Cleveland Public Theatre announces Auditions for the continued world premiere of BREAKOUT SESSION (OR FROGORSE)

Cleveland Public Theatre announces Auditions for the continued world premiere of BREAKOUT SESSION (OR FROGORSE)

By Nikkole Salter
Directed by Beth Wood

Looking to cast the following roles…

  • Officer Preston Walker: late 30s – early 40s, Black, male. A 5-year patrolman with the Cleveland Division of Police. Formal. By-the-book. Loyal. Sensitive. Oh, and he can sing.
  • Mantis Shrimp: 40s – 50s, a non-Black person of color… Latinx, Asian, MENASA, or Indigenous, male. A corporate, self-help, motivational speaker. Wild. Intentionally weird. Committed. Nurturing. Brilliant.

Disclosure: Some roles in the production have been cast. The current cast includes Nicole Sumlin* and Tina Stump*, Rachel Lee Kolis, and Tony Velez.
*Actor appears courtesy of Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States.

No additional equity agreements are available for this production.

About The Play…

Can a society legislate a change of heart? In Breakout Session (or Frogorse), a corporate training company is vying for a city contract for De-escalation and Anti-bias Training with Cleveland’s Police Department. When the white facilitator, presenting to Black and Latino police officers, tosses the approved curriculum out the window to ignite change her way, the session spirals in unexpected ways. Can a mantis shrimp and a crocodile teach us about building trust and the strength of vulnerability? Inspired by Cleveland’s Consent Decree with the U.S. Department of Justice, Breakout Session (or Frogorse) was commissioned by Cleveland Public Theatre with funding from the National New Play Network (NNPN). Continued World Premiere.

About The Process…

This rehearsal process will be conventional in nature and based in script analysis, character analysis, and emotional arc. Actors will be asked to make strong proposals, be generous, and meet deadlines given.

Rehearsals will begin on or around September 12, 2022. Rehearsals are 5-6 times a week, with evening weekday rehearsals and some daytime weekend rehearsals.

Important Dates…

  • 9/12 – First rehearsal
  • 10/20 – First Preview
  • 10/22 – Opening Night
  • 11/12 – Closing Performance
  • 11/13 – Possible hold for extension

BREAKOUT SESSION runs October 20 – November 12, 2022, Thu/Fri/Sat/Mon at 7:00pm, with two Sunday matinees in the James Levin Theatre.

Important Information about The Play…

BREAKOUT SESSION is a play about bias and racism. This play contains blunt conversations about racism and its repercussions.

Important Information about COVID-19…

All artists and staff members working on BREAKOUT SESSION are required to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19.


Thursday, July 7th, 6:30pm – 9:00pm

Saturday, July 9th, 1:00pm – 4:00pm

Auditions are by appointment only and will be scheduled in 15-minute increments. Prepared auditions will be individual, but you may be asked to stay and read with a fellow actor. Actors should plan to stay at the audition for up to 75 minutes, though you may be released sooner. The director, Beth Wood, will be watching the auditions. All actors will be required to wear a mask when not actively auditioning.

What to Prepare…

  • Prepare one monologue from BREAKOUT SESSION provided by CPT. Memorization is NOT required.
  • Some actors may be asked to do cold readings from sides provided by CPT at the audition.
  • Headshot and Résumé

To schedule an audition appointment, please email Please include [Breakout Session Auditions] in your subject line. Be sure to include your name, email address, phone number, preferred audition time, Covid-19 vaccination status, and role you are auditioning for in your email. Send a copy of your headshot and resume as an attachment to your email. No phone calls please.

About the Playwright:

Nikkole Salter has written 8 full-length plays, has been commissioned by 6 institutions to create full-length works, has been produced on 3 continents in 5 countries, and has been published in 12 international publications. Her work has appeared in over 20 Off-Broadway, regional, and international theatres. The National Black Theatre production of her play Carnaval was nominated for 7 AUDELCO awards and won Best Ensemble Performance. Nikkole is a 2014 MAP Fund Grant recipient, a Eugene O’Neill Theater Center National Playwrights Conference semi-finalist, USA Fellowship nominee, and a two-time Playwrights of New York Fellowship nominee. In addition to Breakout Session, she is currently working on commissions from Woolly Mammoth, a musical with NEWorks Productions, and is in development to write the television adaptation of Claude Brown’s New York Times Bestselling novel, Manchild in the Promised Land.

About the Director:

Beth Wood is a director of adventurous scripted work. She has been honored as a director of superior achievement by the Cleveland Critics Circle in 2016, 2015, and 2013, and has directed seven world premieres and eight regional premieres during her twelve-year tenure at CPT. In 2016, she was awarded a TCG Leadership U[niversity] Continuing Ed grant to research long-term new play development models across the country. She has been working with Nikkole Salter to develop Nikkole’s new play Breakout Session (or Frogorse) since 2017, a CPT commission supported by the National New Play Network,and directed the world premiere in February 2020 – which was shuttered in March 2020 due to Covid-19. Her CPT directing credits include Gloria by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, Lines in the Dust by Nikkole Salter, the NNPN Rolling World Premiere of in a word by Lauren Yee, There Is a Happiness That Morning Is by Mickle Maher, Barbecue and Antebellum by Robert O’Hara, FEVER/DREAM by Sheila Callaghan, Why Torture is Wrong and the People Who Love Them by Christopher Durang, and BOOM by Peter Sinn Nachtrieb.

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