTER, LA NEGRITA – Black. Single mother of five young children (ages 2-13). Makes great sacrifices to provide for her children. She is used and abused by others but remains resilient. 


Chilli – Black. Absent father of Hester's oldest son, Jabber. Extremely charming and well-dressed. Wants Hester but not her children. 

Jabber – Hester's oldest son, 13. Sweet and a little slow. He's teaching his mother to read.


Rev. D – Black. Father of Hester's youngest son, though he does not claim him.  A local street preacher who pulled himself out of the gutter and is on the verge of having his own church. He does not practice what he preaches.

Baby – Hester's rambunctious youngest son, 2, still a baby.


Welfare – Black or Afro-Latina. Hester's case worker. A bit uptight though she doesn’t always follow the rules– an instrument of the system. Married with children, living a prosperous, comfortable life.

Bully – Hester's oldest daughter, 12. Tough because she has to be.


Doctor – Any ethnicity. Hester's doctor and father to her son, Trouble. An unconventional road-side physician to the poor, an instrument of the system.

Trouble – Hester's middle son, 10. Lives up to his name.


Amiga – White. Hester’s only “friend”, a hustler. Can talk her way into money and out of trouble. Uses her charm and sex appeal to her advantage.

Beauty – Hester's youngest daughter, 7. Quiet and sweet with an eye for beauty in unexpected places.


Please send any questions to Ann Shanahan at and Fritz Bennett at