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AUDITION INFORMATION

Escaping The Burning Sun: In a World Where Everyone Lives Forever, Why Are People Dying?

 

Escaping The Burning Sun is an original play by Jaziel Siegertsz. It is a one hour long, one act play, written specifically with the Fringe in mind. The play is a dystopian drama that dissects what it means to live and die, and takes a critical look at our world via the lens of this fictional one. It touches on power imbalances that are growing through wealth hoarding, the ethics of regulating life and death, and the pain that tyrannical governments have on its peoples.

 

The play follows eight main characters, five of whom the audience don’t meet until halfway through. They live in a world where people undergo a natural biological process called mithalosis. Mithalosis is the process where an individual ceases ageing between the ages of twenty to thirty, and it isn’t unheard of for people to stop ageing early or late. An example of this would be our protagonist, Sagan, who stops ageing at only fifteen. In this world, as one can imagine, overpopulation is a big issue. And it is dealt with by what is supposed to be a random selection. Whoever qualifies in said selection each night is sent up into space on a pod to be incinerated by the sun. To make things fair of course, only those who have stopped ageing are in the running. Fairness, however, is brought into question when fifteen-year-old Sagan is randomly selected to die as she has recently stopped ageing. When Sagan is sent to the pod, she encounters other people who are to meet their end. And through talking to them, not only is the fairness of the selection questioned, but so is the legitimacy of the randomness and the ethics of it all as well as the very foundations their world is built upon. Sagan and her new acquaintances decide that enough is enough and they try their best to escape their fate - to escape the burning sun approaching them.

WHAT
THE PLAY
QUASAR ARTS AND THIS PRODUCTION

Quasar Arts is a brand new, emerging theatre company established by Jazz Siegertsz in 2021. We aim to bring new, original, and experimental theatre to light, and to provide artistic opportunities to Adelaidian creatives. Due to Escaping The Burning Sun being Quasar Arts’ premiering production, everyone involved (including Jazz) will be volunteering their time, unpaid. Quasar Arts aims to grow to a place within the next five years (or hopefully sooner) where volunteer positions on our productions become paid jobs. At Quasar Arts, honesty and transparency from us, to you, is something we value with great importance.

WHERE
PERFORMANCE

Venues are still being negotiated for the production, however, the two venues in consideration are the Domain Theatre in the Marion Cultural Centre, and the Port Noarlunga Arts Centre in Port Noarlunga. Potentially, there may also be a performance or two in a venue in the city. If neither of these venues end up the final choice, the performance will occur in the city and/or south of the city.

REHEARSALS

Rehearsals will be held at Jaziel Siegertsz’s residence in Morphett Vale. The exact address will be given to those successful in obtaining roles in the play.

AUDITIONS

Auditions will be held in Office 4 in the Woodcroft Community Centre at 175 Bains Road, Morphett Vale, 5162. Please note that as WOoodcroft Community Centre is closed to the public on Saturdays, if you book an audition time on the Saturday, please notify us of your arrival either via our Facebook page (@QuasarArtsOfficial) or through email (quasar.arts.official@gmail.com). One of our team will let you in and guide you to the waiting area.

WHEN
PERFORMANCE

Escaping The Burning Sun will have multiple performances during the 2022 Adelaide Fringe Season. The exact dates and times are still being negotiated with venues.

REHEARSALS

Rehearsals will be held twice a week for three hours in duration. At the moment, they are penciled in on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1pm-4pm. As these times aren’t suitable for most applicants thus far, we will schedule the two three-hour weekly rehearsals around the availability of the selected cast. Rehearsals start on the 9th of November 2021 and continue until the performances in February/March 2022.

 

On the 19th of October there will be a cast cold-read of the script (this is also flexible). From the 19th of October to the 9th November, the cast will have that time to learn lines and be off-script before rehearsals begin on the 9th of November 2021.

AUDITIONS

Auditions will take place on the 7th (Thursday) and 9th (Saturday) of October 2021. They will be 10-15 minutes in length and are able to be booked from 9am - 4pm on both days.

AUDITIONS
HOW THE AUDITIONS ARE STRUCTURED

Each audition will be solo and run for 10-15 minutes. You will perform the monologue assigned to the character you are auditioning for off script. You will then be asked to perform a monologue for a character you are not auditioning for. You will have an opportunity to read it and will be able to use the script for the unprepared monologue. After that, you will be asked to perform some dialogue with the auditioner (Jazz) from an unseen section of the script. You will have a chance to read through it before starting and will also be able to use a script for the dialogue. Finally, Jazz will ask you some questions and check that the information you provided in your application is correct.

 

Please note that if you book an audition on the Saturday (9th), you will need to notify Quasar Arts of your arrival via Facebook or email due to the centre being closed to the public. We will need to manually let you in.

APPLICATIONS

To book an audition time you must send quasar.arts.official@gmail.com an email with the date you would like to audition (either the 7th of October or the 9th of October). In this email you will fill out and attach the ETBS Audition Application Form. This form is part of the Audition Pack which you can download by clicking the button below:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once you send Quasar Arts the email with your completed Audition Application Form, you will receive a confirmation email from Quasar Arts with your audition time. If for whatever reason you cannot find the ETBS Audition Application Form, you can email quasar.arts.official@gmail.com and we will send you the form. If you have any questions or queries, please send us an email.

CHARACTERS, ROLES, AND MONOLOGUES
CASTING FOR PRODUCTION WITH 8 ACTORS

Blake Wills/ Qualifier 1/ Guard 3

Camille Opas/ Guard 4/ Qualifier 2

Sagan Page

Announcer (pre-recorded)/ or alternatively played by Helix or Dr Drew Kepler

Dr Drew Kepler

Agnes Ainsley/ Organiser

Azriel Creed/ Nurse/ Guard 1 

Fordwin Redfield/ Doctor/ Guard 2 

Helix Rey Ellion/ Announcer

CHARACTER BREAKDOWNS

Note: in reality, the only character whose gender matters to their story is Agnes’. All other characters can be played by anyone of any race or gender (Agnes’ race doesn’t matter). Dr Drew Kepler and Blake especially have been written as gender neutral with they/them pronouns. They can remain non-binary characters or be given a different gender. All characters are written with a gender in mind other than Dr Drew Kepler and Blake. Ideally, Sagan would remain female only for the playwright’s sentimental reasons surrounding the play’s conception. However, Sagan being female is not a requirement for her character.

Sagan’s stage age is 15. All other characters’ stage ages are between 20-30 years old (due to ‘mithalosis’ - as explained in ‘What’ > ‘The Play’ at the beginning of this page).

Make these characters your own.

 



 

Blake Wills:

Is 24-32/ equiv 20-36 (in other words, Blake is 56 and stopped ageing at 24). Blake fell into carer’s work when they were young and never ventured into anything else. Not because they weren’t ambitious or motivated, but because the grind to live stole so much of their time. Blake has been a carer at Astra Orphanage since its opening 34 years ago. Blake is tired and has given up on a future for themselves, but hopes that they can have a positive impact on the future of kids like Sagan.


 

Camille Opas:

Is 22-9/ equiv 20-11 (31). Camille, unlike Blake, still has life in her. She is aware of the reality of the unfairness of the Qualifications, and looks into things like the Neighplan movement in her spare time. She makes a great carer and an even better friend. She gets on so well with all the kids at the orphanage, and works her butt of every day and still manages to have a smile on her face every morning. Even though she is younger than and less experienced than Blake, she is as much of a mentor to them as they are to her.

 

Sagan Page:

Sagan, 15, is a bright young mind who thinks herself mature for her age, especially given all she has been through, but at heart, she is still a kid. Sagan was always interested in science and technology, but ever since her parents were burnt, she has been thinking of ways to escape the pods if she ever finds herself in one. Sagan takes everything in her stride and seems to be able to handle so much, but she hasn’t given herself a moment to sit and explore all that she has been through emotionally. And this avoidance of exploring her emotions fully is what keeps her functioning through hardship after hardship.

 

Announcer:

Can be a pre-recorded part or someone can play the announcer and incorporate an onstage appearance through the use of a prop TV screen that they ‘appear’ on. The Announcer is much like a news anchor and speaks in the same manner.

 

Doctor:

Unkind, uncaring, and just another cog (albeit a wealthier one) in the capitalist machine. They do not care about the patients or much of anything else. Is cartoonish with how much of a ‘heartless cog’ they are in the ‘machine’ that is society.

 

Nurse:

Much the same as the Doctor personality-wise and with the cartoonish, caricaturish feel. The Nurse only differs in financial earnings and social status.

 

Organiser:

Bright and bubbly, the Organiser is surprisingly genuine. They are an active member of their community and an enthusiast of science and innovation. They are volunteering their time for the Young Inventors’ Competition that they help out with every year.

Dr Drew Kepler:

A quirky and eccentric character of over three-hundred years old (24-301/325 to be exact), Drew is a lot of fun even if their speech can be a little outdated. Drew is a well-respected astrophysicist by day and a pioneer within the secret Neighplan Solution movement by night. They believe in ending The Qualifications and ‘solving’ the overpopulation problem by colonising the neighbouring planet. They are genuinely interested in Sagan and her invention as well as her intentions and is not the type of person to be malicious or manipulative.

 

Guard 1:

Just another cog in the machine. Except this cog has a gun.

 

Guard 2:

Also has gun.

 

 

Agnes Ainsley:

Poor Agnes has been through quite a lot. Now in her fourth century of life, she has bottled up her mind to protect herself from her own reality. In her monologues, she explains it all. She is a broken woman who has enough sense left to quickly analyse her entire being an experience for those she has only just met when faced with the reality of the dire situation. This shows her kindness and selflessness even though she comes across at the beginning as the exact opposite of those things.

 

Azriel Creed:

Is a nervous young man (22-7/29) who feels as though his life still has yet to start. He is a computer programmer for work and still lives with his mum, because even though he only went into the field for the money via his mum’s suggestion, everything costs far too much for him or his mum to live on their own. Azriel gains confidence throughout his time on the pod as he realises that his skills are one of the components that give everyone a chance of living.

 

 

Fordwin Redfield:

Is like an oak tree. He exudes a feeling of age and knowledge and wisdom. Being over seven-hundred years old, he has had many careers and lovers throughout his long life. He has been around since the beginning of The Qualifications and has somehow managed to miss every one through sheer luck. There aren’t many oak trees standing left. Since Fordwin has been around for so long, he has witnessed how The Qualifications have changed and evolved from something seen as experimental and out there, yet accepted and celebrated, to something cruel and unjust and just another tool for the powerful to play with.

 

Helix Rey Ellion:

Is your bad boy. But kind at heart (21-3/24). Helix is only ‘bad’ because he doesn’t behave, dress, and speak in the ways his parents want him to. He can be a little rude and blunt, but that’s as ‘mean’ of a person he gets. He finds himself in fights and other questionable situations only because he is that guy that will stand up for what he believes is right and defend those who can’t defend themselves. He makes sure to respect things like the way someone wishes to be addressed etc.

 

Qualifier 1:

One of the unlucky 29,418 Qualifiers in the thousands of pods that launched at the same time as the main characters’. A ‘real’ person rather than a ‘heartless cog’.

 

Qualifier 2:

Another real person. Real... unlucky.

 

Guard 3 (Cypher):

Another heartless cog with a gun. All new cog! Comes with its own name!

 

Guard 4:

Unlike all the other Qualifier Guards, Guard 4 seems to have a conscience. They want to abort their orders and look for Emric (who that is, is up to you), who was also one of the 29,418 Qualifiers hurdling back to the planet.

Potential New Character in New Drafts of Script:

Works for a rebel organisation who has access to the Announcement lists a day before they are made public. They work hard to try and save as many people from those lists as possible, but they have found themselves in a bit of a pickle now that they’re on the list this time too.

CHARACTER AUDITION MONOLOGUES

Blake Wills:

I don’t know what to do. I don’t know how to keep going. This is different. This is different from when one of the kids gets adopted. This is different from when they age out of the system. Fuck, it’s even different from when Tan got hit by a car. At least with Tan, it felt like the natural cause of the world. They’ve plucked Sagan right out of it. She had her whole life ahead of her. Plenty of time for her to die in a multitude of other ways. But she’s only fifteen. Just! It only felt like yesterday when she came to us after her parents Qualified. She was a child then and she is still a child now. A child being sent to her grave. A grave that’s been dug by the elite of the world. Camille and I have been doing a lot of talking since Sagan Qualified. She’s always been convinced that there’s been something more going on with the qualifications. I never thought about it too hard. But she’s been showing me things. Telling me things. And now I’m seething with rage because I know that they took Sagan on purpose. They stole her from us and we don’t even know why. And there’s nothing we can do. What are we supposed to do? Change the world?


 

Camille Opas:

Hi, thank you for this interview and for your time Mx Wills. Oh? Just call you Blake? Alright then Blake! Tell you about myself? Well I am a curious person - not that I’m strange, I mean curious as in to say that I’m intrigued by things. And not just things. But by people. By how the world works. I love kids. And I’m going to admit this to you because I’m a very honest and open person… I don’t actually want to have any kids myself. For a number of reasons. But! I still love the little buggers! Love being around them, mentoring them, watching them grow. And listening to them. I don’t think adults take enough time to genuinely listen to kids. Even though they’re kids, they’re still people. And they should be treated that way. As full humans. Even if their brains aren’t fully developed yet. They have feelings and stresses and hobbies just like you and I. They should have their thoughts and opinions listened to just as much as ours are by the world. Where do I see myself in ten years time? Probably here. I’ve got my certifications in youth and social work and I’m a psychology graduate. So I’ll be able to provide counselling to the kids of a higher degree than other workers. And we both know that they need someone with my skill set given everything they have been through. And continue to go through.


 

Sagan Page:

I didn’t mean to call Blake my mum. I didn’t realise I had even made a mistake until I was on the transport vehicle with Dr Kepler. Mum? I’ve never called Blake or Camille Mum or Dad. Ever. But… I feel like my heart’s being slowly ripped out of my chest again. Just like it was that night eight years ago. When Mum and Dad and I were sitting in the lounge room, watching the Announcements. When they stayed silent after the Announcements were over. When they wouldn’t respond to my ‘What’s wrong?s’. When the Qualification Guards stormed in and took them. When one of the guards elbowed me in the head to get me off of my parents. When they left me on the ground, concussed. I don’t remember how long I laid there. It could have been hours. It could have been days. But I couldn’t move. I couldn’t do anything but cry. And I’m trying so hard to hold in tears right now. I can feel them welling up inside me. They have the same sting as the ones I shed for my parents all those years ago. Camille and Blake have… they’ve been like new parents to me… and it’s only now that I’m realising that. Because the pain of losing them… it almost hurts more.


 

Dr Drew Kepler:

I do say, this is quite the predicament we have found ourselves in, Miss Page. As long as you and I (and your machine) stick together, we have a right chance of being the first to escape the burning sun, do you understand? Good. I am quite up to date with the latest information the rebels are finding. Recently, images of a vast number of the different pods were uploaded to the internet. I’ve studied them properly. Each vessel has benches with little metal loops coming out of them. Just big enough for putting ropes through, I speculate. I have an inclination that we will be restrained. Tied up. Do you have anything sharp on your person? No? Well that is rather unfortunate. Why? Well I am not currently carrying my pocket knife. I actually acquired it for scenarios such as this one, but… to be rather frank, the knife I purchased is far too beautiful. It’s like a work of art with all of its engravings and craftsmanship. I could never bring myself to take it out of it’s equally beautiful box. Don’t call me ridiculous! I am a fan of the arts! I could never ruin something beautiful! I’m sure we’ll figure something out. After all there will be other people in the pods with us. Don’t worry, the guards can’t hear us. And even if they could, it wouldn’t matter. They get slacker at their jobs with every year that passes. I’ve heard that a lot of contraband gets on the pods. But they don’t care. Why would it matter when the owners of said contraband are going to evaporate and burn in the near future anyway?


 

Agnes Ainsley:

I’m so ashamed! My child, I am so sorry. I had children. Many like you. Some so unfortunate to be sent up here well before their time. Others were sent later but they were still sent! And yet it is only now that it is my turn! Their mother goes last! I had to watch the Qualifier Guards steal them away. Fourteen times! Fourteen torturous nights seared into my memories like branding an unwilling and unknowing animal on a farm with an iron so hot, it can’t even keep its solidity. I couldn’t cope. It was just me and my little Sola. She took care of me. Because I couldn’t take care of her like a parent should. It was my duty to look after her and I failed her. Then the world failed her! She went through mithalosis at thirteen. Thirteen! I thought I was going to lose her because I couldn’t afford to take her to a hospital! I reached out. I asked for help. And my community delivered in a way I never could on my own. Doctors and nurses and medical students stampeded my house all to help my daughter. She got through it! She survived! But then the world stole her away! It didn’t matter that she was a child. It didn’t matter that dozens of people fought to save her life once before. She was thirteen-two the night she qualified. That would make her your age, my child. The same as a fifteen-zero. And I just did not want to believe that the people in power - the people who are supposedly looking out for us all, taking care of us all - would send another child to their death. They did it again! They did it again! They have no regard for life!

 

Azriel Creed:

Work was alright. Same old same old. Yeah, you can ask me anything. What’s up? When am I moving out? I’m already 22-7? Try I’m only 22-7! You know most people in my generation will never move out of their parents’ homes, right? But I have a good job? Working in IT isn’t what it used to be, Mum. Everyone went into it because there were lots of high-paying jobs. Now there are still plenty of jobs, but they’re all minimum wage! My skills aren’t special anymore! If you’re IT illiterate you’re basically disabled in our current world. Everything runs on technology and without me you’d… you’d be… I’m sorry! I’m sorry! I stepped out of line. No, no, I am grateful for everything you provide for me. I’m so stupid, I know. A dumb piece of shit who knows nothing about how the world really works. Stupid! Stupid! I’ll… I’ll go and make us dinner. I’m sorry, Mum. I’ll… start looking into ways to move out. I sincerely don’t know how I’m going to afford it, but I could always look at getting another job. Or two… or three…

Fordwin Redfield:

I have lived many lives, child. After a hundred years, you are a very different person from when you started. Then you do that growth and change again, and again, and again. Even though I am only a few hundred years off of being a millennial myself, life still feels precious to me. And that is because I have watched the world’s people die and die again. There are only a couple million left who have been on this planet longer than I. And I’m sure there are not many of them that are still here by chance like I am. I know kindness and I know malice. I know hope and I know despair. I know beauty and I know the horrid sights of destruction. However… In the last couple of hundred years, kindness, hope, and beauty… I have not had the pleasure of greeting them on any day. They have gone. They have left. Their lack of presence was caused by unnatural forces. And I fear they have been kidnapped, torchered, and violently murdered in the middle of the night, hundreds of years ago. I fear that there is no possible way for them to return. Rebirth? Maybe kindness will be reborn as goodwill. Maybe hope will be reborn as dreams. Maybe beauty will be reborn as peace. These are maybes that you may believe in, Miss Sagan, but I am not quite there yet myself. Although, the more I talk with you, the less I am able to completely dismiss the idea.


 

Helix Rey Ellion:

Fucking Ellions thinking they run the fucking world! Well you can strip me of that fucking name because not once have I ever been able to have my say in fucking anything! Calm down?! You can’t be seriously telling me to calm down right now? They’re in a meeting with the governing board of qualifications! Right fucking now! It’s not a given? Yes it fucking is! They did it with Davie, Jess, Nole, Hugo, Erna, Immi, Carter, Xan - oh you don’t want me to continue? I know their names. I know their birthdays. And the dates that they all qualified. Well, it depends. Do you want the date the meeting was held or the date that the Announcements officially made them qualify? They’ve done it countless times; sending off their problem kids to the fucking sun to shrivel up and die like the pieces of space trash they see us as. Honestly, I’m surprised I even made it this far with them. They even sent off Davie while I was alive. If they send too many more of us too quickly, maybe the public will actually catch on for once! How do I know about the others if it all happened before I was born? Because they were like me! They were different - they were just trying to be themselves. And people pass word on. But there are no more Ellions like me. And I’ve got no siblings to tell about how you better watch out. If you displease Mummy and Daddy in any way for too long, they’ll send you to the fucking space guillotine!... I just have to accept it. If you need me, I won’t be around. I’m going to get wasted and attempt to have one last good fucking night rotting my brain with anything that’ll stop my heart from trying to escape out of my throat.

Potential New Character in New Drafts of Script:

A rebel? Sure. You could call me that. Or a spy. Or a vigilante. Or just some person trying to do what is right. We all know that the Qualifications are unjust. We all know that they’re tyrannical. Unethical. Immoral. But there is no-one actively fighting against those in charge. Well, there is now. I’m not working alone. But there aren’t as many of us as we’d like there to be. I can’t give too much information because it doesn’t take the government much to take organisations like us down. I can’t say how, but we have access to the Announcements a day before they get made public. We have agents like myself who try our best to find the people on the list, and save them. And that is what I was trying to do. I was trying to get to you both well before 9pm and take you with me so we could all fake our deaths together, but thing after thing kept delaying me and stopping me. And… I’m not the type of person to give up on people. Even though I should have. I should have cut my losses and faked my own death given I was on that list too, but I had already saved six people. And I thought I could save two more. But… My last hope was that the Young Inventors’ Competition would be one of the places to have the Qualification Guards arrive later in the night or even in the early morning, but following my bout of bad luck for the night, they were already there. Waiting. Makes me think. Maybe the both of you Qualified tonight by forces other than chance.

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