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UVI Theatre Announces Auditions for Spring Play 'Truth on Trial'

The University of the Virgin Islands Theatre is pleased to announce the first play of the 2009 season, Truth on Trial: The Ballad of Sojourner Truth. It will be performed April 17, 18, 19, and in the days immediately before the Carnival celebration, April 24, 25 and 26 at the Pistarckle Theater.

Auditions and technical positions are open to all members of the UVI family and the entire Virgin Islands greater community who are over 18 (or 16 with parental consent). It is possible to earn university credit for participation if desired.


The winner of the 21st Century Playwrights Festival in New York City, Truth on Trial is a powerful and provocative play with music based on the life of Sojourner Truth, an illiterate former slave who fought for the causes of abolition, women's rights, temperance and evangelical Christianity all her life. The play features conflict over issues of race, gender and affirmative action, angry harangues and debate, bloodthirsty reporters, whippings, escapes, courtroom drama, appearances by Frederick Douglas and Harriet Beecher Stowe, Civil War scenes, women's rights meetings, slave songs and dances and a lusty Pinxter celebration. The play surges to life with the powerful oratory, song, poetry and the delightful Mark-Twain-like humor of Sojourner Truth.


Photo of Dr. Doug Larche Truth on Trial
was written and will be directed by new UVI Playwright-in-Residence, Dr. Doug Larche, who is an internationally honored playwright, professor, poet, performer, composer and human rights activist. Dr. Larche spent over twenty years researching and then writing the play as a member of the University of Iowa Playwrights Workshop and the Yale University Playwrights Workshop.


The play requires a multi-cultural cast of nearly thirty, ranging in age from late teen-agers to senior citizens. There are six major roles - three for men and three for women, including the challenging role of Sojourner Truth - and many smaller roles, which are incorporated into two large ensembles of 19th Century characters, one of color, one white.

Auditions are open to all members of the Virgin Islands community who are 18 or older (16 with parental consent). They will be held at two venues on two different days, and by appointment. The first three sessions of auditions will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 3, in the CA Building on UVI's St. Thomas campus, at noon, 5:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. The second set of auditions will be held a week later, on Tuesday, Feb. 10, at 5:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. at the Pistarckle Theater.

Auditioners should wear comfortable clothes and bring personal calendars to the auditions, and will be expected to: 1) read aloud a short poems or song lyric, 2) tell a short personal story from childhood, 3) sing one verse of a spiritual or "Happy Birthday" (doesn't have to be good!), 4) try some simple movement exercises, 5) try some simple improvisational interactions, and 6) read monologues or duologues provided from the play.

While it is not required or expected, individuals who have a monologue prepared, should plan to perform it. People who cannot attend any of these sessions, or anyone with questions, may call 340-693-1341 or send email to dlarche@uvi.edu to make an appointment or to get answers.