SIST Auditions: The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood

Staten Island Shakespearean Theatre Company Audition Announcement:

The Penelopiad

By Margaret Atwood

Director: J. Giachetti (They/Them)
Assistant Director: Marisa Albano (She/They)
Stage Manager: Brenna Corneau (She/Her)
Composer: Laura Casertano (She/Her)
Choreographer: Kristi Sorkin (She/Her)

A fierce, poetic, and raw retelling of The Odyssey by “The Handmaid’s Tale” author Margaret Atwood, but this time told from the perspective of Penelope, Odysseus’ “ever patient” wife. Walking the fields of the underworld, Penelope recounts her side of the famous events, contemplating whether her voice matters anymore. Meanwhile, she is haunted by the souls of her nine faithful young maids who were unjustly hanged by the returning “hero”, turned into furies by their anger, pain, and betrayal. What transpires is a two hour contemporary epic about the silencing of feminine narratives, the guilt we feel for others’ actions, and the exploration of what is myth and what is truth.

This outdoor production is looking for an all-female (cis and trans) and non-binary cast of ten versatile and transformative triple threat actors. Besides Penelope, each of the nine other actors double as at least one mythological figure (like Helen of Troy, Odysseus, Telemachus, etc.), as well as one of the wronged maids. These wronged maids function as a modern Greek Chorus, acting as an imposing force of judgment upon Penelope, with movement and dance pieces as well as songs to help provide commentary on the action of the story. This production will rehearse at Snug Harbor in Staten Island (minutes away from the free Staten Island ferry) on most Tuesday and Thursday evenings and Saturday afternoons from April through June.

To request a self tape audition, please submit your headshot, resume, as well as any performance clips/reels (if available/applicable), and April-June availability to [email protected] before Tuesday evening, March 21. The casting team will review your materials and send you sides to review and record. Please also know you will be asked to submit 32 bars of a folk/pop singer songwriter song (ala Carole King, Joni Mitchell, Annie Lennox, etc). Please submit self taped sides, as well as the audition form, by 11:59pm EST on Friday, March 24.

In person callbacks will be at Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden, The Learning Center in Building G, on Staten Island from 11am-4pm on Saturday, April 1, starting with a movement and music call, as well as ensemble building exercises, and then moving into sides.

ALL ROLES ARE OPEN. There will be a small stipend provided to actors.

This production is interested in having a diverse cast that represents our modern landscape, showcasing actors of different races, ethnicities, ages, sexualities, body types, abilities, et cetera.

All actors MUST BE FULLY VACCINATED and provide proof upon entering the audition.

Performances will take place at Snug Harbor on Staten Island on the following dates:

Friday, June 16 – 8:00pm
Saturday, June 17 – 8:00pm
Sunday, June 18 (Rain Date) – 7:00pm
Friday, June 23 – 8:00pm
Saturday, June 24 – 8:00pm
Sunday, June 25 (Rain Date) – 7:00pm


PENELOPE, the “patient” queen of Ithaca

NARCISSA (doubles as the mythic hero Odysseus)
MELANTHO (Doubles as the mythic temptress, Helen of Troy/Ithacan Maid 1)
ALECTO: (doubles as Eurycleia, the overbearing nursemaid of Ithacan royals/Spartan Maid 1)
ZOE (doubles as Telemachus, the son of Penelope and Odysseus/Oracle/Spartan Maid 2)
SELENA (doubles as Antinous, the head of Penelope’s suitors/Sailor)
KLYTIE (Anticleia, Odysseus’ judgemental mother/Spartan Maid 3)
IOLE (Doubles as Laertes, Odysseus’ father/Suitor 3)
KERTHIA (Doubles as King Icarius, Penelope’s Father /Suitor 2/Ithacan Maid 3)
TANIS (Doubles as Penelope’s Naiad Mother/Spartan Maid 4/Ithacan Maid 2)