Cleveland Public Theatre announces Auditions for the Rolling World Premiere of can i touch it?

Cleveland Public Theatre announces Auditions for
the Rolling World Premiere of

can i touch it?

By Francisca Da Silveira

Directed by India Nicole Burton

Looking to cast the following roles…

  • Shay: early/mid 40s; Black; whatever style, she wears it like a boss. think viola davis.
  • Ruth: late teens; Black; she’s gone natural after years of perms and is still getting used to it.
    • Also, Lili: early 20s; Black
  • Meeka: early 20s; Black; it’s short, shaved on the sides. think punk.
    • Also, Beth: early/mid 40s; White
  • Mark: early/mid 40s; White; he might be thinning at the top. it’s probably all that 3-in-1 head and shoulders.
    • Also, Nicky: mid 30s; White
    • Also, Leo: early/mid 40s; White

*We are open to seeing both Equity and Non-Equity actors for these auditions.

Cleveland Public Theatre 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, CPT encourages performers of all races, ethnicities, gender identities, sexual orientations, and ages, as well as performers with disabilities, to attend every audition.

About The Play…

Shay is many things – a business owner, a single mom, a community leader – but there’s one thing she’s definitely not: a pawn in United Bank’s efforts to buy up foreclosed real estate in the heart of Boston’s Black community. At risk of losing her own store to the bank, she is forced to choose between a personal fight for her family’s livelihood and a moral fight against gentrification. When pushed to her limits, Shay finds herself in the fantastical peaceful place where women of color have to recede into when they get asked stupid ass questions. Using devices like double casting through onstage wig changes, can i touch it? examines themes of Black hair politics, social exclusion and the racial inequity Black owned businesses face every day.

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 around mid-March. Rehearsals are 5-6 times a week, with evening weekday rehearsals and some daytime weekend rehearsals.

Performances begin with First Preview April 20. The production opens on April 22.

can i touch it? runs April 20 – May 13, Thu/Fri/Sat/Mon at 7:00pm, with 1 Sunday matinee in the James Levin Theatre.

Content Disclosures about The Play…

can i touch it? includes frank descriptions and depictions of racism against Black people and women.

All actors will be wigged.

Important Information about COVID-19…

All artists and staff members working on can i touch it? are required to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19.


Thursday, June 30, 6:30pm – 9:00pm

Saturday, July 2, 1:00pm – 4:00pm

Callbacks, if needed, will be on Tuesday, July 5, at 6:00pm.

Auditions are by appointment only and will be scheduled in 10-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, India Nicole Burton, will be watching the auditions. All actors will be required to wear a mask when not actively auditioning.

What to Prepare…

  • Prepare both a comedic and a dramatic monologue. Combined, the monologues should be less than 5 minutes, total.
  • 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 [can i touch it 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:

Francisca Da Silveira is a Cape Verdean-American playwright and Boston native who holds a BFA in Dramatic Writing from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and an MSc in Playwriting from the University of Edinburgh. She has been featured in ArtsBoston, The LA Times and American Theatre Magazine. Her plays have been developed with Theatre503 (London), The Traverse Theatre (Edinburgh), Company One Theatre (Boston), The Fire This Time Festival (New York), The Playwrights Realm (New York), The Public Theater (New York) and La Jolla Playhouse (San Diego). Fran’s play not-for-profit (or the equity, diversity and inclusion play) was featured in The Playwrights’ Realm’s INK’D Festival in April 2021 and in La Jolla Playhouse’s DNA New Works Series in July 2021. Her play can i touch it? was featured in the National New Play Network’s 2020 National Showcase of New Plays and in 2022-2023 will receive a Rolling World Premiere at Company One Theatre (Boston), Rogue Machine Theatre (Los Angeles) and Cleveland Public Theatre (Cleveland).

Fran was a 2020-2021 Playwrights Realm Writing Fellow and is currently a member of The Public Theater’s 2020-2023 Emerging Writers Group and a 2022-2023 Jerome Fellow with the Playwrights’ Center. She is working on commissions from the University of Virginia’s Drama Department and Brooklyn-based theater Colt Coeur.

About the Director:

India Nicole Burton is an actress, director, playwright, devisor, and producer. She is a native of Akron, OH and graduated from The University of Akron in 2011 with a BA in Theatre Arts with an emphasis on performance. Upon graduating, India founded Ma’Sue Productions, an African American theatre company located in Akron, Ohio. She has directed, produced, and performed in several of Ma’Sue’s plays and was co-artistic director until 2015. India recently ended a virtual national tour of American Dreams by Leila Buck in 2020, where she played the role of Briana Coffman. She originated this character when it had its world premiere at Cleveland Public Theatre in 2018. India’s directing credits include for colored girls who have considered suicide / when the rainbow is enuf (Heads Up Productions),The Laramie Project (Heads Up Productions), Daybreak’s Children (Ma’Sue Productions), A Happening on Imperial (Ma’Sue Productions), Fire on the Water (Cleveland Public Theatre, co-directed), Panther Women: An Army for the Liberation (in development at Cleveland Public Theatre), “inside out” by Francisca Da Silveira (Company One, as part of their C1: Inauguration project) Welcome to the Taj Mahal (Motel) By Riti Sachdeva, The Playwrights Center (Workshop). India’s assistant directing credits include the 2014 production of The Color Purple at Karamu House, A brownsville song (b-side for tray) at Dobama Theatre, Cleveland Public Theatre’s Barbecue and Good at Heart, featured in Border Light International Theatre + Fringe Festival. India is a board member for New World Performance Lab, a two-year recipient of the NNPN Producer in Residence program for Cleveland Public Theatre and a 2021 recipient of the NNPN Bridge Program grant. She was also a cast member of American Dreams, which was nominated for a Drama League Award in 2021. She is also a Room in the House 2021/22 Fellow at The Karamu House Inc. India is currently receiving her MFA in playwriting from The University of Nebraska’s Creative writing program. She is also the recipient of The National New Play Networks Rolling World Premiere for her play she wrote and directed when it premiered at Cleveland Public Theatre in 2022, Panther Women: An Army for the Liberation.

Comments are closed.