CPT announces Auditions for Breakout Session (or Frogorse)

CPT announces Auditions for
the world premiere of


By Nikkole Salter

Directed by Beth Wood, CPT’s Associate Artistic Director and Director of Production

Looking to cast the following roles…

  • Sara Benton: 30’s, white, female. A group facilitator. Passionate. Assertive. Self-congratulatory. Savior complex.
  • Sergeant Karen Spencer: early 50’s, black, female. A 20+ year sergeant with the Cleveland Division of Police. Cynical. Strategic. Ball-busting. Loyal. Sensitive. Thick-skinned.
  • Officer Ricardo “Ricky” Perez: 20’s, Latino, male. A one-month rookie patrolman with the Cleveland Division of Police. Enthusiastic. Open. Charming. Naïve. All-or-nothing. Absorbent.
  • Mantis Shrimp: late 30’s – 50’s, any ethnicity, male. A corporate, self-help, motivational speaker. Wild. Intentionally weird. Committed. Nurturing. Brilliant.

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: Some roles in the production have been cast. The current cast includes Nicole Sumlin* and Jimmie Woody.

About the play…

Can a society legislate a change of heart? A corporate training company is vying for the contract for anti-bias training with Cleveland’s Police Department. When the white facilitator tosses the approved curriculum out the window, the session spirals. Can a mantis shrimp and a crocodile teach us about building trust and the strength of vulnerability? Commissioned by CPT with funding from the National New Play Network (NNPN). World Premiere.

About The Process…

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

Rehearsals will begin on or around January 13, 2020. Rehearsals are 5-6 times a week, with evening weekday rehearsals and some daytime weekend rehearsals.

Performances begin with previews February 22 and 27, with additional rehearsals between previews. The production opens on February 28.

BREAKOUT SESSION runs February 22 – March 14, Thu/Fri/Sat/Mon at 7:00pm 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.


Sunday, December 15, 4:00pm – 8:00pm
Callbacks, if needed, will be on Tuesday, December 17 at 7:00pm.

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, Beth Wood, and possibly the assistant director, Sheffia Randall Dooley, will be watching the auditions.

What to prepare…

  • Prepare one monologue from BREAKOUT SESSION provided by CPT. Memorization is NOT required.
  • One minute of prepared and memorized monologue of your choosing. NOTE: This material may or may not be viewed as part of the audition.
  • 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 auditions@cptonline.org. Be sure to include your name, email address, phone number, and preferred audition date and time in your email. Please include [Breakout Session Auditions] in your subject line. 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 for 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 the Associate Artistic Director and Director of Production at CPT. As 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. Recently, she has been working with Nikkole Salter to develop Nikkole’s new play Breakout Session (or Frogorse), a CPT commission supported by the National New Play Network, and will direct the world premiere in February 2020. 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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