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BILLY STRAYHORN: SOMETHING TO LIVE FOR - Pittsburgh Public Theater Corporation Auditions

Posted: February 2, 2023

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BILLY STRAYHORN: SOMETHING TO LIVE FOR - NYC EPA Pittsburgh Public Theater Corporation | Pittsburgh, PA

Notice: Audition Call Type: EPA


Thursday, February 16, 2023

9:00 AM - 5:00 PM (E)

Lunch 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM


To schedule an audition appointment, please contact Brian Pope at If you cannot attend this audition, you may send a picture and resume to: Brian Pope, ATTN: Casting, Pittsburgh Public Theater, 621 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15222.


LORT Non-Rep

$926 weekly minimum (LORT C)


Equity actors for roles in BILLY STRAYHORN: SOMETHING TO LIVE FOR (See


Some roles may be understudied.


Please prepare a short song of any style and one contemporary monologue of any genre. All material should not exceed 4 minutes (i.e. 2-minute monologue + 1-minute song). Also,

please bring your picture and resume stapled together.


Pearl Studios (500)

500 8th Ave

New York, NY 10018-6504

Holding room Studio 410



A New Musical by Rob Zellers

Featuring Music and Lyrics by Billy Strayhorn

Expected to attend:

Casting & Literary Director – Brian Pope Director – Kent Gash

Accompanist – Adrian Ries


1st Rehearsal with Partial Company in New York - August 16, 2023

1st Rehearsal with Full Company in Pittsburgh - August 22, 2023

Performances - September 23, 2023 Closes - October 8, 2023

All dates subject to change


Pittsburgh Public Theater aims to be accountable to authentic casting whenever possible and to deeply consider casting performers of diverse racial and gender identities and abilities to better reflect our community and enrich the storytelling on our stages.

An Equity Monitor will not be provided. The producer will run all aspects of this audition.

Equity’s contracts prohibit discrimination.

Equity is committed to diversity and encourages all its employers to engage in a policy of equal employment opportunity designed to promote a positive model of inclusion. As such, Equity encourages performers of all ethnicities, gender identities, and ages, as well as performers with disabilities, to attend every audition.

Always bring your Equity Membership card to auditions.


Equity encourages everyone participating in the auditions to wear a two-ply cloth face mask, surgical mask, singer’s mask or respirator (N95, KN95 or KF94). Single-ply face masks, gaiters and bandanas are not recommended. Singer’s masks can be found at

Equity encourages members to prepare for their audition prior to arriving at the audition venue, to the extent that they can (e.g., get dressed, hair/make-up, etc.) to avoid crowding in bathrooms and dressing rooms.

Holding/Audition room information:

The maximum capacity in the holding room is: 16

The maximum capacity in the audition room is: 9


BILLY STRAYHORN– Black. A superb, star level singer. Able to sustain scenes of considerable length as well as be a singer with show-stopping abilities akin to Billy Porter, Norm Lewis and Joshua Henry. He is both an introvert and extrovert who eats sleeps lives and breathes music. Once comfortable, a sensitive warm and easy soul with a sly sharp wit. Can be mercurial and has fits of ego and temperament. A total original and a bundle of contradictions. A mind and tongue often as fast and brilliant as thought itself. Piano-playing skills a plus.

DUKE ELLINGTON – Black. The superstar genius Jazz composer and band leader. The handsome, extremely attractive front man of the single greatest Jazz orchestra in history. Endless charm, with a gleaming smile and an easy sophistication. Has a larger-than-life natural star’s personality and he is

aware of his importance, position and his class. Extraordinarily smart, eloquent and comfortable in extended scene work of a wide emotional range. The charisma of Daniel Sunjata meeting the undeniable authority of Brian Stokes Mitchell or Reuben Santiago Hudson. No need for singing at this time, but piano playing would be a great plus.

AARON BRIDGERS – Black. An attractive, gentle man who is an ideal romantic partner for Billy. He is quietly elegant, somewhat reserved, with Southern roots still showing. Has an excellent singing voice, likely in the higher, Baritenor range. Intelligent and very much his own man with an innate dignity and a smoldering sensuality. A clear eyed, warm, grounding, grounded presence.

LENA HORNE – One of the very first great Black movie stars. A preternaturally beautiful woman with a real internal strength, like Billy Strayhorn, originally from Pittsburgh. She began her career as a dancer and always had a dancer’s grace, poise and elegance. A wonderful vocal stylist who finds her true and authentic voice through working with her best friend, Billy. May also double as and sing Billie Holliday.

MERCER ELLINGTON – The son of Duke Ellington. A wonderful musician in his own right but ultimately, he is Salieri to the Mozart of Ellington and Strayhorn. A man of charm and intelligence but also often overlooked amidst the brilliance of these giants. He finds a real friendship with Billy as they both struggle to move a somewhat intractable Duke.

IVIE ANDERSON – Black. The extraordinary female lead singer of the great Duke Ellington Orchestra. She has a free, easy and buttery sound that is equally at home swinging “Take the ‘A’ Train” or “It Don’t Mean a Thing” as she is with the deep existential blues of a song like “I Got It Bad and That Ain’t Good”. She is a veteran and has seen it all and knows how to survive in a business dominated by men. She is caring and nurturing and takes a liking to Billy instantly. May also double as Billy’s Mother as needed.

BILLY’S MOTHER – Black. A warm and loving woman who clearly sees Billy’s gift and is fearful of what staying in Pittsburgh may mean for him. While she loves him, she can be tough, if it’s for his own good. May double as Ivie Anderson so should sing very well.

LENNIE HAYTON (MICKEY SCRIMA, SAILOR, THEATER MANAGER, RADIO INTERVIEWER as needed) – A White male who can be believable as the stylish, rakish, Lennie Hayton the great MGM Musical arranger, conductor, composer and producer. He eventually marries Lena Horne in Paris. He is also a superb dancer. An attractive character who can double as a wide range of smaller roles, distinctively without commenting or becoming a cartoon.

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