Cleveland Public Theatre announces auditions for the World Premiere of Panther Women: An Army for the Liberation

Written & Directed by India Nicole Burton, CPT Artistic Associate

Looking to cast…

3-4 African American Women (over the age of 18) who can sing and dance and come with an open mind. The piece is highly physical and actors are present onstage for the entire play.

Equity agreements may be considered for this production.

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.

Disclosure: Many roles in the production have already been cast. The current cast includes Courtney L. Black, Maya Nicholson, DayShawnda Ash, Chennelle Bryant-Harris, and Zyrece Montgomery.

About The Play…

Through the lens of an African American woman who has decided to take a journey to understand herself more, the play uses the stories of 3 prominent women, who were a part of the Black Panther Party and Liberation movement of the 60’s and 70’s. The play uses their stories as a catalyst to explore the dilemmas, obstacles, and joy of African American woman in general. The play is a high energy, movement piece with poetry, monologues, dance, and song.

Panther Women: An Army for the Liberation was originally created and devised at Cleveland Public Theatre in 2018 as a workshop presentation. This workshop was made possible through a grant from the National New Play Network. CPT also produced workshops in 2019, 2020, and the summer of 2021. In 2020, Panther Women was invited to The Prop Thtr’s Rhinoceros Festival (Chicago, Illinois).

About The Process…

This rehearsal process will be non-conventional in nature. There will be a lot of abstract movement and you will have to create some of the movement. We will work on character development; however, it is more important that you allow yourself to be open and vulnerable. This play can be triggering and call for self-reflection and reflection of the world in which you exist as a Black Woman. You will also be asked to sing and dance, working with a vocal coach and choreographer. Actors will be expected to make strong proposals, be generous, and meet deadlines given. Actors will be expected to work as an ensemble through a series of devised exercises given by director or assistant director.

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

Performances begin with a preview on Feb 4th with an opening on Feb 11th. The production runs from February 4th – February 26th, Thurs/Fri/Sat at 7:30pm and on Sun, Feb 13 at 3:00pm in the Gordon Square Theatre.

Important Information about The Play…

This play contains explicit language, sexual innuendoes, and discusses race relations.

COVID-19 Safety Protocols

All auditioners must be vaccinated, with at least one vaccine administered, before your scheduled audition. All performers and members of the production and creative team must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.


Thursday, October 14th 6:30pm-9:30pm

Friday, October 15th 6:30pm-9:30pm

Auditions are by appointment only and will take place in a group setting. Auditioners must attend the full audition session. Please send a copy of your resume and a headshot when you schedule your appointment. The auditions will be run by the director India Nicole Burton.

What to Prepare…

  • 16 bars of any song; (a cappella)
  • 32 counts of a dance or abstract movement (Please send accompanied music to in an MP3 file, if applicable
  • Once you schedule, you will be sent sides to prepare (there may be more sides provided at audition)
  • Dress appropriately for movement
  • Bring your creative mind and positive attitude

To schedule an audition appointment, please email CPT’s Artistic Associate and Director India Nicole Burton at Be sure to include your name, email address, and phone number in your email, and attach your resume and headshot. Please include [Panther Women Auditions] in your subject line. No phone calls please.


India Nicole Burton (Director/Creator) is an actress, director, playwright, 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), O Patria Mia (Ma’Sue Productions), Little Women (Hathaway Brown Theatre Institute), Fire on the Water (Cleveland Public Theatre, co-directed with Raymond Bobgan), 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 BorderLight 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 Drama League Award in 2021. She was recently touted in Cleveland Scene Magazine as one of the Best Playwrights of 2021. India is currently receiving her MFA in writing from The University of Nebraska’s Creative writing program.

Comments are closed.