CASTING - i will still be whole (when you rip me in half)
at VAULT Festival, February 2019.
1994. An expectant mother stares at a crack in the wall.
2018. A lost daughter stares at her reflection.
What does a mother owe her daughter? And what does a daughter owe her mother?
'i will still be whole (when you rip me in half)' is a poetic interlinking of monologues devoted to family, inherited trauma and the essential violence of whiteness. Written by London based playwright and theatre critic Ava Wong Davies, the play explores themes of sexuality, bodily autonomy and racial identity. Scratch performances have been shown at The Yard under their Live Drafts scheme, as part of Flux Theatre's Emerge Night at The Bunker, and as part of Theatre Deli's Beyond Borders Festival.
'i will still be whole (when you rip me in half)' will play for two nights at the VAULT Festival, on the 27th and 28th February. Actors will be required for 12 days of rehearsal.
9th-10th February Rehearsals location TBC
11th - 15th February Rehearsals at the Arcola Theatre
16th - 17th February Rehearsals location TBC
23rd-24th February Rehearsals at the VAULTS
27th February Tech and first performance at the VAULTS
28th February Performance at the VAULTS
Please note we’ll be experimenting with both characters playing as foley artists during the performance. A foley artist creates sound effects live on stage, and the audience can see them creating these sounds. You do not need any prior experience in foley or sound work for these roles, just a willingness to to devise and play with tin-cans and carrots during rehearsals!
Age 22, from Shepherds Bush, Chinese-British
Casting Appearance: Mixed East-Asian/White
She’s deeply lonely at her core. She postures a little – she’s sarcastic and self-aware, she goes out a lot, has one night stands with girls at clubs – but there’s a kernel of fear and sadness which she can’t quite shake. She doesn’t have many friends and she’s never had a real, long-term romantic relationship either. She’s proud of her queerness, almost defiantly so. She struggles with intense bouts of dissociation which unnerve her, but she hasn’t told anyone about them. She lives with her dad in Shepherds Bush and takes care of him, but struggles with feelings of guilt and dependency. She is more affected by the leaving of her mother than she thinks she is. She works as a telemarketer and doesn’t have many strong feelings about it. She isn’t sure what she wants to do with her life.
Age 23, from Malaysia, Chinese.
Casting Appearance: East Asian.
Quiet on the outside, but internally steely and fierce. She has an acute awareness of her body and sexuality, and how she can use it to her advantage. Sometimes she pushes her body too far. She is protective of her own independence and terrified of the idea that someone might try to take it away from her. Like her daughter, she doesn’t have many friends, and she can’t quite seem to recognise that opening herself up to intimacy would be healthy thing for her. She has a fierce disdain for men – she can come across as standoffish, even arrogant at times. She is hardworking, and pushes herself to the extremes. She tries not to think about her daughter too much, but EJ creeps into her consciousness regardless. She works as an accountant – it’s exactly what she thought she would be doing with her life.
We have applied for Arts Council Funding, and are awaiting a decision in mid-January.
If the application is successful, each actor will be paid £1100 for 12 days of rehearsal and two performances.
If the application is unsuccessful, then the majority of the box office intake will go to the actors, and we will run a crowdfunding campaign in February, from which we will offer a minimum fee of £400. In the event of this arrangement, budgets will be open and available to all members of the team.
Initial auditions will be via self-tape, submitted to this link:
Please submit a video of yourself performing one of the monologues (at the bottom of the page) at the link here:
- Framed from the waist up
- Introduce yourself at the beginning of the video
- Including your name, and the character for whom you are reading, in the file name. (E.g. EJ-EmilyDavis )
Once you have submitted the file:
- Email email@example.com
- Include the character name in the subject line of the email
- Provide a contact number
- Indicate whether you will be able to perform in the event that we don’t get arts council funding
**Deadline for this submission is midnight on the 15th of January**
Group recalls will take place on the 20th January in London. Applicants will be notified if they have been recalled by the 17th January.
Please do let us know if you can’t make the recalls, as we may run a second session on the 2nd of February, subject to need.The cast will be finalised by the 27th January.
VAULT Festival is London’s biggest, boldest and bravest arts and entertainment festival, hosting hundreds of events each year across Waterloo. In 2019, VAULT Festival returns from 23 January to 17 March with 400+ shows from more than 2,000 artists, featuring the best new writing in theatre and comedy, cabaret, immersive experiences, late night parties and much more.
About the Company
- Ava Wong Davies is a playwright who is interested in writing for and about ethnic minorities in work that is confrontational, poetic, and political. She is also a theatre critic who writes for Exeunt Magazine and The Stage. She is currently part of the Soho Theatre Writers Lab 2018-19. She has worked on various iterations of i will still be whole… over the past 18 months
- Helen Morley is a theatre director/facilitator and the current Young Director at Prime Theatre, Swindon. Recent projects include: As it Happened (Contemporaneous Notes) (Reactivists, Edinburgh Fringe), Seeking Intimacy (NSDF), GWEILO (The Yard First Drafts), Listen Hear (The Freedom Project, MAC Birmingham). She has worked with Ava on every iteration of i will still be whole...
- Emily Rosannah Davis is a freelance producer and theatre maker. Recent projects include Emergency Chorus’ CELEBRATION and Landscape (1989) at the Warwick Arts Centre and New Diorama, Contingency Theatre’s George at the Camden People’s Theatre and Hannah Greenstreet’s Andromeda, currently in R&D at the Oxford Playhouse.