Overview

Pay Rate: CAT II
Contact Person Email: ben10locke3@gmail.com
Contact Person Name: Ben F. Locke

Written in 1963 by West Indian poet and activist Aimé Césaire, The Tragedy of King Christophe is set in the period of upheaval after the Haitian Revolution in 1804. It follows the true historical figure of Henri Christophe, a general in Jean-Jacques Dessalines army who was elected president but chose to be named King. Christophe declared himself king and ruled the northern part of Haiti until 1820. Shelley’s staging of this story explores the tragedy of Christophe’s transformation from a charismatic leader fighting against the oppression of his people to his unfortunate unraveling. The Tragedy of King Christophe will be an unabashed homage to the changing of guards, as well as an elegant display of epic storytelling vibrant with dance and music.

Chopin Theatre, 1543 W. Division Street, Chicago, IL

THIS IS A FULLY VACCINATED WORKPLACE

Directed by Lanise Antoine Shelley

Assistant Director Mariama Pouye

Costume Design Izumi Inaba

Scenic Design Sydney Lynn Thomas

Lighting Design Jessica Neill

Dialect Coach Maya Prentiss

CAT II Contract

Important Dates (may be subject to change):

Reading: TBD, February 2022

Rehearsals: March 14 – April 15, 2022

Load-In: April 11 – 14, 2022

Technical Rehearsals: April 14 – 21, 2022

Previews: April 22 – 30, 2022

Opening: May 1, 2022

Closing: May 29, 2022

Load-Out and Strike: May 29-30, 2022

Performers who are strong movers who can dance traditional Haitian folk dance and sing with a soulful gospel sensibility are encouraged to apply. This will be a celebration of Haitian culture in the 1800s, that includes dancing to Vodou music and songs. Even though this is NOT a musical, each performer should be prepared to play multiple roles and sing. Every performer will be required to use an accent. Please note if you can play an instrument and any stage combat experience. 

Material to Prepare:

If interested, email our Casting Director Ben F. Locke (ben10locke3@gmail.com) your headshot/resume as well as what part you're interested in. We will send out audition material if we feel you are a fit for the show. All submissions are due by Friday January 5th by 5:oopm

Character Type/Restrictions:

CHARACTERS:

Henri Christophe an-REE kree-STOHF (Haitian. He/Him. Ex-soldier in Toussaint L’ouverture’s army. Strong athleticism, moves with ease, cocky, gregarious, dexterity with language with a strong singing voice. He is driven by a need to create a better world for his people, but his insecurities get in the way)

The king of the new nation of Haiti, a former slave, cook, and revolutionary soldier with the great liberator, Toussaint L’ouverture. He was named a general and commander of the northern province and then offered the presidency of the new republic. He refuses, preferring to have himself crowned king of the northern province, and sets up a court in imitation of Haiti’s former masters, the French. His throne has a gold sun emblazoned on the back to resemble that of Louis XIV, and he puts the crown on his own head at the coronation, as did Napoleon. After fourteen years of trying to make a world power of Haiti, however, he admits defeat and commits suicide.

Pétion & Ensemble pay-TYOH[N] (Haitian. He/Him. Appears biracial. Excellent with stage combat, strong dance ability, and must be able to sing. He’s focused, calculated, noble, and has a keen sense of justice.)

An ex-general in Toussaint L’ouverture’s army. He’s biracial and accepts the presidency after Christophe refuses. He rules the other half of Haiti as a republic. He urges the senate to refuse Christophe’s offer of unification and later sends the army to destroy his rival.

Madame Christophe & Ensemble (Haitian. She/Her. Open gender. Excellent with dance movements and strong singing ability. She’s maternal, smart, strong-willed, opinionated, quick to reprimand and wants her husband Christophe to succeed with honor)

Madame Christophe, a former servant, now the queen. She warns her husband that he is pushing his people too hard in his drive to make Haiti a world power.

Hugonin & Ensemble ew-goh-NA[N] (Haitian. Open gender, masculine presenting. Excellent at combat and classical language. Must be able to sing well. Tactical, calculating, mischievous, opportunistic, and flirtatious)

Christophe’s agent and “court jester,” who insists that the nobility created by Christophe is a fine way to bestow favors and to secure the king’s authority. Although he is a buffoon and scoundrel, he is appointed as minister of public morality.

Franco de Medina & Ensemble FRAH[N]-koh deh meh-DEE-nah (White Frenchman. Open gender, masculine presenting.  Athletic, strong combat ability, will need to use a French accent. They are haughty, pretentious and cunning in navigating this new post-revolution world. Singing is a plus)

A French diplomat who comes to Christophe’s court with a proposal from the French king and is promptly put to death by Christophe.

Metellus & Ensemble meh-teh-LEWS (Haitian. Open gender, masculine presenting. Strong singing ability. Excellent with classical language and dance movements. They are sincere in their efforts to build a better Haiti, but lack scrupulous compass)

A conspirator who hopes to overthrow both Christophe and Pétion because they have betrayed the revolution and divided the country.

Magny & Ensemble Mag-Nee (Haitian. He/Him. Strong use of classical language. Excellent dancing ability. A soldier appointed to nobility by Christophe. He is skeptical and unconvinced that Christophe’s court is the correct path for Haiti)

 

Performers who are strong movers who can dance traditional Haitian folk dance and sing with a soulful gospel sensibility are encouraged to apply. This will be a celebration of Haitian culture in the 1800s, that includes dancing to Vodou music and songs. Even though this is NOT a musical, each performer should be prepared to play multiple roles and sing. Every performer will be required to use an accent. Please note if you can play an instrument and any stage combat experience. 

To apply for this job email your details to ben10locke3@gmail.com