Audition Post – Gem of the Ocean

GemoftheOceanCoverLehigh University Department of Theatre announces open auditions for Gem of the Ocean by August Wilson. This production will be a rare opportunity to perform with two esteemed Theatre faculty and to be directed by the 2016 Artist in Residence, Akin Babatunde.

Auditions: Monday, February 1 – Tuesday February 2. Call Backs: Wednesday, February 3.

About the play

Pittsburgh, 1904. Aunt Ester, a 285-year-old former slave and fiery 285-year-old matriarch, welcomes into her Hill District home Solly Two Kings, who was born into slavery and scouted for the Union Army, and Citizen Barlow a young man from Alabama searching for a new life.


Aunt Ester – this role will be played by Professor Kashi Johnson.
Rutherford Selig – a traveling peddler who is a frequent visitor of the house.
Caesar Wilks – Black Mary’s brother and local constable.
Eli – Aunt Easter’s gatekeeper and longtime friend of Solly.
Citizen Barlow – A young man from Alabama who is in spiritual turmoil.
Black Mary – Aunt Ester’s protégé and housekeeper.
Solly Two Kings – this role will be played by Professor Darius Omar Williams.

How to Audition

Sign up for a time to audition on the sheet posted outside the theatre office, room 301 in Zoellner (#rd floor, north side). Auditions will consists of reading from the script and perhaps some improvisation.

Perusal copies of the script may be requested by contacting Deb Laub.

Students cast are eligible to enroll in THTR 35 Performance (2.0 credits)

About the director, the Theodore U. Horger ’61 Artist-in-Residence for the Performing and Visual Arts, Akin Babatundé

Akin Babatundé is an internationally recognized award winning African American director, actor, writer, teacher and coach whose artistic career spans well over forty years in the theatre industry. Babatundé’s directing credits include Gem of the Ocean, The Piano Lesson, Manchild in the Promised Land, From the Mississippi, and Fences. A winner of the AUDELCO Award for Best Director of a Musical, Babatundé has been a resident company member of prestigious theatrical institutions throughout the country. As an actor, Akin Babatundé has appeared on major network television drams, including the two-part season premier of Law & Order: Criminal Intent in 2010. Babatundé’s off-Broadway bio-musical, Blind Lemon Blues, was nominated in four categories for the 2010 New York AUDELCO Awards for Excellence in Black Theater. The play received nominations for Best Director, Best Choreographer, Best Ensemble and Best Musical Production.